Restaurants & Bars 16

Best Trip Ever! Back from Bermuda (Long)

Higgette | Apr 3, 2008 09:54 AM

I LOVED Bemuda but I didn't find it to be the culinary paradise I was hoping for. Guess you can't have everything.

We stayed at the Fairmont Southampton and quickly noted that we would have to go elsewhere to find interesting or affordable cuisine. (Actually, I think affordable doesn't exist in Bermuda.) Our first night there we dined at Bacci and found it to be extremely expensive and not terribly good. My sea bass was not fresh and was over-cooked. My husband's pasta was ,he said, beyong al dente, as in undercooked. Service was attentive -almost too much so because the server joined into our conversation a time or two without being invited.

The next night we tried the King Henry the VIII pub where I had rockfish that was very fresh, but once again a bit over cooked and over-breaded before being pan-fried. Why must cooks insist on making a low-fat meal as fatty as possible? My husband said his pepper steak was 'only okay' but we both loved our desserts. Mine was banana rum cake in creme anglaise with Dark and Stormy ice cream. Delicious! Service was inept and agonisingly slow.

The following day we lunch at a very busy pub in Hamilton called Flannigans. We waited at the bar for a table and listened to the bar man's agonised cries about how he was just too busy to serve us. Good heavens, man, I've worked in far busier bars back in the day, but whatever. Eventually we were seated on the lovely front deck which overlooks the street and I had a wonderful salad with fresh shrimp and chicken in a spicy cajun rub, though to be honest the flavours were more of the south west to me, but let's not quibble.

That night we dined at BLU and we liked it so well we returned a second night. I had shrimp stuffed with Jonah Bay crab the first night and sea bass the next time. What impressed us the most was the wonderful presentation of the caesar salad - hearts of romane cut lengthwise and left otherwise whole, spread lightly with a spicy dressing. We liked this restaurant very much; great service, beautiful view and very good food.

Another memorable experience was had on our last night there at the Waterlot Inn, but I recommend this place only for serious meat eaters. The venison chops were to die for and tasted nothing like any venison I've ever had but I didn't care for the stick port wine reduction sauce. This was a wonderful and very old-fashioned restaurant.

The worst experiences by far were at the Oceans Club at the Fairmont Southampton, where they confused our orders all night, sat us beside a roaring child and the food just wasn't that good. I wouldn't have minded so much but it was my husband's 50th birthday and I had wanted it to be nice for him. Perhaps it was our fault for ordering meat in what was meant to be a seafood restaurant. His beef tenderloin was very good - I know because I unwittingly ate a bite of it when they served me the wrong entree, and my lamb was okay but lacking flavour which the sticky port wine reduction (what's with this horrible recurring nightmare of a sauce?) did nothing to help. My key lime pie for dessert had a disgusting broiled marshmallow topping that just did not belong.

But the worst, the very worst was Tip Pepe's, which should be burned to the ground. It was advertised as Italian but served Indian food. It reeked of cheap air freshener, perhaps to hide the curry smell or damp, I'm not sure which, but it nauseated me and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. The only good thing was the spiny lobster special that only a complete idiot could ruin but it came with a soggy baked potato and frozen vegetable. My husband's rock fish was decidedly not fresh. The music was a combination of Bollywood, Gregorian chants and italian street songs. No, I am not kidding. The owners sat at a table near us talking with relatives who had just arrived from Toronto (my city)who advised that in Canada one only needs to work for two weeks and then 'you never had to work again'. Why hadn't I managed to figure that out? Why have I been working all these years?

It was a great trip and I will be back but I'm still looking for that perfect meal.

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