Above: Restaurant Le Gaiac in St Barth (all photos by CJ)
ST BARTH — Here, on a hillside high above the currents of Toiny beach, is a cathedral.
And every Sunday, locals and travelers alike make the pilgrimage.
Above: Toiny Beach
At least, that’s what brunch at Restaurant Le Gaiac at Hotel Le Toiny has become — a ritual where, each week, diners celebrate the glory of Sunday morning in St Barth.
Above: chicken and vegetable wraps
This is a St Barth institution, the famous “Brunch du Toiny,” with an impressive spread, from just-so dessert delicacies to fresh French bread (and even bagels) and locally-caught Mahi Mahi with citrus butter.
Above: the view from Restaurant Le Gaiac
Chef Sylvain Revelant has been leading the menu for six months, and is now looking to put an even greater emphasis on locally-sourced food (including an herb and vegetable garden now on the hotel property itself) while managing to keep the menu fresh, too. He’s also working to turn much of the restaurant’s traditional haute cuisine into — thankfully for a buffet brunch —perfectly apportioned per-person serving sizes.
At Le Gaiac, it’s all about diversity, though — there’s, naturally, fine French champagne on call, right alongside Caribbean-influenced fare and traditional breakfast offerings.
And how many brunches have their own Ti’ Punch stations?
Beyond the excellent cuisine, though, what truly makes this meal unique is the ambience: this is one of the best restaurant views anywhere in the West Indies, set to the the creative stylings of regular house band Robb & Mr Yuss.
Above: Robb & Mr Yuss
The eclectic duo plays has a seemingly infinite repertoire, from Jack Johnson and Bob Marley to Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, always performed in a playful, unconventional style.
So what’s made “Brunch du Toiny” so popular, on an island of so many great eateries?
“It’s only us who are doing this,” Revelant tells Caribbean Journal . “I think it’s everything – we have musicians, great view, and the food is different.”
And he’s right – but there’s something else.
You see, it’s far more than just great food — it is the essence of what Sunday brunch should be: an occasion.