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Bermuda Eating Trip Recap - long


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Bermuda Eating Trip Recap - long

captainspacefood | Jan 24, 2010 07:41 AM

Just spent an elongated weekend in Bermuda and wanted to give a chow report. The island was very very slow, many places closed. We stayed at a great b+b on Harbour Road in Warwick called Watercolours. It was easy to get tables at all restaurants for the most part. We rented scooters and drove around the island, which I'd highly recommend. The day by day:

Dinner: Bistro J (Alleyway off Front St, Hamilton)
We tried to get a table at their sister restaurant Port O Call on Front Street, but the wait was a bit much so we hopped around the corner. Bistro J is a much more casual, intimate vibe. Menu all on a chalkboard in the dining room, lots of good options, we tried to keep it local and seafood centric with fishcakes, shrimp w/bacon, guinea chick, and wahoo. I wasn't thrilled with the food but it was good, solid fare.

Brunch: Fourways Inn (Paget)
This came highly recommended to us but I can't figure out why. Ever been to a Vegas buffet? That's basically what this was. Fairly crowded, and expensive at $50 per person. We had lamb, sushi, lobster, fish and chips, shrimp, etc etc. Tons of stuff. The highlight was amazing chocolate mousse and tiramisu homemade desserts. Really nicely done.
Drinking: Robin Hood (Hamilton) and The Mad Hatters (Hamilton).
We checked out Robin Hood, it was a good vibe, British sports bar feel, but playing the Jets game so we had a few drinks there. Affable bartenders and a menu that looked half decent. Then we strolled on over to the Mad Hatters, and went into the upstairs bar. I'm not sure if we were in a bar or a social club, but it was a weird vibe, almost like something out of a David Lynch movie. Had a beer there and then walked to dinner.
Dinner: Pickled Onion (Front St in Hamilton)
This place is a clean, modernish upscale pub. Pretty good food, and some great local seafood options. We had crab/shrimp cakes, fish chowder, pan seared rockfish. The rockfish was particularly memorable.
More drinking: The Hog Penny (Hamilton)
We ended up in this British Pub for a drink. It was a pub.

Lunch: Lobster Pot (Bermudiana Road in Hamilton)
This place seems semi-famous on Bermuda. It's basically a family seafood restaurant, and a decent one at that, but nothing mind blowing. We had conch chowder, fish chowder, hogfish. All were god, and this is probably where the best of the chowders we sampled were.
Dinner: Beau Rivage (Harbour Road in Paget)
This was the fancy dinner. The place was deserted though, only 1 or 2 other tables. It is the off-season I supposed. High end French menu, good execution of all dishes, great service, and a ferry stop right out front. We had the foie terrine, shrimp cocktail, swordfish w/ ratatouille, herb crusted lamb and some desserts that I was too hammered to remember.

Snack: Cafe Ole at Crystal Caves
We grabbed a fish cake at the cafe before venturing into the caves and it was pretty good!
Lunch: Swizzle Inn (Bailey's Bay)
Possibly the most famous spot on Bermuda, it's a graffiti covered pub that serves their famous namesake drink, the Swizzle. If you're on scooters, stick to the half pitcher. We shared a lamb curry special that was good!
Pre-Dinner Snack: RumBar at Latin: (Victoria St in Hamilton)
I had heard this place has the only raw bar in Bermuda so we had to check it out. It's kind of an upscale Latin vibe, and the basement is the bar/rawbar. We had a very good tuna tiradito and a salmon ceviche, but there were only 2 types of oysters at the raw bar, Blue Points and Duxbury's. I know both of these oysters well and we ordered a couple of each, and they definitely served us all Blue Points. Disappointing, but perhaps would be better in the high season.
Dinner: Bolero (Front St in Hamilton)
This was probably the food highlight of the trip. Bolero is upstairs on Front Street but you have to enter off an alley. I'd recommend this place as the most foodie of all the places we ate at. It's upscale French food with some British and local influences. We had a black pudding - which was amazing - bloog pudding that came with a hard boiled egg. I mentioned that in taste and presentation, it wouldn't be out of place at Momofuku Ssam bar in New York. We also had a classic mussels with shallots, white wine and cream sauce which were great, and then a very very good snapper dish and a very nice spicy tiger shrimp risotto. Too full for dessert. Highly recommended. Oh definitely check out the bathroom, on the way to them, there are menus from what I think are all the restaurants the chef has worked in. Kind of a cool time capsule, and will delight any and all food nerds.

Lunch: La Trattoria and Sports Bar (L.F. Wade International Airport)
We wanted to get something else for lunch at either Harbourfront or Lemon Tree Cafe on our final day but didn't have enough time. So we hit the only dining option in the airport, on the 2nd floor, past customs, right at the gates. We had a standard fish cake sandwich and some fried shrimp. Pretty standard airport fare, made me feel like I was tripping on acid during the flight home.

A few places we wanted to hit but didn't:
Blu - right by our b+b, but the menu looked like very standard stuff I've had a million times.
Waterlot - upscale steakhouse, looked good but we have enough of those in NYC thanks
Yoshi - apparently this is a quasi secret sushi bar, sounded cool, would check it if I had more time there.
Tom Moore's Tavern - a classic Bermuda joint, but we kept it more local/accessible by ferry for our dinners.
Newport Room and The Point - both high end places, but we rolled our high end dice on Beau Rivage. Next time would try these.
We heard good things about Indigo in Flatts as well.
Bouchee - apparently good local cuisine

We had been given a very strong recommendation to try the Black Horse on St. David's but when we got there, it was closed. We then stumbled upon Dennis Hideaway on St. David's, which we think was closed as well. This is possibly the most unique restaurant I've ever come across. It's a few signs advertising fresh fish out front, and a path it tells you to follow down to the water, where there is a bench/table and a house. The house was the kitchen apparently, and the radio was on, but we couldn't find anyone. We went in the house and called out but no one was there. Feeling sufficiently creeped out, we took off. Supposedly this is all catch of the day seafood and is great. Hard to tell if it is still open, or if it was just the off season.

Overall I wasn't super impressed by the food in Bermuda, you can eat well, but everything is definitely expensive. Makes sense though, it's the most affluent country in the world and it's an island in the middle of the Atlantic. I'd suggest going towards the more local, seafood type stuff. The fine dining we did hit can be replicated anywhere, really. Super bummed that Dennis Hideaway and Black Horse weren't open. A phone call would help, but traveling around and stumbling upon things is just kind of more fun.

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