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Bermuda food reviews!

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Hi everyone,

Just thought I'd add my Bermuda reviews to chowhound. DH and I just returned from spending 5 days there. Overall we were satisfied with the food quality with a few exceptions.

Dinners:

Barracuda Grill: This was DH's favorite, and I thought it was excellent. I could definitely see a restaurant like this doing well in NYC. The amuse was a wild strawberry, beet, blue cheese mixture on a spoon. My app was lump crab ravioli with kalamata olives, feta, and a red pepper sauce. Then had a Wadson Fram chicken breast with black truffle sauce, artichoke heart-Boursin risotto, and asparagus. Dessert was peanut butter mousse with salted caramel, cherry drop spheres, pretzels, and marshmallow ice cream. DH started with Bermuda fish chowder, then had whole poached spiny Bermuda lobster that was served with mashed potatoes, and for dessert had gingerbread toffee pudding with caramel sauce, ginger ice cream, and creme anglaise. I have to say that everything was delicious but both of our mains were exceptional.

Rustico: I have to say that choosing to go here was one of the easiest decisions thanks to all the rave reviews here. Apparently I just ordered wrong because I was not impressed at all, and actually my app was inedible. DH ordered better apparently and his meal was good. To start I ordered roasted red peppers, mozzarella, and grilled eggplant. The red peppers tasted metallic, like they had come from a can, and the mozzarella had absolutely no flavor at all. One of the most disappointing things I can recall eating in recent memory. My main was better, the pappardelle with lamb ragout, but was nothing special. Dessert was molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream that was again nothing special. Very bland. DH ordered the Bermuda fish chowder (which was tomato-based as opposed to Barracuda Grill's stock-based version), which was very tasty and spicy, then had a special grilled bonito with lemon and olive oil served with a side of penne marinara, and then had strawberries with mascarpone zabaglione for dessert. Although DH's main was delicious, the dessert was also pretty bland. Judging from the clientele, this place seemed to have the most tourists of anywhere we ate, and I'm sure our meal wasn't helped by the tourists seated next to us (yes, I'm talking to you, sir, who discussed how you clip your toenails in bed as I'm trying to eat my dinner).

Pearl: Nice sushi place in Hamilton. We started with the rockfish uzuzukuri, which was spectacular, then also had the special local wahoo and tuna carpaccio, which was also very good. Had various sushi, focusing on the local fish, wahoo, rockfish, etc. The wahoo and rockfish were both outstanding. Also thought the yellowtail sushi was good.

Waterlot Inn: I had wanted to try the Newport Room but it apparently closed for the season on August 21. We then debated between going to the Point or just staying close to our hotel (since we were staying at the Fairmont Southampton) and opted for the latter. Too bad, since this was not a great meal, and certainly not a good value, considering you can get much better steakhouse fare for lower prices pretty much anywhere. Our meal was about $500, which we have no problem paying for great food, but it's a hard bill to swallow when it seemed so overpriced. First, it was strange having to wait in the sitting area for about 30 minutes before we were taken to our table. I'm sure it's so that they could get us to buy some aperitifs. I started with the Jonah crab cake, which was OK but not great. DH had Bermuda fish chowder (notice a theme here?) and declared it the worst of the trip. For mains I ordered the filet with goat cheese, capers, and onions/peppers, and DH ordered the trio of South African lobster tails. We got truffled mac and cheese and sauteed brussel sprout leaves as sides. Desserts were red velvet cake and a "Snickers" bar. DH enjoyed his lobster, and I must say that the steak was prepared medium rare as requested. But it didn't have a very good sear on it. Both sides were very very good, definitely the highlight of the meal. Desserts were just OK. I had read mixed reviews of service and must say that we unfortunately had pretty poor service. The restaurant is huge and was packed, but the service could not decide whether it wanted to be moderate paced or rushed and the servers were not very gracious. First, DH ordered a wine, but when it was brought to our table we noticed it was a different vintage. DH pointed this out and we decided we'd prefer a different wine when they said they didn't have the vintage printed on the wine list. After settling on a different wine, we had to wait for a very long time before we could find someone to take our new wine order. Then we were waiting for so long for the wine to come that our appetizers came before our wine had been brought to the table. We laughed that we had to wait for 30 minutes before being seated only to have our appetizers brought out so quickly that we didn't even have wine. Service then proceeded to be very rushed, which shouldn't be the case since our reservation was for 9 PM and the restaurant had already started clearing out.

