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The Bermudian

Food, Drink and Entertainment 2012

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: WATERLOT INN

The Waterlot Inn has been around for 340 of Bermuda’s 403 years of existence. Bermudians and visitors know well the historic inn’s reputation for quality and service, and many celebrations have been held within The Waterlot Inn’s traditional Bermuda walls. For those who wonder what keeps The Waterlot Inn at the forefront of Bermuda’s best restaurants, it’s quite simple: a reputation and standard of quality centuries in the making that are almost impossible to beat.

Furthermore, The Waterlot Inn takes no interest in trendy foods; they take pride instead in their perfectly aged steaks, extensive wine selection and cozy, historic atmosphere. If their past success is any indication of what’s to come, let’s toast to the next 340 years of the The Waterlot Inn.

CUP OF JAVA

Rock Island Coffee

Rising early to beat the traffic into Hamilton earns us a steaming cup of freshly roasted coffee at Rock Island Coffee, which has won this award six times in the last decade. It’s not just the award-winning coffee that has the weary and sleep-deprived entering Rock Island’s doors each day, it’s the sense of community as well. Rock Island’s customers unite over their chosen beans, take in the ever-changing art and surf the Web before heading into the office for the day. Join the discussion over a morning cup of java at Rock Island; you’ll be welcomed warmly. 48 Front St., Hamilton, 296-5241

FRESH BREADS & PASTRIES

Tribe Road Kitchen

By no means glamorous, Tribe Road Kitchen is located in a tiny cottage, seemingly bypassed by time and dwarfed by high-rises. The walls are painted in soft colours and the décor is a mix of second-hand furniture and funky art, but no one seems to care about Tribe Road Kitchen’s lack of sex appeal because the real draw is their irresistible pastries. Sneak in for an afternoon fix of guilty pleasure. And don’t worry about making a hard choice between classic banana bread and the chocolate-chip muffin; you can always go back the next day. 87 Reid St., Hamilton, 734-1637

BARGAIN BREAKFAST

The Spot

The Spot has been serving fried eggs, home fries and finger-lickin’ bacon every morning since the early 1940s, and it always comes the same way: quickly, inexpensively and with as much of a smile as one can muster at 6:30 a.m. Let’s face it. The Spot has been a Best of Bermuda since our grandparents stopped in for a bite before riding their Mobylettes to work. 6 Burnaby St., Hamilton, 292-6293

FAVOURITE PUB

Flanagan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

What makes a good pub? It must have good food (mostly fried and beer-battered, of course), beer on tap, a boisterous atmosphere and a high tolerance for shenanigans. Indeed, Flanagan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant meets each of these requirements with an abundance of Irish flair to boot. Sit inside or relax on the patio while you help yourself to a pub burger and fries and numerous pints of Guinness and perhaps lose track of time and place. Emporium Building, 69 Front St., Hamilton, 295-8299

PLACE FOR A POWER LUNCH

Harry’s

In recent years, men in suits have become more prevalent at The Waterfront on Pitt’s Bay Road, and they tend to lunch at Harry’s. Sure, the food is good and the atmosphere is fine, but let’s get serious: the point of a power lunch is for others to see you power-lunching. When it’s time to turn the word “lunch” from a noun to a verb, book a table at Harry’s and get your smug on. 96 Pitt’s Bay Rd., Pembroke, 292-5533

HAMBURGER

Dorothy’s Coffee Shop

Where’s the beef? The hungry Bermudians who line up each day, sometimes out the door, at Dorothy’s Coffee Shop know the answer to that question. Dorothy’s legendary burgers reign supreme with only their well-earned reputation as advertising. Let’s not pretend that Dorothy’s Coffee Shop hasn’t won this award 13 out of 22 times. In fact, Dorothy’s was the first to win this category, in the inaugural Best of Bermuda Awards in 1991. If that isn’t a sign of continuous good food and good service, we welcome a challenge. But that may not be a good idea: Ms. Dorothy has a hot spatula and she knows how to use it! 3 Chancery Lane, Hamilton, 292-4130

GREAT SANDWICH

Tribe Road Kitchen

In the prehistoric days of several decades ago, a great sandwich consisted of mediocre slices of white bread, Oscar Mayer cold cuts and condiments squirted from the bottom of a plastic bottle. In 2012, a sandwich like that would precipitate a hunger strike. Thankfully, Tribe Road Kitchen shies away from basic and boring and creates sandwiches that could qualify as works of art. Choose from The Mother Clucker, De Square Hog or The Porkazm and you’ll wonder whether what you just ate was legal. In fact, one die-hard Tribe Road Kitchen customer told one Best of Bermuda judge, “If TRK don’t win anything then something is very, very wrong!” Seems our judges agreed. 87 Reid St., Hamilton, 734-1637

