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Sep 5, 2011 04:47 AM

Nassau / Paradise Island Fall 2011 - Any new dining spots? Other questions and. . . what about food/wine shopping?

It's been about a year since our last visit to New Providence and thanks to some posts here I've already bookmarked Chef Chea Corner Bistro and Wine Lounge which will both be "new to us".

We rent a condo on PI and have been travelling to this area for years now. I was wondering whether there have been any new spots opening since our last visit? We tend to prefer casual dining and some of our "regular haunts" are: Cafe Matisse, Columbus Tavern (though quality has been inconsistent there's been more good than meh) and the Green Parrot on the PI side.

Last time we passed a restaurant called "circa 1890" and I was wondering whether anyone has tried it?

Also, a friend recommended Van Breugel's. . . has anyone been there?

If anyone remembers Zio Gigi's, I'd love to hear if anyone is preparing similar quality pizzas these days? Such a shame to lose this gem.

En route from the airport we stop at Caves Village to pick up some wine at Butler & Sands and, some breads, cheeses and cold cuts etc at Gourmet Village. Last time we noticed a pizza place there but I don't see it on the CV website. . . did this close down already?

Other questions are:

We also purchase wine at the Liquor shop at Harbour Bay . . . any other recommendations?

We discovered Balduccino's for meats, baked goods and gourmet ingredients in our recent visits. Any other gourmet shops, bakeries we should know about?

Does anyone have experience ordering groceries from Or should we stick w City Market for our staples?

I've heard good things about Beach Club Cafe. Is it good enough to warrant return cab fare from PI?

For fresh fish we've been going to Montague Point where the prices have been terrific as the locals seem to shop there. Any other suggestions (we do prefer this to Potter's Cay)?

Thanks in advance, I'll be happy to report back when we return (in October).

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  1. Hi Breadcrumbs,
    Okay, get your glasses on, get comfy, and get ready for a good read (I hope).
    Glad to hear you are coming back to visit soon! Chef Chea’s and Wine Lounge are definite musts (keep in mind, this is the Wine Lounge in the stand alone house on the south side of East Bay Street – the side that the Shell Station is on, not the side that Lucianos, Green Parrot, and Texaco are on. The “Wine Lounge at Green Parrot” is a knock off of the original. The original was in the Green Parrot Wine Lounge location, and when they closed, Green Parrot took on the concept, and some of the menu, with less success.
    Wine Lounge’s Yukon Gold pizza is to die for, and Raquel is always coming up with something special. If you want some wine suggestions, ask Ruben to help you. Of course, if you have had a wine you really like, and you go to Chef Chea’s and they don’t have anything you want, ask, and sometimes they are willing to go around the corner to get something from Ruben! (Or maybe that is only for some of us who know enough to ask!) All their pizzas are thin crust and yummy.
    You said that you tend toward Green Parrot on the PI side. We used to swear by the original location, but of late have been to the one on the Harbour side (where the other Wine Lounge is!). On Fri., Sat., and Sun. (later rather than earlier, but with no specific schedule), “John” joins the staff down at the edge of the water and makes fresh conch salad. He pulls the foot right out of the shell and will make your conch salad as spicy as you like. I believe it shows as $10 on the menu, but he puts on a good show (and will happily start over when you try to pick up the bowl with one hand, thereby allowing it to crack and drop all over his station……) Typically, you can pay him separately from the rest of your meal. The Cracked Conch at this locations is also fab.

