Suga’s Ratings for Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages
Date and time of visit: Sunday, August 12, 2018 at 3:30pm
No. of diners: 4 adults
NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum
Food quality: ★★★☯️ ☆☆ (3.5)
Serving amount: ★★★★☆
Value for $: ★★★☆☆
Comments: Panoramic view of the mountains, good service, tasty cocktails and savoury dishes and desserts with excellent presentation at a high price. Prices could be reduced for full value for money. Also, quite a few items were unavailable from the menu. Perhaps more preparation should be made for busier periods when the cottages are full and persons drive up to escape the heat on the flats.
After some disappointing visits earlier this year in April and May from Suga Bears with regards to poor quality food and slow service, I was relieved to have a pleasant experience last Sunday from start to finish. I was impressed with my first visit to Blue Ridge Restaurant almost 3 years ago, so I was curious about what could have changed. I was told that one of their Chefs is no longer there for about two months now. We may not know for sure, but that could be one of the reasons. General Manager, Zoe Alexander was present and seen overlooking operations of the restaurant. Kudos to her and her courteous staff for a memorable visit.
What did we have?
My husband, Randy and Suga Bear friends, Ashleigh and Tennyson Arnold, started off with a tasty Tortilla soup, tomato based with black beans, corn, carrot and Chipotle seasoning, topped off with crunchy tortillas and cheese ($850 JMD + Tx+S.c).
However, I think everyone was quite jealous when I had the very last Creamy Crab dip that the restaurant had to offer. It was served with artichokes and roasted garlic ($1600 JMD +Tx +S.c). The taste of the crab was rich and it was delicious.
The cocktails were excellent. We had Sangria, Mojitos and Moscato infused Strawberry slushies.
Tennyson enjoyed his Land and Sea Special, which was Chicken breast stuffed with seasoned crab topped with grilled shrimp and creamy garlic sauce ($4300 JMD +Tx+Sc).
My husband Randy enjoyed his Shrimp pasta. The sauce was not too heavy and was zesty with the right amount of herbs.
Ashleigh and I had the Salmon fillet in cilantro cream sauce ($3800 JMD + tx+Sc.) with a side of garlic mashed green banana ($400 JMD tx +Sc.).
Potatoes may be scarce at this time of year, but the mashed green banana as a side needs to be replaced. It was too chunky with no evidence of garlic.
We were quite satisfied with the healthy serving of well cooked Salmon served on veggies, that was enough on its own.
I was going to pass on dessert, until I took a bite of Randy’s Oreo Cheesecake and ordered my own to pile on those calories that were definitely worth it.
Ashleigh and Tennyson fought it out too. It was a similar situation, where Ashleigh probably regretted ordering the Hot Chocolate, although she enjoyed that too.
It was a great day out and a refreshing break from routine activities and the humidity of the flats. If you decide to head up there and give them a try or revisit, ensure that you go up early to make it back before night-time and in a vehicle that can handle the rocky road.
Make the best of the rest of summer and head on up to Blue Ridge Restaurant, because they are once again, Suga Endorsed!
Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages
Location: Salt Hill Lot 9 East Rural, St. Andrew, Blue Mountain
Website: www. blueridgeja.com
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Date and time of visit: Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 3:00pm
No. of diners: 2
NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum
Food quality: ★★★★☆
Serving amount: ★★★☆☆
Value for $: ★★★★☆
Rustic, but refined Restaurant tucked
away on Altery Beach in Priory, St. Ann. Seaside Dutchie has comfortable dining options with a seaside view and courteous, attentive staff. They specialize in Jamaican cuisine and both the food and drink menus have a wide variety of items to satisfy whatever craving you may have. Service time is reasonable, the preparation and presentation of their food in Dutch pots is unique and dishes are flavourful. Reasonable prices and value for money. #SugaEndorsed
I took pleasure in the rustic ambience and comfortable seating with a seaside view. It was so comfortable, I was quite alright with sitting by the Bar with my husband, Randy. A small wedding was about to start, where they had a room reserved with food and tables for the reception. Free entertainment was ahead with music playing already.
Their Starters looked interesting for the most part. For instance, they had Johnny Be Good listed that included four Deep Fried Johnny Cakes stuffed with spicy Shrimp and Callaloo for $500JMD+tx or Black Beans and Corn Salsa for $400JMD.
Sweet and Sticky Wings that consisted of Pineapple Flavoured Chicken Wings with a hint of Molasses for $700JMD+tx caught my eyes too.
