Restaurants & Bars

Bermuda Report

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Restaurants & Bars

Bermuda Report

Dave Feldman | Jan 28, 2001 10:40 PM

Just got back from a week in Bermuda. My Chowhound activities were severely curtailed by two forces beyond my control:

1. Bad weather that precluded using anything but expensive taxis or buses during heavy rains to get around.
2. Because of the group that I was with, I was forced to pay for the modified American Plan at my hotel, the Sonesta. The fish chowder at the Sonesta is quite good (the same one is served in all their restaurants). Otherwise, I didn't eat anything noteworthy here. The Sonesta has three restaurants, none of them worthy of mention.

That said, I had two wonderful eating experiences, two more than decent ones, and a few assorted observations.

Decent: Paw Paw's on South Road in Warwick, is an informal, moderately-priced restaurant with friendly service. The best bet here is the Paw Paw casserole, with beef, cheese, and green papaya -- a cross between moussaka and lasagna.

Il Palio's on Middle Road in Sandy's is a good Tuscan restaurant in a charming converted travel agency just outside of Somerset. You enter the tiny bar on the ground floor and climb a narrow spiral staircase to get to the charming, asymmetric dining room. It was pouring rain the night we were there, and there were no other customers the entire time. The Siennese owner and Bermudian waitress could not have been more welcoming. The house chianti was just fine, and most of the food was solid if not spectacular.

Terrific? Easy. Two suggestions from Barry Strugatz in Hamilton.
Dorothy's Coffee Shop is far from obscure. Its walls are festooned with awards from Bermuda Magazine's "Best of's" in the hamburger division. And with good reason. Dorothy's are classic coffee shop hamburgers, with no gimmicks. If you ask for them with the works, hamburgers and cheeseburgers come with lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and an addictive sweet pickle relish. Open from breakfast until 4:00 p.m. Like many other great hamburger specialists, Dorothy's doesn't even try to make french fries. You'll have to "settle" for hand-packed milk shakes and packaged chips.

My best meal, by far, though, was at the Jamaican Grill on Court Street. We had a group of nine and everyone loved the food, including: the best jerk chicken I've ever had, delicately and beautifully undercooked; fine curried goat; fabulous seasoned french fries; Barry's beloved, tender coconut fish; meat patties; fresh mango juice; etc. etc.
The owner was curious about how we found the restaurant, and was thrilled to know that a "place" like Chowhound existed. She indicated that cab drivers are hesitant to take tourists (read: whites) to Court Street but I can't imagine any Chowhound feeling uncomfortable here and I don't doubt her suspicions. The folks at Guest Services at my hotel tried to discourage us from going.
Likewise, they tried to warn me off of Dennis's Hideaway in St. George, but only the rain kept me away. By most accounts, including the recommendations of budding Chowhounds I met in Bermuda, it has the best Bermudian cuisine on the island, including such tempting dishes as shark hash, conk stew, etc.

A couple of other food notes. Barritt's ginger beer is available everywhere, and is delicious. The sugar-free version is one of the best "diet" soft drinks I've ever tried.
And where are all the fabled off-road sandwich trucks? Closed during low season?

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