    Circa 1890 – I believe that they are now closed. It seems to me that I saw a for sale sign out front a couple months ago.
    Van Breugels – good, consistent, and a “nice meal out.” Personally, I prefer Brussels Bistro - It is much quieter and more intimate, and I like the menu better.
    Unfortunately, no one has been able to duplicate Zio Gigi’s pizza. We really miss Zio Gigi’s. However, Beach Club Café has come close. One of their first chefs (and a couple of their initial servers) came from Zio Gigis. (As did Cleveland – server at the Wine Lounge). You just need to realize that sometimes they burn the crust a tiny bit. You can also build your own at Beach Club – even though they do not advertise this fact.
    Beach Club truly has a gorgeous view, and the atmosphere is wonderful – White tablecloths and Mediterranean blue chargers, looking out over the crystal clear waters and Atlantis in the distance…… The Mohitos and Margaritas (lime) are the best – fresh squeezed limes. Is it worth the price of a return cab fare? I would truly need to think about that. As much as we love Matisse, we don’t even go that far east!! You might choose to do a tap trip west with some scooters, and stop off at Beach Club as a part of your trip. Meals are a bit pricy for what you get, but we still love it. If you go during daylight hours, you can get there by number 10 jitney, and then take a cab back (or jitney if you went for lunch).
    If you like sushi, Sea Front Sushi, on East Bay Street just east of the PI bridge FROM PI (where Potters Cay lies below) is a wonderful choice.
    Gourmet Market is still out at Caves for some wonderful cheeses and other great items in the freezer. However, Balduccino’s is actually much better for breads, deli, and other grocery items. They have a lot of fabulous 1 bite yummies, and an extended lunch counter now, as well as some wonderful organic veggies and fruits. Their selection of canned goods (from stuffed grape leaves and marmalades, to specialty items) is vast, and much less expensive than Gourmet Market. So, I would not bother to stop off at Gourmet Market, unless you really want something there (like the Veal Leg Slices!!!
    )Out at the Caves, Villagio has recently closed, as has Mangos (the little pizza place – was never that good though). I know that you have said that you stop at Butler & Sands for your wine. However, Bristol wines has better prices. Buy by the case and you get an even better deal. There is a Bristol’s on Blake Road (the road from the airport that Caves is at the corner). Bristol’s is before you get to Caves on the left. There is also Blue Caviar in that plaza – if they have any, buy some lemon tarts and chocolate/hazelnut croissants to take to your villa with you!!! There is also a Bristol’s on PI along the strip where the shopping is on the main road. No need to go to the liquor store in Harbour Bay! Again, if you will go through 12 bottles of wine during your trip, buy a case and get the case price. For more selection, there is also a Bristol’s just west of the PI bridge FROM PI (just beside where Outback Steakhouse used to be). The signage is grey with lettering in white.
    For your staples, if you know what you want, I would stop off at the Cable Beach Super Value on your way from the airport. Make a list and do a good shop. City Market is spotty these days and you could find yourself unable to get what you need. If you want steaks, ask the butcher at Super Value to cut you what you want if you do not see it. That being said, as the week goes on, you can get what you need from City Market in Harbour Bay.
    Of course, Montague is the place to get your fresh fish and fresh crawfish. If you are up for crawfish, try to negotiate – go later in the day, because, of course, then you need to contend with traffic, but there are better deals. Grab yourself a cooler bag and rent a scooter so you don’t need to pay a cab to sit in traffic! (Or, take the jitney). Of course, a scooter is also good to go out to Beach Club, with a stop off at Super Value for groceries on your way back!
    I would not bother with – they have only the basics, and not many different brands. You also need to be organized to order in advance. You really are better off heading to the store yourself – either Balducinno’s, City Market, or Super Value. If you like fresh figs, check for them at Super Value – ask for them if you don’t see them above the clamshells of fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, & raspberries! (Ok, I grab them whenever I see them – combine them with some goat cheese, or stilton, wrapped with some prosciutto….mmmmmm)
    Breadcrumbs, I sense you like to cook, even while on vacation. If you like anything “different” or special, you may be wise to bring it with you, prefrozen. If there is anything special you would like to find while here, let me know – I’ll see if I can tell you where to get it. How long will you be here??
    Ok, I am making myself hungry…..

    Good luck!

    20 Replies
    1. re: Food on the brain

      Dear Food on the brain, I simply can't thank you enough for such a thoughtful, insightful post. We're truly inspired by all the wonderful information you've shared. . . so incredibly helpful!! We will most definitely stop at the Cable Beach Super Value en route from the airport and forgo the trip to Gourmet Market for a bigger shop at Balduccino's. We really enjoyed all our purchases from them last time and are excited to hear of the changes/enhancements they've made since our last visit. I appreciate the tip about asking the butcher at Super Value to cut meat to order. Last time we purchased our steaks at City Market and they were horrible. Subsequently we've ended up getting frozen meat from Balduccino's but it can be very expensive depending on what you're looking for.

