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May 13, 2011 07:05 AM

Bermuda Eats

I am looking for some good typical Bermudan fare. Will be staying in Hamilton Parish for a few days and want to know where to find the good food made with the best local ingredients.

Hopefully its not too stuffy of a restaurant.


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  1. Go to the Black Horse in St David's for lunch and sit outside and have a fish sandwich - they catch their own fish - and if you're lucky shark hash will be on the menu, if not try the fish chowder with sherry peppers and black rum. Don't know when you're coming, but if it coincides with a county game (cricket) in Bailey's Bay or St David's, go for the food. Bailey's - across from Swizzle Inn in Bailey's Bay make their own ice cream. And while the food at Swizzle Inn is not wholly Bermudian the swizzles are. For dinner - Rustico in Flatts is really good - it's Italian, but they use local produce and fish and it is not at all stuffy.

    21 Replies
    1. re: Athena

      Thanks so much Athena..super helpful. My wife and I will certainly go for the Black Horse Tavern lunch. We will be in on the 7-12th of July so I suppose we can ask at our hotel if there are any county games going on. We are staying at the Grotto Beach hotel so I presume that is close to the Bailey's Bay ice cream place. My wife is a bit of an ice cream "addict" so I think that will be just perfect.

      Do you live in Bermuda? Ive read that the beach where our hotel is can be quite small and over populated with tourists. Would you happen to know of place where we can find relaxing (relatively quite) beach experience that has some proximity to a great beach-style cafe/bar? We will most prb rent a moped so location may not be too much of an issue... we need to go out to Hamilton city or should we just keep our trip to Hamilton Parish/St George's area being that we are only there a few days and would like to vegetate a bit?

      1. re: giorgionadi

        Athena...was just reading some of your other boards and cannot help but notice you are quite the local authority on Bermudan local fare. I will certainly grab try your prior recs that you suggested to me.
        So as to not bore you with the same vague questions that I am sure you must be tired of answering as "where to eat when in bermuda" I will ask you few specific questions.

        Again..we will be staying at Grotto Beach.

        Dennis Hideaway
        Jamaican Grill
        Art Mels Spicy Dicy
        Hog Penny

        Tom Moores
        Beluga Bar

        Any input is greatly appreciated.

        1. re: giorgionadi

          Bailey's Bay Ice Cream is just up the road from the Grotto Bay Hotel as is the original Swizzle Inn. Go for a pitcher but just be aware not to drive anywhere afterwards, it's quite potent.

          Would not recommend Art Mels Spicy Dicy in the evening, only during lunch hours (12 to 1)when it is extremely busy due to the nature of the neighbourhood. Others will disagree and tell you not to go period but I've not had any problems going during lunch but I do not linger. I pick up and leave and find a park in Hamilton and scarf it all back.

          Harry's is fabulous, go for a patio table in the bar area and get the steak sandwich or ask what the fish sandwich is for the day. The rockfish fish sandwich is excellent.

          I've had a friend recently tell me that he thinks the best jerk is from Jamaican Grill that is right by Grotto Bay hotel, around the corner from the Swizzle Inn. There's no sign when you get to the building so it's kind of elusive.

          Tom Moores is stuffy in a more old world setting.

          Beluga Bar, depends on what you're looking for. My last couple trips have been a bit disappointing. If you like sushi, I'd go to Pearl instead, their daily specials are usually all locally sourced fish.

          Hog Penny is a nice casual pub with food to go along with it. It's a bit tidier than the Swizzle Inn.

          Enjoy your holidays. And don't forget the sunscreen if you're on the mopeds and plan on touring around. The wind is deceiving, makes you feel cool while you're driving. :)

          1. re: bdachow

            The beach at Grotto Bay is small, but pretty and as it's on the North Shore it's calm - you can also rent kayaks if you're up for that. If you are renting bikes (please stay safe!!) John Smith's Bay is fairly close or you can go further up the south shore to the splendid Elbow Beach in Paget and further up is Warwick Long Bay/Horseshoe Bay. If you go further up to Southampton, The Reefs has Coconuts right on their beach

            Dennis' Hideaway is gone - including the cottage it was in!
            Harry's has the best mojitos - and everything on the bar menu for lunch is delicious

            @Bdachow -do you mean the Jamaican Grill on Coney Island? @giogionado - ask at Grotto Bay for directions

            Personally I'd take Swizzle over Hog Penny any day - it's got way more soul - but as a Bay girl I'm biased.

            Try Tom Moore's for lunch, it's such a pretty location.

            1. re: Athena

              Thank you so much Athena! I cant wait to come and see your beautiful home!
              (formerly giorgionadi)

            2. re: bdachow

              Thank you bdachow....When you say Art Mels Spicy Dicy can by problematic do mean that its not in a good neighbor hood? ( I am formerly giorgionadi by the way)

              1. re: FoodExpression

                Athena, I think so. My friend described it as being in the cricket club.

                Agreed about the Swizzle on soul but I do find the food better at Hog Penny.

