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Bermuda Shorts

An ever-changing collection of random thoughts from my mid-Atlantic island. Grab a seat and stay awhile. It's fun over here.

05/26/20It’s Time To Dine [UPDATED]

Following last week’s post about Bermuda restaurants that are set to reopen in Phase 2, I have some exciting updates to share—along with a pair of stellar dining experiences in restaurants with breezy, open-air patios. For starters, let’s bulk up that list of establishments that are currently serving lunch, dinner or drinks on their outdoor areas.

In addition to Mickey’s Beach Bistro, The Pink Beach Club, and Harry’s Bar, I was pleased to spot several Hamilton restaurants with their doors open over the weekend. I’m happy to report that the sidewalk picnic tables at Docksiders were full of sports fans and beer drinkers. And the management of Astwood Arms have done an excellent job of building temporary walls between physically distant tables on its outdoor patio—yet another pub open for business. Devil’s Isle has physically distanced tables on its sidewalk patio, the balcony of Pearl is open for sushi and the sidewalk tables of Bermuda Bistro at the Beach were indeed bustling. Harbourfront has begun accepting reservations for most dinners and some lunches on its harborside veranda and even a pair of restaurants out east have gotten in on the al fresco dining action: Sul Verde at Rosewood Bermuda is set to reopen for lunch and dinner and even The Wharf in St. George’s has begun to serve meals on its spacious waterfront patio.

It’s great news for a handful of restaurants and their employees, but beyond merely opening their doors, what I’m most impressed with is how some of these establishments are changing the game to accommodate for the new rules of social order.

Take my recent lunch at Harry’s, for example. The waterfront restaurant now has physically distant tables on its outdoor patio, single use paper menus and quite brilliantly, a contactless wine list, which is accessible by scanning a tabletop QR code so you can read the entire list on your personal handheld device. Waitstaff was all wearing masks and gloves and hand sanitizer was available at most points of entry. And the food? It was as good as ever: I enjoyed fresh tuna tacos and salt & pepper prawns for a starter before digging into a grilled snapper sandwich with Thai basil dressing. With a gentle breeze blowing across my alfresco table, the whole experience felt oh so 2019.

And just yesterday I had a similar experience while eating lunch at Crown & Anchor, the newly renovated restaurant at the Hamilton Princess. Thanks to some forward thinking, there’s now a giant covered terrace adjacent to the old lobby restaurant featuring dozens of shady tables facing the water. The setting was divine—as were my crab cakes, fish tacos and Jamaican jerk chicken wings—but I was most impressed with the safety protocols in effect to gain entry. At the front door my name was recorded, hand sanitizer was offered and my temperature was taken with a touchless thermometer. I was given a single use paper bag to put my mask in and all menus were all accessible via QR codes on a business card that was given to each guest.

Is it perfect? I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to wearing a mask in and out of a restaurant. But for a few hours over the weekend, while sitting at Bermuda’s choicest outdoor tables enjoying meals with friends, it sure did feel like the old days again.

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