      We also certainly appreciate the tip about Bristol's and will skip the stop at B&S this time around. Which of the 2 larger Bristol's locations has the best selection of wine? Do you recommend we stop at the one near the airport or, the one on the other side of the PI bridge?

      I can't wait to try the Yukon Gold pizza at Wine Lounge, Potato pizza happens to be my favourite! Also, sincere thanks for sharing the names of some of the folks there and, at other spots. I'll be sure to let everyone know they were recommended by you on Chowhound.

      We'll give the Green Parrot on the Nassau side another try. We've always enjoyed the view there, especially when the sun sets over the PI bridge!! That said, last time we went specifically for the pig roast which they'd advertised online and, in the Nassau Gazette. When we arrived, we were the only patrons there and they informed us they'd forgotten to buy the pig so there wouldn't be any!! The food and service were disappointing that night so we haven't been back but it would be fun to see what they've done with their version of the wine lounge. We're also huge fans of conch salad so the notion of having it made to order in front of us certainly appeals and, we love cracked conch (one of the dishes I enjoy making as well!!).

      Thanks for the link to Brussel's Bistro, we'll be downtown for one day of Bay St shopping so if they're open for lunch, we'll definitely dine there. Their menu looks wonderful and I also found some photos online of the restaurant and, the meal folks have enjoyed there!!

      We've never thought to ask about crawfish at Montegue but we absolutely love it and will definitely do so this time around. We always get our conch, snapper, shrimp and other seasonal fish there incredibly fresh and delicious.

      Also, we are so grateful for your suggestion of renting scooters. We've never seen a place to do this on PI or even thought of doing this there but it's great to know this option is available, we do this in Barbados and it's a great way to get around. We've often joked that we should start up a golf cart rental shop because they'd move much faster than some of the taxis we've taken!!

      Once again Food on the Brain, the most sincere thanks for all your wonderful assistance. We so appreciate it!

      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        Hi Breadcrumbs,

        You are very welcome! As you can tell, I am heavily invested in food thoughts! 

        I never asked - are you just 2 of you, or will there be a bigger crowd? If you are a bigger crowd, you may even want to ask the cab driver take you to Phil’s on Gladstone Road, and then the main Bristol’s which is also on Gladstone. It would be a bit of a detour, but Phil’s has good prices on larger quantities, and you can buy a whole (10 – 14 pounds) Ribeye (boneless) or New York Strip for $8.99/lb. If you have the butcher there cut them for you, it would be $9.99 instead. Even the Pork tenderloin and lamb is a lot cheaper at Phil’s. You can also buy whole fish at Phil’s, and lots of other seafood. Yes, some of it will be frozen, but sometimes the “fresh” fish at Montague’s has also been previously frozen.

        If you stop at Phil’s you won’t need to go to Super Value. Super Value’s Rib Eyes and New York Strips can be $14.99/lb.

        You definitely will enjoy Balducinno’s – they are usually well stocked. Lately, Gourmet Market is not so well stocked. Remember, Balducinno’s can also sell you frozen ciabattas and baguettes so you can finish baking them in the oven for fresh bread!

        For the Bristol’s selection – the main store on Gladstone Road is well stocked with a lot of selection, but the store on Blake Rd (near the airport) is still my favourite. They often have whatever a lot of the other stores don’t have. The one on the other side of the PI bridge does not have as much selection, but will do just fine in a pinch. Prices are better than the shop in Harbour Bay. Do remember, though, that there is also a Bristol’s on PI – if you know what you want, you may even be able to ask them a day or two in advance to bring it from one of the other stores so you don’t need to tote it or get a cab.

        The Yukon Gold pizza is SOOOOO yummy, and as I said, Raquel loves to come up with special yummies! She is not usually in during the day, but does show up sometimes in the evenings when not toting kids around. Ruben is usually in during the daytime.

        Do ask for some Crawfish – they are usually sold in threes. Be sure to negotiate! If you are wanting conch, and not wanting to do the trek to Montague, remember that there is always fresh conch down under the PI bridge at Potter’s Cay.

        Now, I’m not sure where on PI you can rent scooters, but you can definitely do so downtown. So, perhaps on one day you can take the water taxi over and get scooters for the day. If you do so, and you decide to go to Montague, remember that mid to late afternoon, the fishermen are more likely to be willing to bargain than in the morning!

