Rastaman Libations "At many beach bars in French St. Martin, you feel like you're in San Tropez," says Kali, the dreadlocked St. Martiner who, along with his blond Parisian wife, Caroline, owns and operates Kali's Beach Bar. "You know you're in the Caribbean here."Color is a sure giveaway - the bar, restaurant, beach chairs and umbrellas are decked out in bright Rastafarian red, gold and green hues - and so is the soundtrack, provided by local radio stations and featuring roots reggae, dancehall and zouk. French tourists sip chardonnay on the sand, sunning and swimming in the sapphire waters of Friar's Bay, where Anguilla seems close enough to touch. Locals lime at the wooden bar, drinking heady ti punch made with Rhum Damoiseau, from Guadeloupe. American visitors lounge at wooden picnic tables, feasting on treats from Kali's Franco-Caribbean menu - crisp salads, fresh mahimahi, baguette sandwiches - and doing shots of home-brewed rum infusions in tropical flavors: sorrel, ginger, banana and coconut. It's a perfectly mellow island scene - except when the moon is full. Once a month, a buzzed-about full-moon party transforms Kali's into a reggae-fueled Burning Man. A live band plays Bob Marley and Dennis Brown covers; locals and tourists spill onto the dance floor by the bar; and as the clock strikes midnight, Kali lights a massive bonfire on the beach, letting the flames blaze until the music fades and the sun rises over another tranquil day at his beachfront haven.
Kali's Beach Bar Friar's Bay, St. Martin 011-590-690-49-06-81
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Full-moon party monthly 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.