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The Bermudian

Award of Excellence: Tom Wadson

Known to many as the Green Giant, farmer Tom Wadson grows everything from avocados to zucchini on his 35 acres of farmland in Southampton. What started as a small, two-acre farming operation in the late 1970s has grown into a major business that now produces organically grown fruit and vegetables, eggs, chickens, lamb and hydroponic plants. Aside from the small but popular fruit-and-vegetable cart near Whale Bay Road in Southampton, Wadson’s products are available on Saturday mornings at the City Market, in many major grocery stores and in several of Bermuda’s best restaurants. “Wadson’s Farm supplies a lot of the people that we have chosen as winners in this category,” mentioned one of our judges. The farm on Luke’s Pond Road also hosts a well-attended organic brunch, which has become a highlight of the annual Gourmet Getaway. The amazing menu is prepared by some of the top local chefs and features mainly meats and produce from the surrounding farm. We also heard that Wadson has found—in South Carolina—the descendants of the original Bermuda hog the first settlers would have dined on 400 years ago, and he has brought some back to Bermuda to breed. What a culinary experience that will be! When it comes to quality local food, Tom Wadson is the best. His continued dedication to promoting the benefits of local farming and sustainable living puts the Green Giant at the top of the class in our books.

Great Sandwich

With their ever-changing menu and glorious daily specials, it was impossible to choose just one great sandwich from Ten (10 Dundonald Street, Hamilton, 295-0857). However, the scrumptious paninis on offer at this award-winning new restaurant gained high approval from our hungry group.

Cup of Java

The best way to kick start your morning is with a steaming mug of freshly brewed coffee from the ever-popular Rock Island Coffee (48 Reid Street, Hamilton, 296-5241). Whether you are a fan of the classic hand-roasted coffee of the day or prefer a half-caf soy macchiato with a touch of foam, the casual environment and eclectic rotating art exhibits keep regular patrons coming back for more.


When only something sweet like a chocolate-glazed donut or something savoury like a buttery croissant will do, the best place to satisfy your morning pastry desires is Miles Market (96 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke, 295-1234). According to our judges, there is just no better way to start the day.

Freshly Baked Bread

There is probably no better smell on earth than bread baking in the oven. The residents of Curving Avenue are therefore lucky indeed to have The Cake Shop (17 Curving Avenue, Pembroke, 292-5141) and all of its delicious freshly baked goodies as neighbours.

Bargain Breakfast

Grabbing a quick breakfast on the way to the office may be the only option for some hurried business people. A popular stop is L’Oriental Express (Ground Floor, Maxwell Roberts Building, 1 Church Street, Hamilton 296-7475) for its wide variety of breakfast goodies at reasonable prices. Getting a good bargain on a tasty breakfast selection makes it a winner in our book.

Daily Specials

With “special” in their name, Speciality Inn (4 South Shore Road, Smiths, 236-3133) has been serving up good, old-fashioned diner fare for years with a side of friendly service. More recently they have added a sushi bar, but it was their full—and beautifully decorated—chalkboard of daily specials that garnered them the win this year.

Pub Grub

Our judges insisted that Hog Penny (5 Burnaby Hill, Hamilton, 292-2534) was the place to go for Bermuda’s best pub grub and an absolute essential for all visitors to get a true taste of classic British-style pub fare—like steak-and-kidney pie and beer-battered fish and chips—in Bermuda.

Place for a Power Lunch

Now located just outside the city at BUEI, Harbourfront Restaurant (40 Crow Lane, East Broadway, Pembroke, 295-4207) still pulls in the power-lunch crowd. With its beautiful views of the harbour and incredibly delicious menu including, of course, their ever-popular sushi, Harbourfront is the perfect place to wine and dine business associates, consultants and the like.


One judge commented that the only decorations on the walls at perennial best-hamburger winner Dorothy’s Coffee Shop (3 Chancery Lane, Hamilton, 292-4130) are Best of Bermuda Gold Awards. We would all like to know what secret ingredients Ms. Dorothy puts in her famous burgers as our judges continue to award her top prize in this category year after year.

