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Bermuda - Rumour has it...

That the old Harbourfront space on Front St. will be opening as a new French Bistro with a rooftop bar area. Jean Claude (from Lemon Tree and Beau Rivage) is apparently the champion of this effort.

Oh drool...and after just returning from a trip with a weekend in Paris eating at bistros....I hope they put bone marrow on the menu...but then again, I'm being overly ambitious in my dreams.

Keeping fingers crossed it will open soon but peering into the space, looks like it could be another month given the way construction moves on this island.

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  1. As long as it's not Italian or yet another sushi joint I will be happy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Athena

      My sentiments exactly. Enough with the mediocre Italian food...

    2. I have heard the same....Also Primavera will be no more after the New Year it seems there are some great plans to reinvent it as a Premier Bermuda Seafood Restaurant, which I for one am looking forward to what it can be!

      Talking about mediocre food we were at Harbourfront last week with some friends and they brought to the table an amuse bouche, which would have been a nice touch and jester if it wasn’t a fried piece of shrimp and spring roll (that you can get at any grocery store or from any catering company). If you are going to do something do it right, don’t insult the diners. Not to mention the service was way tooooo slow. What is going on with the restaurants in Bermuda? This is one of many reasons I prefer to dine at home and host house parties

      5 Replies
      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

        Latest has it that it'll open next week. I for one will be glad if they reinvent it into something that is not already over saturated (like Italian and sushi).

        Funny enough, in the opinion pages of the Royal Gazette, there was a writer complaining about the standards at restaurants. I whole heartedly agree with you that Harbourfront service has gone horribly downhill (as has the quality of the food). When you have to wait 20 minutes for your bill and they mess up your food order and your bill, something is wrong (given the price you're paying). And that's why I tend to patronize places where I know the service is good (but then again, it's probably because I know most of the staff by that point).

        1. re: bdachow

          I once waited an hour for a bill. If that ever happens again, I will leave my business card and a note to come to me if they want to be paid, and leave..really, come on.

          1. re: bdachow

            The Beluga Bar opens soon in Washington Mall...the restaurant will be in the same location just a major revamp...I can't wait to see them both.

            We need something new and exciting...I am tired of just plan tired of crappy food and service

            1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

              Is that the new part of Washington Mall?

              Maybe we need something like Cuban paladeres here - because we know the best food in Bermuda is in our homes. I always feel bad for people who come and stay in hotels and have to go to restaurants and leave never knowing that there is great food here.

              1. re: Athena

                Yes, it's in the new phase 3 part.

                I had a recent discussion about the dismal state of dining, the problem is that the imported help for the most part isn't used to high end dining and so have no idea how to deal with service issues. And the restaurants are just as culpable in not giving them the appropriate training. When you pay the prices we do, dang, the service had better be spotless seeing as the grats are automatic.

                My vote is for decent Asian or Latin food. Chopsticks?!?! Please...Rosa's?!?!? Please again. And don't get me started on the paella at Latin.

                Sorry about that...I totally agree with Athena though, best food...at home. And BGG, you gotta admit, your fish can't get any fresher than what you can get at home.

        2. Walked past again today...nope, definitely not opening anytime soon. My guess is another couple of weeks at least. Like watching paint dry....

          1. Drove past last night and they are now open. Popped my head in the door at lunch today, they have a breakfast menu with coffees and goodies, took a peek at the menu and it's rather small and precise. The Croque Monsieur caught my eye as well as a smoked salmon sandwich. Prices...typical Bermuda. I believe the croque was around $14. They have daily specials as well. Rooftop bar will be open in the evenings.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bdachow

              Going out Wednesday night so will stop by both new places and check them out and report back!!

              1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                Sorry BGG, sent a scout, Beluga is still not open yet. He says thinks another month of work or so.

            2. It is in fact not the old Harbourfront site but rather the former Solomon Jeweller building and yes, it is now open! Jean Claude is involved but not the driving force. There is a chef in place who changes his menu daily. Kitchen facilities are small but he is putting out some great dishes: think bistro rather than restaurant. Excellent soups, sautes, fish, steak, and lighter fare for easy lunches. The rooftop bar is a great place and will certainly challenge other happy hour venues. Space is limited however making Muse feel cosy and full of friends!

              5 Replies
              1. re: hungryhog

                We will not be eating there (tonight) but will go for a cocktail before dinner and then maybe hit the Beluga bar after for a night cap. I do want to eat at both because it is something different and new and not ITALIAN! I like tha fact the menu changes daily....as for the Beluga bar, I am not sure if anyone remembers Bermuda Original Sushi Chef...SAMMY? (Marriott days)
                Well if you, he is back at the Beluga bar.

                1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                  BGG, that's fantastic news about Sammy! Really missed him after he left Yashi's. I didn't realize that Beluga Bar was open as well. I am planning on hitting Muse this evening for a cocktail and trying a nibble or two off the menu. Maybe I'll run into you there!

                  HH, I stand corrected. It's been so long since I've traversed the long narrow hallway that led up to Harbourfront. That's interesting about Jean Claude. I understand that Muse is part of the Port O Call group. I'm happy that they are expanding beyond the usual choices of sushi or Italian that the island keeps offering.

                  1. re: bdachow

                    ...and it's not part of the Port O Call group either. Independent! There are some private investors who wanted to do something a little different.

                    1. re: hungryhog

                      Oh...apparently my sources are terrible then! I'll have a word with them!

