It's that time of year again. The time where much of the planet (at least, the top half) starts gearing up for cooler temperatures. Where bikinis give way to boots and sweaters, pumpkin starts showing up as a main ingredient in everything from coffee to dessert, and that crazy co-worker starts sending weekly email updates that say things like "91 DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS!!" with an irritating picture of an elf or something. Yeah, you know who you are.
We live in Bermuda. And among the many, many (many) benefits of calling our tiny isle home is the fact that our summer lasts just a little bit longer. We're still on the beach when we first start hearing snow reports from 'less-lucky' friends and relatives in cold and distant lands (oh hello, Canada), and for those of us who are food inclined (and if you're not...you really may not enjoy our website), that means you have more time to high-tail it out to St. George's for a patio lunch or dinner at a new favourite of ours, The Beach House at Blackbeard's.
Perched up on the hill overlooking Fort St. Catherine's, this little gem formerly known simply as Blackbeard's is a great spot for a lazy weekend lunch or a date night. It's versatile like that. Feel like grabbing a fish sandwich after a morning on the beach? Go for it. Feel like dressing up and ordering a fancy cocktail with your meal? You can do that too. The interior is completely open air, so you can enjoy a view of the beach and sea from the patio, or the Fort from inside (especially cool at night, when the Fort's spotlights are on), through open glass doors. The breeze from the ocean keeps you cool as you peruse the menu...and with so many great-looking choices, you may find it difficult to make a decision (as it was for us).
Because we were first-timers, we opted to order a variety of dishes and share. Oh, we were also starving, which may have led to a bit of over-ordering. It happens, but there were no regrets.
We started with the Tartar, made with sashimi-grade tuna, capers, onions and olive oil.
Spoiler alert: we enjoyed everything we ordered, but this dish was a true standout! We piled our crostini high and marvelled over how something so simple could be so satisfying. Fresh, flavourful and generously portioned, this simple yet outstanding dish was a cool and refreshing treat on this super hot afternoon .
Because we are not ones to turn down a Ceviche, this was next on our list. The Beach House makes theirs with fresh Rockfish, traditionally ceviche'd (is that a thing?) in citrus juices with olive oil and cilantro. Another remarkable dish, with, the tang of the citrus and the bit of kick from the spices, ensuring there wasn't a morsel left behind. You won't go wrong with either of these but if we absolutely had to choose between these two appetizers, the tuna would come out on top.
We were intrigued by the Artichokes - fried baby artichokes on baby greens, dressed with lemon and olive oil, and with cherry tomatoes. These were tasty! But they are deep-fried artichokes, so of course they were. Crispy and really lightly battered, we snacked away on these throughout the meal and felt like we'd at least had some vegetables. Even if they were of the deep-fried variety. We ate the greens too...promise! Never leave a green behind.
Finally, we shared the Lobster Roll, made with poached lobster, celery and a light chile mayo on a toasted bun, and served alongside a heaping, helping of fries.
Not sure if it's possible to go wrong with a lobster roll and true to form, the Beach House has nailed this one. In one word...divine. We cut it in half and dug in, and even though we were uttering rubbish like "I'm too full" and "we shouldn't have ordered so much" before it arrived, somehow we managed to send this plate back to the kitchen with nothing but crumbs.
While we were eating, a friend showed up from her day on the beach with her family to grab some take-out and picked up their Bermuda Fish Sandwich with all the trimmings (and a side of hot sauce, because our friends like it spicy like we do). This sandwich comes with rave reviews, and is traditionally done, with lettuce, tomato and onion on raisin toast.
We could have sat there for hours, and actually probably did! Excuse us, there was a food coma involved and memories are hazy.
With the friendly service, great food and gorgeous views, it was easy to get comfortable. And it helped that our server suggested a Mudslide for dessert, which was the perfect end to a great meal.
We had heard a lot of great things about The Beach House before making our way out there to try it for ourselves, and were kicking ourselves for not having gone sooner. In fact, we made our way back shortly after for some sunset snacks, in the form of their Drew's Bay Plateau, a cold seafood extravaganza (of crab legs, oysters, shrimp and crab salad) that was perfect alongside a glass of cold white wine and that incredible view.
The Beach House is open from April to November, so you have a bit of time left for a visit...but not much! You don't want to be stuck waiting until 2016 to try what they have on offer, so make your way out there and let us know what you think. Or if this is already a favourite of yours (because we're aware that we are slightly behind the times on this one), tell us what you like to order! We're hoping to sneak in another visit before their season ends, so all suggestions welcome!