        Have a great trip, and let me know what you liked best!

        1. re: Food on the brain

          Thanks once again Food on the brain, you've been a tremendous help. I'm sending an email off today to our condo manager to enquire about scooters and see if they can arrange them for us. I did have a question about Bristol if you happen to see this post. I looked them up online and their website isn't working (I know that's not all too uncommon) but the facebook page for the Gladstone location says "now closed" and I was wondering if its possible the other locations are closed as well since there doesn't seem to be a site any longer? Since we'd be having the taxi take us there en route from the airport, I just want to be sure we don't make a trip only to find them gone. Have you heard anything? Thanks so much for all your help!! Oh and thanks too for the tip on Phils. This time its just the two of us but I've bookmarked this thread so I know for the next time we've got a group coming.

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Hi Breadcrumbs,

            What I suggest is that you send me a message a week before you come down and I will call and make sure they are open! :-) I cannot see them closing - I was just there on Friday, and they are actually the warehouse store. Granted, sometimes it is the Blake Road location that has some stuff that Gladstone doesn't have because of the clientelle.

            Now, that being said, I again remind you that there is a Bristol's location on PI in the strip mall with Scotiabank (although up further toward Comfort Suites). If you know what you want, you can ask them to bring it in.

            Now, I had completely forgotten until we went for dinner last night - if you like scotch, there is a liquor store down at the ferry dock on PI (behind the Royal Bank, between the two bridges) with an amazing selection of Scotches!!!.

            Since there are just the 2 of you this trip, perhaps it makes more sense just to stop off at the Blake Road Bristol's, then hit Super Value on your way East for whatever you need. Of course, if you are arriving on a Mon. or Tues., or early on a Wed. the supplies are more likely to be a bit depleted. Howveer, if you are arriving Wed. afternoon on, there should be good stock available.

            Good luck, and have a blast!!

            1. re: Food on the brain

              Hey Breadcrumbs,

              Update - if you have not left yet - I was on PI yesterday and Skye High Spirits (at the ferry dock on PI) is closed, and the liquor store at Harbour Bay is now a Butler and Sands (as of the last month) and is half the size now. Bristol's on Blake Rd. is still your best choice/

              Have fun!

              BTW Bristol's on Gladstone Rd is having a warehouse sale today! They are definitely not closed!

              1. re: Food on the brain

                Hi Food on the brain (or anyone with this intel) ... My husband and I are "very regulars" to Nassau (he's there about once a month), but neither of us have made it yet to Wine Lounge so aren't familiar with the atmosphere ... we'll be there in November, with a seven year old this time. It's a spot I've been wanting to try for a while -- will the (very well behaved) seven year old be really out of place?

                1. re: CocoTO

                  Hi Coco,

                  I suspect that your 7 year old will be fine. :-) if he/she is well behaved, he/she might enjoy a good pizza or burger, unless of he/she likes yummy adult chow! :-)

                  Do be sure to hit the Wine Lounge that is on the south side of Bay Street - in the stand alone house on the right hand side of the road.

                  Another wonderful restaurant that just opened a few weeks ago is "Blu" - it is at the end of the Elizabeth on Bay plaza. There is some decent shopping in there, and it is right at the corner of Elizabeth and Bay Street. (And there is a Haagen Daz there too!). The mussel app there is really yummy!

                    1. re: Food on the brain

                      many thanks for this Food on the brain ... we'll check Blu out too

                      1. re: CocoTO

                        Let me know what you think! Breadcrumbs, hope you saw this in time to check Blu out as well. Let me know how your trip went....

                        1. re: Food on the brain

                          Dear Food on the brain. Staying at Sheraton Cable beach for 4 days. We would like some good cheap food and some cheap stores for liquor to bring back. On another thread was told of a food truck right across the street from the hotel. Is this still there? I will get to fish fry. Any other spots like this appreciated. Checked with the hotel, meal plan is $131 pp/pd . Currently out of my range. I love rice and beans and local flavor.

                          1. re: phantomdoc

                            Hi Phantom,

                            For liquor to bring home, the prices at the "duty free" (all liquor stores are technically duty free, but you still have to pay duty once you get home....I think!) stores downtown are good. Between the airport and the Sheraton there are 3 bigger liquor stores - Bristol's on the first road you turn onto from the airport is probably the biggest with the best selection. Second would be the Butler and Sands in Caves - just around the next corner from Bristol's. There is also a smaller Butler and Sands within a 15 minute walk from the Sheraton (turn right out of the Sheraton).