LUNCH TRUCK

Smokin’ Barrel

Most Bermudians can throw anything on the grill and make it taste good, but there’s only one Bermudian who can set up shop on Front Street in a red lunch wagon and deliver serious barbeque. That Bermudian is none other than Kemar Maybury, who sold food out of a kitchen at Mills Creek before opening the astoundingly popular Smokin’ Barrel in August 2011. No matter the time of day or night, Front Street has swapped the smell of exhaust for the delicious aromas of sweet and savory barbeque, courtesy of Smokin’ Barrel. 1 Waterfront Park, Front St., Hamilton, 331-0211

TAKE-OUT DELI

Hickory Stick

The only people in as much of a hurry as you are during your lunch break are the ladies making the sandwiches at Hickory Stick. But somehow (it’s anyone’s guess, really) in all the hustle and bustle, you exit with a satisfying sandwich in hand and the exhilaration of having made a successful trip to perhaps the most chaotic place this side of the Bermuda Triangle. Clarendon Building, 2 Church St., Hamilton, 292-1781

DINER

The Spot

Perhaps one of the only places in Bermuda where a full-grown man can order a grilled-cheese sandwich and a plate of fries without getting strange looks is The Spot. The diner atmosphere is not a revival; The Spot has always been a place of good, inexpensive food with all the fixings of a 1950s American diner: hamburgers, counter seats and a waitress who keeps her ballpoint pen stowed safely behind her ear. 6 Burnaby St., Hamilton, 292-6293

SUSHI

Pearl

Bermudians have acquired an unwavering love of sushi over the last decade. Restaurants too numerous to mention have gotten in on the action, serving up their own versions of maki and negiri and sashimi, but who would have thought that the newcomer Pearl would win the title of best sushi two years in a row? 87 Front St., Hamilton 295-9343

PIZZA

Jasmine Lounge

It’s a testament to how delicious their pizzas are that with only six items on their pizza menu, Jasmine Lounge have earned this title for the second consecutive year. Hot out of the wood-burning oven and dressed in the finest toppings, including Serrano ham, truffle oil and goat-cheese snow, Jasmine Lounge’s pizza belongs on a dinner plate, not in a cardboard box. Fairmont Southampton, 101 South Shore Rd., Southampton, 238-8000

RESTAURANT FOR CELEBRATING A BIRTHDAY

Mad Hatters

Those clinging desperately to their youth celebrate birthdays at the hippest bar on Front Street, where everyone is accutely aware of their age. Those aging gracefully celebrate at Mad Hatters, where delicious food, playful camaraderie and a selection of silly hats keep patrons of all ages happy. 22 Richmond Rd., Pembroke, 297-6231

ETHNIC CUISINE

The House of India

Every year the staff at The House of India clears a space on the wall for the arrival of their next Best of Bermuda Award. They, along with the rest of Bermuda, know that they are the best and cannot be beaten, and they know that, not because success has gone to their heads, but because it’s simply the truth. Think about it: whenever a Bermudian says, “I’m getting Indian tonight,” there’s never a question where they’re going to get it. 57 North St., Hamilton, 205-6450

FINE DINING

The Waterlot Inn

Is it just a coincidence that for the last three years the winners of the Fine Dining category have also won the Food, Drink and Entertainment Award of Excellence? Coincidence or not, our judges recognize that The Waterlot Inn does an exceptional job of not only getting customers through the doors for an expensive meal during the current tough economic climate but also maintaining exceptional menus, attentive and friendly staff, fabulous décor and a sophisticated atmosphere. They’ve been doing it for over 340 years, and if that’s not worth an award, we don’t know what is. 101 South Shore Rd., Southampton, 238-8000

ROMANTIC RESTAURANT

The Dining Room

A few small tables in an intimate setting means you have to get extra close to the one you love while dining at The Dining Room at Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse. With the addition of dimmed lighting, super sexy décor and portions perfect for sharing, The Dining Room is not a restaurant you take your mother-in-law to. Head to The Dining Room during the summer months and enjoy dinner under the stars as the sweeping light from the top shines over the sea to the horizon. With so much to love about an evening at The Dining Room, who knows where the rest of the night will go? 68 St. Anne’s Rd., Southampton, 238-8679

