New restaurant to open at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Ever since word got out that Odilio Angeli was opening an Indian takeout in Southampton, people have been banging on his door.
“Everyone seems to be very excited,” said Mr Angeli who runs Dining Bermuda, which includes Gulfstream in Southampton and Rustico’s in Flatts.
People leave messages and e-mails and quiz staff at his other restaurants: is it open yet?
Tamarind Indian Restaurant at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse in Southampton, will open next week, hopefully.
“I’m not sure which day yet though,” Mr Angeli said. “We have to find all the ingredients and have everything ready to go. We’ll be posting our opening day on our Instagram.”
One of their minor challenges has been getting the facility in working order.
“Because we have been closed up for so long, during the pandemic, things like the lights don’t work properly any more,” he said. “It is an old building.”
He is no expert on Indian cooking, but loves to eat it.
“My wife, Natalie, is the expert,” he said. “She always cooks it.”
Tamarind replaces The Dining Room, which Mr Angeli opened in the same location in 2011.
“After Covid-19 we wanted to reopen with a new menu and still be The Dining Room,” he said.
Be much of his overseas wait staff had returned to their home countries. When the borders started to reopen, many chose not to come back.
“I had too many chefs and not enough spots for them to work,” he said. So he reinvented the space at the lighthouse.
He thought an Indian restaurant was much needed in the west end.
“We don’t have many Asian restaurants on this side of Bermuda,” he said. And I wanted something that wouldn’t compete with Gulfstream, which offers pizza, pasta and sushi.”
He said in the Covid-19 climate everyone has to pivot to survive.
"Everyone has to adapt,” Mr Angeli said. “This is the new normal, us going around with masks all the time.
“Takeout, now, is a bit more profitable. People would rather stay home instead of exposing themselves to a virus, especially older people. The restaurants are not as busy as they used to be but at Gulfstream, we are busier with takeout.”
He started an Instagram page for Tamarind and had more than 70 followers after just a week.
Tamarind will be doing deliveries through the Sargasso web platform.
“They are doing such a good job,” Mr Angeli said.
Customers can also pick up at Tamarind.
Their menu is already available on the Sargasso Sea app to give people an idea of the food to come.
“I think all the curries will be popular,” Mr Angelia said. “There will also be various breads naan, Peshwari, poppadoms, and lamb curries, vindaloos and tikka masala.
“If we see there is a good response, we will deepen our menu, but for now we will start off with a simple, basic menu.”
Mr Angeli said before Covid-19 The Dining Room was doing well with much foot traffic from the Fairmont Southampton, The Reefs and even Cambridge Beaches.
“Things were naturally slower in the winter time, but we were popular with locals,” he said.
When the pandemic begins to lift, whenever that is, he intends to redecorate the dining space and open Tamarind as a full-fledged Indian restaurant.
So far, he has not experienced a lot of challenges opening Tamarind.
“This is not my first rodeo,” he said. “I have opened six or seven restaurants in the 35 years I have spent in Bermuda.
“My challenge was to set up the website, put everything on the point of sale system. I had to change everything, because before the menu was set up completely different.”
He said normally, before opening a new restaurant, he feels very positive.
"And then sometimes you get depressed the first two or three days when things are quiet, but then the word spreads and things pick up,” he said.
For more information see www.bermuda-dining.com/the-dining-room or check them out on Instagram under @Tamarind_Indian_Restaurant or call 238-8679.