TEMPTATION & Rare
Let yourself be led into Temptation...
The dual nationality island of St. Maarten / St. Martin has come to be known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean attracting thousands of visitors annually and seducing them with its unique blend of European and Caribbean gustatory delights. Two flag-bearing restaurants, Temptation & Rare, have become household names amongst the resident and visiting community under the masterful culinary talents of award winning chef and owner Dino Jagtiani.
Temptation invites you to explore a fascinating array of "Nouveau Caribbean Cuisine" served against a backdrop of flowering water features and inspired décor from around the globe all elegantly wrapped in melodious piano music. "On Behalf of my team, I take this opportunity to welcome you to Temptation. Please allow yourself to capture the essence of the sounds, sights, aromas, and flavors all working in synergy to awaken your senses," Dino Jagtiani.
Rare is the only steak house in St. Maarten where you will find top quality USDA prime, dry aged steaks - from 12 oz fillet mignon to 28 oz porterhouse - a must for those power eating moguls who want to capture the essence of the divine bovine. Those who "dare to be rare" will enjoy breaking tradition with Dino's creative take on the sauces and sides such as, truffled mac 'n' cheese, chili-garlic fries, Vidalia onion rings with rhubarb ketchup and wasabi hollandaise. Seafood lovers and vegetarians need not feel left out as Rare serves fresh Maine lobster, stone crab claws, and features a bread and antipasto bar that pumps out piping hot, baked-to-order, clay-oven flat breads. These are served with a variety of dips such as hummus, pesto and tapenade. Finally for all you lounge lizards, celebrated local designer Craig Span has yet again conceived and created the perfect backdrop for Rare's upscale, mature after dinner lounge… Enjoy rare and priceless moments at this gem in the Atlantis World Casino complex.
Born and raised in St. Maarten, Dino Jagtiani knew from a very young age that he was destined for a life in cooking. In his early days, before the Food Network, he enjoyed watching legendary cooking shows like Julia Child, Great Chefs, and Pasquale's Kitchen on PBS T.V. At seven, he cooked his first full meal from start to finish - spaghetti and meatballs for his family.
Dino's love, and passion for food eventually led him to the Culinary Institute of America, where in 1994 he became the first St. Maarten born son to ever graduate from the world renowned culinary school. He accepted a position at the then Sheraton Port de Plaisance as a line cook and worked his way up to Chef de Partie learning as he went the many lessons of managing a kitchen in the Caribbean.
In 1995, after Hurricane Luis hit the island and closed the hotel, Dino went back to the CIA and completed his Bachelor's Degree. A rare opportunity to do a stage at the famed L'Espinasse at the St. Regis Hotel in New York with Chef Grey Kunz ended after 10 minutes when Dino showed up to work with a dirty apron. But, it was his experience working under Chef Mark Harris at the 5 Star Le Meridien Waldorf in London that he says, "This is where I really learned to cook."
In 2002, Dino returned to St. Maarten to pursue his life-long dream of opening his own restaurant and Temptation was born. In its first few years, Temptation sky-rocketed to the top of the island's dynamic dining scene, winning "Restaurant of the Year" by the Gault Millau Guide three years in a row 2006, 2007 and 2008 while scoring 16 points by the same Gault Millau Guide. (Side note: There is no restaurant in Europe that has 16 points from Gault Millau and doesn't also have at least 1 Michelin star. Aka 16 points from Gault Millau is the equivalent of 1 Michelin star.)
In February 2005, Bon Appetit Magazine called Temptation "One of the Top 10 New Restaurans in the Caribbean." Dino has also been featured in National Geographic Traveller, Caribbean Travel and Life, Islands, American Way, and Hemispheres Magazines, as well as The Miami Herald, and Washington Times newspapers. Other awards include 2 time Gold Medal Winner at the Taste of Caribbean competition in Miami, Florida 2205-2006.
In 2005, Rare Steakhouse followed, and became the 1st Steakhouse in the Caribbean to offer Dry Aged CAB PRIME Steaks. The most recent feather in the cap for Dino was being selected by Certified Angus Beef LLC to participate as a chef for their 30th Anniversary celebrations at the James Beard House in New York. Dino was chosen from over 7,500 licensed CAB partners around the world, and is the only chef residing outside the United States who participated at the Great Steak Celebration.
Through his culinary exploration and creative approach, Dino coined the phrase "Nouveau Caribbean" and has labeled his cuisine "Freestyle." His cooking is a truthful reflection of the man behind the stove - inventive, adventurous and fun! When Dino is not busy seducing palates, he enjoys tennis, baseball, the gym, and spending time flipping the pages of many food magazines whilst dreaming up his next creation.
This creative twist on the American staple comes from one of St. Maarten's own rising stars - chef and owner of both Temptation & Rare, Dino Jagtiani. This explosive, talented young philosopher and artist is once again taking the St. Maarten dining scene to a new height. Expect nothing but the best from Temptation and Rare!
Dare to be Rare!