Belmont Hills Golf Club
97 Middle Road
Tel: 441 232 2323
If you can look past the remote location of the Belmont Hills Golf Club, you'll find the culinary experience at its restaurant well worth the trouble. The dining room, with its wall of windows, evening candlelight, and gleaming flatware, is an oasis of calm. The Southwest-inspired menu of meats (barbecued pork ribs), seafood (macadamia-crusted salmon), and creative appetizers (toasted beefsteak tomato stuffed with bleu cheese) somehow evokes both haute cuisine and comfort food. (The kitchen even has a brick oven for making wonderfully crispy pizzas.) We're not sure how the wait staff manages to stay friendly and composed even during the frantic Saturday dinner rush, but it does.
95 Front Street
(entrance on Bermuda House Lane)
Tel: 441 292 4507
The British—and Bermudans—may dismiss the French, but they sure do love their food. This recent addition to the Hamilton dining scene finally provides the town with a French restaurant that's not overly haute—in terms of food, atmosphere, or attitude. Bolero has wood-beamed ceilings, burgundy banquettes, and an eclectic collection of local art, ranging from folk-style paintings to vintage farm tools mounted as sculptures. Late at night, there's no better place to snuggle up with classics like a bowl of moules frîltes or a pissaladiere topped with caramelized onions and garlic confit. Or tuck into a hot bowl of cassoulet studded with sausage and bacon. Just about everything is hearty and filling, so book this place for a cooler day—or after an exceptionally strenuous 18 holes of golf.
Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 6 to 10:30 pm, Saturdays 6 to 10:30 pm.
36 Water Street
Tel: 441 297 1307
Fearing the cruise ship throngs, locals and discerning travelers usually avoid St. George's Harbour like the plague. Thankfully, the area now has an oasis where tourist-weary diners can escape. Café Gio has the best piece of waterfront real estate in town, so alfresco dining is a must. The menu is pricey and the service little more than adequate, but the Mediterranean cuisine combined with spectacular views make up for it. Start with the Bermuda fish chowder or the calamari with mango salsa; then follow up with the grilled local rockfish or pan-seared wahoo with coconut curry sauce. For dessert, try one of pastry chef Glenda Wee's creative interpretations of molten chocolate cake or crème brûlée.
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays noon to 2:30 pm and 5:30 to 10 pm. Closed January and February.
20 Reid Street
Tel: 441 292 1043
Hidden among the shops (and foot traffic) of Reid Street, Coconut Rock requires sleuthlike skills to find. But once you taste the spicy linguine with tiger shrimp or the fresh sushi, you'll forget about the time you spent searching. The casual eatery's sushi bar has a futuristic Asian atmosphere; a hip crowd consisting mainly of young locals and adventurous tourists gathers at the sleek bar, where flat-screen TVs project music videos. The vibe is cool, the prices are reasonable, and the service is fast—Coconut Rock rocks.
40 Crow Lane
Tel: 441 295 4207
Located in the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (worth a postmeal visit for its fascinating exhibit on shipwrecks and treasure hunting), Harbourfront is one of the few foodie-friendly restaurants in town with seats right on the water. On sunny days, eat on the outdoor terrace under large umbrellas. In cooler weather, ask for a table by the panoramic windows in the more formal dining room, where Bermudans power-lunch over fragrant bouillabaisse (loaded with fresh shellfish) or rich lobster ravioli. At the center of the restaurant, a more casual crowd gathers at the sushi bar for some of the freshest rolls on the island—including the Bermuda Triangle, filled with yellowtail and scallions, then wrapped in salmon, tuna, and wahoo. Don't miss out on the happy hour, Mondays through Saturdays from 5 to 6:30 pm, when rolls, sushi, beer, wine, and highballs are $4.95 a pop. It's not only the best bargain on the island, it may be the only bargain.
Open daily 11:45 am to 3 pm and 6 to 10 pm. Sushi bar open 5 to 10 pm.
4 Daniel's Head Lane
Tel: 441 232 6655
It's surprising to find such an ambitious restaurant in such an intentionally casual resort, but the main restaurant at 9 Beaches is turning out some of the best food on the island. Chef Guillaume Brard, who took over the kitchen in early 2006, dishes up specialties like lamb chops with lemon-mint pistou and mango puree, and grilled yellowfin tuna with spinach, dates and almonds.
Closed January to March.
235 Middle Road
Tel: 441 238 3287
Bermuda's version of a low-key diner, with friendly waitresses who greet regulars by name, does solid versions of pan-fried wahoo and seafood gumbo, and a full range of sandwiches, salads, and burgers. Most of its loyal customers also come on Sunday mornings for the traditional Bermuda breakfast of codfish and potatoes.
Open Mondays through Saturdays 6 am to 10 pm, Sundays 6 am to 1 pm
60 South Shore Road
Tel: 441 236 3535
Far less swanky than Elbow Beach's two formal restaurants, Mickey's still manages to charge steep rates for surprisingly ordinary food. The service, however, is top-notch, even overly attentive at times. With simple fare such as burgers, lamb chops, and salads, the food is clearly secondary to the location: a prime spot on the sand facing the still, blue water (shoes are optional). It's a great spot for refreshments after a day of baking in the sun alongside other upscale vacationers, but choose your table wisely; the wrong seat can mean a sandy Chardonnay.
87 Front Street
Tel: 441 295 5373
This bustling spot on Hamilton's main street serves up interesting takes on fresh local seafood. Among the best dishes on the lunch menu are the seafood linguine—made with shrimp, scallops, mussels and calamari in a saffron sauce—and scallop and avocado fritters served with a mango-red onion salsa. For dinner, start with the house specialty, the Bermuda fish chowder made with black rum; then follow up with grilled filet of mahi-mahi, served with jasmine rice in a plum-orange sauce. They've also added an all-day lounge serving tapas and lighter fare (weekdays only).
Open Mondays through Fridays noon to 3 pm and 5:30 to 11 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 5:30 pm to 11 pm
33 South Shore Road
Tel: 441 239 7411
Splendido is, hands down, the most romantic place to have dinner in Bermuda. The exquisite restaurant at the former Horizons & Cottages hotel is an elegant limestone plantation house with all the characteristic Bermudan touches: hot-pink walls, green tablecloths, antique family china and crystal. While the interiors are welcoming, the views are breathtaking: Up on a hill 500 feet above the ocean, you get sweeping vistas of the sea and the moon, which floats up across the sky between mountains. The food, surprisingly, rises to the level of its surroundings. The menu changes regularly depending on the availability of local ingredients, but expect Mediterranean dishes with light preparations—pan-seared salmon, broiled local lobster, plus grilled lamb chops (an ever-present legacy of British rule). Go early, order a cocktail from the funky little pub downstairs, and take it out on the terrace to watch the sunset.
Open daily noon to 3 pm and 7 to 10 pm.