Tag Archives: Epicurean

How was Sunday Dinner for Suga at The Terra Nova for Restaurant Week (Epicurean)?!

Last Sunday at 6:30pm, I had Dinner at The Terrace, Terra Nova All Suite Hotel. The Terrace is in the Epicurean category ($4300JMD) for Restaurant Week and my husband, Randy and I were looking forward to having sumptuous dishes.

We had a great start with the Appetizers. I preferred the Seafood Medley.

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Coquille de Mer – Medley of Seafood in a rich cream sauce with mushroom and cheese
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Confit of Pimento Chicken – On a medallion of hard dough bread and a drizzle of pineapple pepper jelly

We both had the Lobster Bisque to follow, which was rich Lobster Soup, finished with cream and Brandy. I appreciated that the Soup was not salty. It was rich indeed and tasty.

Apart from a long wait before the Entrees, service was smooth. When we were waiting a little bit more than half an hour with no update on the arrival of the Entrees, a waiter caught my eye looking around and said that our Entrees were coming out shortly and they did. Besides that hiccup, the staff were cordial and quite attentive. The food was sumptuous as expected too.

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Terra Nova Petit Fillet – Petit prime Filet Mignon grilled, topped with Shrimp and Blue Mussel scampi with Scallop Potato and roasted Vegetable.

With the above salivating description of a Surf n’ Turf, I think they could have served more than a single Shrimp and Mussel. Props to the Chef though, because that cut of meat was perfection  and cooked to order, medium rare, exactly how we like it. Same goes for the Lamb Chops! No disappointment there, because Terra Nova is known to have the best on the island. I thoroughly enjoyed those portions.

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Terra Nova Half Rack of Lamb – Marinated New Zealand Lamb crusted with garlic and rosemary, roasted and served with mint and Pomegranate Au Jus

Dessert was decadent and quite a delightful ending to our Sunday Dinner.

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Dessert served at The Terrace, Terra Nova All Suite Hotel last Sunday, November 12, 2017.

The three courses with the addition of a beverage, service charge and G.C.T came to about $6000JMD per person. The Terrace at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel was definitely value for money and is Suga Endorsed for Restaurant Week.

There are still three nights left for Restaurant Week and it may not be too late to make those Reservations!

Enjoy!

The Terrace at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel 

***Reservations Recommended***

Location: 17 Waterloo Road. Kgn. 10.

Ph: 876-926-2211; 876-926-9334

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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The Other JFDF Events and Suga’s Epicurean & Delectable Choices for Restaurant Week!

Suga brought you the low down for Crisp at The Gardens, Jamaica Pegasus ($5000 All Inclusive) and Picante ($7500 All Inclusive) at The Ruins, UWI Mona’s Visitor’s Lodge, so how were the other JFDF events? Suga Bears and Suga Daddies reported!

Most persons like to get bad news out of the way first. The events with the highest price tags were not that impressive for some patrons. That is, Vintage for $12000JMD all-inclusive and Brunch at the Gallery for $20000JMD/$150USD all-inclusive.

Vintage 

Meals at Vintage at the Manor in Jack’s Hill were described as basic and a low standard for Ortanique on the Mile, one of the restaurants in Florida that was represented by Owner Cynthia Hutson. Suga Bears enjoyed the view and Dessert though.

Brunch at the Gallery

Brunch at the National Gallery, Downtown Kingston presented by Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau was decorated beautifully by Tai Flora and had a sufficient selection of Wines by Select Brands, but the service of food was slow and it arrived to tables cold. The Brunch was from 11am to 4pm and after a long day, patrons were leaving at 4pm and Dessert was just being served. Should the blame go on the Event Planner, the Chefs or both? It was stated that the execution was poor.

The Menu

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The Menu for Brunch at the Gallery (Photo Contributed)

The Presentation of some of the meals were also quite sloppy to say the least.

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Vegetables and Greens served at Brunch at the Gallery last Sunday (Photo Contributed)

Did the Incredible Hulk have an accident here?! I was in disbelief and gathered that this was the consensus amongst most tables. This looked nothing like the neatly displayed dish on the Event’s social media page. Cold food, slow service and poor, unappetizing presentation is unacceptable for $20,000JMD. I believe things can be shaken up next year. There are so many other talented, efficient Chefs around and I understand the ambience of The National Gallery, but a change in venue could be considered as well.

