Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant

You may have caught some of my social media posts about the Dove Restaurant re-opening in Road Town. I made a very poorly kept secret of how excited I was when their doors opened again in December (following a lengthy closure and refurbishment after Irma.) 

Initially just serving weekday lunches and bar snacks. Later this month (I hear rumors of January 28th) they hope to open for dinner. Which I am positive will be well-supported, if their first few weeks has been anything to go by.

Yesterday they kicked off with a fantastic six course wine-paired tasting menu in collaboration with Proudly African and Elena Walch wines. A sold-out event saw 40 of us filling the small restaurant in Road Town.

Elena Walch Wine Tasting Dinner at the Dove - beautiful Road Town Restaurant

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - Tasting Notes and Menu

Obviously I was all over this and after all the feasting last night I’m thrilled to share it with you today.

As with previous Proudly African wine dinners, the tasting notes were waiting for us when we sat down. Along with an incredibly tempting menu. This was accompanied by a crisp glass of Laurent Perrier champagne.

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - Tasting Notes and Menu

Our wine expert, Julia Walch (Elena’s daughter), started the event by telling us a little about the region that the wines are produced in, and some history behind the brand. Located in the very North of Italy at the foot of the Dolomite mountains, the philosophy of the Elena Walch estate is dedicated to its terroir. The concept that the wines directly reflect their soil, cultivation and climate and that this should be celebrated. The estate comprises of five vineyards, each slightly different in altitude, conditions and soil, bringing individual differences and flavour nuances to their wines.

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - Julia Walch hosting the event

Pinot Grigio ‘Selezione’ 2017 – Foie Gras Parfait / Pomegranate Gel

The meal opened with the Pinot Grigio ‘Selezione’ 2017, a light a fresh Pinot Grigio which was well balanced by the rich and velvety smooth Foie Gras parfait and an intensely fruity pomegranate gel.

Elena Walch Wine Tasting Event at the Dove Restaurant - Foie Gras Parfait with Pomegranate Gel

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - First Course - Foie Gras Parfait with Pomegranate Gel

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant

Chardonnay Riserva Vigna ‘Castel Ringberg’ 2016 – Smokey Salmon Crudo / Horseradish Cream / Lemon Curd / Ikura Cones

The second course was a smokey salmon crudo. Perfectly paired with their Chardonnay Riserva Vigna ‘Castel Ringberg’ 2016 (named for the Renaissance castle built there). Not usually a huge fan of the Chardonnay grape variety, I enjoyed the subtle oaky taste which went wonderfully with the smokey fish and salty ikura pearls. The little bite of horseradish setting it off.

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - Second Course - Smokey Salmon Crudo

Grand Cuvée ‘Beyond The Cloud’ 2016 – Fried Burrata / Textures of Pea / Dehydrated Olive / Red Onion

Course three introduced us to the jewel in the Elena Walch crown, their Chardonnay Grand Cuvée ‘Beyond the Cloud’ 2016. Featured in Wine Spectators Top 100 Italian Wines, this blend is the bottle they are perhaps most known for. And with good reason. 80% Chardonnay and 20% ‘a secret’, this was my favourite wine of the evening. Paired with a crisp fried burrata cheese and textures of pea, this was the wine and cheese of dreams.

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - Third Course - Fried Burrata and Textures of Pea

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - Third Course - Fried Burrata with Textures of Pea

Pinot Nero ‘Ludwig’ 2015 – Spiced Monk fish poached in Elena Walch Pinot Nero / Creamed Leek & Spinach

Course four brought out the first of the reds. A spiced red wine poached monk fish with their Pinot Nero ‘Ludwig’ 2015. I was pleasantly surprised by the red wine and fish combination and the Pinot Nero wasn’t overpowering. The firm and meaty texture of the monk fish working well with the lighter red wine.

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - Fourth Course - Red Wine poached Monk Fish

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - Fourth Course - Red Wine poached Monk Fish

Merlot Riserva Vigna ‘Kastelaz’ 2015 – Roast Venison Loin / Beetroot /  Truffle Pomme Purée

The main course showcased the Merlot Riserva Vigna ‘Kastelaz’ 2015 a velvety red that went deliciously with the roast venison loin and it’s accompanying earthy beetroot and truffle pomme purée.

