Restaurant Le Chateaubriand at the Sofitel Bakoua in Les Trois-Ilets, Martinique provides guests with a "Taste of Martinique."
While we were in Martinique in April 2006, Edward F. Nesta and I stayed at the Sofitel Bakoua and had a wonderful dinner at Restaurant Le Chateaubriand. We began our evening at Le Gommier Bar, serenaded by the tropical sounds of bullfrogs singing. There we met with Mr. Roland Cupit and Mr. Hughes Lefevre, General Manger, who introduced us to Ti-Punch (white Martinique rhum agricole, cane syrup and a small squeeze of lime), and Vieux-Punch (aged Martinique rhum agricole, cane syrup and a small squeeze of lime), both of which are integral "tastes" of Martinique. They also introduced us to accras, (a type of fritter), a traditional Martinique appetizer made with flour, eggs, spices, and minced fish, and are deep-fried in oil.
The Sofitel Bakoua was the first hotel on Martinique for the upscale traveler, and part of their success is the longevity of their staff. When Mr. Cupit heard about the Sofitel Bakoua, he took the ferry from Fort-de-France and arrived at the hotel at 10:15 am to inquire if they had any openings. By 11:00 am, he was working at the hotel as a bellman, and is now the Resident Manager. He has been at the hotel for 38 years, and is a wealth of knowledge on the history of the hotel and the restaurant.
The hotel and Restaurant Le Chateaubriand pride themselves on providing their guests with a true "Taste of Martinique" through gastronomy as well as culture. On Friday evenings, the hotel features Folklore Ballet, and there is music and dancing on other nights. Mr. Lefevre said that the Sofitel Bakoua is linked to the history of the island, and is part of the culture of the people.
Moving on to the dining room, Chef Francis Duluqc decided that we should experience a "Taste of Martinique." Chef Dulucq is the Chef de Cuisine de Hotel and a Master Chef of France. He arrived at the restaurant in 2003, and his culinary approach is to feature the best of Martinique, using fresh seasonal products and local fish.
Chef Duluqc began our "Taste of Martinique" with amuse bouches of quenelles made with a mixture of pumpkin, spice, fresh herbs and manioc flour, topped with a sliver of black olive, served on a bed of local fresh-water shrimp, and attractively presented on Chinese spoons.
Our tasting continued with succulent grilled shrimp, paired with a 2004 Albert Bichot Chablis, with a light nose and lively citrus flavors on the palate. For our next course, we had Crème de Langouste et ses Médallions, Cives d'Ici (Cream of Lobster with Medallions and Local Chives), which was a rich and flavorful lobster bisque teeming with a generous portion of lobster medallions.
For our main course, the Chef sent us Filet d'Empereur Meunière, Sauce Gingembre, Choucroute de Papaya Verte et Tomato Rôtie, (Filet of Emperor with Butter and Lemon, Ginger Sauce, Green Papaya with Juniper Sauerkraut and Roasted Tomato). I really enjoyed the melding of flavors in the green papaya sauerkraut, which paired beautifully with the tender fish.
As a parting "Taste of Martinique," we had a Mango Puff-Pastry Tart with Tropical Ice Cream for dessert. The mango tart had a tender crust, was filled with an ample amount of fresh, sweet, diced mango, topped with a chocolate disc with the Sofitel Bakoua logo, and paired with mango ice cream. Indeed, we had fully experienced a "Taste of Martinique" at Restaurant Le Chateaubriand.
Read Chefs' Recipes where Chef Francis Dulucq shares a few of his Caribbean secret recipes in English and in French. He graciously shares his recipes for: Red Snapper and Spices on a Bed of Papaya Sauerkraut, with Butter and Lime; Caribbean Lobster and Yams Curry Style with Mille Feuilles; and Chayote Salad with Shrimp and Avocado.
Read about the Sofitel Bakoua in the Hotels and Resorts section.
Restaurant Le Chateaubriand
Pointe du Bout
97229 Les Trois-Ilets
Telephone: +05 96 66 02 02
Fax: +05 96 66 00 41
Read other articles on Martinique in the Destinations section, Destination: Martinique - The Atlantic Side, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Spas, Chefs' Recipes, Fashion, Gastronomy, Events and Liquor Cabinet sections.
For more information on Martinique, please contact the Martinque Promotion Bureau at www.martinique.org.
© October 2006. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.