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The Bermudian

Illustrations by Dana Cooper

 

Award of Excellence: Mad Hatters

Mark Turner and Ben Jewett always envisioned a place where diners could come together to celebrate food and the joy of eating. What they created was Mad Hatters, a small restaurant with big personality on the outskirts of Hamilton. After only a few years in business, the eatery has acquired one of the most loyal customer bases of any restaurant in Bermuda. “Their food is absolutely amazing!” said one of our judges, who also noted that the ever-changing specials menu is so enticing they’ve never ordered anything off the regular menu. Mad Hatters seems to have perfected the winning recipe—providing exceptional food, an amusing atmosphere and a staff that really interact with their customers—making every dining experience one to be remembered. 

22 Richmond Road, Pembroke, 297-6231

 

 

Cup of Java: Dangelini’s Café and Bakery

An amalgamation of energy and flavour, Dangelini’s Café and Bakery houses much more than coffee. Its family-friendly atmosphere welcomes everyone, young or old, local or tourist, regular or newcomer, with open arms and a fresh brew. 

8 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-5272

 

Fresh Breads & Pastries: Sweet Saak Bakery

From its beginnings as a stall at the weekly Farmer’s Market back in 2006, Sweet Saak Bakery has acquired something of a cult following of hungry Bermudians in constant search of their next Sweet Saak fix. Owner and operator, Kamilah Cannonier opened the doors to Sweet Saak’s flagship store in 2012 on York Street, St. George’s. Since then, her business has grown exponentially. From traditional banana bread and cheese scones to her famous cinnamon buns, the whole island seems to be getting Saak-ed. [Kamilah Cannonier abstained from voting.]

16 York Street, St. George’s, 297-0663

 

Coolest Coffee House : Rock Island Coffee

Really cool people don’t try hard to be cool; they just are. Likewise, they don’t need to be told how cool they are because it was never their intention to be so, but everything about Rock Island Coffee is cool. From the coffee roasted on-site to the art on the walls to the wide array of customers who never seem to leave, Rock Island sets the cool-factor exceptionally high. In accepting their award for Coolest Coffee House, though, they won’t brag or boast but just give us quiet acknowledgment—because anything more would simply be uncool. 

48 Reid Street, Hamilton, 296-5241

 

Breakfast: Bouchee Bistro Français

For most, eating breakfast at all is an accomplishment in itself. Most mornings find us consuming nothing more elaborate than a tasteless granola bar or half a grapefruit, but once in a while we decide to do breakfast: we stop, sit down and actively enjoy every mouthful of a butter-soaked meal. When that happens, it happens at Bouchee Bistro Français where it doesn’t even have to be breakfast time to have breakfast; in fact diners can enjoy any style of eggs, waffles, pancakes and traditional Bermudian codfish and potatoes from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. daily. We call that a well-timed meal. 

75 Pitt’s Bay Road, Hamilton, 295-5759

 

Favourite Pub: Hog Penny Restaurant and Pub

Everything about the Hog Penny Restaurant and Pub is hearty. Its patrons are bursting at the seams with energy, its food is rich in flavour and indulgence, and its unique history makes it everything a great pub should be. As Hamilton’s oldest licenced establishment, the Hog Penny has not changed with the times, but rather held fast to what it is that makes it unique, thereby gaining international acclaim. The Hog Penny has been cited as the inspiration for the Cheers pub in Boston and was named the best pub in Bermuda by the Food Network. When you’re in need of a good meal, a cold pint and an animated sing-a-long, head to the Hog Penny where they may not know your name, but they are always glad you came. 

5 Burnaby Hill, Hamilton, 292-2534

 

Pizza: La Trattoria

You know what they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! That seems to be the recipe for La Trattoria’s pizzas, which have garnered so many Best of Bermuda Awards over the last 24 years we struggle to count. Getting stuck into their oven-baked pizza, handmade and dripping in several layers of glorious cheeses, is a favourite among the young and the young at heart.  

22 Washington Lane, Hamilton, 295-1871

 

Power Lunch: Barracuda Grill

Power lunching is a production. Scores of people prepare the set, lay out the props and dim the lights. The main stars, dressed in their most impressive costumes take their places and the show begins. At Barracuda Grill, the production of power lunching is taken very seriously, with special importance placed on the atmosphere which tips its hat to days gone by when the two-martini lunch was the standard and lavishness was expected. Barracuda Grill is the destination for Bermuda’s most elite locals, celebrity visitors and most expensive business deals. 

