The best of two worlds – fine and casual dining – collide on one plate in a burger and lobster offering that’s popped onto the market one night a week, during lobster season. And to be honest, it’s a perfect pairing, so adding a glass of complementary wine to the experience makes it one that’s a must-do.
Burgers, for the most part, are inexpensive and crazy popular no matter where in the world you live; lobsters are highly coveted and seen as an expensive delicacy to be indulged in mostly during special occasions. And the beauty of wine is that it makes food taste better. There is no greater pleasure than in finding the perfect complementary wine and food flavors.
And you can enjoy the best of all these worlds as the British Colonial Hilton Hotel and Bristol Wines & Spirits have come together for their one-night-a-week, Wednesday night, burger and lobster night between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. at the Bullion Bar. The premise
behind the event is so simple: you get a choice of three burgers – beef, salmon or chicken – with half of the coveted Bahamian spiny lobster – which is now in season – with a glass of wine of your choice – a Submission Cabernet Sauvignon or Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay.
The Submission, which is described as an excellent value under $20, pairs well with the rich, fatty beef burger, as well as the sweet, delicate lobster meat. It’s a wine that has a crushed velvet mouthfeel, and draws you in with flavors of ripe mixed berries, but still allows the savory burger flavors and lobster to shine. It does not overwhelm.
The Submission Cabernet is an elegant, yet slightly brooding wine and a steal at its price point.
The Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay, a pleasurable, food-friendly Chardonnay, is crafted in a fresh, soft style with bright apple and sweet citrus fruit character with subtle spice and oak nuances. It’s a complex and interesting wine that plays well with the chicken or salmon burger if you decide to go that route.
For the salmon burger, the Hilton offers a salmon filet on their salmon burger so that you get that complete salmon flavor rather than them chopping the beautiful fish, then having to add in ingredients to bind it into a patty.
Whichever burger and lobster combination you choose, prepare to be impressed when the platter is set before you. But note well, this experience is only to be had on Wednesday nights.
The burger and lobster concept is the brainchild of Derek Smith, food and beverage director at the Hilton.
“He wanted to do something that was a bit casual in style,” said Melissa Hanna, wine sales representative and brand manager for Minuty Rose. “And lobster is usually so classical when plated for dinner, [that] he wanted to come up with something more casual for dinner, and he liked the idea of a burger and lobster for a dinner special, incorporating wines from Bristol Wines & Spirits.”
Hanna said they came up with the Submission Cabernet to complement the burger, and the Chateau Ste Michelle to complement the lobster and chicken.
Kyle Stubbs, Bristol Wines & Spirits wine manager, said that in selecting the wines to pair with the burger and lobster offerings, they opted for wines that fit the Bahamian palate.
“For us, people say sweet, but it’s not more of a style – it’s more fruit-driven and forward with the fruit giving the impression that there is some sweetness … that residual kind of thing. So, we looked through the portfolio and chose the Submission Cabernet and the Chateau St. Michelle.
“The body of Chardonnay is white wine which makes it ideal to go on the side of [foods] like salmon and chicken. But Chateau Ste Michelle is from Washington State in the United States. It’s the fruit forwardness of the wines that make them complementary to the Bahamian palate, but then the substance, the body of the weight of the Cabernet in terms of on the side of the beef burger, and then the weight, treatment and consistency of the Chardonnay allows it to go on the side of lobsters, pastas and cream-based pastas and chicken.”
Stubbs added that the price point also played a part in the decision making.
“I think it’s genius what Melissa and Derek came up with,” he said of the burger and lobster night. “Who doesn’t enjoy a burger? It’s burgers…it’s lobster…it’s a glass of wine, but literally it’s a plate for two,” he said.
To be honest, the burger-lobster combination is sharable, just in case you want to dabble and take in a few appetizers from the Bullion menu which also features a prosciutto crostini with fresh basil, brie, cranberry compote and balsamic reduction that hits all the right notes – salty, sweet, crunchy and creamy. The conch chowder is also a hearty portion and a savory delight.
Shrimp cocktail, fried calamari, conch salad, a pigeon pea black bean soup, Caesar salad and salmon Nicoise salad, are also to be had. Entrée offerings run the gamut from a Bahamian lobster roll, baked crabs, chicken and leek pot pie, chicken wings, mini riblets, fish and chips, grilled snapper, goat cheese filet mignon and brick-pressed jerk chicken, to satisfy every palate.
There’s also the option to peruse the Aqua menu where the gamut runs from crab cakes to a lobster and shrimp cocktail, crab ravioli, Nassau-style grouper, crispy roasted duck and peppered beef, to name a few. Truffle cake, mango panna cotta, peanut butter and chocolate mousse, a passionfruit mousse cake and fruit tarte are among the dessert offerings.