AMBIANCE

Café Cairo

Café Cairo is the most authentic Middle Eastern spot this side of the Gaza Strip, or at least in the mid-Atlantic. Relish the glowing Middle Eastern atmosphere created by authentic hanging lanterns, belly dancers and Turkish-inspired dishes. 93 Front St., Hamilton, 295-5155

HOTEL RESTAURANT

Jasmine Lounge

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, the same goes for women and children at Jasmine Lounge at Fairmont Southampton Resort. Known for years as the perfect place for an evening cocktail or afternoon tea, The Jasmine Lounge has recently been recognized for their delicious pizzas and their cozy atmosphere, complete with plush couches and a grand fire—the perfect spot for a mid-week family meal. Fairmont Southampton, 101 South Shore Rd., Southampton, 238-8000

SUNDAY BRUNCH

Fourways Inn

No one—and we mean NO ONE—in the world does Sunday brunch like Bermudians. What used to be a sedate outing reserved for special occasions has become a feeding marathon where the selection of food is always impressive. So where do the serious Sunday brunchers go? Fourways Inn, of course, the only place that hires police officers to control the traffic going in and out. 1 Middle Rd., Paget, 236-6517

KID-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

La Trattoria

Does it surprise you that La Trattoria has won this award six times in the last decade? We’re betting probably not, because we all know that even the loudest munchkins can kick, scream, fuss, cry and shout their way through a plate of spaghetti and no one bats an eyelash. 22 Washington Lane, Hamilton, 295-1871

PRIVATE DINING ROOM

Harry’s

The perfect private dining room is designed to be private, of course, but not so private that the other diners aren’t aware that you’re privately dining. It’s an art form that, according to our judges, Harry’s does best. 96 Pitt’s Bay Rd., Pembroke, 292-5533

OUT-OF-TOWN EATERY

Rustico’s

We think that winning this category eight times in the last decade is a huge accomplishment and makes Rustico’s a Best of Bermuda favourite. All those kudos mean Rustico’s is a shoe-in as Bermuda’s favourite out-of-town eatery. We’ve already explained why seven times before; must we do it again? 8 North Shore Rd., Flatts, 295-5212

AL FRESCO MEAL

Wahoo’s Waterside Bistro & Patio

With the weather warming and the sun shining, Bermudians want to spend an evening outside dining on good food. And it doesn’t get better than enjoying grilled wahoo in the old town of St. George’s at Wahoo’s Waterside Bistro & Patio. The restaurant has quickly become a favourite of locals and visitors who decide to make the trek east; they’ll tell you that to get the best, you must go the distance. 36 Water St., St. George’s, 297-1307

CAKE MAKER

Cakes by Lah

Cakes have become works of art in recent years, taking the shapes of our favourite handbags, football jerseys and cartoon characters. With serious design comes serious competition, and the leader of the pack is cake boss Kamilah Cannonier, owner of Cakes by Lah. It was her incredible creations that caught the eyes (and taste buds) of our judges, who couldn’t help but call her Bermuda’s ace of cakes! 535-2253

FRESH LOCAL FISH

Miles Market

Back in the day, local anglers rode into Hamilton Harbour with their vessels laden with fish. They blew conch shells to signal that the daily catch was ready, and Bermudians came in droves to buy dinner fresh from the sea. Today, the scenario is not exactly the same, but Miles Market comes pretty close. They often haul their fish straight off the dock at The Waterfront and prepare it for you to take home. True, Patrick James doesn’t blow a conch shell, but in today’s Bermuda, you’d be hard pressed to find fish fresher!  96 Pitt’s Bay Rd., Pembroke, 295-1234

LOCAL FRUITS & VEGETABLES

Wadson’s Home Farm Market

Since 1976, Tom Wadson’s been supplying Bermuda with the best locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables. As a leader in sustainable and restorative organic agriculture, Tom helps Bermudians stay healthy and live longer. Over the past 36 years, the farm has expanded to include Wadson’s Home Farm Market, where locals can purchase organic produce, poultry, meats and other delicious goodies, grown at the Wadson family farm in Southampton. Luke’s Pond Rd., Southampton, 238-1862

BUTCHERS

The Supermart

A great butcher doesn’t just slice meat. He has to be knowledgeable about his cuts, friendly to his customers and be able to wear a white hat and apron with panache. The butchers at The Supermart successfully meet the criteria (pun intended). 125 Front St., Hamilton, 292-2064

