Thursday, June 25, 2009
I suppose it comes with the territory, but in order to do my job right I’m expected to try lots of things. Whether it’s searching for Bermuda’s best beach (Horseshoe, anyone?), popping in cozy shops (try the Book Cellar in St. George’s), or sampling local cuisine, which admittedly is my favorite assignment of all. My culinary quest most recently took me to the Ocean Club, a waterfront restaurant on the shores of Southampton, run by the Fairmont Hotel. It’s a wonderful spot for a meal; when the weather’s nice you can eat outside on its open-air deck perched right above the water. Unfortunately however, Bermuda has been experiencing some “unsettled” weather—daily rainfests that make enjoying such luxuries impossible. Faced with yet another storm we sat inside, a slightly tired white-walled room with lofted ceilings and bright blue wall-to-wall carpet (I’m still not sure why restaurants in the tropics, and on the water no less, use carpeting. Haven’t they noticed that it smells musty after awhile? Sigh). The good news is the food was excellent. Predictably the Ocean Club specializes in seafood, featuring varied preparations of fish of all kinds. For starters the Bermuda tuna tartar was near perfect, seasoned with harissa—a North African hot sauce made from chili peppers—and served with toasted flatbread. Equally enjoyable was the Vietnamese lobster summer roll, delicately presented with sweet chili and daikon vinaigrette. The entrees didn’t disappoint either: The seared sea scallops were light and silky, served alongside plump lobster ravioli and a rich brandy cream sauce. Even the blackened mahi mahi was a standout—a fish that’s so frequently overcooked came expertly prepared with grilled vegetables, jasmine rice, and kaffir lime and ginger vinaigrette. There was little room for dessert so we shared an exotic trio of crème brulee with Tahitian vanilla, candied ginger, and coconut macaroons—a lovely end to a lovely meal.