St Barth’s Chez Yvon: Honest, Wonderful French Caribbean Cooking

Anse des Cayes is a quiet, lesser-trafficked corner of the island.
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By Alexander Britell

The “snack” is a peculiarly French Caribbean concept; somewhere halfway between a bar and a cafe, casual and care free, open when it’s open but not all the time.

You’ll find these little eateries dotted all over the French Caribbean – and even, yes, in St Barth.

It’s a great place to grab a light bite and a punch, simple and straightforward.

But these snacks can often reveal more underneath the surface.

Hidden away on a tiny plaza (a short walk from the Manapany Hotel) in the seaside neighborhood of Anse des Cayes is one of St Barth’s greatest little eateries.

This is Chez Yvon, helmed by a warm husband and wife team for more than two decades- and it’s a wonderful little snack.

To be sure, there are no frills: small posters from around the Caribbean pepper the walls; the view is just the shops in the plaza, the ambience a local radio station.

But the food is exceptional, whether you’re looking for fresh seafood or more traditional Metropole fare.

My meal here was simple.

First, a ti’ punch, not overdone with too much lime or sugar, perfectly executed with a simple half lime and cane sugar and a Duquesne blanc.

Then, some of the best accras I’ve had anywhere in the Caribbean, large, fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, with a light creole sauce on the side. And this was no small serving of Accra’s, either.

And then the party piece: a miraculous magret de canard, cooked rosé, with a superb sweet-tangy jus.

This nondescript eatery may not be what you think of when you think of St Barth. There is no pomp, no flash.

All it is is simple, honest, authentic French Caribbean cooking (at a great price, too).

It’s the real thing.

-CJ