5 Burnaby Hill, Hamilton, 292-1609

 

Great Sandwich: Tribe Road Kitchen

There’s a big difference between a sandwich and a great sandwich. A sandwich is something you wolf down in a split second; its only purpose is to power you through the afternoon. A great sandwich is carefully constructed using the finest ingredients and unlike its overrated counterpart, it’s savoured and appreciated down to its last crumb. A great sandwich is not sustenance, it’s comfort—even decadence—and made at Tribe Road Kitchen. 

87 Reid Street, Hamilton, 734-1637

 

Lunch Truck: Keith’s Kitchen

The battle of the lunch trucks is real. Each has its own specialty, its loyal customers and its own designated parking spot. But one has something the others do not: a breakfast menu. Granted not exactly elaborate, the breakfast menu at Keith’s Kitchen consists of good, hearty sandwiches stuffed with bacon, eggs and all the best breakfast favourites, dished out to the hungry masses that choose to start each day with Keith and his mobile kitchen.   

BAA Car Park, Hamilton, 295-1310

 

Take-Out Deli: Hickory Stick

Enter if you dare the madness that is Hickory Stick. As you take your place in line, essential questions are hurled at you: “Mannayse?” “Black peppa?” “Lattuce and tamata?” If you can survive the firing squad, you’ll emerge with a sandwich piled high and a satisfaction like no other.  

Clarendon Building, 2 Church Street, Hamilton, 292-1781

 

Hamburger: Dorothy’s Coffee Shop

Dorothy’s Coffee Shop does one thing and one thing only: great burgers. Without any additions or fancy accouterments (we’re not kidding, there’s not a French fry in sight), they focus solely on flipping the best burgers in town, their success measured by their 15 Best of Bermuda Awards—currently decorating their walls—and the line of customers winding and snaking its way out of the door of their little shop and into Chancery Lane. 

3 Chancery Lane, Hamilton, 292-1430

 

Gluten-free Menu: Nonna’s Kitchen

It often seems like a mission to the moon trying to find a decent gluten-free meal in Bermuda. But one place in particular (without a wheat crumb in sight) is satisfying Bermuda’s celiacs. Nonna’s Kitchen serves up gluten-free soups, salads and corn bread daily, and the best part is that even the non-celiacs don’t know the difference, making it a surefire win for everyone. 

4 Bermudiana Road, Hamilton, 295-7687

 

Diner: The Spot

Perhaps one of the only places where a person of any age can order a grilled cheese sandwich and not garner a host of strange looks is at The Spot, a local institution which has been serving up diner-style meals for over 70 years.

6 Burnaby Hill, Hamilton, 292-6293

 

Sushi: Beluga Bar

Bermudians have acquired a love for sushi that cannot be stifled. Restaurants islandwide have gotten into the action, each serving up its version of the Japanese dish. But it seems none is any match for Beluga Bar, the winner in this category for the second consecutive year. 

18 Church Street (Washington Mall), Hamilton, 542-2859

 

Salad: Café Ten

From the basic to the most elaborate, the salads at Café Ten, although green, are not for the grazers. The regular clientele are among Bermuda’s healthiest who stop by for a fill-up after a visit to one of the surrounding health clubs. Whichever came first, the salads or the bodies, we’re not sure but we do know that we’ll have what they’re having. 

10 Dundonald Street, Hamilton, 295-0857

 

Small Plates: Sea Breeze

Whether you’re a first-time diner at Sea Breeze or a weekly customer, you’ll never run out of new dishes to try. The extensive menu is chock-full of various food items from around the world, served up in small portions designed for sharing—making swiping food off your partner’s plate not only acceptable, but actually encouraged. 

Elbow Beach Hotel, 60 South Shore Road, Paget, 236-3535

 

Fine Dining: The Point at Rosewood Tucker’s Point

The word “fine” just doesn’t do it when describing the dining experience at The Point at Rosewood Tucker’s Point. From the time you are seated you are treated to a level of service that is unmatched anywhere else on the island. Couple that with an incredible menu and breathtaking views and it’s not hard to see why dining at The Point is worth every penny. 

60 Tucker’s Point Drive, Hamilton Parish, 298-4000

 

Lunch on the Go: Café 4

There isn’t an eatery speedier than Café 4, where customers can place their orders online, swing by and collect them in turn, skipping lines and avoiding the waiting game. Customers can choose from sushi, sandwiches, salads, desserts and snacks all via www.cafe4.bm/lunchexpress/index.html. Before they’ve even left the office, their order is being boxed—their food is on the go before they are. 

18 Queen Street, Windsor Place (Washington Mall), Hamilton, 295-8444

 

Ethnic Cuisine: House of India

Each year we wonder why we even bother announcing that the House of India is, yet again, the best place in Bermuda for ethnic cuisine. They know it; we know it; you know it. If a Bermudian says, “I’m getting Indian tonight,” there’s never a question of where they’re going to get it. 