                            Cheap food....a bit of a contradiction :-) There are likely a lot of food trucks across from the hotel now because there is major construction going on. They are all likely quite good for local fare. Fish fry is a definite as well. Lots of people like Traveller's Rest for good, fairly inexpensive local food.

                            Of course, if you take the #10 bus downtown and then the #1 going east, you would likely enjoy eating at Potter's Cay under the bridge.

                            Between downtown and the bridge is Green Parrot - not close to the hotel, but relatively inexpensive and very good. If you are here on a weekend, John comes and does fresh conch salad right off the pier.

                            Then, there's the Cricket Club across from Arawak Cay (Fish Fry). Good local and British fare all day long.

                            Of course, if you like your rum drinks, depending on the time of day you arrive, the Rum Shack in front of Caves makes wonderful fresh fruit daquiris in the afternoon!

                            Hope that helps.

                            Have fun!

                            1. re: Food on the brain

                              Thanks so much. We are here Tues-Sat.. From what I read Fish Fry is many restaurants together.. Is there a rec among the colledtion?
                              What I meant by cheap is really local non fancy without the fru fru. Rice and beans, fried fish and conch. Not tourist trap.

                              Thanks again.

                              1. re: phantomdoc

                                Not sure if you are yet to come or whether you were already here - a lot of people swear by Twin Brothers at Arawak Cay (aka Fish Fry). I can't vouch for any of the restaurants there, though, because have only been there once in all these years!!!

                                However, I am sure they are all good. Potter's Cay (under the bridge from PI) is also a collection of stands, and I have no idea which is best. I've been to a few of them, and they were all good - but SLOW.


                                1. re: Food on the brain

                                  Went to Oh Andres and it was great. An order of fried snapper contained 3 small whole fish that were perfectly seasoned, and a large mound of rice and peas. The grilled grouper came with plantain and coleslaw. Deee licious. With one bottled water and an order of conch fritters cost $28. The food truck on the construction site across from the Sheraton had a nice selection of breakfast orders. A protein on a mound of grits $2. Sardine, mackerel, eggs, or corned beef hash. They had lunches for $5-$7 that we did not get to try. For an elegant dinner we went to The Poop Deck West. Entrees from $25 to $50. A real feast. Pics to follow

                                  1. re: phantomdoc

                                    Glad to hear that you had a great trip! I don't eat breakfast, and lunch is usually somewhere near the office or at home, so I really couldn't comment. When I lunch out it is NOT an inexpensive lunch! :-)

                                    With the construction on Cable Beach, I know there are lots of decent food trucks, though.

                                    I'm glad your meal at Poop Deck was good. We haven't had good luck there, so we just don't go.

                                    Hope you come back soon!!

          2. re: Breadcrumbs

            hi how do you get to Montegue from atlantis? thanks

            1. re: kevin25

              Sorry I didn't see this sooner. For future reference, you come off the PI bridge and go left. Take Bay St. all the around the tip to Montague. :-)

          3. re: Food on the brain

            Food on the brain, thanks so much for the recs! We ate at Brussels Bistro tonight on your recommendation and it was delicious. We were informed when we sat down that they had gotten in fresh mussels about 20 minutes prior, so we ordered that to start, and then went off the standard menu for entrees and dessert. Service also good - much better than I was expecting. The whole dinner was miles better than Poop Deck, which we tried earlier in the week on another recommendation and which was, our group agreed, really disappointing.

            1. re: Aravisea

              Glad you enjoyed! Matisse is still my fave, though. There are Unfortunately, Blu is no longer around. Not sure if I had recommended them before, but we miss them. I would never bother with the Poop Deck, though.

