Tag Archives: Runaway Bay

New Restaurant Sighting in Runaway Bay!

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Milestone Bar and Grill had a launch party for their Opening last Friday, September 29 in Runaway Bay!

They are located close to Sharkies Seafood Restaurant on the opposite side of the road. The building is so big, you cannot miss it.

I stopped by last Sunday. I love the large, open space overlooking the sea across the road. It seems suitable for cosy dining and hosting events. Although it’s in Runaway Bay and not in a busier town such as Ocho Rios, it can serve as a great chill spot in between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay once they are fully up and running.

They were closed when I stopped by, but still offered to cook up some Fish or Chicken since the Chef was there. I decided not to pressure them, but Suga will return soon!

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The doors are Open at Milestone Bar and Grill, Runaway Bay

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
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Suga recommends that you put Great Escape at Runaway Bay Golf Club on your Map!

The Great Escape at Runaway Bay Golf Club is a fairly new Restaurant that opened on August 26th this year. It is a few minutes down the road from L’Escargot and across the road from Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort. They offer Guests at Jewel a $25USD surcharge for a 3-course meal if they wish to dine there.

The Great Escape was the last stop for my husband, Randy and I before heading back to Kingston last Sunday and it was the best stop, other than duty free shopping.

We arrived a few minutes before our 5:30pm reservation to the new and well kept property. We felt welcomed from the parking lot to the lobby and then right upstairs to the Restaurant. Such pleasant staff.

We were seated and brought up to speed with what they had to offer by the well informed hostess and then came Ramiro, our unforgettable waiter. He was both charming and humorous and moved quickly and efficiently each time he came to our table.

We felt comfortable overlooking picturesque views of the well manicured Golf Course, a farm and just a touch of the Caribbean Sea across the road.

Before I start with the Appetizers,  I have to mention their freshly baked bread. Yes, the bread. They served two types of bread. There were slices with cinnamon and raisins and slices with swirls of callaloo. The bread was not on ration either. Kudos to them and a promising start.

Randy and I had the ‘Farmer’s’ Pumpkin and Basil Soup with rosemary skewered grilled Shrimp. The Soup was spicy and the rosemary skewer was a nice touch adding more flavour.

‘Farmer’s’ Pumpkin and Basil Soup

We also peeked over at another table and saw that the Runaway Bay ‘Jerked Chicken’ Cigars (Crisp Spring roll filled with Jerk Chicken, orange glaze, red and white cabbage slaw) actually came in what looked like a Cigar box! So creative! When we saw that and how well our Soup was presented, we were instantly reminded of our visit to Blue Ridge Restaurant in Blue Mountain, whose creativity in plating was on a different level.

Our table was cleared as soon as we were finished with our Soup and the Entrees came out right after like clockwork as it should.

Randy’s Free Range Chicken Breast and Crayfish had a sizzling arrival to our table. Plating and presentation were lovely. He had the choices of herbs, salsa and a sauce that were neatly laid out as well to add more flavour.

It was Free Range Chicken so it was not fatty and its pairing with the Crayfish was delightful.

His dish seemed exciting but mine was delicious as well. I had the ‘Appleton-Guava Glazed’ Salmon that was well cooked, floating on shrimp and potato mash, sautéed mushroom, roasted corn, bell pepper salsa and guava.

‘Appleton-Guava Glazed’ Salmon

Our Potato mash was tasty, fluffy and flavourful with a few herbs.

Dessert was not as spectacular but we appreciated that it was freshly baked by the restaurant and at that point we had our fill anyway. Randy had the Hazel Nut and Ganache ‘Fried Brioche’ hand rolled and filled, topped with cinnamon cream, but he could hardly taste any of the filling. I am not a big fan of flourless Chocolate Cake but Randy likes anything with chocolate so he enjoyed taking a few bites of mine, while I enjoyed the Sorbet.

I look forward to visiting the Great Escape again and encourage others to do so too. It is definitely Suga endorsed. Great service, creative plating and menu, lovely presentation and delicious, affordable food. For the Savoury category for Restaurant Week ($2800JMD excluding Bar, Service Charge, G.C.T), it was surely value for money. Keep it up Great Escape!