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Chargrilled Rack of Lamb Presented to a table at Brunch at the Gallery last Sunday (Photo Contributed)

Kudus to award-winning baker, Nadine Burie that probably saved both events. Her desserts are offered at Cafe Blue.

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Fresh Fruit Pavlova by Nadine Burie (Photo Credit: @jafoodanddrink)

Setting bad news aside, persons fully enjoyed Meet Street and the Market in Downtown, Kingston ($500JMD entry) last Saturday. A patron said she did not know that Downtown could be so nice. The set up and atmosphere was phenomenal and the vendors outdid themselves.

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Vendors that pleased at Meet Street and the Market Last Saturday in Downtown, Kingston

Pork Palooza ($6500JMD All Inclusive) at Palm Drive, Hope Gardens that kicked things off for the festival on the Saturday the week before was a hit. The event is usually the favourite for Patrons. Jamaicans love their Pork! It wasn’t the unanimous favourite this year though.

Which event took JFDF 2017?!

Close call! It has been narrowed down to the new event, Chop Stix ($5000JMD All Inclusive) held at Zen Lawn, Hope Zoo last Wednesday that featured fare from the far East and the zesty, Picante!

Based on Food, Weather and Vibe, Chop Stix gets the edge. Picante had the on and off rain, which was uncontrollable with provisions put in place, but Jamaicans love a new event.

The Chefs, Caterers and Restaurants delivered at Chop Stix! Here was the Menu if you missed it. Chop Stix can’t be missed next year!

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So what’s next for my Foodies? Restaurant Week!

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Yes, I know Restaurant Week has lost its steam. Marketing has been ongoing but should be revised, including the selection of Ambassadors. JFDF being so close to Restaurant Week definitely overshadowed it.

Menus for Restaurants are more of the same, but it makes your choices that much easier. The good ones will pop out at you. So that means you may need to make reservations quickly or maybe not, because places I called yesterday that are normally booked out weeks in advance seemed to have quite a bit of space left.

For now, I am leaving you with my recommendations for the Epicurean and Delectable Categories. Here you go!

Epicurean ($4300 +tax +gratuity +beverages)

> The Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in Kingston.

Despite inconsistencies in service and quality throughout the year, they have managed to keep a good reputation for Restaurant Week so far.

Sidenote: I do not think any Restaurant in Market Place should be placed in the Epicurean Category. The venue is far too casual and a long wait is usually expected.

Out of town? Marguerites by the Sea, Montego Bay. You should expect a spectacular dinner and service with a seaside or picturesque garden view.

There are some other reputable Restaurants listed, but the lack of creativity with their Menus were the deal breakers.

Delectable ($3800JMD +GCT +gratuity +beverages)

> Fromage Bistro on Hillcrest Avenue in Kingston.

Nirvanna Indian Cuisine, Centro-Courtyard by the Marriott and Black Orchid Restaurant at Eden Gardens would be secondary choices.

In the other city? Both options from Mobay are primary choices – Mystic Thai and The Houseboat Grill. So persons can choose between the two based on the Cuisine desired.

***Stay tuned for more Restaurant Week choices from Suga Lifestyle.***

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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Suga’s Restaurant Week Round-up!

How was Restaurant Week for Suga and her Suga Bears? Not so exciting. The majority of Suga Bears’ responses were ‘meh’, ‘It wasn’t all that’ and ‘I didn’t participate this year or feel the urge to’. I totally agree. Marketing was probably at its lowest this year. It seemed as if the Ambassadors were practically invisible until the week had almost passed by. The Nyam & Jam Food and Drink Festival had a lot more buzz going on. Did the US elections and the victory of Donald Trump kill advertising? It’s partially the media’s event so they should have had control over that.

The lack of creativity and variety in Menus were also disappointing for many this year, causing some not to participate at all.

Though in agreement, I still tried to find and suggest the best Restaurants and got a few to change their mind. One was pleasantly surprised with Nirvanna Indian Fusion Cuisine’s Nyam and Scram. It was not only affordable but filling and delicious with the right amount of spice.