                      1. re: bdachow

                        Of course not terrible! This is Bermuda. Much of what we know is gossip anyway!

              2. So popped in yesterday evening to Muse to check it out. Ground floor is bar and 2 small tables. 2nd floor is dining room, all dark woods so cozy feeling. It's not really large, reminds me of Bistro J in number of seats. Top floor is bar with a small outdoor patio area with bar tables and chairs. You can see the harbour which is a nice selling point. A glass of wine was around the $11 mark (don't quote me, memory is not precise when it comes to bar prices). We ordered a croque monsieur to try. That was $14.50 I believe, one sandwich with a side salad. The salad was nicely dressed in a light lemon vinaigrette and the sandwich came with a nice bechamel sauce on top. Not skimpy on the ham but it looked like deli ham (the square kind) to me. Flavour was nice but the bread was a little tough so it was difficult to cut up which really shouldn't happen with such a simple sandwich (we joked about getting a steak knife for it). All in all, a pleasant experience, I think it'll be a nicer lunch spot than dinner with the current menu. It was mainly sandwiches and soups and wraps. One main on the menu was a chicken pasta dish and then the specials board for something more substantial. They had beef bourgouinon last night and a bermuda fish cake with shrimp sauce. No appies or small plates currently. Dessert had a couple selections. So not really a "bistro" in the usual sense (I think steak frites, steak tartare, coq au vin, etc). The chef, Gerard, I believe the bartender said had worked 4 years at Grotto Bay previously. No affiliation with POC (aside from them having nabbed the bar manager from there). Breakfast is served from 7am I believe and is take out only.

                Website: Still under construction but http://www.muse.bm/

                10 Replies
                1. re: bdachow

                  We also stopped in just for some wine and you are correct, the wine was $11.00++ a glass, we did not eat so I cannot talk about the food, but I just wanted to check out the Atmosphere, which I was not to impressed with. I didn't like the fact that the bar ended with the open kitchen...not to mention the "kitchen" was pretty much 2 hot plates to cook on and some microwaves!

                  Bottom line if I am going to pay $11.00 for a glass of wine I would rather do so at Harry's where the Atmophere is a heck of a lot better!!!

                  1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                    The main bar is on the third floor and it is worth checking that out early evenings. Still small though.

                    1. re: hungryhog

                      Agreed, but they are definitely working out the service and kitchen issues. Glass of wine to watch the sun go down would be nice.

                    2. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                      wow, I had a FANTASTIC meal! You totally missed out on the rooftop bar-very cool vibe and nice mix of people. My wine was only $9? I did see some $11 so maybe I like cheap wine?!! Had the fish for main course and some french dessert that was so good we went downstairs to thank the chef. He was the Chef at Grotto bay and apparently chef of the year. The service needs picking up, but I love the fact that they hired bermudians and everyone speaks english that I can understand!!.Will definitely go back, great to have a new restaurant on front street. Not sure it is open for breakfast?does anyone knpow?

                      1. re: dewine

                        Open for breakfast from 7am for take out only. I've heard the food is good (beef bourgouinon, sorry about spelling, is supposed to be really good) but service is atrocious. They still need to iron out the kinks in service. Had a coworker tell me about a friend who ended up with an appetizer and a main course and that took 3 hours). Am waiting.

                        1. re: bdachow

                          OK. There are some issues but Muse has only been opened 2 weeks. I think it will always have some service issues given the lay-out, but it has to improve. The food I find good. I will give it a couple of months before moving on. And the chef is not JC but as above Chef Garcia. He is creating the menus and food.
                          Any other reports from new eateries around town?

                          1. re: hungryhog

                            I know JC is not the chef, I did expect him to oversee standards though.

                            1. re: hungryhog

                              Speaking with Alan at Yashi last week, he seemed to think that Beluga Bar will be opening this week. He's been communicating with Sammy, the previous sushi chef at Yashi, who will be heading the sushi bar over at Beluga. Great...more sushi...don't get me wrong, I love sushi but really?!?!? Another one?!?!?

                            1. re: bdachow

                              It came up at dinner last night, bad reviews all around - obviously a lot of teething pains. JC had such great food at Lemon Tree - hopefully it will improve.

                      2. Oh forgot, they're still waiting to get their beer taps in so nothing on tap at the moment.

                        1. It's official...Beluga Bar is opening tomorrow. Announced on website, nothingtodoinbermuda.com. 11am to 9pm.

                          1. Went back after a hiatus. This time tried lunch with a girlfriend. There was only one other table at the time we went in. We got our choice of tables to sit at. As my friend was visiting, we stuck to tap water. After perusing the printed menu, it is still the same pretty much. The list of "specials" though is impressive. They had about 6+ choices of mains on the special list. We both ordered the rockfish special with lobster and truffle sauce. I forgot about the last part in the spiel the waitress rattled off. It came out in a reasonable amount of time. It was seasoned with what reminded me of a light jerk seasoning. Perfectly cooked, not overcooked as all. Came with roasted parsnips and asparagus and white rice. The parsnips were unevenly cooked with some of the larger pieces too tough and hard still. Otherwise it was decent, nothing spectacular. Was reasonably full afterwards. The entree was $31 each. Yikes! For a lunch time meal, seems kind of high to me but I should have remembered the words truffle and lobster sauce. Can't say I found the sauce reminiscent of anything truffly or lobster ish. Ah well...lesson learned, ask for the prices of the specials.

                            Can't say anything was fantastic or horrible about the place, it seems to run in the middle of the pack of restaurants.