The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘Tom Moore’s tavern’

On Tour with The Literate Chef – Bermuda, Part III

In General Articles on July 22, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Continued From Part II

Upon returning to the hotel, we decided to have dinner at Ascot, rather than travel out to Tom Moore’s Tavern. Lunch on the first day was a preview to the excellent dishes turned out by the chef, and after-dinner drinks in the lounge rounded out a perfect day.

Day Three greeted us once again with sunshine, a light breeze and cheerful birdsong. However, this time the sun was out to stay, so after a brief committee meeting it was decided to catch the ferry out to the Royal Naval Dockyards.

But first, thanks to contacts made by a fellow NYAC club member we had lunch at The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, where we ran into yet another fellow Club member, who with his wife had sailed up from the Caribbean on a friend’s boat.  What are the odds, bumping into several people you know, 769 miles from home? (I had neglected to mention earlier that at Bolero on the previous day, we ran into a different fellow Club member.)

Upon arriving at the Dockyards, where was berthed the cruise ship Explorer of the Seas, a leviathan of the sea at 3 and ½ football fields in length, we kicked around for a few hours, checked out the beach, the glass-works and the old fort and then stopped in at the The Frog & Onion Pub for a few refreshing pints and some good music.

We missed our ferry back to Hamilton so decided to take a taxi rather than wait around for 90 minutes. Once again serendipity stepped in, as our cab driver, Reynoldo proved to be a great guide, raconteur and poet in his own right. On previous visits to Bermuda, when we were young and carefree, we always got around the island on motorbikes. While cabs are much safer for those of us who are past middle age, they also are a better way to observe the scenery instead of focusing on avoiding a head-on collision.

The afternoon was but a prelude to the evening, because at long last, it was time to head to Beau Rivage Restaurant  where we would meet Master Chef Jean-Claude Garzia and be treated not only to the finest meal on the island, in a spectacular setting overlooking the harbor, but as an added plus would meet the Chef himself, whose talent is only exceeded by his charm.

In June 1997, Chef JC was awarded the gold medal of “Meilleur Ouvrier de France,” the highest honor for a chef in France, by then President Jacques Chirac at the Elysée Palace in Paris. The difficult and demanding contest for this award is held every four years in France. Chef Jean-Claude applied for and was accepted into the 1996 contest. He was one of 17 chefs who won the award out of 550 chefs who had competed. He did so after 20 years of training, studying and working as a chef in France, then at the Chateau Frontenac in Québec City and at the Cambridge Beaches Resort in Bermuda. In 2008, he opened Beau Rivage, for which my friends and I are very thankful.

A Perfect Bloody Mary

A 20 minute taxi ride from Hamilton, and just across the harbor, Beau Rivage is a true gem of Bermuda. From its spectacular deck, while enjoying a delicious Bloody Mary, Apple Martini, Dirty Martini or glass of wine, each of which was tested by one or more of our merry little band, you can watch the magnificent sunset and see the lights come on in Hamilton. As we discovered, the views were equally enjoyable inside.

Sunset Hamilton Harbor from Beau Rivage

After perusing the extensive and mouth-watering menu, I decided to go with two classics, a creamy Lobster Bisque and an outstanding Filet de Boeuf Wellington. Other members of our party equally enjoyed  perfect Coquille Saint-Jacques, spectacular Seafood Risotto, classic Bermuda Sautéed Rockfish and the innovative Glazed Salmon. After dessert, we got to meet Chef Jean-Claude and compliment him on his outstanding restaurant.

We spoke briefly about my efforts as The Literate Chef, after which he invited me back into his kitchen. His philosophy is that everyone is welcome in his kitchen and there are no secrets. I asked Chef JC if he would mind if I took one of his menus so that I would be able to mention in my blog the wonderful dishes that he offered. Much to my surprise, he presented me with an autographed copy of his most recent book, Bon Appétit Bermuda, which is filled with detailed recipes accompanied by beautiful photographs. Dinner at Beau Rivage was the perfect finale to our serendipitous Bermuda adventure, that had begun more than a year ago on a chilly afternoon in New York City!

Chef Jean-Claude’s inviting personality matched by his delicious dishes, the professional service of his staff, and the ambiance of his restaurant, make Beau Rivage a must place to visit on your next trip to Bermuda. In my case it will be my first stop. In the meantime, I will have to content myself with following his recipes and sharing those adventures with my readers.

On Tour with The Literate Chef – Bermuda, Part II

In General Articles on May 22, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Continued from Part I

Day Two greeted us with sunshine, a light breeze and cheerful birdsong at the complimentary Royal Palms breakfast. However, our high expectations for the day, which included a round of golf at The Mid-Ocean Club for Colin, Bernadette and Bob, a ferry ride to St. George’s and getting swizzled at the Swizzle Inn for Betty, Cathie and me, as well as dinner for all at Tom Moore’s Tavern, were to be quickly dashed by the onset of what would turn out to be a 12 hour storm.

