Bermuda Festive Dinner
Tucker's Town, December 2, 2017
Winter Wonderland with an island twist

The first hint of chill was in the air on a clear winter evening, as 64 of us arrived at the Mid Ocean Club to experience a magical winter wonderland. Chef Enworth Davis created a tantalizing Christmas menu “with an Island Twist”, promising that we would “Prey on Predators and Nibble on Delicacies”. Hors d’oeuvres were served with Banfi Vintners Gavi Principessa Bordolese 2016 and Gramona Cava Imperial Gran Reserva 2011.

The six-course meal started with an “Ocean Meadow”, a light refreshing salad of gentle greens, shaved fennel, grapefruit, ackee aril and avocado. Morsels of Galician octopus and smoked spotted eel added interesting textures. The course paired well with Bandol Rosé 2016 from Domaine Tempier.

A unique soup course, “Brave the Deep Kettle”, was presented next. Served in a demi-tasse it was topped with a ballooning rghaif (round Moroccan pancake) crust ready to burst open and release the steam inside.  The pumpkin coconut soup delighted the palate with an array of exotic flavours. What could possibly pair with such an interesting conundrum of flavours? Wagner Family 2015 ‘Conundrum’ White of course! Genius!

The aptly-named “Bait for Preys” course was filled with ocean delights. A tasty combination of black-lipped sea abalone and langoustine was accented with sea urchin and cuttlefish risotto surrounded by delicate slices of shark carpaccio. Shafer 2014 ‘Red Shoulder Ranch’ Chardonnay paired beautifully with the dish, balancing both the delicate and bolder seafood flavours.

After a palate cleanser of champagne and cactus pear sorbet, the diners were ready for the “Main Attraction”. The bison tenderloin’s taste and temperature were perfect complemented by a sizeable portion of alligator pane. Forest mushroom, sweetbread duxelles and foie gras crème added richness and umami to the dish. The paired Spanish wine - Vega Sicilia ‘Valbuena’ 2009 - was an interesting choice working well with this strongly flavoured dish.

Dessert was titled “Hedonistic Decadent Paradox”. It continued the island theme using dragon fruit, pineapple, loquats, hibiscus and passion fruit. Revellers enjoyed every hedonistic morsel. Poetically, the meal ended where it began with sparkling Banfi Vintners Brachetto d’Acqui ‘Rosa Regale’ 2016.

This was an unusual Christmas menu. However, we all agreed it far surpassed any traditional holiday fare. Chef Enworth Davis led us on a wonderful Caribbean journey of unique, memorable, delicious dishes – what better way to ring in the holiday season!

Sylvia Oliveira