Remember that time 3 years ago when I went to Bermuda for a family vacay?
In case you don’t, here’s a blast from the past:
For all things Bermudian and gustatory,we headed to White Horse.
This casual waterfront pub has been open since the 1930s, and where it used to be solely a watering hole, now has a large menu full of classic Bermuda favorites.
But for dinner we went to a veritable establishment of Bermudian casual dining.
In anticipation of the seafood stew we ordered as one of our appetizers, we got large cruets of rum and sherry pepper sauce.
These cruets of sherry pepper sauce and rum lined the tables. That’s because almost everyone orders one of Bermuda’s most famous dishes:
Unlike any fish soup I have had before or since – it’s really complex. It is fragrant with sweet and hot spices, and is filled with sweetly sauteed carrots and onions. The tomato broth is acidic and light, picking up on the sweet rum and tangy pepper sauce (not really hot, just zesty). The fish is mild and moist; briny without being overtly seafood-y.
The rum makes a huge difference in the soup. It really adds a round, deep note that enhances the light, brothy dish. This is most similar to Manhattan clam chowder, but it’s really its own entity.
I could much these like popcorn. Imagine the moistest, most buttery, most flavorful Thanksgiving stuffing you have ever had. Now imagine that someone dropped it in the deep fryer just until the outside got crunchy and the inside became moist and soft. . Now imagine putting cayenne and lime spiked mayo on it, just enough to coat the pillowy innards of the fritter.
I couldn’t taste any seafood here at all. That was weird, but not bad. It really just tasted like deep fried stuffing. Covered in spicy mayo.
Why isn’t that a thing in NYC?
Almond crusted rockfish with Bermuda carrots and rum
The only true miss of the night. The fish was actually covered in rum, bananas, and some sort of sugary glaze. That’s right, that’s what the FISH was covered in. Ugh. Too bad, because the fish itself is light, moist, and flaky. The carrots are wonderfully sweet.
The topping simply isn’t wonderfully sweet…it’s dreadfully sweet.
However, the rest of this meal was wonderful. Casual with great service and an unbeatable view on the water. Be forewarned - Bermuda is the most expensive location I have ever visited, because if it doesn’t grow, walk, fly, or swim near the island, it all has to be shipped in. So even a casual meal like this is on the pricier side of things.
In summary: Bananas on fish = bad and alcohol in soup = so, so good.