Above: Le Ti Coin Creole in Grand Case (All photos by CJ)
By Alexander Britell
GRAND CASE — It’s the last restaurant on the left.
Take a stroll down Grand Case Boulevard in French St Martin and you’ll be surrounded by world-class French restaurants: Le Soleil, Le Tastevin, Auberge Gourmand, Le Pressoir, Spiga, and others.
It’s an unusual place in the Caribbean, a kind of anomaly: how do all these great eateries fit in one place?
Above: accras de morue (codfish fritters)
But if you keep walking down toward the end of Grand Case, past the creperie, past Calmos Cafe, when it looks like there are no more restaurants, you’ll find something new.
It’s called Le Ti Coin Creole, and it’s the best-kept secret in Grand Case.
This is the culinary laboratory of Chef Carl Phillips, a local chef who’s been unveiling Creole wonders here for 14 years.
While most of the restaurants on the Boulevard serve show-stopping French food, this place is all about Creole cooking — goat in curry sauce, lambi (conch) in stew, accras de morue.
It is, simply, sensational food.
Phillips calls it “Creole with finesse,” a kind of nouvelle cuisine take on traditional French Caribbean dishes.
They’re not overwhelming — they’re fine, they’re carefully placed, they’re exquisite (and they’re remarkably affordable).
This is a secret corner of Grand Case, one you may have never seen.
Just head down the Boulevard, just before the walkway to L’Esplanade. It’s the last one on the left.