My spouse and I enjoyed dinner at Bartolomeo restaurant at Le Guanahani resort on a Sunday evening in late April 2016. Bartolomeo and Guanahani are located in Grand Cul-de-Sac near the hotel where we stayed, Le Sereno. Unfortunately, due to the rocky terrain/cliffside, you cannot walk between the two resorts on the beach because there is no beach! You could potentially walk between the two hotels on the street; however, it is quite a distance from
the main road through the Le Guanahani property to reach the restaurant. Bartolomeo is open for dinner daily except Thursdays, with an annual closure in September and October. The restaurant institutes a dress code of long pants for gentlemen, which everyone obeyed on the evening that we dined. (Supposedly, Bartolomeo is the ONLY restaurant on St Barths with such a dress code, which seems unnecessary because the weather can be warm and the dining space is not air-conditioned.) Guanahani dining offers a unique “cook what you catch” program, whereby the chef will prepare the seafood that you caught while fishing as part of a lunch or dinner tasting menu. Another more casual restaurant, Indigo, is also located at the Guanahani resort, but it is primarily open for lunch (except that it serves dinner on Thursday evenings because Bartolomeo is closed).
Bartolomeo is a lovely open-air restaurant. Tables are set either under cover of the roof of the main structure (but still open on two sides) or on a large wooden deck that extends into a garden-like setting. The garden also features a grouping of sofa/chairs/coffee table/outdoor lamps where you can enjoy drinks near the small pond and waterfall. Bar’to Lounge, the bar adjacent to Bartolomeo restaurant, serves a selection of wine, beer, liquor, and cocktails in a climate-controlled enclosed setting that features vaulted ceilings, slatted window shutters, and low lighting. The restaurant building reminds us of a beautiful plantation house with gingerbread trim. A few friendly cats call the Le Guanahani home resort home; one particularly vocal kitty trolled the restaurant looking for table scraps (fortunately, we love cats, so we enjoyed this one).
Bartolomeo serves French and Caribbean cuisine. As our starter, we shared the risotto king crab (accented with raspberries and licorice powder, which sounds odd but tasted good!). The kitchen nicely split our shared starter onto two plates, and each individual portion was so large that we thought that they had misheard our order and delivered two separate dishes instead of one shared. (We were pleased when our bill arrived that we were only charged for one portion.) The bread “basket” at Bartolomeo is quite impressive; it was hard to resist the many carbohydrate selections that arrived on the bread tray! (We wish that we had taken a photo of this most remarkable site!) As our main courses, we ordered the suckling veal (served with carrots, chard, and morels) and a white fish dish (served with green peas and other green veggies, so the overall effect was dichromatic and gorgeous!). The presentation of the food at Bartolomeo was the most beautiful that we saw during all of our meals on St Barth.
We spent a mostly pleasant evening at Bartolomeo, where we admired the beautiful setting and the tasty and nicely presented food. Our service was good until it came time to pay the bill. When our server tried to swipe our charge card through her portable card machine, it rejected our plate, which she tried to run several more times with the same result. She inquired as to whether we presented her a valid card, and we explained that we had used the card recently without issue; however, she could not make it work. Then she asked for an alternate card, which was also not accepted! By that time, she realized that the problem existed with her machine and not with either of our cards, so she successfully ran the first card at the machine at the bar. This matter put a damper on an otherwise nice meal, because the server did not handle the issue with grace and tact, instead making us feel like we were deadbeats who were trying to pull some sort of scam! Had she thought about the issue logically, we presented an American Express Platinum card, which is not a “credit” card, but is instead a “charge” card that has no credit limit, so there was no way that funds were not available to pay for our meal. She made no apology to make up for her insult, which would have left us with an entirely different final view of Bartolomeo.