Nirvanna Indian Fusion Cuisine ($1300 +GCT)

 

Suga can’t say the same for CPJ Deli’s Nyam & Scram though. Thankfully I made the right choice with the Pan Seared Snapper Fillet. It was the best of the worse at the table with its bones and all. The Grilled Garlic and Ginger Pork Chop was lacking seasoning and a salivating sauce and the Crispy Parmesan Shrimp Salad was a disaster. The best thing on that plate was the taco shell that the Salad came in. The Salad arrived at the table with no vinaigrette as advertised and the Shrimps were burnt. When my friend was already trying her best to get halfway through, the waitress realised she forgot to serve it with the vinaigrette and Parmesan cheese for the Shrimp. The Parmesan cheese could not help that dry, burnt Shrimp though. Most of the staff were unpleasant and seemed overwhelmed by the Deli full of diners. They usually have good service but last Saturday was horrible. Even getting an extra fork was a production. Their Restaurant Week menu did not include a Soup or even a Muffin but only a glass of wine or a Vodka mix along with the meal. Thankfully we digressed from the Restaurant Week menu and ordered the Chocolate Endulgence. Go to CPJ Deli if you are in need of a proper Chocolate fix! Let it soften from the fridge for a bit and then allow it take your breath away. Endulge!

CPJ Deli Pan Seared Snapper Fillet ($1200 +GCT)

Cannonball Café was a good Nyam & Scram pick as I had suggested. They really were all that and a bag of chips.

Cannonball Café’s Turkey Bacon Ranch Club Wrap with Chips, a Cookie and Medium French Press- $896 +GCT (Photo credit: Randy Burgess)

The Houseboat Grill (Delectable) in Montego Bay was average and the food was described as salty. Have they fallen off? That would be a shame. Suga will have to revisit and see for herself.

The Houseboat Grill (Photo credit: Nicole Goodin)

Mystic Thai (Delectable) in Montego Bay had good feedback. It was said that their ambiance and service were great as usual. They offered 1 of each Appetizer. My Suga Bear was not a fan of the Wings Appetizer and found the Salmon to be satisfactory, but enjoyed the Minced Chicken Entrée and Chocolate Mousse.

Mystic Thai (Photo credit: Nickalia Kinkead)

Marguerites Seafood by the Sea in Montego Bay (Epicurean) has kept up its sensational standards.

I was let down by the build up for L’Escargot (Epicurean). Thankfully the best thing was their Escargots. Long waits, tasty but not so delicious food, desserts that were not decadent and waiters that lacked charisma. Not value for money but will revisit as they have an extensive menu.

Escargots from L’Escargot

I was disapponted that I did not get to try Boardwalk Bistro, Ocho Rios (Tasty) for Restaurant Week. They took a while to greet me as a diner and did not start serving the RW menu until 5:30pm. Since it was literally on the Boardwalk close to the sea and given the casual look of the Restaurant & Bar, I think it would have been appropriate to offer their menu during lunch time was well. The tourists on their Cruise may have also enjoyed that option.

Boardwalk Bistro’s Rum Fire Ice Cream Cake (Photo credit: @jamaicagleaner Instagram Photo)

Sadly I will have wait to return some day to taste their Rum Fire Ice Cream Cake (if available) that I was looking forward to, as well as one of their best sellers, the Fisherman Seafood dish with scallops, shrimp, squid, mussels and fish.

Boardwalk Bistro’s Fisherman Seafood Dish (Photo credit: Jermaine Barnaby; @jamaicagleaner Instagram Photo)

Great Escape at Runaway Bay Golf Club (Savoury) was a pleasant surprise. New kids on the block with great service and food with a picturesque view.

Evita’s Italian (Delectable) also held it down in Ocho Rios. Kudos to them. They had another good year.

Evita’s Italian (Photo credit: Simone Green)

In Kingston, it was reported that Redbones (Delectable) was good but not great. I think they are consistently good but didn’t see based on their menu where they would be spectacular.

Saffron Indian Cuisine (Savoury) was not prepared for Restaurant week. A Suga Bear had an 8:00pm reservation with friends and got seated at 8:50pm at a two seater table for three people. What a shame.

The Regency Room at Terra Nova All Suite Hotel (Epicurean) lived up to its reputation of having the best Lamb Chops!