Tom Moore's Tavern: This was my favorite meal of the trip, mainly because it is a place where I know I could never find in NYC. The atmosphere was adorable, just like in the Cotswolds. Service was polite. I started with the spinach salad with goat cheese quenelles, crispy prosciutto, beet carpaccio, and raspberry vinaigrette then I had the chili rubbed pork tenderloin with black bean salsa and lime tequila vinaigrette. For dessert the souffle of the day was vanilla with banana sauce. Bananas are the one food I loathe. Even the smell disgusts me. But I really wanted the souffle. When I mentioned to the waiter that I don't eat bananas he offered to make it with a chocolate sauce, which sounded great, so I ordered that. The souffle was one of the best I've had. It was baked perfectly, not too runny, not overdone. DH started with the Bermuda fish chowder then had the grilled veal medallions with Johnny cakes, fried green tomato, and lemon caper sauce. Dessert was a peanut butter chocolate semifreddo with passion fruit coulis. We also noticed a table near us having specialty coffees prepared tableside. The presentation looked so over the top we ordered one just to see the presentation. We got the Bermuda coffee with Gosling's rum and Bermuda Gold. It was great. My salad and pork were both great. DH liked his veal but I thought it was a little dry. However, this meal was wonderful, and I would easily return here.

Lunches:

Black Horse Tavern: Thanks to everyone who recommended this on chowhound. I always love when I'm the only non-local in a restaurant, which is what happened here. I had the fish sandwich (made with wahoo), and DH had the curried conch stew. Both were good, but that fish sandwich was amazing. Great meal.

Bonefish: We had just finished up a snorkel excursion when the skies opened up and it started to downpour. So we ducked intio the first place we could find for lunch, which happened to be Bonefish. I wasn't expecting anything at all, since I figured it primarily stayed open since all the cruise ships dock right there. DH and I shared the fish sandwich (prepared with grouper) and the beef brisket sandwich. I have to say, both were really good and satisfying.

Other meals:

Wickets: We stayed at the Fairmont Southampton so we had breakfast one morning at Wickets. I had eggs benedict which was served on cheddar biscuits with pork sausage. This was actually very tasty. Eggs done perfectly runny, pork sausage had great flavor. DH had Bermuda fish chowder and a chopped salad.

Windows on the Sound Sunday brunch at the Fairmont Southampton: We really enjoyed the local dishes served at the brunch, such as cassava pie, salt fish, fish cakes, cod fish, Johnny cakes, and the malasadas. Overall a good buffet brunch.

Fresco's Wine Bar: Stopped in here for a drink. Very cute. Earnest bartenders. Decent selection of wines. Nice atmosphere.

Hog Penny: Went here for drinks after stopping in (and quickly running out of) the Pickled Onion, which looked like a meatmarket with a demographic of 90% men and an average age of about 20. A really frightening sight. Hog Penny was great. The bartender was fantastic!! Saw that DH was really into different spirits and gave him a taste of Gosling's Old Rum. Also sampled the Bermuda Gold, which was pretty good, quite the cherry flavor.

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  1. Thanks for providing your feedback! I love sushi so Pearl is the top of my list these days. They really do have fresh fish and rockfish I find is better prepared and a better price point than say, um...Masa. I love Barracuda as a solid place for solidly prepared food. Others may not like the room and atmosphere but for me, the food trumps it all. Sorry about Waterlot, I have many bad service experiences so have sworn it off completely.

    But sounds like you had an enjoyable experience overall!

    1. Now I'm torn - Barracuda Grill gives me claustrophobia - can't stand to be in there - but that menu!

      I have never heard Tom Moore's compared to the Cotswolds - will have to think about that the next time I go - I really like it in the winter when it's cosy - and those souffles are great.

      I remember Waterlot before the Fairmont hoovered it up into their property - it was great - and I think it is a total rip off now. Which you found out the hard and expensive way.

      I'm really sorry about Rustico (toenails -ewwwwwww!) I still think about the beef cheeks and polenta I had there - and interesting that there were so many tourists there, I always think of it as a local place.

      I love Black Horse fish sandwiches. Can't wait to go for lobster next month.

      Herbie Bascome is the chef at Fairmont who would be overseeing the preparation of local dishes - he was part of the Bermuda programme in the 2001 Smithsonian Folklife Festival - we lugged a LOT of cassava to DC for him.

      Pickled Onion after work is swarming with young reinsurance guys - as are many other bars in town. Scary indeed.

      I hope you took some Gosling's Old Rum back with you.

      I hope you come back and maybe try somewhere to stay like Newstead or Cambridge Beaches - nothing against the Fairmont, it's just that once inside you could be at any resort hotel anywhere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Athena

        Thanks, Athena. Your suggestions in all the threads I browsed were really helpful in crafting my dining itinerary! I would definitely return to Bermuda - it's such a short flight from NY! I would hope to stay somewhere else also. It's just we couldn't really beat the rate at the Southampton, and as you saw from our dining choices, we weren't there that often!

      2. great reviews..wow..thanks..where is Barracuda Grill? 500 for dinner? Wow..I did that once at L'Espalier in BOS for 4..honestly I cannot justify that and to hear it was just ok..wow...again..

        I am excited to learn the Fairmont's brunch has local breakfast items. VERY cool of them. What is the pp price please?

        How was the weather..where did you stay?

        1 Reply
        1. re: phelana

          Brunch was about $32 per person. We stayed at the Fairmont Southampton. Weather was hot and humid. Fiona passed during the night so we didn't get too affected by that but we had a downpour one afternoon. It passed quickly. Otherwise no rain.