          4. Bumping this thread - heading back to Atlantis in a couple of weeks with your young children. Would love to plan at least one dinner, and possibly a lunch, off the resort. Last time, we tried Twin Brothers at Fish Fry and we thought the food was decent but not so special. Would love fresh fish/seafood for at least one of these meals. The other could be anything. Our children are enthusiastic eaters so we don't need chicken fingers or anything like that on offer. But still, we prefer casual and laid-back vibe, nowhere fancy or too spendy or non-family friendly. A great view or location or atmosphere would be a bonus. Wondering about Green Parrot (Hurricane Hole plaza location looks super convenient), Seafront Sushi, Wine Lounge? Poop Deck? Any of these (or other recommended spots) accessible by jitney? Thought that might be a fun way to travel instead of taxi (but no big deal if that doesn't work). Thanks!

            5 Replies
            1. re: peppermint pate

              another good option that's convenient from PI is Blu ... Would also endorse Wine Lounge. I wish I could endorse Poop Deck, but with all their advertising of "fresh fish cooked to order" we really have had mediocre experiences there, although (and because of that) haven't been in 2 years.

              1. re: CocoTO

                Thanks CocoTO! How would you rate Blu and Wine Lounge in terms of being kid-friendly? Kids love Greek/Mediterranean so Blu's dishes sound particularly tempting, though the prices look high and we're already overpaying for mediocre food at Atlantis...:)

                How would you compare either of those to Green Parrot or Seafront Sushi in terms of food, value, family-friendly, etc. Our kids are good eaters and generally well behaved, plus we'll likely be eating around 6 but still, don't want to hit up a place that's otherwise filled with just romantic honeymooners or visiting yachters looking for total peace and quiet...

                Thanks again!

                1. re: peppermint pate

                  Had the same question when we were considering Wine Lounge for a 7 year old and we were fine. Neither place is "family style" as you can no doubt tell, but your kids sound like they aren't novices to eating out so I think they'd be fine too.

                  1. re: CocoTO

                    Coming late to this thread as well - sorry! Thought I would put my 2 cents in anyways in case it can help someone else.

                    Green Parrot is the most casual setting. Hurricane Hole is fun, with a great marina and sometimes lots of interesting action going on. Harbourside is also nice and casual, and has wonderful fresh custom made conch salad later in the day on weekends (once John or whomever is there that day rolls out of bed).

                    Seafront Sushi is definitely family friendly. It is all indoor, unfortunately. If you love sushi, though, I suspect you may have something as good/better at home, without coming all the way here specifically for the sushi. Most of the fish would come from away, as opposed to being caught here (with the exception of the tuna and mahi mahi).

                    The Wine Lounge (few doors from Shell gas) has some wonderful menu items, but I would not say it is specifically kid/family friendly in its menu.

                    Blu would definitely be a great choice - family friendly, great scenery from outside (although, when the containers are piled up, you cannot always see Atlantis), with a varied menu. The falafels and falafel panini are really good, and come with some wonderful hummus!

                    There is also Athena Cafe, upstairs at the corner of Charlotte and Bay Street downtown (go in through the jewelery store downstairs). They have THE best hummus and grilled octopus! Very family friendly (the kids LOVE the virgin daquiris) with a wonderful Greek menu.

                    Of course, if you want a special meal that is family friendly but just a bit more special, check out our fave - Cafe Matisse. Reserve seating outside - in the gazebo if there are enough of you that they will let you reserve it. It is downtown across the lane from the courts, and there is a wonderful courtyard that leaves you believing you have left downtown.

                    That's my 2 cents!

                    1. re: Food on the brain

                      Thanks so much for the input -I'm pretty sure we'll be back there in the next year or two. We really enjoyed Green Parrot for an easy, relaxed and tasty dinner so close to Atlantis - and such a lovely setting by the water. Will definitely check out one of the other spots on our next trip - and check back with you a little more in advance next time to see if any of your recs have changed. Funny comment about the virgin daquiris - our little guys discovered these drinks on the second last day of the trip. They had a hoot ordering (virgin) coladas and daquiris from the bar and then slurping them in the hot tub at the end of a long day of swimming and water sliding...

            2. Not new but I really recommend you go to the Greycliff Hotel for lunch or dinner, also they've just opened a pizza place in the Hotel and it is very good. We loved the Cafe Athena and Brussels Bistro was highly recommended to us but we found out about it too late so didn't manage to get there.

              1. I will be in Nassau next week, praying the rain will go away! Do you have any updates on restaurants or places to go and shop since your last date ... or let me know if any places that were go are no longer recommended ...
                THANKS, we really appreciate your help.