There was some hot debate around these parts as the team at @biteofbermuda discussed the options for the next stop on our tour of Bermuda Restaurant Weeks participants. Have you seen the menus? They make it seriously difficult to make a decision. However, we narrowed this week's meal down to the $49 category and decided again to choose a restaurant with a Bermuda-inspired menu, leading us to eventually settle on the award-winning Café Lido at Elbow Beach. Winner of a 2015 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, and well known for great seafood and ambiance, we felt confident in our choice and now, following our meal, we know that we made a great decision.
Located inside the Lido Complex, with a wall of picture windows overlooking the beach, it's easy to see why visitors and locals love Lido for everything from a business meal to date night. We were warmly greeted and shown to a table by the windows, giving us a chance to enjoy watching the lapping waves while we sipped our wine and awaited our meals. Along with our wine came a basket of assorted breads to snack on, though with three courses coming our way, we remained somewhat restrained.
With three of us dining and two choices for appetizers, mains and desserts, we were able to sample the entire Restaurant Weeks menu so we could do a comprehensive review. We do these things for you, friends.
We do feel that it's worth mentioning that the lighting, coupled with our desire NOT to be obviously photographing and reviewing the food, made it difficult to capture phenomenal photos. We did our best, and hope we did the meal justice!
So, without further delay, let's dig in.
First up we have the Bermuda Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Chestnut Fried Ravioli. For those who love a creamy, sweet and savoury soup...this one is for you. Smooth and warming, with perfect pumpkin flavour, we didn't come up for air until the last drop was scraped out of the bowls with our spoons. The toasted seeds added a bit of crunch, and we were big fans of the Chestnut Fried Ravioli, which were perfect for dunking.
The second appetiser was the South Shore Trio, described as "Cod Fish Bites & Remoulade Sauce, Bermuda Gold Cured Salmon and Avocado Shrimp Salad. And what arrived was exactly that...beautifully presented.
The whimsical plating of this appetizer was somewhat deceptive considering the amount of flavour that this trio packed. The ripe yet still a tad firm avocado turned out to be the perfect vessel and complimentary flavour for the creamy shrimp salad. A squeeze of lemon added even more brightness to this dish. It always feels a little odd writing about familiar items like codfish balls but these were far more than ordinary. Soft, flaky flesh, encased in a crispy seasoned coating served with a flavour enhancing remoulade sauce.
Two down, and one to go. One taste of the Gold Seal Rum cured Salmon and there was silence at one side of the table to allow for savouring this special creation. The process of curing the salmon gives it a firm, meaty texture, while the flavour or we should say flavourS, started a bit of a seated, food dance. A pleasant, gentle, smoky, sweetness hit after a few seconds and it became clear why this portion of the dish was presented, devoid of any condiment. It is uniquely tasty, completely on its own. The empty plate that followed showed that the trio was indeed a hit.
Once we'd polished those off, it was time to move on to the mains.
First up, we tried the Roasted Bell Pepper and Mango Stuffed Free-Range Chicken Supreme with yellow rice and garlic-tossed broccoli. Each bite of the chicken was full of the flavour of bell peppers and sweet bites of mango, making this kind of an exotic take on comfort food. That demure pile of broccoli on the side was actually a surprising standout worth mentioning. Not typically known for being the most exciting vegetable on the block, this broccoli was taken up a notch, tossed with garlic and cooked to that perfect point where it's still bright green with a bit of crunch. The rice, however, was not particularly impressive and didn't have much flavour. Luckily, the chicken and broccoli (and the supremely satisfying soup that preceded them) didn't leave a lot of room for the rice anyways.
The second main was the "Plancha" Seared Black Rum & Ginger Marinated Grouper with Caramelised Bermuda Onions, Sweet Potato Gratin, Carrot Puree, Green Beans and Lemon Butter Sauce. A mouthful, both literally and figuratively. This dish was a standout. The grouper was generously portioned and perfectly accented with the carrot puree and lemon butter sauce and the candy-like caramelised onions. The sweet potato gratin was made up of paper-thin layers of sweet potato and cheese baked to perfection, rich enough that a small serving was more than enough. The green beans added crunch and texture, and the overall dish was just fantastic.
One of the best things about Restaurant Weeks menus is that dessert is included, so you don't have to have that awkward "I'll order dessert if you order dessert" conversation with your dining companions. Instead, you are perfectly justified in tucking into whichever sweet treat you fancy because hey, it's part of the deal.
On that note, the desserts on Lido's menu followed along with the rest of the meal in terms of quality and Bermuda-inspired goodness. The first was the Dark & Stormy Hot Soufflé with Ginger Anglaise. This. Was. Ridiculous. Breaking into the top of that soufflé released the aromas of black rum and ginger, and the ginger anglaise sauce just took it over the top.
Again, forks were (quietly) scraping the sides of the ramekins, ensuring that every crumb was appropriately taken care of.
Finally, we have the Banana Cake with Warm Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. The light, airy texture of this cake with the sweetness provided by the mild banana flavour made it feel completely guilt free. Until the rich chocolate sauce was poured on the cake...then it just felt we were getting away with something. Something GOOD. There were no overt bold flavours in this dessert, but a mix of things that go well together. Banana, chocolate, vanilla and nuts. The result, yet another empty plate accompanied with satisfied smiles!
We left this meal happy and fully satisfied, impressed by not only the food but the excellent and attentive service and the overall feel of the restaurant. Because of its location, Lido gives its diners a bit of a break from the daily grind by offering up that vacation feeling, with it's view of the the waves and beautiful Elbow Beach. We were impressed by the Restaurant Weeks Menu and felt that it was well worth the $49, given the quality and creativity that had gone into every dish. Highly recommended.
There are just over two weeks left before Bermuda Restaurant Weeks end on February 5th. Be sure to visit at least one (or more) of the 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
#BermudaRW Review: Muse Restaurant