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Apr 30, 2012 02:57 PM

4 day Bermuda Vacation--must visit restaurants

I'm heading to Bermuda next week for a lovely four full-day vacation, staying at the Farimont Southampton. What are the must-visit restaurants (somewhat relative distance to hotel and/or in Hamilton) with only 4 days? Open to both high-end (since it's a birthday trip) and budget-friendly options. I know this is somewhat vague but I'm really open to anything at this point! The more help the better and more appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. I'm not sure if you have been to Bermuda before, so please forgive me if I tell you anything you may already know. Firstly, there are probably no "must visit" restaurants in Bermuda. The Island is physically beautiful and you are coming at a very pleasant time of year regarding the weather, but in terms of world-class food and beverage options, there isn't really much here anymore that is not done to a higher standard/less expensive/with better service elsewhere. However, that being said, there are some very nice places which you should put on your list. In terms of water views, the Reefs hotel is across the street from your hotel and they have a nice outdoor (covered) restaurant on the beach. Probably best for dinner...and it is a bit pricey for what you get. Another waterfront option is Cafe Lido at the Elbow Beach Hotel. It is a 10-15 taxi ride from your hotel on the way into Hamilton. Again probably best for dinner (I'm not even sure it is open for lunch). Also at the Elbow Beach is Mickeys. It is a more casual venue and it actually constructed on the you cannot get any closer to the water. It is good for lunch as they tend to do more burger/sandwich fare. The only other options with a proper water view are Blu at the Belmont golf course (again 10 min cab ride from your hotel) and Beau Rivage at the Newstead Hotel (maybe 15 min for your hotel). The former is run by the same people as Cafe Lido/Mickeys and tends to specialise in Italian/Meditteranian fare whereas Beau Rivage is French/Continental. In order of preference, I would book Beau Rivage, Lido, Reefs for dinner and then Mickeys for lunch and Blu for Sunday brunch. As far as non-water views, the Blu/Lido/Mickeys people have a very nice Italian place in town called Little Venice. It does not have a view, but they do a nice job with the food (very popular with the business crowd). You can take the hotel ferry to the sister Fairmont property in town (Hamilton Princess) and walk quite easily. FYI, you can also take a water taxi from town over to the Beau Rivage if you happen to be in town before dinner. In terms of more casual options, La Trattoria do a very good job with pizza and Bolero on Front Street has a nice menu. Both are in Hamilton. As far as pub style food, Henry the VIII is just down the street from your hotel and Flannigans and Pickled Onion in Hamilton do a resonable job with burgers etc. However, at the latter two, you will end up paying a premium for the view over Front Street. The Hog Penny Pub in town is also OK, but nothing special. There are a ton of sushi places on the Island, but the only one worth patronising (in my opinion) is Pearl on Front Street above Port o' Call. Finally, there is the House of India. In my opinion, it is the best quality food on the island and certainly best value for your dollar. Unfortunately, it is in probably the worst possible neighbourhood and as a visitor you may not want to go. However, any taxi will take you and collect you so you do not need to worry about your personal safety etc. If you enjoy Indian cuisine and are in town during the day, their lunch buffet is probably the closest I would say to a "must visit" dining experience while here. The only other advice I can give is to be aware that despite being in the middle of the ocean, most of the fish on offer will be from elsewhere. Unless the menu explicitly says "local", it is probably not. Therefore, be sure to confirm with your server etc. Assuming it is available, try the local wahoo and rockfish. Have fun!

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    1. re: StayThirsty

      Just back from 4 days, and we didn't go to any must-visit restaurants, sadly. At the risk of being scolded for another Bermuda thread I will report.
      We stayed at Cambridge Beaches, which is at the far Western part of the island & spent a small fortune on taxis, (I think your hotel is a bit more central.) Apparently there is some type of dining card which enables you to dine between some hotels, I know ours and Ocean Echo at The Reefs both did. Frankly after eating dinner at both and reading another review in which they had eaten the same exact meal the same night as we did at Ocean Echo, I have deduced that some type of food supplier is behind the dining cards. We had a breakfast buffet at our hotel each morning, basic but with the added touches of smoked salmon, capers, cheese and meat plate, baked beans and broiled tomatoes.
      Lunch our first day was on the beach at the hotel from the Breezes restaurant, we had some chicken sandwiches on ciabatta with sweet potato fries, good. Dinner was at the Tamarisk in our hotel. I honestly can't remember what my husband had (wahoo?) He like it. My starter was Bermuda fish chowder, my first experience with it. I found it salty, the rum and pepper mixure you can add was a nice touch. For an entree I had the tenderloin, rare, it came as ordered, was teder and tasty.
      Our 2nd day we had lunch in Hamilton at the Hog Penny Pub, husband wanted a burger, they were good, but small. Pub food. Dinner at the Frog and Onion at the Royal Navy Dockyard, pub food again, though I liked their fish chowder better than what I had had for dinner.
      3rd day we had lunch at our hotel again, maybe the best meal I had: a grilled tuna salad with mango, yellow peppers, candied macadamia nuts (pictured.) Dinner at the Ocean Echo restaurant at The Reefs. Almost walked out due to being ignored, for a LONG time, but it was 8:30. Rolls came to the table, no butter, nobody came back for a good 20 minutes, we ate them anyway because we were famished. I had the lobster bisque: a watery, lobster flavored mixture with some chopped chives, awful. For dinner I had the seafood tagliatelle: linguine with mussels, rock crab and shrimp. The sauce was completely without flavor or seasoning. Dessert (this was a prix fixe menu) husband had bananas foster and I had the fromage blanc with fresh berries. Both desserts were the best part of dinner.
      We had met another couple staying at The Reefs at Horseshoe Bay Beach earlier that day, and they had told us to try Coconuts (at The Reefs also) instead. The husband (a fellow foodie) had gotten the impression his tomato soup the evening before was a doctored can soup. Should have listened.
      We will definitely be back to Bermuda, the most gorgeous of all the 8 islands we've been to, next time will try to stay more centrally so we can dine better.

    2. If you're staying out at the Southampton Princess, I'd suggest going around the corner to The Dining Room, its up at the lighthouse on Gibb's hill. Mainly Italian leaning with thin crust pizzas, I think pretty good value and the room is cozy and if you get a window table, it's got nice views being up on the hill.

      A new discovery of mine, if you're sightseeing up at Dockyard's is The Pastry Shop, it's across from the visitor's centre. They do pastries and sandwiches and serve tea in the afternoon. It's a nice little afternoon break when the weather is nice, get a tall table and people watch. Service might get a little slow if they're packed.