57 North Street, Hamilton, 205-6450

 

Ambiance: Blu Bar and Grill

Feast your eyes on the sweeping views of Hamilton Harbour and the Great Sound for too long and you might forget to order. Sure, the food at Blu Bar and Grill is impeccable, but what really draws the crowds to the property is the unparalleled panoramic view from the floor to ceiling windows. Book at the right time and catch the setting sun for an atmosphere so euphoric you might as well call it heaven. 

25 Belmont Hills Drive, Warwick, 232-2323

 

Bartender: Ryan Gibbons

You’d be hard pressed to find a bartender who is more knowledgeable than Ryan Gibbons of the Barracuda Grill. With over ten years’ experience behind the bar, Gibbons knows that being the best bartender is about more than making great cocktails; it’s a job that includes knowing your customers and how to please them.

5 Burnaby Hill, Hamilton, 292-1609

 

Salad Bar: Nonna’s Kitchen

For those in need of their greens on the go, Nonna’s Kitchen takes the cake…rather, salad bar. With two varieties of lettuce to choose from, and every topping imaginable, it’s no wonder that Nonna’s Kitchen is the talk of the town among healthy lunch-goers. 

4 Bermudiana Road, Hamilton, 295-7687

 

Hotel Restaurant: Waterlot Inn

“Come in and make yourself comfortable” was the welcome received by famous visitors, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Mark Twain and James Thurber, when they arrived to dine at the Waterlot Inn years ago. Today you don’t have to be a celebrity to be received at the centuries-old establishment; all that is required is a hearty appetite—and perhaps a dinner jacket, too. What makes the Waterlot Inn so unique is the way it successfully marries the past and the present, continuing to serve up time-honoured culinary favourites with a playful contemporary twist—thereby ensuring its customers return year after year.  

101 South Shore Road, Southampton, 238-8000

 

Kid-Friendly Restaurant: La Trattoria

La Trattoria has always welcomed the littlest diners with open arms, but now thanks to Catherine Burns of Nutrifit and Natural Nutrition Bermuda, kids are dining more healthily than ever at the family restaurant. La Trattoria partnered with Burns in 2013 to develop a menu for kids that both satisfies their hunger and fills their tummies with good, nutritious food, free of antibiotics, hormones and excess sugar and fat. If that’s not kid-friendly, we don’t know what is.  

22 Washington Lane, Hamilton, 295-1871

 

Sunday Brunch: The Reefs

No one brunches like Bermudians. What used to be an outing reserved for special occasions has now become a weekly feeding frenzy at which even the hungriest will triumph. So where do the serious brunchers go? To The Reefs, of course, where every kind of dish under the sun is just waiting to be devoured!

56 South Shore Road, Southampton, 238-0222

 

Cake Maker: Cake Boutique Celebration

Certainly not your grandmother’s fruitcake, Kayo Lambert’s masterful cakes are simply works of art. Having graduated from the New England Culinary Institute, Lambert has built an enviable reputation for her business, Cake Boutique Celebration. These days, Lambert’s masterpieces are hotly sought after by local brides—and anyone else celebrating a special occasion. [Kamilah Cannonier abstained from voting.]

Tel: 304-8181

 

Private Dining Room: Wine Room at Ascots

Whether you’re dining for business or pleasure, the glass-walled Wine Room at Ascots provides the same exceptional service found in the dining room but with added privacy. Surrounded by wine from around the world, you and up to 13 guests can dine in seclusion, undisturbed by other patrons—a luxury sometimes deemed a necessity. 

24 Rosemont Avenue, Hamilton, 295-9644

 

Out-of-Town Eatery: Speciality Inn

Speciality Inn will forever remain a local favourite. The food is as it’s always been, delicious, inexpensive and served with a smile, making the short trip to get there well worth the drive. 

4 South Road, Smith’s, 236-3133

 

Porch & Patio Dining: Wahoo’s Bistro and Patio

Where better to enjoy fresh Bermuda fish than alfresco at Wahoo’s Bistro and Patio in the heart of St. George’s. Of course, anyone who has experienced Alfred Konrad’s exceptional fish tacos can attest that the food is enough by far, but the added bonus of the sun and sea makes it all so much better. 

36 Water Street, St. George’s, 297-1307

 

Fresh Local Fish: Rustico 

The menu at Rustico is swimming with fresh local fish, prepared with resident hands and enjoyed by resident mouths. 

