A great place for a romantic dinner — and for families too

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Sul Verde is a great place to eat but first you have to find it.

Rosewood Tucker’s Point recently offered me and my husband, Steven, a complimentary dinner at the restaurant.

The first challenge was finding the place. There are vague signs that say Golf Club or Tennis Club but none that actually say Sul Verde Restaurant. I’m sorry, but my husband and I have Type A personalities with wonky direction sense so we need the reassurance of a sign.

It’s probably not well sign posted because until recently it was only open to club members. Regulars would know where the restaurant was located; it was only opened to the general public in November.

Apparently, things are off to a slow start. The day after Boxing Day the restaurant was half-full, almost entirely with Tucker’s Point members. A staff member lamented to us that they sometimes lose customers because they get tired of driving around the golf course in the dark trying to find the place. No kidding.

For the record, the turn towards the restaurant is on the south side of the road near the entrance gate. It’s before the turn to Ship’s Hill Lane.

Once you get there, the restaurant is quiet, but family-oriented. If you want to blend in with the crowd, you might want to reread your copy of Lisa Birnbach’s ‘The Official Preppy Handbook’. The dress code is ‘smart casual’ but the atmosphere is ‘preppy to the max’. (And there’s nothing wrong with that.) It wasn’t a mistake that Ms Birnbach’s second book, ‘True Prep’, was launched in Bermuda at Tucker’s Point.

The fare is Italian comfort food. Main dishes on the menu include carbonara with bucatini, free range eggs, Niman ranch pork guanciale (Italian bacon), pecorino Romano, and black pepper; cima e salsiccia with fresh orecchiette, broccoli Rabe, garlic and chilli; and spaghetti with clams, parsley, white wine, garlic and chilli.

The centrepiece of the restaurant was a fabulous antipasti bar with a wide range of choices including home made pickles. I went up to the antipasti bar feeling that I had already had quite a lot of food during the holiday season and I was just going to have a little bit before my main dish. (Cough.) Let’s just say I ended up making a couple of trips for the sake of accurate journalism, of course. I particularly enjoyed a vinegar mushroom salad they were offering and a creamy ricotta cheese, but there was a wide enough selection of nibbles to suit a range of taste buds.

The menu prices were not outrageous $21 for carbonara; a breaded veal dish for $34. I had Sicilia ravioli which had eggplant and scamorza (a type of cheese), capers, mint and pistachios. I was relieved to see that, after all the gorging I’d done on the antipasti bar, the portion size of the ravioli was modest. The pasta was freshly made and very tasty. My husband had pollo alla cacciatore and that was quite a sizeable man-size dish. He enjoyed what he had as well, although it contained quite a lot of little bones which were tedious. The meat was tender and flavourful.

We drank Brunello di Montalcino, a red Tuscan wine that was lovely to smell as well as taste. After dinner we were offered homemade grappa. Grappa is a traditional Italian drink made by distilling the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems left over from winemaking after pressing the grapes. It was originally made to prevent waste by using these leftovers. Sul Verde offered it in several flavours including pear cinnamon, red berries, and olives. I had never tried grappa so I ignored the weird gestures my husband was making when the waiter wheeled it out on a trolley. It looked pretty. I sampled the pear and cinnamon grappa and decided it was definitely an acquired taste which is the polite way of saying it tastes like a mixture of cough syrup and jet fuel with undertones of cinnamon. The berry flavoured one tasted like cough syrup, and jet fuel with berries.

The service at Sul Verde was impeccable and friendly. No one tried to rush us out to fill the table with the next customers. The staff were happy to chat about the restaurant and the food and wine and give suggestions about what we might like. They apparently have a family night each Sunday with an area set aside to provide entertainment for the children. We did see a lot of families with grandparents, parents and small children on a Thursday evening.

Sul Verde was definitely a great place for a romantic dinner with or without the children and grandparents.

Useful website: www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/tuckerspoint/dining/sul_verde/

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Published Jan 4, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm)

A great place for a romantic dinner — and for families too

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