ON THE TOWN
FOOD • DRINK • FUN
A Tempest in St. George’s
A new restaurant opens in the Old Town
Out with the old and in with the new has been the prescrip- tion for many St. George’s businesses in recent years, and for the new French bistro restaurant Tempest, the medicine
seems to be working.
The Bermudian visited St. George’s newest restaurant this October.
This is why you should, too.
Located in the old Carriage House restaurant, which served St.
Georgians for more than 30 years, Tempest’s drab facade belies a far
more charming interior and an even more captivating menu. The historic building in which it is housed, originally used as a warehouse by the
British military, has already hosted the rise and fall of Polaris, another
restaurant that fell victim to the economy. Tempest, for what it’s worth,
does not appear destined for a similar fate.
Owned and operated by the same men and women behind the
wildly successful Mad Hatters in Hamilton, Tempest’s wait staff are
largely Bermudian, providing a certain familiarity that is lacking in
other restaurants across the island—although it should be said many
St. George’s businesses hire locals for positions where Bermudians are
rarely found these days.
In many ways, Tempest is picking up where the Carriage House left
off. Long known as one of the finest eateries in the town, the Carriage
House took a turn for the worse after the owner’s death, eventually closing its doors in 2009. These days, the original spirit of the restaurant—
mid-priced, quality and fresh—is beginning to dance once again.
Lunch for two—one appetiser, two mains and an amount of alcohol
that shall remain undisclosed—cost just over $70. Disappointingly
Tempest does not serve draft beer, but that did little to take away from
the overall experience.
If you’re a fish chowder fan, pay extra close attention. Many restaurants
will have their own take on the Bermudian bouillabaisse, but fish chowder is one of those “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” dishes often better served
at a greasy spoon, hole-in-the-wall type establishment. At Tempest, this
rule of thumb has been utterly shattered. Served with three wedges of fish
adorning the top of a thick and turbid stock, Tempest’s chowder manages
the task of being hearty while not overstepping the appetiser boundaries—something a number of restaurants attempt, and fail.
As for the rest of the menu, you’ll find a number of classics as well as
more exotic and gourmet items, but it is the specials list that deserves
extra praise. Try not to salivate on the table when the waiter is reading
them out to you.
All told, a line from The Tempest by William Shakespeare nicely
packages the experience: “Excellent dumb discourse,” as Alonso put it
while Antonio and Sebastian plotted his death. There is little room for
conversation with a meal from Tempest sitting in front of you.
The only thing holding the restaurant back at this point is the lack of
waterfront dining, which Tempest plans to add in the coming months.
Here’s hoping Tempest is just one of many new ventures that will
breathe new life into the Olde Towne.
BY W. C. STEVENSON | PHOTOGRAPH BY DAISY GOULD