Date of Review: May 1998
"Karacoli" means seashells. The Karacoli is located just off the middle of Gran Anse, the most beautiful beach on the island. Karacoli has some tables under a awnings, and others under nothing but the beachfront palms. Due to a light intermittent rainfall, we ate under the awnings.
That day, Eurodisney was filming part of a special on Guadeloupe. We were treated to colorfully dressed Guadeloupean children as well as a limbo dancer who managed to walk under a flaming bar set atop nothing other than two empty wine bottles. We also met a young animator who is evidently famous for his Saturday morning children's show in France.
I had read that Karacoli was among the best restaurants in Guadeloupe. One Caribbean guide even called it the best. If they were referring to the location, they may be correct. Gran Anse is extrememly beautiful. If they were referring to the food, they were way off base. The menu is the traditional fare. It was prepared well, but not inspired. There was no wine list to speak of.
The grilled lobster was excellent, but not up to the standard set by the Colombo. The chicken colombo was full of bony portions of chicken cut into unrecognizable pieces. The coq (rooster) fricasee was served with intense and spicy pan drippings. The meat was good, when you could find it. Primarily, the dish was bones and pan drippings. The pan drippings were tasty with the rice, though.
I can't recommend a special trip to Deshaies to eat at Le Karacoli. I can recommend a day trip to spend a few hours at Gran Anse. If you get hungry, Karacoli is your best bet on or near the beach. Stick to fresh seafood and you should have a fine meal.