Many Restaurants may not have been mentioned but these are the highlights for Suga this year based on experiences and feedback given. If you did not choose to participate in Restaurant Week this year, still have a look at the Restaurants at http://www.go-jamaica.com/rw/ and see where looks interesting that you haven’t visited as yet. Let us remember Restaurants not only treat diners with special offers for Restaurant Week but participate for opportunities to expand their patronage and debut new items on their Menus.

I look forward to trying Bettino by Drax Hall Estate, Ocho Rios and Smoked Marlin in Hanover some day soon.

Well that’s it for this year folks. Until next year!

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By: Gabrielle Burgess
If you liked this article, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

Where to Make Reservations for Epicurean for Restaurant Week Jamaica 2016!

TGIF! We have 1 week to go until Restaurant Week Jamaica (RW) starts next Friday, November 11 and runs through to Saturday, November 19th.

The Epicurean Category ($4310JMD excluding Bar, GCT, Service Charge) has been a drag with the same Restaurants every year so Suga is excited to make the new addition, L’Escargot in Ocho Rios the top pick overall for Epicurean this year.

L’Escargot has been on my ‘Places to Go’ list for some time and their menu looks inviting. Their signature Escargots sautéed in garlic butter, herbs and white wine is highly anticipated for the Appetizer. I am wondering how it will compare to the famous, award winning Toscanini Italian Restaurant that is also in Ocho Rios. There are choices of Smoked Blue Marlin or Sautéed Sea Scallops as well.

Lamb Chops, Fillet Mignon and Grilled Giant Prawns are the salivating Entrée choices.

Créme brulee, Créme caramel and Chocolate mousse are the choices for Dessert.

Do you have your passport Suga Bears? Ochi here I come!

For those who are doubling up or can’t make it to Ocho Rios for RW, my top pick for Kingston is Rojo Restaurant at the Spanish Court Hotel, which strives to give consistently great service and serve consistently good quality food compared to Terra Nova. Terra Nova usually lives up to their polished reputation for Restaurant Week but Rojo’s menu is Suga’s preferred choice.

Fling Back Friday (#fbf) to RW 2013 at Rojo Restaurant

Marguerites Seafood by the Sea, which was my choice last year, is my top pick this year for Montego Bay. The menus from Sugar Mill and Restaurant at Round Hill haven’t grabbed me. I love that Marguerites revised their RW menu. The Pepper Steak Moderne accompanied by a Caribbean risotto topped with oxtail ragout should be a treat. I was thoroughly impressed by my visit last year, which was perfection.

#fbf RW 2015 at Marguerites!

***For Reservations***

● L’Escargot

Location: Main Street, Runaway Bay. St. Ann, Ocho Rios

Ph: 973-5652; 973-5589

● Rojo Restaurant at The Spanish Court Hotel

Location: 1 St. Lucia Avenue. Kingston.

Ph: 926-0000

● Marguerites Seafood By the Sea

Cloucester Avenue, Montego Bay

Ph: 952-4777

By: Gabrielle Burgess
If you liked this article, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

Restaurant Week Jamaica 2016 is almost here!

Jamaica Food and Drink Festival has come and gone. Brunch at The Gallery was quite memorable for patrons yesterday. Now on to the next!

Lobster Flambé at Restaurant Week Jamaica 2015 from Marguerites, Montego Bay

Restaurant Week Jamaica starts Friday, November 11 and ends Saturday, November 19, 2016.

Here are your categories. Suga’s picks coming soon!

Source: go-jamaica.com/rw/

By: Gabrielle Burgess
If you liked this blog, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

Gabby’s journey to Marguerites during RW was phenomenal!

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Gabrielle Williams (L) from Suga Lifestyle with fiancé Randolph Burgess (R)

After a 3-hour drive from Kingston on Sunday, November 15th, I arrived at Marguerites Seafood by the Sea, Montego Bay on time for my reservation at 8pm. Of course, I arrived not only hungry but with high expectations. Let me tell you from now that these high expectations were met!

My other half and I ordered by 8:05pm. The staff from the entrance to being seated were all very pleasant and professional. The ambience was lovely overlooking the sea where I sat on the balcony and the decor modern and decent. Sitting by the garden would have been nice as well.

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Shelly Ann was our Maître d’ for the night. She worked hard to ensure everything was alright and checked in with our table now and then, but not to the point of being overwhelming. I noticed that the General Manager visited the table next to us as well, welcoming them and ensuring everything was satisfactory. I find that proper supervision and interaction with guests are very necessary when a restaurant wishes to provide and sustain a high level of service.