8 North Shore Road, Flatts, 295-5212

 

Romantic Restaurant: Ascots

Ascots has been the venue for much wining and dining over the last twenty years, with couples choosing its enchanting atmosphere to woo the one they love. Surrounded by perfectly landscaped gardens and trees decorated in twinkling lights, falling in love at Ascots is practically part of the dessert menu. 

24 Rosemont Avenue, Hamilton, 295-9644

 

Maître D’: Paolo Odoli

“People sought me out to make sure that I knew that Paolo Odoli was the best,” said one of our judges, who admitted to being overwhelmed by how passionate his supporters were. Their reasoning? Paolo is a jack-of-all-trades, doing everything he can to ensure that his customers (at Red Steakhouse and Bar) have absolutely everything they need—even if it’s just a smile and a hello. 

55 Front Street, Hamilton, 292-7331

 

Butcher: The Supermart

Fillet steak, hanger steak, beef rib, pork, chicken and fresh local fish—the butcher’s counter at The Supermart is no place for vegetarians. The well-qualified butchers urge their customers to hunker down and get creative with meaty meals, cut and prepared with all the tenderising necessary. 

125 Front Street, Hamilton, 292-2064

 

Local Fruits and Veg: J&J Produce

Husband and wife team Junior and Patty Hill have been running J&J Produce since 1979, providing Bermuda’s healthy eaters with colourful fruits and vegetables year-round. With farmland spread out across the island, there’s never a shortage of good-quality produce available through J&J Produce, including (but not limited to) carrots, beets, asparagus, tomatoes, strawberries and various leafy greens. Selling every Saturday at their Devonshire farm stand, the Hills help to make nutritious, locally grown foods more accessible than ever. 

Tel: 236-8616

 

Wine/Liquor Sales: Henry’s Pantry

When picking up liquor on the go, stop by Henry’s Pantry and get everything you need to create the perfect cocktail at home. 

69 South Road, Southampton, 238-1509

 

Friendliest Wait staff: Mad Hatters

Although Mad Hatters attracts the wildest clientele, the waitstaff have no problem remaining cheerful—and it doesn’t seem to be an act. The all-Bermudian team is genuinely happy to help, even if it means rattling off the list of daily specials for the umpteenth time. 

22 Richmond Road, Pembroke, 297-6231

 

Creative Cocktail Menu: The Pickled Onion

Since its opening in 1998, The Pickled Onion has used its signature cocktails to highlight its cool, cosmopolitan vibe and upscale environment. Each of the bartenders at The Pickled Onion has extensive experience in whipping up various cocktails, including their most popular Berry Boost, Pickled Swizzle and Jealous Coconut.

53 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-2263

 

Well-Chosen Wine List: Harry’s Restaurant and Bar

Harry Cox would be proud that his namesake restaurant, Harry’s Restaurant and Bar, has garnered so much attention for its unique wine list. With an extensive collection boasting both New World and Old World wines, many of the labels available at Harry’s are unique to the restaurant and found nowhere else on the island—making each sip something special. 

96 Pitt’s Bay Road, Pembroke, 292-5533

 

Place to Catch a Film: Speciality Cinema

It’s no secret that going to the movie theatre can be a pricey experience, but with two theatres, ticket kiosks, 3-D screens, comfortable seating and a vast selection of hot and cold food to indulge in, a showing at Speciality Cinema is worth every penny. 

12 Church Street, Hamilton, 292-2135

 

Best Dramatic Production: Sleeping Beauty 

The leading lady may have been asleep for much of the production, but the audience was awake and on the edge of their seats during each performance of BMDS’s 2013 Pantomime, Sleeping Beauty. Of course the show garnered many boos, hisses and yells but, in genuine pantomime fashion, it was all in good fun.

11 Washington Street, Hamilton, 292-0848

 

Happiest Happy Hour: Harry’s Restaurant and Bar

At the end of a long week, the happiest local folk head to Harry’s Restaurant and Bar to settle into the weekend with cocktails. Unlike most other happy hour venues, Harry’s is buzzing year-round with people mixing and mingling outside of their usual social circles, making it an all-inclusive occasion.  

96 Pitt’s Bay Road, Pembroke, 292-5533

 

Pick-up Bar: Café Cairo

Towards the end of the night, all roads lead to Café Cairo where late-night revelers unite. “People walk in single and leave holding hands,” attested one judge. “It’s the last stop of the night, it’s where everyone ends up.” While not, perhaps, the equation for everlasting love, several drinks and a shisha pipe certainly seem to bring Bermudians together—even if just for the night. 