Our first inkling of the need for flexibility was an e-mail, warning of impending thunderstorms and the recommendation that golf be postponed for two days. That ruled out the idea of a ferry ride to St. George as well. We held an emergency committee meeting in Ascots bar and over a round of Bloody Mary’s, it was decided that we would walk down to Front St., instead, do some shopping and then have lunch.

There’s Nothing I Like Better Than the Taste of a Bloody Mary in the Morning

Gifts for the grandchildren, linens for the table, and assorted dry goods having been acquired, Cathie, our Bermuda guru, after some quick research, suggested Bolero for lunch. Here is where serendipity stepped in and changed the rest of the trip.

Bermuda Harbor before the Rains Came

We arrived at Bolero Brasserie fairly well soaked, the rain having begun in earnest about 20 minutes earlier. As we were being seated, the wind out of the southwest increased in intensity, sheets of rain pounded the windows and the view of the harbor across the street was completely obscured. But, we settled in at our table, ordered several bottles of well-chilled Sancerre, and studied the fantastic menu.

The Starters included: Mouclade, (mussels steamed with leeks shallots, garlic, Vermouth, cream, a hint of curry), it sounded, looked and was delicious and The Literate Chef has placed this on his ‘to-do’ list; Posh Egg Benedict (poached egg, Parma ham, truffle Hollandaise, toasted baguette) was well received by those who ordered it; and the special that day, a small Cassoulet (which has been on The Literate Chef’s ‘to-do’ list ever since a trip to southwestern France and the Canal du Midi) that I could not resist. Suffice it to say, it was an interesting menu and deserves many more visits.

The Mains were equally interesting, but the choice here was much more daunting. Choices! Choices!! Choices!!! I opted for the Pan-Roasted Bermuda Rockfish and was not disappointed. I decided to try to replicate this at home, but since Bermuda Rockfish is presumably only available in Bermuda, I used locally caught (off of Martha’s Vineyard according to our local fishmonger) Black Sea Bass. Since it is not as thick as Bermuda Rockfish or Striped Bass, which would have been my first choice, I decided to Pan-Sear rather than Pan-Roast it. The quantity of the other ingredients was pure guess work on my part. Even if you don’t like coconut flavor, I recommend that you try Pan-Seared Black Sea Bass, as the coconut milk is substantially diluted by clam juice and pureed roasted corn.

We leisurely enjoyed our lunch, but the working people had to get back to work and the restaurant began to empty out. Being excluded from that category and as the torrents of rain were still pounding the window, we were in no hurry to leave. The table next to us seemed to be in a similar situation. One of guys there, noticing that our supply of Sancerre had mysteriously been depleted, came over generously bearing a bottle of wine and introduced himself. Dave is the Sales & Marketing Manager of Wairau River Wines of Marlborough, New Zealand (think eyebrow when pronouncing Wairau), and he came bearing a bottle of his delicious Sauvignon Blanc, which was as good, if not better than the more expensive Sancerre.

As luck would have it, when we invited Dave to join us, he sat next to Bob, a veteran Rugby player at Fordham University and the New York Athletic Club, who is anything but shy. Bob, a very quick study, offered that he had been to NZ and played in a Rugby match there in another life. As it turned out Dave is also a Rugger and not only that, but upon further discussion they discovered that they knew several players in common, despite the fact that age wise, Bob could have been Dave’s father. Degrees of latitudinal and longitudinal separation rapidly diminished, and with a common interest in Rugby and wine having been established, the afternoon took a decidedly different turn.

Laughter and stories abounded, Dave introduced us to his friend and associate, Matthew, VP of International Sales for Terlato Wines International, which markets Wairau River wines. Matthew joined us with a bottle of another wine that Terlato markets, a delicious and very seductive Two Hands Shiraz, to be exact.

With Thanks to Matthew and the Barossa Valley

As the wines were consumed and the stories continued and we learned about grape growing and wine production in New Zealand, someone mentioned The Haka, a traditional dance form of the Maori.  New Zealand teams frequently perform it both locally and internationally before a game. After much coaxing from the Americans, Dave agreed to give us a performance of The Haka. He was fantastic and it was the highlight of the day.

Meeting those Kiwis, drinking wine and telling and listening to stories was an absolute delight, and to think, it might never have happened if that storm had missed the island and we had gone on with our original plans. But there was to be an additional bonus from that dark & stormy afternoon, Dave and Matthew told us about Beau Rivage and Chef Jean-Claude, and serendipity would abide.

To Be Continued, once again…

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