Mickey’s @ Elbow Beach for lunch – Small menu and not much interested me. Honestly I wasn’t very hungry but our room wasn’t ready and we were trying to kill time. Our hotel had a beautiful looking dining area but I didn’t see much on their lunch menu that interested me. Had I known the same would be true for Mickey’s I would have stayed at Coco’s. Open air dining on the beach.
We ordered two appetizers. Bermuda fish cakes and vegetable spring rolls. 2 Beers and 1 green ice tea for a total of $41.40. Gratuity was included. As soon as the Bermuda fish cakes were brought to the table I could see and smell the curry. Big mistake for me as I don’t care for curry so I barely ate them. I tried David’s vegetarian rolls, which were greasy and not very appetizing. At least we killed an hour and also any curiosity I may have had to return there.
Thumbs down in our opinion. I should mention I did return later in the week for a cocktail. Pina Colada was $9.60. I had to assume the gratuity was included since there is no tax.
Swizzle Inn – South Shore Road
This was a fun place. We had drinks at the bar and of course we had to try a Rum Swizzle. WOW those are potent! They served us a half pitcher so we got a few glasses each. I don’t recall what the price was for the half pitcher though because we had dinner later and my husband paid at the bar for the drinks. We also had a “Dark and Stormy.” For those who don’t know it’s Gosling’s Black Rum and Ginger Beer. We really liked the dark and stormy and it quickly became the cocktails of choice during our stay in Bermuda. I did like the Rum Swizzle but it was a little thick and sweet and not something I could drink all night.
There were both indoors and out door dining available. Since it was our first night we were not acclimated to the weather yet and decided to eat indoors. We met nice local women who suggested we try the red snapper, which was a favorite of her’s. I took her suggestion and enjoyed it very much. It was pan fried and served with a light tasty banana sauce. David ordered pork tenderloin medium rare but it arrived well done and was dry. Not sure why he didn’t send that back other than he was starving. We had a few drinks and a shrimp cocktail for a total of $79. 15% was not added to our bill. Food was pretty good and reasonable. Very casual place with a gift shop.
HOG Penny – English pub off of Front Street in Hamilton. I had the fish and chips and David had a lamb dish, which he really enjoyed. Fish and Chips were pretty good. Not fabulous because the chips were a bit soggy and not unlike anything I’ve had before. I was a little disappointed since I was expected them to be really great. 15% gratuity was added. $66.07
LIDO – Absolutely fabulous. We had reservations which we made months ahead directly with the concierge and I have to say I was a bit disappointed when they brought us to our table and we were not against the window as I requested. When I mentioned this I was told “they do not guarantee” tables. I didn’t push the issue because we still had a nice view of the ocean and subsequent sunset. Service was impeccable and the food was very good. Not large portions but it was flavorful and I don’t think we should be eating enormous portions anymore anyway. We met the GM and inevitable St. Martin came up as well as TTOL. He was so interested in hearing about the forums that we talked at length about the website and information that is shared there, he thanked us for our time and information. The waitress came back to our table and offered us an after-dinner drink courtesy of the GM. Class act.
I should mention that both David and I dressed up. David wore a dinner jacket and nice Bermuda type shorts. I was in a cocktail dress. We saw people who dressed similar to us and then there were others who were dressed extremely casual. We saw several people with children who had on sneakers and a hooded sweatshirt. It just didn’t fit into the ambience of the place and I would like to have seen them honor the dress code but everything seems to be more relaxed on the island than we had been led to believe.
15% was added to the bill but because service was so great, the free cocktails and also how they went out of there way to decorate my birthday plate we gave extra. My plate had “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate and a discreet candle was light and standing in some whipped cream. My husband’s plate had “Happy Anniversary” written on it also in chocolate. I’m not sure how the staff knew we had also celebrated our anniversary other than perhaps it came out during our conversation with the GM and he must have informed the kitchen. It’s those little things that go a long way.
FRESCO’s – we dined at Fresco’s mainly because we saw Rachel Ray visit it on her Food Network show “$40 a day” and she raved about the Bermuda fish chowder.
I have to mention that in addition to trying a dark and stormy drink at every establishment we visited David also tried the chowder. The one at Fresco’s was very thick and good but he enjoyed the one at the Lido the best.
We had mixed reviews about our dinner at Fresco’s. Again you could choose to sit more outside or indoors were it was air-conditioned. We choose indoor. The restaurant serves med terrain food and has a very Tuscan look to the decor. Service was excellent, drinks were good but I did not enjoy my meal. I had the special of the evening, which was swordfish. It had no taste, very bland except for the grill marks on the fish, which bordered on unpleasant. The fish also was not cooked throughout and in the case of swordfish it should be treated much differently than tuna. It was a very big piece sitting on top of some basmati rice. The rice had another odd taste to it. Along side were some julienne veggies that were good. David had the scallop special. Three huge scallops were skewered on a rosemary leaf. They were very tasty but they sat on top of wilted spinach, which was overpowered by the flavor of mint. The mint did not add to the dish in my opinion, as it was too strong and overpowered the rest of the dish.
A chocolate tart was recommended to us so we split it. It was more like a chocolate mouse with orange flavor accompanied by a scoop of ice cream on top and on the side a smaller scoop of perhaps gelato. It was very good and more than enough for the two of us to share. 15% gratuity added to the bill.