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant - Fifth Course - Roast loin of Venison

Gewürztraminer ‘Concerto Grosso’ 2017 – Olive Oil Cake / Orange Ginger Gel / Vanilla Ice Cream / Candied Orange

Finally dessert and dessert wine! Not to be outdone by the reds preceding it, a fruity Gewürtztraminer ‘Concerto Grosso’ 2017. With beautifully floral notes and a powerful lychee flavour the Gewürtztraminer accompanied a moist olive oil cake, with a creamy vanilla ice cream and tangy orange ginger gel. The citrus notes of the gel and candied orange highlighting those in the sweet dessert wine.

We just about had enough time to finish up and enjoy an espresso before it was time to race for the ferry!

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant

Elena Walch Wine Tasting at the Dove Restaurant

Tonight we get to do it again at CocoMaya, Virgin Gorda. Same wines but a slightly different menu.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Chef Lee Cowie does with the pairings this time. Those of you I know that have booked your tickets are going to have an incredible evening.

Space at the CocoMaya event is extremely limited and may already be sold-out. Follow along on my Instagram stories if you would like to see more!

The Dove Restaurant is in central Road Town, Tortola.
Contact: +1 (284) 494 0313
Website: http://dove-restaurant.com/

 

Read previous Dove Restaurant post.

For more restaurant recommendations and information about the dining scene in the British Virgin Islands you can find my restaurant guide here.

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Sunday Brunch-ing at Sugar Mill

Sunday Brunch-ing at Sugar Mill

Now you guys know that I love a good brunch (why do I feel like I preface so many posts this way?). So when I got wind of the fact that Tramonti (the beach side restaurant at Sugar Mill Hotel, West End) was serving a cracking Sunday brunch offering, I was rabidly tenacious in my desire to get down there and try it out. And, a few weeks ago, that tenacity paid off and I was rewarded with a delightful few hours sat oceanside, enjoying good food and a good few cocktails.

Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI - beautiful outdoor seating on the beach

Now, I’m not going to say that I plan my Sunday’s around brunch… okay fine, I plan my Sunday’s around brunch. But a long brunch with great friends is certainly a highlight of my weekend. And a Sunday afternoon spent at Tramonti was a Sunday done right.

Sunday Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - views out over the water

We started off at the bar with a couple of mimosas while we waited for the rest of our party to arrive. Before moving out into the restaurant. It really is a charming spot. Right on the water with the waves crashing below you and the pelicans catching their lunch. The kitchen is open along the back wall of the restaurant. I love an open kitchen (I think because I’m nosy and it builds a certain anticipation as I await my food!)

Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI - Views from the bar across the beach

Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - Mimosas before sitting down for brunch

Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - charming restaurant with open kitchen

Sunday Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI - Tables right on the waterfront

The menu looked amazing with brunch dishes you won’t find anywhere else in the Territory (like the kipper dish or the kedgeree) nuzzled alongside standard brunch fare like burgers and eggs benedict. I deliberated a few options before selecting the avocado toast with poached eggs and bacon (the Pancho Villa). The others on my table went for the burger, the steak frites and one of the salads. The whole group of us were thrilled with our picks and service was friendly and quick.

Sunday Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - Delicious and varied menu

Sunday Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - Delicious and varied brunch menu

My avocado toast (the Pancho Villa) was served on a toasted flat bread with plenty of chunky crushed avocado and perfectly poached eggs.

The burger is served in a pita bread instead of the conventional burger bun, which makes it a little lighter with the focus being on the juicy meat patty and toppings rather than the bread. It was a hit!

The salad choice with Brie bacon and tart cranberries was also a tasty option.

Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - Juicy Breakfast Burger

Sunday Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI - Avocado toast with poached eggs and bacon

Sunday Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI

Sadly we were all too full for dessert this time. But I definitely want to return to try the sweets. I’ve heard big things about their dinner menu too, so it looks like I’ll have to head back, hopefully sooner rather than later!

