I moved to Bermuda a month ago and was very appreciative of information from the Chowhound page, especially Barry Strugatz's comprehensive report. In the spirit of giving back, I thought I'd post some recent observations.
In general, it is possible to eat good, if not great food in Bermuda. That said, unless you stick to the local cuisine, it is a very expensive place to eat. The some of the popular local dishes, which are generally good at most places, are:
Bermuda Fish Chowder: a slightly spicy red-based fish soup. It reminds me of New Orleans turtle soup. Usually served with black rum and sherry peppers (chile-spiced sherry, which is not a great combination except in soup.) Quite good at many places.
Fish Cakes: fish, usually salt cod, but also salmon, mixed with mashed potatoes and pan fried, often served as a sandwich. A bit of a range in quality, but I like those at The Deli in Washington Mall and the take-home version at the Marketplace Supermarket. Traditional on Good Friday, when they are served in a hot cross bun! That will take a bit of getting used to!
Caribbean dishes: Jamaica Grill has been covered on Chowhound and is excellent, but many places serve a curry or two. So far, I've had better luck with the stews than the patties or rotis. The Marketplace has a decent chicken curry on the hot food bar.
I am still to try Portuguese Red Bean Soup or Cassava Pie - I'll report later.
As far as specific restaurants:
Dennis's Hideaway may not be for everyone, but it is a Chowhound experience by my definition. It is a bit of a shack on the far east end of the Island, with a few jumbled tables in what is essentially a living room. The bathrooms have a bucket in the tub so you can flush, and the owners' local accents are so thick that it can be a bit difficult to follow. This said, bring your own beer/wine and order the works for about $35. You get:
3 small soups (conch, mussel, fish), all good if a bit similar
Conch fritters - ok, if nothing great
Shark Hash: interesting, if slightly dry, minced seasoned shark on toast
Fried Shrimp, Scallops - fine, crisp
Pan-fried Fish - AMAZING. They had grouper that day, with a light, crisp, well seasoned crust. I'll never look at fried fish the same way again.
Shark Steak - also excellent, with a spiced crust
I am sure there was more, but this is what I recall. Definitely worth it.
La Coquille is a good upscale place. Expensive, but you could pay more for less. The tuna tartare with ginger oil is a good version of the Le Bernadine dish (which I believe is the original), and most dishes are carefully prepared. Good views of Hamilton
A few other places I can comment on, although maybe not recommend without reservation:
Cafe Lido at Elbow Beach - great view right on the ocean, ok - not better - Italian food
The Pickled Onion - I like this place, but some might comment that it is just modern pub food and you can do as well elsewhere in the world. Good fish chowder, wraps, etc.
The Robin Hood - Somewhat of a cross between a US frat house and a UK pub, this is no fine restaurant, but it does have decent (by local standards) pizza - I like the one with spicy chourico sausage - and a surprisingly nice salad with fresh mozzarella and pesto dressing. Here, and elsewhere, I recommend the local Bermuda Brewing Company's Island Ale, a decent US-style microbrew.
I have also tried Tio Pepe (ok pizza, I am waiting until the suckling pig is back in season), Lobster Pot (decent local seafood, but too pricey at dinner), Portofino (decent, not great, Italian-American or Southern Italian dishes). On the list of places I won't return are Waterloo Inn (beautiful, but $40 for microwaved risotto?) and Rosa's Cantina (I know, what was I thinking!). I am looking to try Paw-Paws and the local Indian places.
For those eating at home or cottage, Miles Market in Hamilton has the best seafood and produce, although it is still hit or miss and expensive. There is a decent farm stand or two on South Road, the best in Southampton and one just east of Trimingham Rd near Hamilton. Goslings has the best wine selection, and prices are not outrageous, although I worry a bit about storage and transit conditions for all wines on the market here.
That is it for now. Sorry to ramble, but I'll add more if things merit it.
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