Lunch Truck

Some days nothing but a lunch-truck beef pie or homemade fish cake will do. When that irresistible craving strikes, our judges suggested the best place to satisfy it is at DeGraff’s Lunch Wagon (North Corner, City Hall Car Park, Hamilton, 799-3904).

Takeout Deli

With only an hour for lunch, most people these days don’t have the luxury of dining at a restaurant during their break. When you are looking for something delicious for lunch on the go, L’Oriental Express (Ground Floor, Maxwell Roberts Building, 1 Church Street, Hamilton, 296-7475) has become the best quick takeout deli for their great sandwiches and perfectly grilled paninis as well as fresh salads, sushi and more.

Cheap Eats

“They have the best peanut-butter-and-bacon sandwiches,” murmured one judge during the discussion about Green Lantern Luncheonette (9 Serpentine Road, Pembroke West, 295-6995). The century-old house on Serpentine Road offers main courses like stewed oxtail, pork chops or curried chicken for a mere $10 to $15.


Those who love sushi are fanatical about their favourite restaurant, and our judges were no different. Their top choice this year was Yashi Sushi Bar at Coconut Rock (Williams House, 20 Reid Street, Hamilton, 296-6226) with one judge even offering this top tip: “Their spicy dragon is the best! You must try it.”

Best Pizza

With their tasty thin crusts and true Italian toppings like pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and Parma ham, Rustico (8 North Shore Road, Flatt’s, 295-5212) serves up the best pizza on the island. And we swear the cosy atmosphere and friendly service make the pizza taste even better.

Meal for Meat Lovers

There were so many great places to order a steak that our judges had some serious deliberating to do in this category. In the end, they chose Blú Bar & Grill (Belmont Hills Golf Course, 97 Middle Road, Warwick, 292-2323) for their unique take on meat dishes like ancho-coffee-rubbed certified Angus filet of beef and New Zealand lamb chops with a smoked chipotle crust.

Ethnic Cuisine

House of India (Park View Plaza, 57 North Street, Hamilton, 295-6450) wins at least one category in the Best of Bermuda Gold Awards every year—as the numerous certificates on the wall can attest. This year our judges chose to honour them for their extensive menu of classic Indian dishes with enough variety to suit every palate, craving and dietary need.

Best New Restaurant

Opened in March 2007 by British chef Jonny Roberts, Bolero Brasserie (Bermuda House Lane, 95 Front Street, Hamilton, 292-4507) has quickly become a favourite among the regular dining crowd. They serve contemporary European cuisine for lunch and dinner as well as a selection of amuses bouches or tapas during the in-between hours. The casual yet classy atmosphere of a Parisian brasserie and local art on the walls add to the charm of this best new restaurant.

Most Imaginative Menu

The eclectic menu at Café Coco Restaurant (Coco Reef Resort, South Shore Road, Paget, 236-5416) got our judges’ vote this year for their use of fresh and local ingredients and regularly changing menus. We also heard chef John Pritchard created a spectacular aphrodisiac menu for Valentine’s Day.

Hotel Dining

With such a wide range of fabulous restaurants to chose from, our judges chose to award Fairmont Southampton Resort (South Shore Road, Southampton, 238-8000) the best in hotel dining. One judge mentioned how you can “go to a different restaurant every day of the week.” With choices like the superb steaks at Waterlot Inn, fine Italian fare at Bacci, local seafood specialties at Ocean Club, the five-diamond Newport Room and the casual Jasmine Lounge, why would you want to go anywhere else?

Best Sunday Brunch

Take a drive on South Shore at midday on a Sunday and you’ll see a huge lineup of cars for The Reefs’ (56 South Shore Road, Southampton, 238-0222) popular Sunday brunch. Delicious food, great service and made-to-order stations had already made it a hit with our judges—but when they heard about their inventive, country-themed brunch specials last year they couldn’t think of a more deserving winner.

Best Afternoon Tea

Sumptuous finger sandwiches, fresh scones and delicate cakes make up the perfect afternoon tea served daily from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Heritage Court (Fairmont Hamilton Princess, 76 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke, 295-3000). With 14 loose-leaf black, green, herbal and fruit teas to chose from and a presentation that would impress the Queen herself, Heritage Court takes tea time seriously.