If you want to know more about current dining options in the British Virgin Islands, check out my restaurant guide here – featuring this place and many other gems.

Sugar Mill Hotel and Restaurant is located in Apple Bay, West End, Tortola.
Contact: +1 (284) 342 0940 or +1 (284) 495 4355 to arrange a reservation.
Open 7 days a week for lunch or dinner.
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Lunch at Lady Sarah’s Farms

Lunch at Lady Sarah’s Farms

I have been loving all the openings and re-openings this year, some after the hurricane and some entirely new faces appearing. It’s been so much fun having new and exciting restaurants, resorts and venues to add into our rotation.

Lady Sarah’s Farms is a bit of an anomaly in that it first opened as a tea room and cafe on Tortola in 1998 but sadly closed in 2002. Fortunately for us in the BVI, this closure wasn’t permanent though. Sixteen years later Lady Sarah’s Farms re-opened in their location on Main Street in June 2018 and has been gaining popularity ever since. Increasingly tough to get a reservation in this charming little cafe, Lady Sarah’s is a key venue on the Road Town working lunch options.

Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday and serving up delicious meals with their farm fresh ingredients.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

The menu changes daily and features, small snacks, sandwiches, soups and salads along with larger entree dishes. While no alcohol is served on the premises, the menu also features amazing fresh tea and lemonade options – like their refreshing and tasty watermelon lemonade or their lemongrass iced tea. The menu is full of Caribbean flavour and features all local ingredients, many of them produced on their own farm. I’ve been steadily making my way down the menu trying as many different dishes as possible over the course of several visits.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm to Fork ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

The Bang Bang Conch was the perfect light and crispy starter – shared so that we didn’t feel like quite such greedy piggies.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

The Calypso chicken with coconut jasmine rice and slaw seems to be something of a staple on the menu and for good reason – it’s the perfect sticky bbq chicken with a rich, dark glaze.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

Aunt Becca’s seafood bowl marries together fresh mahi mahi and shrimp, with tropical fruit and just the right amount of heat for a really light and fresh lunch.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

The quinoa salad bowl with chicken tasted as good as it looks.

Be sure to leave a little space for something from the bakery – the spiced apple donuts I tried were delicious and I hear good things about the pound cake!

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

This past weekend Lady Sarah’s Farms opened up on a Saturday for brunch. Sadly I wasn’t able to get over to Tortola this time, but I look forward to trying it as soon as possible – I have my eye on their banana pancakes and the ginger spice hot chocolate.

I see from their promotional material that they have some Sunday brunches coming up with live jazz music and different food stations. The first on Sunday 21st October and a further two penciled in for 18th November and 20th January, which sound incredible.

Contact +1 (284) 496 8011 to request your table, or visit their Facebook page – reservations for lunch are highly recommended. Will you be paying Lady Sarah’s a visit?

For more suggestions of dining options around the BVI, check my restaurant guide here. Are your favourites featured?

 

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Brunch-ing at Captain’s Kitchen

Brunch-ing at Captain’s Kitchen

If you’ve been following along for a while you might already be aware that brunch is one of my favourite past times. It really is the perfect excuse for a weekend get together with friends – is it breakfast? Is it lunch? Who cares? It’s delicious, and it comes with mimosas! Count me in! 

 

Ever since their opening in January of this year, I had heard so many good things about Captain’s Kitchen and was determined to try it out for myself – so I hopped on the ferry and headed to Tortola this weekend, motivated by tempting brunch morsels and the possibility of a Bloody Mary once I reached the restaurant. I wasn’t disappointed!

 

I had read that the restaurant is small and that reservations are recommended, so we made sure to call in advance. It is also worth noting that parking is very limited in Macnamara, the residential area where Captain’s Kitchen is located, so car-pooling might be an idea. 

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - views over Road Town Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - all produce sourced locally

 Brunch was beautifully varied with a great menu and a fabulous specials board. There was a good selection of items including vegan and gluten free options. Everything is farm fresh and most dishes seem packed with different fruits and veggies. Definitely a chance to get in your 5-a-day! 