MAITRE D’

Port O’ Call

The competition for Bermuda’s best maitre d’ is always tough—everyone has a favourite—but Maz Shabdeen at Port O’ Call is certainly deserving. His friendliness, efficiency and warm attitude are apparent the minute you walk through the doors and he escorts you to your waiting table. 87 Front St., Hamilton, 295-5373

CHEF

Bacci

You couldn’t feel more at home at Bacci if an Italian grandmother seated next to you was calling you her little meatball. That’s thanks to Chef Alejandro. Dine at Bacci over a shared meal of traditional Italian ravioli, spaghetti or linguini and you’ll soon be saying, “Mama mia, put some mora cheese ona my pasta!” 101 South Shore Rd., Southampton, 238-8000

BARTENDER

Ryan Gibbons

When you’ve had a long day at the office, your kids are driving you nuts and your mother-in-law is in town, make a much needed stop at Barracuda Grill and ask Bermuda’s favourite bartender, Ryan Gibbons, to pour you a drink. For the sake of your sanity, you’ll be glad you did. 5 Burnaby St., Hamilton, 292-1609

ATTENTIVE STAFF

The Waterlot Inn

At The Waterlot Inn, lack of attention to guests is unacceptable. Simply think about wanting a touch more wine, and, there you go, a friendly waiter is already filling your glass with a smile on his face. 101 South Shore Rd., Southampton, 238-8000

CREATIVE COCKTAILS

Pickled Onion

Tropical Storm, Jealous Coconut, Razzberry Jolly Rancher, Berry Boost—it’s not always perfectly clear what the Pickled Onion’s  famous cocktails are made of, but after a few, it doesn’t matter. When you need a tipple, take a seat at the bar and relax, anytime, any day. No one will judge—they’re all there for the same reasons anyway. 53 Front St., Hamilton, 295-2263

WELL-CHOSEN WINE LIST

Beau Rivage

Are you a sophisticated sauvignon? A mysterious merlot? Or perhaps a complex cabernet? Whatever your wine personality, Beau Rivage has you covered. 27 Harbour Rd., Paget, 232-8686

PLACE TO CATCH A FILM

Speciality Cinema

Before the days when Speciality Cinema ran the show, our island’s movie theaters were basic, certainly nothing close to show stopping. Since Speciality Cinema drew back their velvet curtains, we have enjoyed a host of chart toppers, including those in 3-D, delicious snacks and drinks and online ticketing. In fact, Speciality has been the winner in this category since their opening in 2009. We say, Bravo! 12 Church St., Hamilton, 292-2135

PLACE TO WATCH TELEVISED SPORTS

Flanagan’s Outback Sports Bar

The worst part about leaving your living room to watch your favourite game is putting up with sweaty, grubby bars filled with smoke and screaming fans. That’s all changed thanks to Flanagan’s Outback Sports Bar. It’s not unusual for one hour of viewing to drift into five, making sports viewing at Outback an afternoon or evening well spent. Emporium Building, 69 Front St., Hamilton, 295-8299

BEST DRAMATIC PRODUCTION

The Crucible

Our judges agree that Warwick Academy’s rendition of The Crucible was, without a doubt, a show-stopping spectacular. There was nothing “high school” about its production or execution; one judge pointed out that the students fundraised to produce the show and diligently practiced during their summer vacation. If that’s not worth a standing ovation, we don’t know what is.

HAPPIEST HAPPY HOUR

Lemon Tree

A dismal economy can create a need for stronger drinks and happier happy hours, and Lemon Tree’s happy hour seems to tackle the challenge successfully. If you find it hard to believe, head over there on a Friday evening and watch Bermuda’s professionals get happy despite the economic crisis. 7 Queen St., Hamilton, 292-0235

PICK-UP BAR

New Captain’s Lounge

When you’re in need of an ego boost, you could lose a few pounds, get a new haircut or buy a new dress. Or you could just head to the New Captain’s Lounge, where anytime, day or night, you’re guaranteed to be showered with compliments. How you choose to respond is up to you, but know that setting foot in the New Captain’s Lounge means you’ll never go unnoticed. 13 Reid St., Hamilton, 295-7714

MUSICIAN/MUSICAL GROUP

Twanée Butterfield

Bermuda’s own Twanée Butterfield has been hitting high notes since she began performing at the ripe old age of 7. It seems, though, that her rise to fame has been meteoric, going from island girl to mega-star-in-the-making overnight. With the release of her album and her collaboration on a song with rap superstar 50 Cent called “Shooting Guns,” we’re sure that Twanée’s future is big and bright, and it won’t be long before we see her name in lights.