                Art Mel's is unfortunately located in a neighbourhood that's been experiencing social upheaval so really the only time most people feel comfortable is during heavily trafficked times, which revolves around lunch time. It's a real shame as the business has seen a decline, the line used to be out the door and now, you can actually wait inside for your order.

                1. re: bdachow

                  TO each ATHENA and BDACHOW

                  can each of you please tell me what your perfect day on your gorgeous island would entail....No work, no obligations, just pleasure.

                  1. re: FoodExpression

                    Ahh....lazy morning start, off to The Dining Room (at Gibb's Hill Lighthouse) for eggs benedict (perfect soft poach, not too much vinegar and nice thick hollandaise). Pack up a cooler and head out on the water for some lazy drinks while hanging off a pool noodle. But if landbound, head up to St. George's for a walk around, stop off at either Swizzle for a half pitcher and then wander across the road for butter pecan ice cream. Wander back into town and stop at Harry's patio for a glass of wine and the steak sandwich or wander over to Pearl for sushi on the patio. Finish the evening with the cheese plate from downstairs at Port O Call. Then maybe a little dancing at Hog Penny or Cafe Cairo.

                    I will note that I'm not much of a beach person due to the cleaning up afterwards. Bermuda sand is beautiful but it does stick...everywhere! :)

                      1. re: FoodExpression

                        Up before dawn, have fresh-ground Rock Island coffee and a piece of banana bread the get to a beach - Elbow probably - for a sunrise walk, best at low tide, it is sooooooooo beautiful and peaceful then.

                        Meet friends for a pedicure at The Reefs where we drink champagne, laugh and watch the longtails swoop (am doing that tomorrow) then roll down the hill to Coconuts for more champagne and french fries, lots of french fries. Or head to Harry's to meet up with other friends and spend the afternoon with mojitos and graze on loads of salt and pepper shrimp, sliders, calamari, pizza. That usually takes us up to 6 or 7 p.m.

                        I'm thinking of us all renting a yacht (sail) for the day - I love to jump off a boat - no sand! And take a picnic and wine. Bermuda is so beautiful on the water.

                          1. re: FoodExpression

                            What type of food shopping options are avail in bermuda? Are there any fish markets selling local catch? Produce and other local places to find the goodstuff? My wife and I will be staying near St Georges and Hamilton Parish...any good suggestions?

                            1. re: FoodExpression

                              There's usually someone selling fish near Grotto Bay - not sure how you would get to cook it!

                              There won't be a whole lot of locally-grown produce by the time you get here - the season is late October to June. There are a couple of farmstands that may still be open on Saturdays in Devonshire - one on Middle Road and one on Southshore Road.

                              1. re: Athena

                                Interesting. So what type of supermarket is avail to you?

                                Also, I must ask because I am ever so jealous about the geographical location that you call "home."

                                What in the world do you do for work down there and how did you end up there...I could never imagine being so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place such as Bermuda....Is your residence permanent there?

                                1. re: Athena

                                  Not sure but does the St. George's night market have any food vendors? I haven't been up there to check it out but there's that possibility of a local food court. Think it's on Tuesday evenings.

                                  Your typical supermarket is available here. Nothing outstanding from the rest of North American supermarkets.

                                  There is quite a large population of ex-pats working in the financial sector, which is what I am. Am fortunate to be enjoying the beauty of the island for the moment.

                                  1. re: bdachow

                                    I am Bermudian. It is an amazing, magical place to grow up in, I love to visit other places, but I would never live anywhere else. I work in government communications.

                                    I have to disagree on the supermarkets - there are things you can get here that I haven't found in the average US or Canada supermarket - especially at The Supermart (lots of British things including really good sausages and pork).

                                    1. re: Athena

                                      Oh yes, there is the British element but I was kind of thinking along the lines that it's a basic supermarket in the sense it's got a bakery, butcher, seafood, cheese, produce, etc sections. They're not generally specialized in only a seafood shop or just a butcher type.

          2. re: Athena

            Black Horse Tavern does not have a fishing license to catch their own fish and if they are it is against the law....they are probably purchasing from a local fisherman...

            As much as Love Beluga Bar and Sammy, I would NOT recommend for dinner

            Agreed with Swizzle over Hog Penny...Wahoo Burger is the best

            Harry's has a great location specially if it ia nice day and excellent cocktails, for me their food can be hit or miss...however I do like some of their bar eats

            Wahoo Grill in St. George, had a wonderful meal there the other night...Wahoo Taco's! And I can say Gaza does buy fresh wahoo from the local fisherman !!

            1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

              I would not go back to Harry's for dinner - the bar menu is much better as is the daytime service.

              Yes, Black Horse does buy from local fishermen, they don't actually go out and catch their fish.

              I've had so many bad food experiences at what is now Wahoo Grill, I doubt I'll go back there either. Not liking wahoo has something to do with it :-)

              1. re: Athena

                I ate at Wahoo Grill a couple weekends ago. Agree with BGG that the Wahoo Tacos were nice but that was the best part of the meal. Service was good and attentive but otherwise, everything was average. I got the rockfish special which was good as I ordered it medium rare so it was nice and sashimi like in the middle, nothing worse than dried out overcooked fish.