Place for an Al Fresco Meal

There is nothing like the feeling of warm sand between your toes while you casually sip a cocktail while waiting for your meal on a perfect summer day. Glorious views of the sun setting over Long Bay Beach and the delectable trendy cuisine makes Breezes at Cambridge Beaches (30 Kings Point Road, Somerset, 234-0331) the very best place for an al fresco meal.

Kid-Friendly Restaurant

“The waiters even remember my kids’ names,” mentioned one judge about La Trattoria Restaurant & Pizzeria (22 Washington Lane, Hamilton, 295-1877). The family-oriented restaurant was voted a winner this year for their friendly—and patient—staff as well as their kids’ menu featuring pint-size pizza, ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs and more.

Out-of-Town Eatery

For their extensive menu that ranges from sushi to pub fare, grilled meats and fresh seafood, Salt Rock Grill (27 Mangrove Bay, Sandys, 234-4502) was voted the best out-of-town eatery by our judges this year. With a cosy pub atmosphere inside and a gorgeous view overlooking Mangrove Bay outside, it is the perfect spot anytime of the year.

Decadent Dessert

The only way to finish off a spectacular meal in one of the finest restaurants in Hamilton is with the sinfully delicious molten chocolate cake at Port O’ Call (87 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-5373). Dessert lovers beware, this decadent treat may actually be addictive.

Cake Maker

With her spectacular and unique wedding-cake designs, Juliette Jackson (Suéno Gitano, 17 Turtle Bay Lane, Southampton, 238-2813) has won this category now three years in a row. Whatever the wedding theme or the occasion, Jackson’s cake often takes centre stage.


His passion for farming—and more recently organic farming—has made Tom Wadson (Wadson’s Farm, Luke’s Pond Road, Southampton, 238-1862) a hero to many for his continued dedication to sustainable agriculture. Our judges praised the “green giant” for the superb locally grown fruit and produce available at his vegetable carts in Southampton and at the City Market as well as in many fine local restaurants and grocery stores.

Fresh Local Fish

It doesn’t get any fresher or more local than fisherman Andrew Rance’s (747-4871) fresh fillets. Located on Middle Road in Devonshire next to Cable & Wireless, Rance’s “perfect butterflies of wahoo are ready to take home and throw on the grill,” commented one of our judges.


Our judges couldn’t chose just one, so they awarded top prize to all the fine butchers at The Supermart (125 Front Street, Hamilton, 292-2064) for their old-school English style, heaps of patience and thoughtful gestures—like offering free slices of turkey to one of our judge’s children.


“He must be the most happy-go-lucky waiter in the world,” said one of our judges of the affable Bepe Giardino of La Trattoria Restaurant & Pizzeria (22 Washington Lane, Hamilton, 295-1877). Apparently the kids love him, too, as he impressively remembers all of his regular customers’ names.

Maitre D’

The best maitre d’ is one who is “accommodating,” “professional” and “very good at making you feel like you have a reservation even when you don’t”—all comments from our judges about Angelo Armano of Ascot’s Restaurant (24 Rosemont Avenue, Pembroke, 295-9644).


Lemon Tree Café (7 Queen Street, Hamilton, 292-0235) is a highly popular lunch spot as well as a hip happy-hour location, but it is the delicious food from chef Jean-Claude Garzia that earned our judges’ praises. We can’t wait to dine at his newly opened restaurant, Beau Rivage, at Newstead Belmont Hills Hotel.

Best Bartender

Known by most as “Fletch,” Barracuda Grill (5 Burnaby Hill, Hamilton, 292-1609) bartender Ian Fletcher creates award-winning concoctions for his loyal customers. His martinis are exceptional—and we hear he even creates a new one every week.

Happiest Happy Hour

Friday at 5:00 p.m. is everyone’s favourite time of the week—but for those who want to start the weekend a little happier, Lemon Tree Café (7 Queen Street, Hamilton, 292-0235) should be the first stop. Fast and friendly bartenders, yummy nibbles and the beautiful Par-la-Ville Park for a backdrop make this trendy café a hit with our judges.

Attentive Staff

When you are looking for a great place to dine with award-winning service, head just outside of town to Ascot’s Restaurant (24 Rosemont Avenue, Pembroke, 295-9644). The staff there are always just the right kind of attentive—courteous, helpful and friendly but not intrusive.


