New direction for the Newport Room
The Fairmont Southamptons revamp of venerable The Newport Room gives Bermuda its first gastropub
By Nadia Arandjelovic
The Newport Room was once considered the height of sophisticated dining. Guests would come decked out in their finest apparel to feast on items like smoked salmon or fois gras.
Its now gone, replaced with the Islands first gastropub as the Fairmont Southampton focuses on current culinary trends.
There are so many good things about this restaurant, said sous chef Kellie Rolfe. Now we get to focus on local seasonal ingredients and we can utilise the items we have readily available to us. Also the gastropub is a trend that is overtaking right now. Its a good change for the Newport, a refreshing change.
The menu was still being finalised when The Royal Gazette stopped by for a visit, but Ms Rolfe gave us an insiders look. The Newport, A Gastropub will be formally opened on Monday at 5pm.
On the new Newport menu we have a lot of new things. A snack menu where the guest can come in and sample one of our ten draft beers and order a snack to go along with it.
We have a home-made German sausage with beer braised sauerkraut, made fresh on property. Its a traditional sausage made from veal and with traditional flavourings like herbs and spices.
She said the snack portion would include two small sausages and a helping of sauerkraut to satisfy customers in between main meals.
One of the appetisers on the new menu is a salad filled with heirloom tomatoes. Every time I taste it and every time I see this dish its like summer on a plate and so vibrant, Ms Rolfe said.
She described heirloom as all-natural tomatoes that are blended from a few different species of tomato.
They can range in colour from green to a deep red, almost purple hue. The flavour is just bursting out, she said.
The tomatoes are paired with a balsamic dressing, sunflower seeds and fresh avocado for the light starter.
One of her favourite main course dishes on offer will be steak frites, which is spiced with in-house seasoning and flame-grilled to order.
Its one of the great classics that is loved by a lot of people. Its made using a cut of meat called wagyu flat meat, that is full of flavour.
That will be paired with hand-cut fries and roasted bone marrow, which is the equivalent to fois gras. Once we rest [the meat], it becomes like liquid gold, she said.
Main meals will be priced in the $20 to $30 price range, Ms Rolfe explained.
The chef said she was very excited about the dessert menu, particularly the unique presentation of the sweets.
One item on offer will be a lemon pudding with berry compote and spiced cookies. We serve it on a granite stone and the lemon pudding comes in an old-style jar.
The cookies are on the side and you can pick them up and dip it in the pudding.
I love the playful presentation and the flavours. Its a summer and traditional pudding and fits the menu very well and the flavours are very vibrant.
She said the restaurants whole concept has been changed to be very relaxed, approachable and affordable. Its really, really very different from what it was, but I think its definitely going with the times.
There are so many different options for the guest here. The sporting events, the display of the charcuterie or they can come in for a snack or two- or three-course meal.
In addition to an innovative line-up of handcrafted draft beers and fine wines, the new restaurant will also have a fresh raw bar and meat carving station, known as a charcuterie.
Ms Rolfe said they had great suppliers throughout the world and have been able to import quality meats, like salami and serrano ham, directly from Europe.
We want to add some animation to the room so we are going to have a chef out here who is going to be slicing the meats to order, fresh and to the plate.
There will be two or three [meat] options daily depending on what we have available that day.
There will also be seafood options daily where the chef will be chucking oysters in front of the guest. It adds a good animation to the room and a good thing to show off.
Jamahl Simmons, the hotels public relations manager, said all were welcome at the new restaurant. What is good about what we have done across the property is there is something for everyone.
If you are looking for a family friendly meal we have Wickets, if you want to dress up and wear the suit and tie you can go to The Waterlot Inn.
So having this variety, not just for guests, but locals as well, means we have one of the most diverse range of experiences you can get on the Island.
The restaurant, located inside the Fairmont Southampton lobby area, takes walk-in service. It will officially open its doors on Monday and will be open daily from 5pm until midnight.
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