                Harry's is hit and miss in the evening for service and food. Never good on a Friday night and random weeknights can be super busy. But I am thrilled they brought back the steak sandwich.

                Agree with BGG about Beluga. I love Sammy but all the sauces are one note, sweet and sickly sweet. *sigh*...

          3. Some other suggestions that have not been made yet. Bistro J in Hamilton is a little place on a picturesque alley between Front Street and Reid Street. The menu changes daily, and it's all good stuff. Barracuda Grill is above the Hogpenny Pub in Hamilton as well, and they have a slight more upscale menu than Bistro J.

            Hogpenny is more likely to have some 'Bermudian' dishes on the menu, out of the two.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Aratan

              I always forget about Bistro J, because it is "out of the way" But yest, I do love how the menu changes! Last time I went to Hog Penny I was not impressed, claimed to have fresh was not! But I do like their Shepards Pie and the bartender does a great shot called Birthday Cake....Yummmmm

              1. re: Aratan

                Bah, meant to say BARRACUDA is more likely to have local dishes out of the two (Bistro J and Barracuda).

                1. re: Aratan

                  So to give a little recap on Harry's....

                  Went there on Friday for some coctails and bar snacks, we sat outside, ordered and 45 minutes later we were without food and our cocktails have ran dry...the table in front og us ordered after us and they got their food and more cocktails and the table behind us also ordered after us and got their food and more needless to say i was not to pleased, finally they brought our food after I said something and when I asked for salt and pepper the server rolled his eyes at me, I then got up to find my own...Not happy with the whole thing

                  I am not saying I will never got back, fishing tournaments are coming up and we spent a lot of time and money there during that time...they just need to get their act together before hand!! (yes, I will also tell the "owners" )

                  1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                    Friday is notorious for incredibly slow service. It's always packed to the rafters unfortunately. Having spent virtually every Friday there for the last year or so (I know, very boring of me), I've seen it run from the good to the bad to the downright ugly. I've often just gone straight to the hostess desk to order food and drinks, there's always a server running in or out around there.

                    Finally went to Flying Fish (old Primavera) and have to say that the pizza remains excellent. Nice thin crispy crust which is the way I like it. Given that it was Italian before and I do love the Rustico/Dining Room pizza, I hoped that the pizzas were still on point. The tuna burger for me was a bit disappointing, chopped tuna which doesn't hold together when you bite into it plus the glazed shitake mushrooms were overly sweet and cloying, thus masking the tuna. The rockfish burger was nicely done, two fillets of grilled rockfish, very nice and light hand showcasing the fish itself. Fries were nice and crisp, reminding me of McDonald style fries. Overall, I am under the impression that they are still better at their Italian style dishes than their seafood dishes. But the room has undergone a nice reno and feels brighter and bigger. Would I go back? Yes, but I'm sticking to Italian.

                    1. re: bdachow

                      Thank you so much for the great recommendations! Just got back yesterday from my first trip over there and we never wanted to leave.
                      Had lunch at:
                      Coconuts (great view, great location, food was good enough. Trying a bit too hard to be fancy and food wasnt consistent)
                      North Rock Pub (simple, quality food) Rockfish was great and seemed to be fresh
                      Black Horse Tavern - Best piece of grilled rockfish ive ever had.
                      Specialty Inn - food was honest diner food - fantastic homemade bread, was just like a brioche
                      Frog and Onion at Dockyard - avg at best but still beats any pub food here in the NJ.
                      Swizzle Inn- also good pub food, i came in 8th place in trivia though and i won a few tshirts so I am quite partial to this place. Manager asked my wife to not eat her ice cream from Baileys Bay inside the bar when we stopped in for a swizzle after a long day of riding on the scooter. I guess its understandable.

                      Bolero - excellent food using the local ingredients....i had a great piece of trout with torchon de fois gras
                      Tom Moores Taven - one of my fav meals ever...quail stuffed with herbs, wrapped in bacon, grilled, then served with a demi glace over a mushroom tarte! I was in such a happy place.
                      Finally Rustico - decent ital food...we are italian so its hard for us to find better food than at home but was a nice ending to the trip.

                      We had the scooter for 3 full days it was just fantastic.
                      Thanks again for all of your recs and I cant wait to come back!

                      1. re: FoodExpression

                        Thanks for writing back, glad you had a wonderful first trip here! Come back anytime!!!! We'll still be here for more recs if you need! :)

                        1. re: bdachow

                          This Bermudian loves to hear that you didn't want to leave! And thanks for reporting back.

                          I think there may be some animosity between Swizzle Inn and Bailey's - there's a big sign in Bailey's parking lot saying it's not for the Swizzle.

                          I'll be at Coconuts on Saturday for our post-pedicure Champagne and french fries - really hard to go wrong with that combo.

                          Please keep us posted on your next trip...