I had been craving the Conch Fritters with Escoveitched mayonnaise ($500JMD+ tx), but I was stopped in my tracks before ordering when our server, Demonia a.k.a Mona listed a few items that were not available on the menu.
I had the Tostones.
The Coconut Curry Saltfish had a sharp, but delicious flavour, while the Pressed Plantains were on point! They hit the spot.
Randy had the Rasta Man Soup, which he enjoyed. Everything arrived in Dutch pots. Loved it!
There were countless options for the main. They had Wraps, Burgers and Sandwiches ranging from $600-$1000JMD+ tx. Salads, Pizzas and Pastas were available too for less than $1400JMD+tx.
Being on the North coast, Island favourites are a must. They had Jerk Chicken and Pork, Curried Goat, Oxtail, Fried Chicken and Fish done any style ranging from $800-$2200JMD+tx.
If you felt like stepping things up, gourmet dishes such as Steak ($3000JMD+ tx) and Pan Seared Blackened Salmon ($2000JMD+ tx) were available.
A wide range of reasonable beverages accompanied the food options, including Blended Cocktails that can be whipped up by the Bartender.
We chose to dine Island style. Our main had an interesting preparation and presentation. I had Roast Fish and my husband, Steamed. We were told when ordering that they would debone the fish, then fry the bone.
I felt robbed of some of my fish meat, but it was still satisfying. If you desired the best of both worlds, you could peck away some fried fish.
Interesting, but enjoyable experience. Suga will return.
Location: Altery Beach, Priory St. Ann. Jamaica
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Three Mondays ago on a sunny day in Florida, my husband and I went to lunch at Boatyard at 1:30pm.
I was instantly impressed by the courteous staff, who were well uniformed from head to toe. They looked comfortable but professional in their loafers and quite preppy in khaki pants and shorts, topped off by baby blue Polos to complete the look.
The restaurant had a spacious layout with tasteful décor. My husband, Randy was in disbelief that I chose to dine outside since it was a sunny day out, but I could not pass up dining dockside with a scenic view. He was pleasantly surprised by how cool it was out there and umbrellas provided shade by the table as well.
What is Boatyard Known for?
Boatyard is known to serve fresh catches from local fishermen and premium cuts of meat. They also boast about having the highest quality raw bar, which usually includes oysters, shrimp and ceviche.
Boatyard offers Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Cocktails and Wine. They are also called Bimini. Their Brunch, familiarly known as ‘Brunch at Bimini’ is quite popular.
You can enjoy unlimited Bloody Mary, Bellini and Mimosas for $25. In addition to that, you can hit the Omelet Station for $14USD or the Benedict Bar for $16USD. If you would like other options, you can order from the main menu that offers Bimini favourites such as Steamed Eggs, Buttermilk Waffles, Shrimp and Grits, Smoked Salmon, Bagel platters and more. So even though I love Tap 42, Suga will switch things up for Brunch at Bimini next time.
What Suga Wanted but Could not Have
I missed out on the Florida Paella that I was looking forward to. The original plan was to have dinner at Boatyard, but we had dinner at our family’s house instead. Realising that the Paella was not on the lunch menu, I expressed my disappointment to our lovely server, G.G. She did her best to check if they could still serve it, but it wasn’t possible because they didn’t prep for it yet. You can imagine the prep that goes into it too, because Paellas are usually stacked with Seafood. Their Paella has Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, Calamari, local Fish, Saffron rice and housemade Chorizo. I definitely will return for it!
G.G. came back to us with other options and really sold us on their Healthy Bowl for the day, which was a Salmon dish. Boatyard is another restaurant in Florida that keeps it fresh. They change items on their menu often, but usually keep the favourites.
We started off with the shareable Charred Octopus ($17USD). I loved that they managed to keep the meat tender and saturated with flavour. It was also value for money with the serving size given.
I decided to have the Grilled Swordfish ($26USD) complemented by a tasty lemon flavoured sauce, along with fresh market greens. It was delish! It had a moist and very meaty texture as it should.
Randy’s Healthy Bowl ($22USD) was quite delightful. Thanks for the recommendation G.G.! It consisted of Grilled Salmon topped off with a Cilantro lime sour cream drizzle, accompanied by Avocado, Mango and Black Bean Salsa, Sweet Corn Salsa and a Petit salad.
