When thinking about our approach to the 2016 Bermuda Restaurant Weeks, the general consensus was that it would be appropriate to start out with the 2015 People’s Choice Winner. We also wanted to ensure it was one of the "Bermuda Inspired" menus, and knowing that Chef Enworth Davis does not disappoint (a bit of a catch phrase around here) the decision was made that we would be dining at Muse Restaurant. At the end of the meal, it was clear that the Chef is not planning on giving up his title very easily.
First off, the Muse Restaurant Weeks Menu is not only Bermuda Inspired, it is made in Bermuda, of Bermuda, and all about Bermuda. With a list of familiar ingredients prepared in non traditional ways, this menu is a unique blend of ‘foodie fanciness’ mixed with a healthy dose of down to earth-ness. And on this night, it had the two essential elements that make for a truly enjoyable meal… near flawless execution, and tastes that left us only wanting more (despite being beyond satisfied with our meals).
On to the meal.
The appetizer options are a Mille-Feuille of Codfish (Bacallao) & Potato with Spanish Sauce, Avocado, Egg & Banana…essentially codfish and potato like you’ve never seen it done…ever…anywhere…ever (except Muse). The unique presentation of codifsh and sauce layered between thinly sliced potato, covered with boiled egg slices truly captured all the flavours of our beloved traditional Sunday breakfast. Note: One of us wanted a bit more of the superbly flavoured ‘red sauce’ but in earnest it was just the right amount for this surprisingly light appetizer.
Next was Farmer Audley’s Onion and Leafy Green Nasturtium Broth Baked with Cheesy Bread Crust. In other words, onion and gently sautéed nasturtium* soup covered with a cheese laminated (Chef’s words!) bread crust, topped with more gruyere and Swiss cheese. French Onion Soup move over…Bermudian Onion Soup has arrived. The result is an extremely tasty broth where every spoonful nets a mixture of the ingredients and causes a range of emotions…all really good ones.
(*nasturtium are green leaves often seen around Bermuda with bright orange-yellow flowers)
Muse has 3 main course options as a part of their #BermudaRW Menu:
First was the Bermuda Honey, Soy & Ginger Glazed Black Angus Beef Sirloin Steak. Probably the most low-key ingredients of the entire meal, yet still a dish that offers up multiple layers of flavour. A sweet, salty and tangy glazed steak prepared to your preference served with Cassava Pie and Chow-chow (the flavours of a Bermuda Christmas), and Gosling Old Rum & Peppercorn Sauce. Muse rightfully does not offer up steak sauce for this dish because there’s absolutely none needed.
Cedar Smoked (Fumage) Chicken Supreme, Coated with Cassava & Parmesan – the description alone had us captivated. A tender breast of chicken with mild smoke flavours and a distinctive coating are served with decorative Duchess potatoes and sautéed vegetables in white wine and garlic sauce. This dish is a combination of mild, pleasant flavours and textures that work extremely well together.
A standout dish for us was the chef’s Seared Wild Fennel Marinated Rockfish. On one hand it screams of simple Bermuda ingredients, and on the other it is extremely elegant and over-the-top pleasing! A masterfully prepared piece of fish is given a seared crust with slight hints of fennel and served atop a bed of sautéed spinach sitting on a Peas & Rice Risotto Cake. Rockfish is a delicacy unto itself but when done like this…cue all kinds of smiles. The peas and rice is as if Chef Enworth got the best of everybody’s granny’s recipe and all of this sits in an insanely delicious tomato and onion ragout. If or WHEN you go to Muse During Restaurant Weeks, if you don’t order the Rockfish, make sure someone sitting close to you does. You're welcome.
It’s worth noting that Muse has a fourth option where for an additional $10 you can sample portions of the steak, chicken and fish on a skewer.
The Bermuda ingredients kept rolling with the dessert consisting of a Molten Chocolate Tart served with vanilla ice cream and "enhanced with Winter Nipped Surinam Cherry Coulis". The description warrants a second read and trust and believe, this dessert warrants another taste. DI-VINE. The expectation is of a molten cake…no cakes here, just an exquisite tart with a cookie crust and an oozing ‘roll your tongue’ rrrrrrich chocolate center. Chocolate lovers…run don’t walk! And the cherry coulis could be described as the entire Bermuda cherry season in one spoonful. An intense cherry flavour that is a part of your Bermuda childhood on a spoon.
The other option is a Burnt Wild Prickly Pear & Natal Plum Custard with Bermuda Banana Fritter, Dusted with Cinnamon Cane Crystals Finished with Black Rum Crème Chantilly. The prickly pear and plum custard is prepared as a crème brûlée, resulting in an inexplicable flavoured custard that does not have one distinct forward flavour other than just damn good. The fritters have a subtle banana taste and form a sandwich with the Chantilly cream (flavoured whipped cream) in the middle.
To sum up desserts, both of these are off the scale and our best advice is again to choose dining partners that are willing to share. (Note: We didn’t share!!)
Once again Chef Enworth has embraced the ‘Bermuda Inspired Menu’ theme of Restaurant Weeks wholeheartedly. It’s apparent that a great deal of thought and effort has gone into this menu...first, to dream up these ingredients; secondly, to go in search of them, and finally, to make sure they work together. Trust us, they are in complete harmony. As mentioned at the #BermudaRW Launch, his theme is "foraging in Bermuda" and after this meal, we have a new appreciation for the ingredients that are at our fingertips as we walk around the island… and an even greater appreciation for Muse Restaurant.
Bermuda Restaurant Weeks officially takes place from January 14 - February 5th with 45 restaurants offering up special dishes on prix fixe menus at $29, $39 and $49 per person (plus gratuities). To make reservations you can do so directly with the restaurants or via table.bm This is also the place where you can cast your vote for your favourite Bermuda Inspired Menu.
Follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and be sure to check back on our site as we’ll be sharing our Restaurant Weeks experiences with you and be sure to tag your food pics with the official tag #BermudaRW.
Other posts from Bermuda Restaurant Weeks
For a full list of the restaurants, menus and prices click here.
2016 Bermuda Restaurant Weeks Overview
Our #BermudaRW Sneak Peak at Chopsticks and Rosas
Bites & Sips
This and That