Sugar Mill

Spring Farm Dr., Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica •  https://www.halfmoon.com/dining/restaurant/sugar-mill/ • +1 876-953-2211

Sugar Mill, as one might guess, is an old sugar mill from back in the planation days of Jamaica, situated on the stunning Half Moon property (pictured), which pays faithful homage to the history of the island with its grand, Victorian white buildings all the way down to an authentic, antique mill still turning gracefully next to you whilst you dine.

But dining inside or out, the space is beautifully done. And the music comes courtesy of nature itself, as tree frogs serenade you throughout the evening. Also adding to the grace of the experience is the service, which was bar none the best we received on the island.

The other superlative of the night was the rum punch. The best I’ve had since Mata Chica in Belize. So damn fresh and potent after just two glasses it will have you feeling as irie as ganja.

But then the sugar wheels came off as flavorless dish after flavorless dish came out. From a pumpkin soup that could’ve passed as water to a lobster in need of even more salt than the soup, served next to a side of risotto that might be the worst of the three.

It was so disappointing that I starting mooching off of my friend at the table and even her starter was a waste of jaw muscles. And brain muscles as well, because I don’t even recall what it was. Fortunately her entrée was decent, though. A special shrimp prepared in a spicy red sauce.

Also redeeming was the pineapple tarte tatin and the Blue Mountain Coffee Ice Cream. It’s rastafuckingawesome!

So on the whole, Sugar Mill was a surprisingly sour experience, despite all of its charms, because at this level of the game and at this price point there were just WAY too many misses to give it anything more than a deuce.

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251 Lex

251 Lexington Ave. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 • (914) 218-8156 •  251lex.com

251Lex-54

I was excited to try this relative newcomer, which seemed to have promise from the outside looking in. Unfortunately, the promise only seems to be on the outside. In fact, the only nice thing I can say about the inside is that the people are nice. Oh, and the prices were pretty great, granted it was restaurant week, but only twelve dollars for a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc is worthy of a star in and of itself.

Beyond the wine and the warm pita with olive oil, the restaurant falls short on virtually every other metric possible, coming off like a child’s doll house dressed up to play a game of restaurant. The kids, a.k.a. waiters, inside trying so hard to please that it’s almost charming, but when they keep spilling water everywhere and forgetting silverware, the charm wears thin.

In terms of grub, nothing was god awful, but if tepid is the response you’re looking for, then you’ve come to the right place. Starting with the oysters, they were probably the best thing of the night, clean and fresh, served with a beet mignonette that overpowers them, so I would skip it. And while we’re on the subject of skipping things, the kale Caesar salad was cream based, a major no-no, and blah based, also a no-no.

For entrees, the salmon with cracked bulgur struggled to even register a pulse, as did the signature octopus dish, served with Israeli couscous in a skillet that’s so friggin piping hot you could probably still use it as a kiln to bake ceramics after it cools down a touch.

With the writing already firmly on the wall, there was little dessert could do to sway my already solidified opinion and as one would expect, dessert did little to even try. The Greek yogurt and honey panna cotta with fig mostrada, while interesting in theory, proved par for the course in terms of taste. That said, I’m not the biggest panna cotta fan, so the fact that I didn’t hate it is a major coup for 251. And finally the gelati was also semi-decent in the most average sense possible, falling short of supermarket gems like Talenti and Steve’s.

And falling short was theme throughout. Short of expectations and hopes. Really not sure what people see in this place or why it has the crowd or reviews that it does, but I suppose I’ll chalk it up to the fact that people are easily fooled. Case in point, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. Mic drop.

2 teeth

Anglers

Central Terminal Dr. • LaGuardia AirportTerminal C • East Elmhurst, NY 11371
 Anglers_Interior

While LaGuardia has most certainly upped its game as of late, there is still some upping left to be done. For starters, with the food. Sure, airport food is typically crap, but even within this very crappy spectrum, there exists the potential to be barely crappy, or super crappy. Sometimes, dare I say, even surprisingly good. Just check out Axel’s Bonfire in Minneapolis, Uncorkd in SFO or Beaudevin in Charlotte, NC.

But back to the rule as opposed to the exception, which is squarely where you’ll find Angler’s. Set amongst 4 other restaurants in a iPad serviced food court of the future that sounds much more interesting than it is. You basically search the menu on the iPad bolted to your table, place your order, and swipe your card to pay in advance- including tip. Which is a bit fucked up, because unless you’re clairvoyant, how in the hell do you know how much you want to tip server? Especially when they aren’t even really waiting on you, the friggin’ iPad is! But for argument sake, let’s assume you went the default, 18%. And let’s also assume you got the same shitty service I got. They delivered my poor excuse for a lobster roll a woeful 10 minutes before ever bringing my lemonade. And no, they didn’t even bother to bring me water to tide me over. Which posed quite the dilemma for me, do I eat it while the bun and fries are still warm, risking a parched mouth in dire need of moisture? Or, do wait for my drink to arrive, turning an already mediocre dish into a tepid mess? I split the difference.

Now, one might say to me, Ferocious Foodie, what in the hell were you thinking ordering a lobster roll at an airport? To which I would respond, fair point, duly noted and won’t happen again.

1 tooth