September 1 marked the beginning of Lobster Season in Bermuda, and judging by the images we’ve seen with the tag #BermudaLobster, they have been in top demand since the opening bell. After the required 6 months off, lobster lovers are making sure to get their fill of the protected crustacean, as if the season was ending tomorrow. And with a lead in like this, you’d think this post was all about our Bermuda lobster experience, but alas friends, you’ll have to wait just a little longer for that one. Stay tuned!!
The point of that intro is to highlight the fact that in Bermuda, we have a special kind of love for seafood. It’s only natural that as we live on 21 square mile speck in the middle of the ocean our diets would be heavily influenced by the largest natural resource that surrounds us. It also follows that chefs both Bermudian born and those who have come to call Bermuda home are duly inspired by the ocean. The delicious evidence of that can be clearly seen at Mickey’s Beach Bar and Bistro at the Elbow Beach Hotel.
First of all, Mickey’s is the definition of ‘island al fresco’ dining. With a dining room positioned mere feet from the sand, palm trees swishing from the ocean breezes and the sounds of the waves crashing in the distance, the restaurant’s address could easily be ‘Downtown Paradise’. The natural atmosphere says ‘laid back’ beach vibe, while the décor of the patio restaurant denotes an upscale experience…’beach chic’ if you will.
The menu at Mickey's isn’t a vast expanse of items, but instead a simple yet varied mixture of offerings. From traditional Bermudian starters (Fish Chowder) to Mediterranean-influenced main courses (Tuscan Pork Ribs), there is something for a range of palettes. But then there is the seafood. With a seafood dish, or two, or three in each section, the influence of the ocean is apparent on this menu. And at this time we want to pause and say to the inspired kitchen team at Mickey’s, “For your seafood offerings, we at biteofbermuda appreciate you.”
It went like this:
To start, Tuna Tartare – flavoured and served with ginger, capers, red onion, bell pepper, chives, and sesame oil dressing. Tartare is such a favourite of ours because it’s one of those dishes that will only be made from the best of ingredients. The Mickey’s version is a refreshing mixture of fresh cubed tuna with a slightly spicy, salty and smooth harmony of the other ingredients. The result is a dish that seafood lovers are sincerely recommended to experience.
We love a mussel (there is a theme here) as it allows an interactive eating experience (aka playing with your food). So the Steamed Mussels served in a white wine, saffron, garlic, cream with toasted baguette were a no brainer. The work you put in to extract the plump, juicy mussels from their shells, while dipping the crusty bread into the silky broth, makes you appreciate and savour the flavours and textures that much more.
Main courses up next:
Grilled catch of the day; on this day Tuna; grilled to medium perfection, served with either chives, lemon butter sauce or mango and pineapple salsa. Salsa was the choice on this day, and a good one at that. Firm and seared on the outside, tender and medium rare on the inside punctuated by the sweet tang of the salsa equated to a lovely piece of fish that did not spend any great deal of time on the plate. It was accompanied by the vegetables of the day; creamed spinach with baked potato with cheddar (they didn’t last long either).
Sidenote: When you can’t decide between two seafood dishes and you ask the waiter "should I get this dish or that dish?" and the waiter looks up from his pad, his eyes open wide and he says with conviction, “Get the Grilled Seafood Platter”, your best option is to trust him!
This dish consists of OMG grilled shrimps, scallops, salmon, swordfish and octopus, with a roasted garlic pesto (the OMG is all us). The perfection of this plate is hard to describe. Grilling gives food a unique texture and flavour and with each of these items being unique, they each provided happiness for a different reason. The one thing they all had in common was they were all captivatingly scrumptious, taking us on an uphill ride to the peak where we found extreme food ecstasy. Yeah...it was good. Really good. Haven't really stopped thinking about this dish since we left.
Being on the beach, Mickey’s can be a ‘chill’ spot. Perfect for hotel guests and restaurant patrons to grab a cool drink and lunch at the bar, chatting with the personable, friendly staff. It is also the same spot that you are perfectly in order to dress up a bit and enjoy dinner under the stars for a date night, family dinner or a feast with friends (with a retractable roof, Mickey’s offers shade by day and stars by night). Its on-the-beach location also means that it is seasonal, opening from April through October, so the opportunities to enjoy this spot are coming to a close which basically means get there…fast!!
If you already had the Mickey’s experience, let us know in the comment section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.