93 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-5155

 

Musician/Musical Group: Collie Buddz

Although not on-island as often as we’d like him to be, it’s for very good reason. Since he first took the stage, Collie Buddz has produced multiple records and toured with the likes of Cypress Hill, Rebelution and Matisyahu, proudly representing Bermuda every step of the way. When he does have time to come home and perform, everybody and their grandmother is there to proudly sing every word of his every song, with their Bermuda flags held high in the air.

www.colliebuddz.com

 

Place to Watch Televised Sports: Flanagan’s Outback Sports Bar 

It’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how comfortable you are watching your chosen team do the work. With 22 wide-screen TVs there’s no better place to watch a sporting event in public, privately, than in your own booth at Flanagan’s Outback Sports Bar. 

Emporium Building, 69 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-8299

 

Place to Shake a Leg: Snorkel Park

According to our judges, the long trek to Snorkel Park earns partygoers the right to let loose. “I’ve danced at Snorkel like I’ve never danced anywhere else!” said one judge. Another added, “Part of the experience is drinking before you get there, meaning that when you do, you’re wild and free.” 

Snorkel Park Beach, Royal Naval Dockyard, 234-6989

 

Music Venue: Bermuda Botanical Gardens

Having made its debut as a music venue when it hosted thousands for the John Lennon Tribute Concert in 2012, the show ring at the Bermuda Botanical Gardens is now the sought-after location for all local concerts. Our judges cited its garden setting, vast amount of space and family-friendly atmosphere as its greatest assets, adding that it makes any event “just perfect.”

169 South Road, Paget, 236-4201

 

Place to Hear Live Music: The Hog Penny Restaurant and Pub

With a collection of 600 songs from which the audience can make requests, resident crooner Will Black always puts on a show that brings down the house. Performing nightly throughout the warmer months Black has taken his show to cyber space, now streaming worldwide directly from The Hog Penny Restaurant and Pub via website http://www.tonybrannon.com/HOG_PENNY/index.html. Rock on, Will. 

5 Burnaby Hill, Hamilton, 292-2534

 

 

Fish Sandwich: Sea Side Grill

Be prepared; there may a riot over this one. A fish sandwich king has been crowned and his name is not Art Mel. Instead, those byes at Sea Side Grill have successfully baited and caught themselves the Best of Bermuda Award for tastiest fish sandwich. You know what that means? The battle lines are drawn over Best of Bermuda 2015! 

81 North Shore Road, Devonshire, 292-1241

 

Tasty Takeout (Dinner): House of India

In a unanimous decision, our judges agreed that takeout from the House of India is bar none the best in Bermuda, making the point that no matter where they’re consumed, these authentic Indian dishes never disappoint.  

57 North Street, Hamilton, 205-6450

 

Homegrown (Locally made food/drink product): Sally’s Jams

When it comes to producing locally made products, Sally Godet of Sally’s Jams is experiencing sweet success. Manufactured at home from locally grown fruit, Godet’s jams have become favourites with locals, as well as with visitors looking to experience a little taste of Bermuda after they return home. 

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Codfish Breakfast: Mid-Atlantic Boat Club

When it comes to traditional codfish and potatoes, Mid-Atlantic Boat Club serves up an authentic breakfast with “the works,” like fried bananas, avocado and tomato sauce—along with an added view of the open ocean. 

37 North Shore Road, Devonshire, 295-0172

 

Fish Chowder: Lobster Pot

It seems that ordering up a bowl of steaming fish chowder at Lobster Pot is just as traditional as the dish itself. Bold, hearty and full of black rum, Lobster Pot’s rendition of the time-honoured favourite is the real deal. 

6 Bermudian Road, Hamilton, 292-6898

 

Local Fare: Blackhorse Tavern

If you’re not a regular, you’ll still be treated like one at Blackhorse Tavern where only real Bermuda food is served and only real Bermuda camaraderie is expected. Dig into mussel stew, fresh local rockfish and traditional shark hash for a taste of local flavour unavailable in the same way anywhere else. 

101 St. David’s Road, St. David’s, 297-1991

 

 

People's Choice Award, The People Have Spoken!

Happiest Happy Hour: Hamilton Princess

 

Favourite Pub: Swizzle Inn

 

Best Pizza: La Trattoria

 

Favourite Hotel Restaurant: Waterlot Inn

 

 

Judges 

Alexis Barker 

PwC, Senior Associate - Insurance/ Reinsurance

 

Daniel J. Woods

Event Manager at Off Level BDA

 

Sue Kemp

Interior Designer

 

Nicholas Boorman

Assistant Property Underwriter, ACE Bermuda Insurance Ltd.

 

Kamilah Cannonier

Owner, Sweet SAAK Bakery

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