On the eve of our departure from St. Barth, we discovered this lovely Caribbean gem on a hill overlooking Anse Toiny. The romantic and elegant Le Gaiac was named after the guaiacum tree which has the heaviest tropical wood with many medicinal purposes and is found in the area where the restaurant is located. Part of Le Gaiac’s appeal was due to its blue and white décor and setting next to the Hotel Le Toiny’s night lit swimming pool. The open air dining room facing Toiny cove was inviting, comfortable, breezy and mosquito free. We greatly enjoyed the relaxed ambiance, live music (performed by Alan Landry) excellent service and innovative cuisine.
Chef Maxime Deschamps passion for culinary innovation and insistence on high quality ingredients in spite of the challenges of cooking in an island restaurant were apparent in his style and dishes. His and Le Toiny’s determination to develop Le Gaiac into a top tier gourmet restaurant paid off. Tucked away in a secluded area of the island, it took us just minutes to arrive from our Marigot Bay accommodations and yet we were transported to a world of reverence to fine food. From the restaurant manager, to the serving staff and chef, it was obvious Le Gaiac revels in the making of French fare and providing its guests exceptional gourmet dining in a romantic locale.
About The Executive Chef
Chef Deschamps, a native of Limoges, France, had been at Le Gaiac for 11 years when we visited the restaurant. He attended CAP Cuisine Classique A and the Ecole Hoteliere de Souillac. Prior to joining Le Toiny, he worked as chef de cuisine at the Hotel Ste Foy in Aveyron. Before that he was chef de partie and then sous chef at the restaurant L’Escale in Carry Le Rouet .
Executive Chef Maxime Deschamps
General Manager David Henderson
Handicapped Access Other than a couple of steps at the entrance, the ground was level. The restaurant indicated the area was fully accessible.
Location In the lobby of the Hotel Le Toiny
Owned E.S . Development with Michael Shen president
Pastry Chef Fabien Marie
Restaurant Manager Mohamed Zouikri
Size Seated 70
Type Of Restaurant French “inventive with an exotic touch”
DÉCor-Ambiance Le Gaiac was set on an open air terrace with a 180 degree view of the Hotel’s swimming pool and the bay beyond. The restaurant had a contemporary look with leather interior chairs and teak exteriors in bright blue for a self described “ Caribbean contrast with a touch of contemporary style.” At night, the mild cooling breeze was a blessing and the lit pool in the background reminded diners of the tropical island setting.
Cellars Wine And Alcoholic Beverage Selection
More than 250 wine options and regular bar selections including aperitifs and after dinner drinks
Special Menus a tasting menu was available for 120 euros
We had a tasting menu starting with a delightful cream of lemongrass soup with a dash of coconut milk, accompanied with an excellent Thai lobster spring roll; poached eggs with a bacon mousse, accompanied with brioche
and black truffle; sliced scallops and black truffle with a cauliflower mousse, accompanied with a distinctive mushroom and licorice soup. We especially liked the steamed foie gras
with balsamic vinegar and passion fruit juice on a bed of lentils.
Next we tried a crispy shrimp with nougatine garlic and an orange sauce; crayfish with a wafer of seasoned pasta, draped with a crustacean sauce and a point of Beluga Caviar; fricassee of Maine lobster served in its bouillon with garden peas and morels; and lacquered yellowtail snapper stuffed with banana plantain and braised with sweet and sour sauce and sautéed potatoes. We cleansed our palates with a litchi ginger and champagne granité before our sliced roast pigeon with mango and celery ravioli, ginger vegetables and hazelnut juice; for our final salt course we had pan grilled lamb chops served with tomato and dried fruit concassée with a mojette bean mousse.
Dessert was a refreshing and tasty lemon sorbet with strawberries marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a julienne of celery and warm chocolate cake filled with coconut and whisky ice cream. We accompanied our meal with Emotion de Terroirs , Chardonnay 2002, Vincent Girardin and champagne Billecart Salmon Rose.
Other Le Toiny was a member of Relais & Chateaux
Date Of Review
Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox
Service The service was outstanding. Staff were attentive, polite, helpful and well trained.
Would You Dine There Again-Recommend It? yes