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI perusing the menuBrunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - checking out the specials

All three on our table decided to order from the daily specials and we eagerly awaited our dishes, while we enjoyed a couple of mimosas and the view from their deck. The deck does benefit from those natural BVI breezes, but being September it was warm up there and I would have loved it if there had been a couple of ceiling fans to help circulate the air when the breeze died. 

 

Our meals arrived and I was thrilled with my choice; asparagus salad with roasted vegetables topped with poached eggs and drizzled with hollandaise sauce, garnished with beautifully ripe avocado and pieces of fresh fruit. I also opted for a cheeky side of bacon… Chef Fiona can tell you all about the local suppliers that she gets her vegetables, herbs, salad leaves and fruit from. Each item sourced locally in the BVI, mostly organic. 

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Farm fresh and delicious dishesBrunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Farm to table dining
The Chia pancakes (vegan but with optional side of bacon) and the fish burger (made with Bangamary fish) were also declared delicious and polished off enthusiastically. 

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Vegan and Gluten free optionsBrunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Vegan and Gluten free optionsBrunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Fresh fish burger

 I look forward to updating this post with other dishes as I try them, as that certainly won’t be my last visit! I’ll be bringing my swimsuit too for a dip in their pool!

 

Have you tried the brunch at Captain’s Kitchen yet?

More information regarding where to eat in the BVI can be found in my restaurant guide here! Have you tried all my favourites yet?

 

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From Farm To Table: Brandywine Estate Restaurant

From Farm To Table: Brandywine Estate Restaurant

For years the farm to table concept has been gathering momentum across the world and for good reason. Eating local, shopping local produce, farmer’s markets, organic and now the freshest of the fresh – straight from the garden to the plate – means that many of us are eating better than ever.

Finally, the initiative is starting to arrive in the BVI – first with local farmers and now the restaurants.

Chef Regis Bourdon, and his team at Brandywine Estate Restaurant, are the latest to embrace the movement and have been working hard to cultivate an impressive garden area, bringing all the herbs and vegetables out of the earth and right onto their menu.

Farm to fork initiative at Brandywine Restaurant, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

Regis and his climbing spinach seedling army in the nursery – who knew there was climbing spinach? 

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

It’s been no small undertaking, a labour of love – not without it’s challenges. Leveling the ground, building the beds, keeping out the livestock, improving the soil quality, irrigation, it’s still a work in progress and Chef Bourdon has big plans, but what they’ve achieved already is very exciting.

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!
Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

I took some time this weekend to go and explore this herby-oasis, their garden of green goodness in the midst of the Caribbean cacti and aloe plants. I sampled some of the harvest and wanted to hear a bit more about what they’ve been up to.

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

Beautifully peppery arugula. 

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

The plan is that once the garden is fully established it will be supplying all of the herbs and vegetables for the restaurant, (with maybe the exception of onions and potatoes). Even better news for the rest of us, Chef Regis estimates that some of his farm fresh produce will be available for sale since supply may well exceed the restaurant’s demand.

Brandywine recently changed up their lunch and dinner menus for the summer season – so along with our usual favourites there were a few new treats available. This and the new half-price bottles of Rose on offer on a Saturday lunchtime made for some big smiles and full tummies.

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

Creamy Burrata and Parma Ham salad with their fresh arugula leaves

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

The new salmon deviled eggs are a bit of a game-changer

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

We typically ended up staying far later than intended (it miiiiight have had something to do with the half-price wine deal) but it’s just such a charming place to wile away a leisurely afternoon. We took ourselves up to the pétanque court, caught up with friends and spent ages just enjoying the views and the breeze on the terrace, until before we knew it we were the only ones left… (Oops!)

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

The garden at Brandywine is just getting started and I can’t wait to see what they’ll be coming up with next. Looks like I have a few more long Saturday lunches on the cards, maybe I’ll see some of you there… 🙂

See more about Brandywine Estate Restaurant here, or call +1 (284) 495 2301 for reservations.

EDIT: Brandywine re-opened following Hurricane Irma in December 2018 after extensive renovations and something of a make-over! The same delicious dishes are being served for lunch and dinner although the farming is not yet back up and running. 

PS. See more about where and what to eat when visiting the BVI here.

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