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My 2020 Top Five Favourite Restaurants x2

🔝5️⃣ A global pandemic has curtailed a lot of eating out, and it has been the year of the take-away. Even Bermuda now has a delivery service 25 years after Pizza Hut first started doing it.

Like elsewhere for long parts of this year restaurants were shut on the island (fortunately for us they are open again although with plenty of restrictions), and we are lucky that for most of the time we are able to sit outside.

This year in a break from the norm, I have listed two restaurant Top Five’s, one from my limited travels and one from on island. So, for starters here are My 2020 Top Five Favourite Restaurants Off-Island:

1️⃣ Stubborn Seed, South Beach, Miami
Chef Jeremy Ford’s South Beach street level is surrounded by natural light. It has an open kitchen concept, was lively and non-pretentious. The 8 course tasting menu with wine was top notch, and Jeremy came and chatted after.

2️⃣ Hani Sushi, Lakewood Ranch, Florida
I sat here at the bar and befriended the sushi chef who supplied me bottomless samples of great sushi dishes. Really busy too in the heart of Lakewood Ranch, 20 minutes from Sarasota’s downtown.

3️⃣ Blu Kouzina, Sarasota
Authentic Greek food with very attentive staff, mind you it was just us and a newly married couple feeding each other there at the time. Fresh tasting and plenty of it. Spectacular lamb kebabs stick in the memory at this renowned St. Armands Circle location.

4️⃣ The Fountain Kitchen & Bar, Sarasota
In our quest to eat outside when we were here in December we came across this tiny Italian place. It was chilly, but the service was warm, the pizza’s excellent and the bubbling vegetable soup bristled with flavour.

5️⃣ Jack Dusty, Sarasota
This is the Ritz Carlton’s signature restaurant. The menu is eye-catching, the food good quality and the bar adds interesting people watching.

🍣 🍔 🥗 🥩 🍉

I can be very critical of Bermuda’s food scene. It lacks choice, enterprise and imagination, and (if I say so myself) I am a decent cook, so often I despair at paying a fortune to eat in a local restaurant when I know I can make better myself.

Still, there are a handful of restaurants on island that I reckon could mix it successfully with those in New York, London or Chicago, and a fair few others that do have many qualities.

For main course then, here are My 2020 Top Five Favourite Bermuda Restaurants:

1️⃣ Bolero
Owner and executive chef Jonny Roberts is not only a great bloke, but he also runs Bermuda’s most innovative restaurant. The menu is constantly changing, the food consistently tasty and Bolero is a venue that can be fun, date night or business-like. More than that Jonny and his wife own this place on their own as opposed to the places I’ve listed below that are either part of a hotel or owned by moneyed hospitality groups.

2️⃣ Pearl
The best sushi on island. By far. Inventive, varied, always busy, and Mihai the manager, the best maitre d on island.

3️⃣ Little Venice
My go to where Umberto and team always look after us. Little Venice serves consistent and authentic Italian food. The made table side Cacio e Pepe is an absolute must. Good value wine list, with an outide patio and a bar next door.

4️⃣ Huckleberry
A reasonably new concept on the ground floor of the Rosedon Hotel. A beautiful outdoor space where time disappears in original small plates and Austrian Gewürztraminer. Menu changes often. Their happy hour is also worth a stop by.

5️⃣ Pink Beach Club
With the stunning backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean this outdoor location is part of The Loren Hotel. A cool spot to hang out, and they host some excellent summer parties. The menu is probably over fancy, but the the food is decent, if not outstanding, but very very expensive.

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