Tom Moore’s Tavern

7, Walsingham Lane, Hamilton, Bermuda

A warren of rooms make up this cozy restaurant that some claim is the oldest on the island. The building itself was originally a private waterside home constructed in 1652—some 40 years after the first English settlers arrived to Bermuda—and it has operated as restaurant for more than a century. The name comes from the married Irish poet who lived here and spent his days on Bermuda composing love poems to local women. However, don’t let the tavern in the name fool you: The cuisine and vibe here is haute, and the menu showcases French influences on island favorites, as well as traditional Bermuda fish chowder and grilled meats; if they’re listed on the day’s menu, the soufflés are a must-try. There’s no longer exactly a dress code (the emphasis is on “elegant casual”), but like everything in Bermuda, it is best to err on the side of formal.

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An Ode to Infamy and Irish Melodies at Tom Moore's Tavern

With its casement windows, arched entryways, cozy fireplaces and intimate dining rooms, Tom Moore’s Tavern is an impressive example of Colonial Bermudian architecture. Its namesake, the Irish poet Thomas Moore, was a frequent visitor during his stay in Bermuda around 1803. Before becoming famous for prose and poetry, Moore served as a registrar to the Bermudian Admiralty Court. Moore’s “Ode to Nea” caused quite a scandal as it is presumably about Nea Tucker, a local married woman. These days, the only scandalous deeds are the decadent dessert selections. Choose from local seafood, smoked salmon, and veal dishes, and then top it off with baked-to-order soufflés, crepes Suzette, or dark chocolate tarts. There is also an extensive international wine list. With views of Walsingham Bay, the terrace is perfect for a special event. The building, dating to 1652, served as a tavern before it became a restaurant, though it kept the “tavern” name. Sounds much more “Moore-ish,” don’t you think?

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