Courteous staff, spacious Layout and tasteful Décor, impressive Menu Options, Quick Service and most importantly, Delicious, Flavourful Food a.k.a Value for Money. Boatyard is Suga Endorsed and I will return.
Location: 1555 SE 17th Street. Fort Lauderdale. FL 33316. USA
Market 17 is known for local farm fare and their adventurous option of Dining in the Dark.
Their menu has a list of products supplied from farms that meet their standards and are available.
The Dining in the Dark Experience takes place in a special dark room. A Blindtasting menu is served after all food allergies, dietary restrictions and extreme dislikes are declared. The goal is to heighten the senses without the help of sight. The Blindtasting menu starts at $75USD per person, excluding Beverages and taxes).
All of my friends were not in agreement to do the Dining in the Dark Experience, so we decided to go with the main menu.
Two Saturday nights ago, my friends and I were out and ready to dine at 8:30pm. We were pleasantly greeted and seated at our reserved table for seven. Our waiter, Daniel was unforgettable. He reeled off the menu from his head, explaining our options and giving suggestions eloquently. He had a personality that definitely kept the mood light.
He took our orders when we were ready and the Appetizers and Drinks came out quickly. They have a wide selection of Wines, Craft Beers and a few listed Cocktails.
It was said that the Appetizers were shareable, however hints were given as to what we may not want to share.
We had the Grassfed Beef Tartare, which was tasty, but a bit on the salty side.
The Crispy Miso Pork Belly was succulent, but the portion was small.
Rock Shrimp, Chicken, Ceviche, Meatballs and Salads were also available as Appetizers. However, their menu changes quite often and the Restaurant’s website is updated accordingly.
The Housemade Charcuterie served with Chutneys and Picklings usually stays on the menu. We made our own platter with our choices of Meats and Cheeses that was delightful.
Just when I started to wonder when our greatly anticipated Entrees were coming out, Daniel informed our table that our Entrees were coming forthwith! They surely did.
Tasting options were available for the Entrees at a reduced cost. When Daniel mentioned the pairing of Antelope Filet with Whole Key West Pink Shrimp at the start of Dinner, it created a ripple effect amongst the Suga Daddies*.
I definitely had to try it. The Grilled Antelope Filet, that was cooked medium rare, did not disappoint. It was tender and juicy with fresh farm to table greens, of which the Okra was a hit. The Whole Keywest Pink Shrimp that I tasted was delish! Sadly, the salt seemed to have gotten away from the Chef again on one of the Shrimp Tastings. This information was relayed to Daniel, who remedied the situation by removing it from the bill, since another serving was not desired at that time.
The Tasting portions definitely made up for the small portions of Appetizers. Imagine what the actual Entree portion may look like. Persons were satisfied by the end of the night, therefore since the small portions of Appetizers sufficed, perhaps the pricing could be reconsidered.
I paired my Tasting of Grilled Antelope Filet with Togorashi Seared Rare Yellowfin Tuna that was cooked medium rare. It was divine. Have you had Black Rice?! Phenomenal. It was refreshing to get such exquisite healthy options while dining out. Black rice has more micronutrients than Brown and White rice. Ancient Chinese mythology claims that Black rice was reserved solely for the Emperor and the Royal Family, due to its nutritional content and healing abilities. In those days, your life would be in danger if you were caught eating it without permission.
The Grilled Grassfed Beef Filet Mignon and Pan Roasted Chicken Breast did not spend much time on the table. They were thoroughly enjoyed.
The Pan Roasted Chicken Breast ($18/$33USD) was accompanied by Spiced Bulgur Wheat, Roasted Cauliflower, Squash, Pickled onion, Kale, Charred Eggplant Pudding and Marinated Tomatoes.
Dessert topped off the night for a few. Thankfully I did not indulge. Market 17’s strong points seem to be their Entrees and Beverage selections. The Vanilla Cake with Pastry cream was just up to typical standard.
Dessert Options range from $8 to $18 USD and included Cookies, Brownies, Parfaits, Ice Creams, Sorbets and a Cheese court.
Market 17 is a fine dining Restaurant to dress up and go to with excellent service, delish and unique Entree options, along with fine Beverages. Head to Market 17 and Eat like Royalty!
*Suga Daddies – Men who think they are too manly to be called a Suga Bear (Foodie in association with Suga Lifestyle)
Location: 1850 Southeast 17th St. Fort Lauderdale, FL. USA