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Spiga; Italian cuisine on a French Island

Grand Case, St. Martin

Since travelling to Italy, I have become such a snob when it comes to eating Italian food.  I don't enjoy pizza as much, except for a couple of places, pasta dishes seem bland and tasteless, and don't get me started on the meats.  I just don't get it.  Italian food used to be my favourite, but now, I just keep dreaming of the day I can go back and eat till  explode, literally!  I am saved sometimes as my co-worker is a from Italy and happens to be a killer cook.  She satisfies my gnocchi craving when I need it the most.  So when I came across Spiga on my restaurant quest of St. Martin, I was cautious, but hopeful.  

We parked like typical locals, squished on some lawn on the side of the road, and walked in to the very cute restaurant.  It was quite busy, one table in particular was overly rowdy and obnoxious, nevertheless we were seated very quickly, a very big plus in my books.  We sat down, ordered drinks and waited hungrily to order our mains.  It was my fault, we were supposed to go to Temptation that night, but google maps failed me yet again and we ended up really badly lost looking for the completely wrong address.  By the time we dragged ourselves into Spiga, I was feeling faint from hunger, ok I may be exaggerating a little but I was very very hungry. 

Considering how ravenous we were, we ordered three appetizers; beef carpaccio, tomato carpaccio and a fennel salad.  The bread arrived and we scarfed it down.  People must have thought we hadn't eaten in days, I barely had time to breath as I ate the bread.  Then came all three appetizers at once, since we mentioned that we were going to be sharing the salad, they plated it separately which was such a nice touch.  We each received an individual salad that was absolutely perfect.  Crisp, tangy, sweet, refreshing, everything I love in a salad.  

The beef carpaccio looked absolutely delicious, but something was missing.  There was truffle oil, parmesan, arugula and of course the beef, but flavour was definitely not present.  I was very disappointed as the plate was absolutely beautiful.  My friend's tomato carpaccio was great.  Light, refreshing and very fresh, can't complain about that!

Our appetizers were cleared and our mains followed soon after.  I decided on the seafood risotto, while my friend had the seafood pasta.  The risotto was nicely presented, but having eaten in many restaurants, I've learned not to always trust your eyes.  This was one of those occasions.  The risotto was undercooked, hard and very unappetizing.  The flavour was completely nonexistent and the seafood was just ok.  Really and truly one of the most disappointing risottos I have ever had.  

My friend's pasta was ok, not terrible and really nothing special, but it was edible.  The seafood wasn't overcooked, but also nothing special.  We ate and satisfied our hunger but left wishing we had found Temptation.


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