Bermuda Report (long)
Spent a long weekend in Bermuda (friday - tuesday) and here is my report. The food was good. Didnt have a great meal, however, I didnt have a bad meal either.
Barracuda Grill- this was a good meal, stuck with sea food on both appetizer and entree. Tuna Tartare was tasty as an appetizer had a horse radish creme fraiche that brought a good kick to the dish. Entree was a lobster and rock fish dish. The rock fish was a little bland and the lobster tail was about the size of prawn. I tried my wife's crab cakes and those were really good and creamy but 2 silver dollar crab cakes at $39 seemed way overpriced. Cant really remember the dessert so it must have not been that great.
Saturday - We had lunch at Flannigans to watch England/Portugal. The atmosphere was great with everyone cheering on England. Wings and chicken fingers were good. Very good Bloody Mary’s.
Saturday Night - We made reservations at the Sea Horse Grill at the Mandarin Elbow Beach hotel though they were not needed as the the place was half empty. Three course meal was priced at $55 which I though was really good deal. Had grilled prawns to start, nice portion size with a very nice grill flavor. Second course was a tomato and cucumber gazpacho with basil sorbet and avocado. This was great, the basil sorbet and avocado were a great mix and the gazpacho was very refreshing. Entree was 2 pound grilled lobster, very nice, sweet tasting(note the lobster added a $29 charge to my $55 three course price). Best meal of the weekend.
Sunday We had lunch at the Pickled Onion. Had a nice Arabian lamb wrap. Nice spices and herbs very flavorful, even bought a t-shirt there.
Sunday Night - Little Venice restaurant. Good Buffalo Mozzarella with a tasty Prosciutto. Lamb Chops were a little on the small side, but tasted good nonetheless. Wife had a safron risotto which was too salty. Nice gelatos to end the meal.
Monday Night - No lunch on Monday - We went to the HarbourFront Restaurant - Tuna Carpaccio and salmon tartare combination for an appetizer. Both tasted very good separately but not too good together. 20 ounce rib eye was cooked great and tasted even better. Didnt need the sauces that came with it. Wife had a very big bowl of lobster linguini which she said was very good. We shared a chocolate on chocolate cake that was so rich we couldnt finish.
Again, all in all good meals. I didnt find the prices to be too expensive as some have mentioned on here before - they seemed to be like many other tropical locales.
For the whole experience I would hit the sea horse grill, it is a nice space, had very attentive service, and the food was the best of the restaurants above. The hotel also has a nice bar (Veranda Bar, but I am not positive) with nightly entertainment. Hope this helps, and enjoy your trip.
If you haven't already gone, here are some recs. I see the Swizzle Inn got some bad reviews below, but the fish chowder and fish & chips were very good late May.
The Spot, a couple of blocks off of Front St (on Burnaby I think) has great fish chowder and reasonable daily specials (Bermuda is a bit expensive). The fish cakes - very Bermudian - are good as well.
The Captains Lounge on Reid Street was recommeded by a cabbie but we didn't make it.
Don't miss the Swizzle Inn for fish chowder (with a splash of sherry pepper sauce and black rum from cruets), fish and chips as well as the signature rum swizzle. Across from the Swizzle Inn is a great ice cream place.
Dennis' Hideaway in St George's has been very good in the past.
The Lobster Pot was also very good several years ago. If spiney lobster is in season, it's a very good treat.
Monty's (On Pitt's Bay Rd - between Front St and the Bacardi Bldg) also came highly recommended.
Some formalish recs in Hamilton are Portofino's and Ascot's
Flanagan's is a fun Irish pub/restaurant with a 2nd floor balcont overlooking Front St. Be sure to try a Dark & Stormy, Bermuda's other drink besides the rum swizzle
Thanks for the recommendations. Right now we have the following plans... given the price of cabs in Bermuda, we're trying to stay around the Southamption area for the most part (where we are staying):
The day we arrive we were planning on eating at the Waterlot Inn at the Fairmont, where we are staying. I don't usually like to venture anywhere at all on the first day I arrive, and this seemed like a decent option within our hotel. Perhaps Baccio -- menu and prices look good but these sorts of restaurants in hotels are often mediocre.
Saturday: Coconuts @ the Reef, having read marvelous things on this board about the restaurant.
Sunday: We're thinking to have tea at the Fairmont Hamilton and dinner at Meditteraneo. I've been having some trouble getting through to make a reservation though -- anybody have any experience with this?
Monday: Drinks @ Swizzle Inn after Crystal Caverns. Not sure where we'll have lunch though, since I'm not 100% sure about eating here... dinner is also as of yet unplanned, as we are not sure what we are doing with the afternoon (or if we're really going to Crystal Caverns at all)
Tuesday: We leave in evening, so we were thinking to have tea somewhere in Southampton.
The bus system in Bermuda is excellent and the 3 or 4 day pass is a good value. Cabs are indeed pretty expensive.
I really do recommend at least a bowl of fish chowder at the Swizzle Inn (along with the rum swizzles). They have the cruets of black rum and sherry pepper sauce for the chowder and it was some of the best on the island. And the ice cream shop accross the street is very, very good and has some interesting flavors like 'Dark & Stormy' (rum & ginger beer - like the Bermudian drink).
If you go to Crystal Caves (pretty interesting - get both the Crystal and the other cave tickets) go as early as you can. The crowd is much smaller early in the morning and I can't imagine doing the tour with 20 or 30 people on the narrow and steep staircases.
Mediterraneo isn't open on Sundays. I went to Waterloo House for the first time in a while last night and had a Ruth Reichl Garlic and Sapphires moment - when that first taste is so explosively overwhelmingly wonderful to the taste buds - a risotto in this instance. Everyone else around the table was having the same the experience as welll with their choices - and this was just the first course. The food combined with sitting on the waterside made for a memorable evening. It's near the Princess and is a guest house so it's open on Sundays.
I know the Swizzle Inn gets the occasional bad rap, but I still like it, it has no pretensions to fine dining. They've also opened a Swizzle Inn west in Warwick.
You could try the Lighthouse Tea Room - it's near the Fairmont Southampton.
I agree with Kevin - use buses and ferries instead of cabs.
Thanks for the Waterloo recommendation. I've been looking at their website a decent amount, but needed the push to actually make the reservation.
As for more casual options, are there any good options in Southampton for dinner? I'm looking at our plans and I'm worried we have too much fancy stuff. We like eating out, but I go on overload with too many three-course meals; after a long day on the beach, sometimes all I want is a good burger or a salad!
I think the most casual place you'll find at night in Southampton is the Fairmont's Whaler Inn. I would also suggest that you ask a Bermudian on the front desk or door of the Fairmont when you get there - I'm at the eastern end of the island and there may be places up that way I've forgotten about.
Thanks for the suggestions Athena. My husband's boss keeps recommending Henry VIII to us (he sails down to Bermuda every year as part of one of the big sailing races). It's in Southampton, so I'm tempted to give it a try especially since he so recommends it, but is it just going to be another "fancy" place. The website doesn't make it look super nice or super casual.
I thought of Henry VIII, but as I haven't eaten there in years I was reluctant to recommend it. It's not fancy in the way that the Fairmont properties are - more like a glorified pub - and if your husband's boss has eaten there recently and enjoyed it, it might be worth a try.