Blu at Belmont Hills Golf Course – this was our second best meal of the trip. Service was impeccable and the restaurants ambience was beautiful. Very contemporary restaurant and bar with lots of glass overlooking the marina. David played golf earlier in the week and checked-out the restaurant after a co-worker of mine suggested it based on friends she has who live in Bermuda. What a great choice and good thing we made a reservation the day earlier because they were packed. Service did not suffer – they have a very nice menu with some items having a southwest flare but there were Bermuda specials and some casual pan pizzas. I had the rockfish Bermuda special that was delicious and David had the Prime Rib with Yorkshire pudding. There are many side dishes to choose from too so I had ordered a vegetable napoleon which was basically some roasted zucchini, red pepper and eggplant layered together. All the dishes and serving dishware were very contemporary and sexy. Staff was multi-national and all helped on each table, which surprisingly did not affect service; they were all on top of everything and every need. We started off with oysters and shrimp, which you can order, individual. I recall oysters were $3.25 each and the shrimp cocktail was $4.00 each. 15% gratituity was added to the bill and the only reason we did not add any more was my husband had asked for a taste of the fish chowder. He didn’t want a bowl or cup just a taste and they charged him $3.25 for it!
Flanagan’s – casual pub food with both indoor and outdoor dining overlooking the harbor where the big ships dock. Surprisingly decent fish chowder and a nice shrimp/avocado sandwich even though without a doubt canned shrimp it was still very tasty served with coleslaw and French fries. We noticed on the tabletop a place card, which said they had live music several nights a week. No cover charge or drink minimum. We went back on a Friday night and listened to the band that were from Canada. We enjoyed the music, they were good. They played music from the Eagles to Marvin Gaye and did it all quite well. There were all ages at the bar, restaurant and dance floor. We managed to get seats at the bar and enjoyed a couple of cocktails and speaking to two girls from Scotland. Bartenders were friendly and we noticed security in the bar at the entrance. Also should mention there was security personnel at the Swizzle Inn and when I asked if it was necessary I was told “yes.”
Henry VIII – Nice pub atmosphere. Lunch is only served until 2:30 PM so our first attempt failed because we arrived at 3:00 PM. Restaurant reopens for dinner at 5:00 PM. Second attempt was successful. We had the chicken lunch special, which was OK, nothing great. Dinner menu looked very appealing but we did not have a chance to return.
Coco Reef restaurant – although breakfast buffet was included in the price of our room we only took advantage one morning. Breakfast is served buffet style from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM and then from 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM is only Continental. Honestly I couldn’t tell you what that consisted of. Also at 4:00 PM each day was tea and cookies but we did not partake. Most days we were still out at the beach well past 6:00 PM or where out and about on our motor scooter. Coco has brought in a new chef from Toronto and each night they had a different menu, which seemed very interesting. Had we a longer vacation I’m sure we would have tried the restaurant at our hotel.
Elbow – Coco is on Elbow beach. It was a pretty beach but the water was choppier and no lifeguards on duty. Hotel provided lounge chairs and umbrellas. They also had another landing above the beach with sand and many lounge chairs but did not see umbrella’s there. A beach girl walked around (very pleasant) and occasionally would dust off the chairs after someone left them and she’d pull up an umbrella or two and put them in one corner of the beach. We saw her counting chairs several times so not sure if there was a certain amount she was told to keep out at any one time or not. She was a young girl who was very sweet.
Horseshoe – What a gorgeous beach with lots of caves and rock formations and secluded areas to sit and relax. We rented two 5-position lounge chairs but not the kind you lay down in. They were $10 each for the day with a $10 deposit, which you got back when you returned the chairs along with your receipt. You have to return the chairs by 4:45 PM. You can also rent a locker out for $5 and a $5 deposit. You can also rent umbrellas but I didn’t pay attention to the cost.
There are about 50 small lockers but large enough to store our video camera, digital, wallet, handbag and maybe a towel or two. There is a bathroom, take out restaurant with tables and chairs to sit under a big tent. There is also an ice cream window and a stand in front of the food structure where liquor/beer/frozen drinks can be bought.
We had heard this beach gets crowded so we were supposed to go early. We went twice and both days didn’t arrive before 10:30 AM and never found it crowded. We went on a Wednesday and a Saturday. There were some choice spots that were already taken but for us we wanted to lie in the sun so it wasn’t a problem. We did notice a lifeguard station but joked because all the lifeguards did was sit and chat the entire day. There must have been 5 of them at any given time and never did we see them walking the beach or blowing a whistle and believe me there were plenty of times they should have. The mountains/hills of rock (whatever you want to call them) had clear signs that said “danger” and to “keep off the rocks.” And what did people do! They climbed them and sometimes we saw families taken their children up. In one instance we saw a boy about 10 climb on one rock in the middle of the ocean and jump to another big one. He scared the crap out of me and if I saw him so did everyone else. Never saw the lifeguards “bat an eye!” I must be getting old!!
Sightseeing – we visit Gibbs Lighthouse although it’s still closed for construction. Another 4 weeks before you can go inside. We also visited Fort Scaur and walked over the smallest drawbridge in the world. Went by the marina and watched one of the crew fillet some fish and also visit both the Wyndham and Fairmont Southampton Princess.
The sun did not set until 8:30 PM each night, which enabled us to get in more beach time. We liked Bermuda, pretty island, beautiful beaches and friendly people. We always felt safe and would consider returning sometime in the not distant future.