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The sounds, the scents, the sights

Dining at the iconic Bahamian Club at the Atlantis can be an intoxicating experience

With so many new experiences to be had, sometimes you can overlook the tried and true and the iconic. And The Bahamian Club at the Atlantis is one of those restaurants that if you haven’t experienced yet, you simply must — not only for the food, but the ambiance itself as the dark woods, plush fabrics and intimate seating are reminiscent of an old school steakhouse. It’s a true dining experience.

When I think of The Bahamian Club what immediately comes to mind are aged steaks and chops and seafood, with Bahamian as well as French accents served in a club room setting to lend towards a dining experience that won’t soon be forgotten.

On a recent visit, I was most pleasantly surprised to find a few shifts in the menu, which took the restaurant literally back to its roots as an upscale steakhouse. I had no problems with that at all.

The problems came in when it came down to making decisions. That can sometimes leave me in a quandary, especially when the menu offerings are enticing, and waiters with sizzling plates pass your table delivering goodies to other diners.

The sounds. The scents. The sights. The Bahamian Club can be intoxicating.

I had no problems choosing a starter. I opted for the escargot with garlic, white wine and lemon butter, because when escargot is offered on a menu, hands down, I will be having it.

The plump, juicy escargots were garlicky and buttery, and the slice of bread served atop begged for me to sop up the delicious juices with the slice of French bread that came with it.

Continuing on my French start, I went with the French onion soup, because who can resist a good tureen of French onion soup and scooping through toasty, melted Gruyere cheese to get to the rich onion soup beneath, and slices of French bread soaked in that brothy goodness. At The Bahamian Club, they proudly let you know that their soup is made with local beer. When done right, French onion soup is hard to resist. I surely can’t.

In an effort to keep at bay the guilt I felt for my early indulgences, I went with the Scottish salmon filet, with a crab meat Oscar as an add-on. The wait staff was not having it. After being given a number of recommendations on the ribeye steak, which is my preferred cut of choice if I’m having a steak, I changed to the ribeye. I did not know what I was in for.

When the ribeye was placed before me, I had to grab a menu because it was not at all what I expected. It was a huge 24-ounce Cowboy ribeye. It was impressive, and just by looking at it, too much for me to handle. It was topped with the crab meat Oscar.

That steak made my husband jealous. Dining with my husband, who is almost predictable in what he orders when we eat out, he put aside the Australian lamb chops he had ordered, because he couldn’t take his eyes off my plate, or keep his eating utensils out of it either.

Impressed I was — and that was before I even cut into the steak to find that it was a perfect medium that made for a tender, flavorful, moist, melt-in the mouth experience. The crab meat Oscar was incredibly flavorful, and took my steak to a new level. It was absolutely delicious!

I rounded out my meal with the blueberry and apple cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream, and in true Bahamian Club fashion, it wasn’t a dainty portion either.

My husband rounded out his meal with the conch chowder and Caesar salad with white anchovy, Parmesan cheese and garlic croutons.

What many people overlook when dining out is the service rendered by the staff, and sometimes even I am guilty of overlooking staff — but in this instance, I can’t help but mention Brian Poitier, my waiter for the evening who had me laughing all night. He had a glib answer for everything and was quick on the uptake. But at the same time he was also meticulous in trying his best to ensure that everything was done right, and to my liking. And then there was his captain, Perdro Newbold, who was also meticulous in his service.

When dining at The Bahamian Club, you certainly have to take an appetite with you, or be prepared to leave with a doggie bag, because the huge portions mean you won’t be able to finish your meal.

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