As one judge put it, Silk Thai Cuisine (55 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-0449) “transports you directly to Thailand.” Rich dark wood, golden fabrics and low lighting create a lush, intimate mood throughout the restaurant while authentic sculptures and bamboo place settings add to the contemporary Thai experience.

Exotic Drink

The drink list is small but ever changing at Ten (10 Dundonald Street, Hamilton, 295-0857). Using fresh and unique ingredients, the staff there really enjoy the process of creating the interesting concoctions that have made them award worthy for the second year in a row.

Well-Chosen Wine List

“Nothing beats the Little Venice Wine Bar (Bermudiana Road, Hamilton, 295-3503) in terms of the selection, quality and vintages they have,” stated one of our judges. While the extensive list may be overwhelming, the knowledgeable staff can help you select the perfect glass of Pinot Noir or Merlot.

Place to Catch a Film

Although the rain dampened things a bit last summer, our judges agreed the best place to catch a film was Movies on the Beach. From the cocktail bar to the impressive sound system and huge screen, it took movie watching to a new level. We hear that the infrastructure is now here full time so we look forward to the next round later this summer!

Place to Watch Televised Sports

A new category this year, our judges had plenty to say about the great atmosphere during a big game at Robin Hood Pub & Restaurant (25 Richmond Road, Pembroke, 295-3314). On a regular night, patrons are treated to numerous sporting events on the many different screens throughout the pub—you just have to choose the right seat!

Best Dramatic Production

Seems our judges have quite the sense of humour. While they all agreed that there were fabulous dramatic performances last year from the Gilbert & Sullivan Society, the Bermuda Music and Dramatic Society and more, they chose to give the performance award to the members of the House of Assembly. With their fine blend of drama and comedy, they never cease to entertain.

Musical Group

An impressive performance at the recent Elevation concert has garnered a group of high-school students some major notoriety and a win for this year’s best musical group. Secret Po-Po was founded in 2005 and consists of Matt Witkowski on guitar and vocals, Michael Mello on bass, Harry Dunkley on drums and Matt Ross on keys and trumpet. Good news for fans: we hear they will be regularly performing their mix of rock and reggae this summer at Docksiders.

Best Night Out for Music and Dancing

If you arrive early enough you can even get lessons at the Salsa Night held on Fridays at the Veranda Bar (Elbow Beach Hotel, 60 South Shore Road, Paget, 236-3535). Smoking hot rhythms and even hotter couples sizzle up the dance floor, providing viewers with entertainment and inspiration to give salsa a whirl themselves.

Codfish Breakfast

Perhaps the most traditional Bermudian meal is the Sunday codfish breakfast—a huge affair of boiled codfish, potatoes, eggs, bananas, avocado and a tomato sauce. Our judges decided the best place to get a delicious codfish breakfast without all the work is Traditions Restaurant (2 Middle Road, Sandys, 234-3770).

Fish Chowder

Another local dish Bermudians take seriously is fish chowder. According to our judges, Lobster Pot (6 Bermudiana Road, Hamilton, 292-6898) is the one place that makes “consistently good” fish chowder.

Fish Sandwich

A perennial winner in this category, Art Mells Spicy Dicy (9 St. Monica’s Road, Pembroke, 295-3965) once again takes the trophy for best fish sandwich. With soft, fresh bread, piles of perfectly fried fish and oozing, tangy tartar sauce, it is an unforgettable meal big enough to share—but you probably won’t want to.

Local Fare

The fish comes from local waters and the staff comes mostly from St. David’s, making Black Horse Tavern (101 St. David’s Road, St. David’s, 297-1991) one of the most “local” restaurants in Bermuda. From shark hash to lobster in season, everything is always fresh, delicious and prepared by Bermudians.


Sterlin D. Swan, senior manager—information systems, Fidelity International Ltd.

Lisa Spencer-Arscot, HR manager, Conyers Dill and Pearman

Tamara Richardson, vice president, People’s Pharmacy

Andrew Holmes, managing director, 441 Productions Limited

Kelly Way, development officer, Bermuda National Trust

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