PLACE TO SHAKE A LEG

The Cellar

The worst part about spending a Friday night out swinging to the beat is that, after a few drinks, your swinging looks less and less like dancing. To add insult to injury, social networking is there to remind you of your performance. Skip the embarrassment and head west to The Cellar at Fairmont Southampton Resort, where the tourists don’t know you and don’t care that your moves include the funky chicken and Macarena. (Judge Russell Griffith abstained from voting in this category.) Fairmont Southampton, 101 South Shore Rd., Southampton, 238-8000

PLACE TO HEAR LIVE MUSIC

Chewstick

It’s no coincidence that Bermuda’s up-and-coming talent emerges from Chewstick’s stage with performing credit and loyal followers. Stephan Johnstone, Joy T. Barnum, K.A.S.E. and Bento are just a few of the local artists who perform at Chewstick’s popular North Hamilton headquarters and legendary BeachFest event. 28 Elliott St., Hamilton, 292-2439

COOLEST CAFÉ

Common Ground Café

The caffeinated crowd at Common Ground Café provides solid evidence that the popular watering hole is a melting pot of ages and cultures. Its laid-back vibe and relaxed atmosphere successfully conquer the potentially stuffy stigma of a coffee house and art gallery. Why? It’s simple; it’s where diverse beans and diverse-bean addicts find common ground. 11 Chancery Lane, Hamilton, 292-2353

TASTY TAKE-OUT

House of India

When you’re too tired to cook or just lacking inspiration, the solution is always a phone call away. Dial House of India to cure the cooking blues and get your quick fix of hot curries, mild curries, in-between curries and all the accompaniments. Judging from the constant traffic outside the restaurant, most Bermudians have House of India on speed dial.  57 North St., Hamilton 205-6450

HOMEGROWN PRODUCT

Gombey Pepper Jams

For the second year in a row, Gombey Pepper Jams have emerged victorious in this category. The delicious jams and spreads have made their way into Bermuda’s food cupboards, but they’ve also caught the attention of Bermuda’s best chefs, the highest accolade. 535-5267

CODFISH BREAKFAST

Island Cuisine

Codfish and potatoes is the breakfast of Bermuda champions and the only option on cultural holidays and celebrations. While most Bermudians are willing and able to successfully whip up a batch of their own, Island Cuisine’s codfish and potatoes have quickly become a favourite among even the most critical Bermudians. 235 Middle Rd., Southampton, 238-3287

FISH CHOWDER

Black Horse Tavern

It seems to be a never-ending battle between Black Horse Tavern and Lobster Pot for who reigns supreme over Bermuda’s national dish. This year, our judges insist that Black Horse is deserving and deliciously qualified to receive the top fish chowder honour. As convincing as our judges are, we’re sure that the battle of the best fish chowder will continue. St. David’s, 292-1991

FISH SANDWICH

Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy

Each year, one gutsy judge will nominate a fish sandwich not belonging to Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy and be greeted with hostility and disbelief. This prompts the judge to mutter “never mind” and return to his seat, defeated. It may seem harsh, but face it, Art Mel’s is the best, stacked and simple. 9 St. Monica’s Rd., Pembroke, 295-3965

LOCAL FARE

Spotlight Café

The title of this category says it all: real Bermuda food. And what is more Bermudian than a family-owned restaurant in a truly Bermudian neighbourhood, serving traditionally Bermudian comfort food? Spend a lunch hour at the Spotlight Café and you’ll have every reason to agree with our judges. 28 Serpentine Rd., Pembroke, 292-3301

 

Codfish Breakfast

The Paraquet

Place to Catch a Film

Speciality Cinema

Attentive Staff

Ascots

“They anticipate the diners’ wants—an unusual service attribute.”

Al Fresco Meal

Mickey’s Bistro at Elbow Beach

Great Sandwich

Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy

“Best fish sandwich on the island… bar none!”

THE JUDGES

Melissa Furtado, Junior stylist, Salon Visage

Russell Griffith, DJ

Sandra Richards-Vance, Vice president casualty, Bowring Marsh Bermuda Ltd.

Ron Spencer III, Business development, Colonial Group International Ltd.

Kristen White, Executive director, Raleigh Bermuda & co-owner, Book Cellar

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