The Fairmont Hamilton Princess has been undergoing a significant renovation over the past couple of years and one of those changes was the addition of the first celebrity chef outpost on the island – Marcus Samuelsson’s Marcus’ restaurant. Being married to a Bermudian we try to visit often to see family and friends. I was fortunate enough to be in Bermuda a few months after Marcus’ opened and have to say that it is a very nice addition to the Bermuda restaurant scene. I have long been a fan of Marcus Samuelsson since I frequented Aquavit when he first came on the scene in the mid-1990s.
The restaurant occupies what was previously the Gazebo Room and has been completely remodeled to offer sweeping views of Hamilton Harbor with seating both indoors and outside on a wraparound terrace. A large bar is the centerpiece of the room and its design allows even those seated at the bar to enjoy the lovely water vistas. An open kitchen looks out on the main dining area so guests seated nearby can look-in on the action. The vibe is what I would describe as nautical chic – modern art (from the Green Family collection which is displayed throughout the hotel) is peppered throughout the space with a mix of wood, tile, glass and leather. The color palette inside offers pops of blue and yellow against a primarily white background. The outdoor seating area is more neutral and casual feeling awash in a sea of beige.
Photo Credit: Fairmont Hamilton Princess
The dinner menu is relatively compact offering what the restaurant refers to as Snacks, Small Plates, Large Plates, and a couple of items For Two. A small selection of sides is also available to accompany any of the menu items. The snacks are just as they sound ranging from items like Fish Chowder Bites to Root Veggie Chips to more substantial flatbreads. The small plates are a bit more substantial and more first course-sized portions. The large plates are, you guessed it, the main courses with a small selection of fish, meat, poultry and pasta options.
The food is a mix of classic Samuelsson global fusion with an obvious nod to Bermuda and more Caribbean influences utilizing some locally sourced ingredients. Items on the menu break from the Fairmont mold where diners with special dietary restrictions can easily navigate items in the majority of food and beverage outlets easily via Fairmont’s Lifestyle Cuisine Plus menus. Diners at Marcus’ must ask for assistance.
That being said, when I inquired, the chef who was managing the line actually came to my table and personally walked me through the entire menu letting me know what was either safe or could be made gluten-free. Obviously with my shellfish allergy my options anywhere are typically even further limited but I do have to say that there was a decent selection of items that I could have. The fact that the chef took the time out (the kitchen was extremely busy) to come out assist me spoke volumes to their commitment to provide a consistent experience for all of their guests.
I opted for the roasted beets with pickled mushrooms and Tucker’s goat cheese starter which was a nice balance between the earthiness of the beets against the slight acidity of the mushrooms that was rounded out by the mild creaminess of the goat cheese. For my main course, I decided on the Chorizo, hanger steak, pork belly with cabbage and potatoes in broth. It was good but I expected the flavor to be a bit more complex. It was a bit bland and the mix of meats swimming in a broth seemed mismatched – though the steak was cooked perfectly. Of course, no meal for me is complete without dessert and while my options were limited, I had the watermelon and elderflower sorbet with compressed cantaloupe, mango, and honeydew soup. This was actually quite good and the sorbet flavor rather outstanding but I could have done without the honeydew soup base which, while beautiful from a presentation standpoint, did not really add anything to the dish and actually competed with the cantaloupe for dominance making for a bit of a melon overload.
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess
76 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke
Tel: +1 441 295 3000