“Consistent and reliable, and yet full of surprises” - This conflicting statement is pretty accurate when it comes to the Bermuda restaurant institution The Lobster Pot. During the holidays at what would be our last @biteofbermuda team meal of 2015, we sat down for lunch at The Lobster Pot and quite happily experienced this oxymoron for ourselves.
The Lobster Pot has been a fixture in the Bermuda dining scene for more than 40 years, with a reputation for consistently putting out great seafood, a selection of fresh fish prepared in a number of ways, Maine lobster all year round and of course, Guinea Chicks and Bermuda Spiny Lobster during the season (Sept 1 - Mar 31). Because of the wide variety of menu items, plus a regular rotation of three-course lunch and dinner specials, there is generally a pleasant surprise in store. That’s kind of the way we played our lunch; a mix of traditional favourites with a couple of first time experiences.
To start, Fish Chowder – It wouldn’t be far off to say there are probably as many renditions of this Bermuda favourite as there are restaurants around the island. With that being said, the chowder at The Lobster Pot still stands alone. It has the familiar flavours of a traditional Bermuda fish chowder but the broth is a tad thicker than most and has a silky texture that makes it that much more enjoyable.
The Lobster Bisque sounded delicious, and definitely lived up to that expectation. What was a surprise was the lack of heavy cream that most bisques are known for. Instead, we were presented with a bowl of richly-flavored soup, topped with a dollop of cream to stir in - the perfect balance. Not a drop was left behind and this will be ordered again!
The French Onion Soup is an onion and cheese lovers ultimate fantasy (we really couldn't get enough). Piping hot in a well flavored broth, and loaded with onion slices, digging into to this soup with its gooey, never ending tentacles of cheese, can easily take you back to childhood days of playing with your food. We managed to maintain our class however, while still devouring the oniony goodness.
We ventured off the beaten path a bit with the Lobster, Shrimp & Crab Cakes served with a ginger aioli. They came as the server's recommendation and for our part, what's not to love about any dish that combines three favourite seafood items? (Seafood holds a special place in our hearts!!) While extremely light in texture, there was no skimping on the ingredients and these delicate cakes were very much flavour forward. Read: AWESOME!
On to the mains:
Rockfish, Snapper and Mahi Mahi were on the list, but the final selection for the Catch of the Day was Red Hind (it was a great option too..we know, we tasted it) prepared 'Neptune Style' with sautéed onions and banana, served alongside sweet potato fries (it was the holiday season...diets be damned) and fresh vegetables. This option (of the 6 styles available) pairs the firm and meaty, 'choice' fish with the sweetness of the onions and banana and results in a delightful balance of flavour, while the portion size requires you to bring your whole appetite or be prepared to carry a takeaway for later!
The Red Hind Ceviche Salad was a lighter lunch option, but was surprisingly filling. Impossibly fresh fish, mixed with lime juice and standard ceviche flavouring made this a stand out, and definitely a great choice for a healthy meal that is nowhere near boring. We don't tend to leave ceviche behind when we see it on a menu, and we're certainly glad that we gave this one a go because it stands out as some of the best we've tried on the Rock.
Chicken Florentine was an excellent choice for those not in the mood for seafood. Chicken can easily be a hit or miss when ordered anywhere, but Lobster Pot hit the nail on the the head with this one. Tender, cooked to perfection, stuffed with mushrooms and creamy spinach and then smothered with just right amount to sauce - it lived up to being the highlight of the plate. The side of veggies and garlic mash were tasty, and more than served their purpose of rounding out the main course.
Chocolate mousse completed the lunch prix fixe option and was a yummy end to it all. It was rich enough to satisfy a chocolate lovers fancy without wiping out the memories of the previous two scrumptious courses. Definitely worth repeating on our next visit.
At the top of the menu it states, 'Good food....and a Warm Welcome', and on this day, The Lobster Pot were certainly true to their word. The staff was not only welcoming and friendly but extremely helpful to the point that three different servers checked on us during the course of our lunch. Add to that, the food which was simply presented, without any over the top 'foodie' pageantry, was way better than just 'good'.
These things make the restaurant ideal for a celebratory lunch with friends like ours was, perfect for a group to get their Bermuda lobster fix and is one where you won't hesitate to recommend to a visitor who is looking a relaxing night out where an amazing meal is the focus. And picky eaters (whoever those people are) need not be swayed as there is so much more in store than lobster or seafood. It is this combination of palette pleasing creations, accommodating service in a low key and relaxed atmosphere that has secured The Lobster Pot's four-plus decade run.
With 2016 Restaurant Weeks are coming up from mid January to February and soon after that in March, Lobster Season will be winding down, we get the feeling that The Lobster Pot is going to be a busy place. It's easier to get a seat on weekdays for lunch and dinner but a word to the wise is make a reservation to avoid disappointment on the weekends. If you plan on going in a group, calling at a minimum of 24-48 hours in advance is highly recommended.
The Lobster Pot
Tel: (441) 292 6898
www.lobsterpot.bm or visit the Lobster Pot Facebook Page