Appetizers were out within 10 minutes and the other dishes followed like clockwork. Our glasses were refilled with water when needed and our waiter, Ricardo offered us the Robert Mondavi wines that were on special for RW. We had the Zinfandel and Sauvignon blanc.

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All of the dishes were delicious. Presentation was salivating and serving sizes were appropriate. For instance, I was a bit worried about where I was going to fit dessert, but thankfully I was not tempted too much and the Bread pudding and Cheesecake were small and compact, just the right size to fit in the space available in my tummy without feeling uncomfortable.

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The Appetizers were excellent. The Jerked Chicken Breast was well seasoned and minced up for the Beggars Purse and the Shrimp Trucillio had a lovely flavour. A delicious Caribbean Spiny Lobster Salad followed as a bonus with fresh veggies and a tasty vinaigrette. Then all of a sudden, our attention was called by one of the waiters to see a Stingray in the ocean. Hardly a dull moment at Marguerites!

When the Entrées arrived, I was even more impressed and instantly ready to ‘Dig In’! My gosh, the Lobster Flambè with black truffle risotto looked divine! Then as I was looking at the dish all mesmerized, Cecil the Executive Chef visited the table, greeted us pleasantly and told me that he was adding his sauce consisting of Rum beurre blanc and more, as well as edible sprouts. I could hardly find the words to describe the lobster. Juicy lobster accompanied by an absolutely delicious sauce and risotto. My other half had the Flambé Steak complemented by oxtail ragout. Perfection. Cooked exact to order, medium rare.

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It was hard to leave. An extremely refreshing experience to have all-round excellent service and food. Epicurean to the core. It was definitely worth the drive and I cannot wait to return.

Marguerites Seafood by the Sea

Location: Gloucester Ave. (The Hip Strip), Montego Bay

Ph: 876-952-4777

How was Restaurant Week Jamaica?!

Restaurants in the 3 cities were certainly buzzing with diners throughout Restaurant Week (RW) that was held November 13 – 21. Persons were excited to ‘Dig in’, the slogan used for this year’s RW.

Suga was happy to report that all, if not, most of her recommendations were excellent choices based on feedback from Suga bears a.k.a. Suga Lifestyle readers and friends.

Just to highlight a few,

One Love Cafe at Bob Marley’s Museum and Susie’s Bakery & Coffee Bar really satisfied diners for the Nyam and Scram category.

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Lillian’s Restaurant                       Image: RWJ 2015 Index on go-jamaica.com

For the Tasty Category, the UTECH students from Lillian’s Restaurant who seemed to put a lot of effort into their menu, offering unique dishes at a low cost showed that there is a bright future ahead for Jamaica in the Culinary industry.

Lillian’s was delightful. They had a pleasant and attentive waitress, yet not overbearing, as well as helpful staff. Decor was simple yet appropriate and clean, with soft classical music. The Jerked Chicken Chowder and Salt Fish Tostones they served as Appetizers had lovely flavours and the Salad was fresh with a decent serving. Their Main course was enjoyed by all at the table. Generous servings as well. Their Peppercorn Crusted Beef was cooked exactly as ordered, the Cinnamon Braised Pineapple Pork was succulent and not overdone, the Seared Trout and Creamy Chicken Sauté dishes were tasty. Desserts were also very good. Their Rum and Raisin cake, Passion Trifle and Chocolate and Banana Bread Pudding were yummy. Well done Lillian’s!

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Sea Deck           Photo credit: Emile Pitt

Sea Deck had nice, big, tasty servings as usual with decent service.

C & C South Beach Restaurant in the Savoury category got two thumbs up. Their service, food and atmosphere were impressive. Kudos to them for a 10 minute waiting time during RW!

Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove, Ocho Rios was a winner for the Delectable category. No surprise there. Props to Executive Chef Conroy Arnold for sustaining a high standard of food quality and service. The ambience there is just an added plus.

Then of course, with a full review coming soon, Marguerites Seafood by the Sea in Montego Bay took the Epicurean category hands down. Excellent ambience, service and food topped off by a premium selection of wines.

Well done Restaurants, looking forward to next year!