Tag Archives: Epicurean

Suga’s recommendations for Restaurant Week!

Many of you may be seasoned Restaurant Week (RW) attendees by now. Since Suga is in the same boat, I have selected restaurants whose menus have stood out and are different from what they usually have for RW. They also have a reputation for good service, good quality food and value for money.

For those who still have a lot to experience with Restaurant Week, take a gamble if you do not see your choice on my list. You never know, you may end up with a winner for dinner.

Let’s get to it!

***The Price of each category includes a choice of appetizer, main course and dessert. Beverages, G.C.T and gratuity additional***

EPICUREAN ($4300JMD***)

Fromage Brasserie in Kingston! Best menu on the Epicurean list.

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Fromage Brasserie’s Signature Dish of Lobster, Shrimp & scallop tossed in white wine mornay sauce & stuffed in lobster tails.

DELECTABLE ($3800JMD***)

Nirvanna Indian Restaurant in Kingston! Best Ethnic Restaurant in Kingston. Great choice for an authentic, Indian feast.

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Flingback Friday to Suga and husband, Randy Burgess’s dinner at Nirvanna Indian Cuisine

SAVOURY ($2800JMD***)

KINGSTON

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Chive Eatery in Village Plaza, Kingston – New kids on the block with a killer menu of Pork buns, Oxtail Alfredo, their Signature dish of Crispy, glazed Pork Belly stuffed in a steamed bao bun with hoisin sauce, ginger and pickled cucumbers and more! They may be the dark horse of RW!

Jamaica Liquor Warehouse in Kingston – One of my favourites. I would eat anything on their menu. Great variety, taste, good service and value for money.

Tamarind Indian Cuisine in Kingston – Never usually disappoints. Savoury, authentic Indian food with good service.

MONTEGO BAY

• Pelican Grill has served well for many years. I would go with them if choosing this category in the second city.

I would also take a gamble with:

• Bubble & Spice, Coral Cliff

• Pier 1

• Uncorked West

OCHO RIOS

Anglers – A family pleaser with a mouth-watering seafood menu.

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Fling Back Friday to my Steamaz from Anglers!

Evita’s Italian Restaurant – They practically have the same menu each year, but it is so extensive that you can keep trying new savoury dishes in a delightful ambience with good service.

Seaside Dutchie – Great seafood by the sea with unique presentation. This visit could be a fun family day or evening out. Their seafood is usually served in reasonable time compared to others.

TASTY ($1850JMD***)

Sharkies Bar Grill & Tours in Runaway Bay – You may run the risk of a long wait, but it’s usually worth it. Great seafood by the sea.

Smoked Marin Restaurant in Hanover – Delicious food by the sea with big portions. Their Signature Jerked Calamari dish looks interesting.

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Smoked Marlin’s Jerked calamari with brown butter remoulade and glazed carrots.

NYAM & SCRAM (30% off/Discounted Lunch Specials)

•  Devon House Bakery for sweeting up the palate after a reduced size main.

• Fish Pot for serving up value for money for the people. They have a healthy salmon dish and a creamy coconut lobster pasta!

Kushites Vegetable Cuisine -Take advantage of their deals! Best vegetarian restaurant in Jamaica.

Super’s Spicy Doubles – I’ve never been, but I would take a gamble with those curry dish deals for $600JMD or less.

MORNING BITES (Discounted Breakfast Specials)

Mr. Breakfast looks like a deal!

Reservations are recommended for all categories except for Nyam and Scram and Morning Bites. I suggest you still call ahead or just before you make your way for the restaurants that aren’t fast food ones in the Nyam and Scram category.

Check out Restaurant Week’s Website,  http://go-jamaica.com/rw/ to see full menus and to find contact information and locations for the Restaurants.

Enjoy!

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Blog, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

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Fromage for Restaurant Week?

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Fromage Brasserie’s Chicken Parmigiana

Suga is throwing it back to a delicious Chicken Parmigiana that was enjoyed some time ago! Crispy Parmesan chicken, melted mozzarella, marinara pasta.

As Restaurant Week quickly approaches, it is time to peruse menus if you haven’t already and book your desired spots as soon as possible.

Two important tips for Restaurant Week in Jamaica

1. It is best to go during the week. There is fewer people, better service and a better overall experience.

2. If it has to be a weekend night, make reservations for an early time such as 6 or 7pm to avoid the rush.

Fromage Bistro on Hillcrest Avenue is usually my preferred choice over Fromage Brasserie in the Market Place, but have you seen Fromage Brasserie’s menu?!

Fromage Brasserie is in the Epicurean Category ($4300JMD+ Beverages & taxes).

For Appetizers, local blue crab chunks, creamy spinach and tortilla chips as well as Crispy salmon & cream cheese rolls with sweet Habanero sauce have caught my eye.

For the Main, Chicken Parmigiana is there, 8oz Beef medallion, shrimp & crab Oscar chapeaux béarnaise, as well as Lobster, Shrimp & scallop tossed in white wine Mornay sauce & stuffed in lobster tails.

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Fromage Brasserie’s Signature Dish of Lobster, Shrimp & scallop tossed in white wine Mornay sauce & stuffed in lobster tails.

Dessert doesn’t have their signature Bread Pudding on the menu, but the options look just as divine.

If Fromage Brasserie weathers the rush of Market Place diners with smooth service and executes their fine dishes, they should be one of Restaurant Week’s winners for dinner.

Check out Restaurant Week’s Website,  http://go-jamaica.com/rw/ to browse categories and what the Restaurants have to offer before the big issue in The Gleaner this Thursday.

***The Price of each category includes a choice of appetizer, main course and dessert. Beverages, G.C.T and gratuity additional***

*Reservations recommended*

Fromage Brasserie

Location: Market Place – 67 Constant Spring Road. Kingston.

Ph: 876-649-0820-1 

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Promo, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

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

If you liked this article, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

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.