Great Escape Restaurant, Runaway Bay Golf Club

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

Ph: 876-973-4239

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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L’Escargot Falls Short of Suga’s Expectations

L’Escargot is owned by Chef Neville Anderson, well known for what was once Café Aubergine in Market Place, Kingston and his Jamaican Restaurant in Munich. 

L’Escargot is also probably the most anticipated Restaurant to visit or hear about this year for Restaurant Week, not only because it is fairly new but because of their raving reviews and salivating menu. So I thought it would be a fabulous, fantastic experience but they fell short of that. It was just good, not great.

My husband and I ​arrived last Saturday night at 8:40pm, a few minutes late for our 8:30pm reservation. 

We were greeted and seated. Staff were courteous but not cordial. The Table setting was exquisite with a fresh, white orchid as the centrepiece that was a nice touch. I can see where the dim lighting and décor with instrumental piano music playing in the background would take guests to France. The waiters were a perfect part of the French theme as well in white attire with red ties and berets.

Randy Burgess waiting to see what L’Escargot has in store

We were shown their regular menu for the night as well as the Restaurant Week Menu. It was a hard decision but we stuck to the plan and ordered from the Restaurant Week Menu at 9pm. If you weren’t ordering a meal over $30USD, there were tempting main dishes available for $20-$25USD so I don’t think the Restaurant Week offer was a huge save, especially if you opted out of Dessert.

Quite a few diners were present and more came in as the night grew older, but the wait for Appetizers was still too long. Also note that this was not just a result of Restaurant Week because I have received feedback from persons who visited before that they had a long wait for their food as well. It was approaching 25 minutes before we got our Escargots and Smoked Marlin. The Smoked Marlin was a huge disappointment. Quite plain, arriving with just the Chef’s special mousse. It was tasty and complemented the Marlin well but at least a salad should have been added to it. We reminisced about Chef Conroy Arnold’s special Marlin Salad from Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove that put that dish to shame.

Smoked Blue Marlin with Chef’s Special Mousse

But serve my husband right, thou shall not go to L’Escargot and not order Escargot.

My Escargots? Decent serving, and it was delicious with just the right texture and taste, not rubbery or salty. L’Escargot specialises in French cuisine and Escargots are usually served as a starter in France, Spain and Portugal so they deservedly get the edge over the Escargots I’ve had at Toscanini Italian.

Escargots sautéed in garlic butter, herbs and white wine

Our table was cleared at 9:30pm and our Entrees did not arrive until half an hour later. Our waiter did not visit during that half hour to reassure us that our Main dishes were on their way either. Luckily we weren’t on a first date because after about 15 or 20 minutes there would be crickets of awkward silence. 

The serving size was decent for our Entrees. Randy’s Beef Tenderloin was savoury and cooked as ordered (medium rare). My Lamb Chops were savoury as well but one of them was medium rare bordering rare and I requested it be medium. I didn’t mind but that may not be the case with everyone. The sauces did not highlight or complement the meats in any special way. The Filet Mignon at Marguerites by the Sea is still a winner for Randy.

We had the Crème Brûlée and Chocolate Mousse for Dessert but they were nothing to write home about. I prefer Rojo at Spanish Court Hotel’s Crème Brulee.

I didn’t see their Dessert menu, but the French are well known for Parisian Cafés and I think they could have been more creative, offering a signature Crêpe, Éclair or Macaron for Restaurant Week.

French cuisine is known for being one of the finest in the world. Afterall, they are the ones that published the Michelin guide and thus award stars for excellence to a select few restaurants. Although L’Escargot is French and Toscanini is Italian, they are often compared considering they are both high end restaurants on the North coast offering similar dishes. I prefer Toscanini. The hostess and waiters at L’Escargot were efficient for the most part but more like robots doing what they were supposed to do, lacking the charisma needed for such a restaurant. 

Even though I wasn’t wowed, I still look forward to returning to L’Escargot to enjoy their ambience again. Randy looks forward to trying their French Onion Soup, while I look forward to trying their Bouillabaisse and Risotto with Escargots and Scallops.

L’Escargot

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

Ph: 973-5652; 973-5589

By: Gabrielle Burgess
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