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“Beautiful, romantic setting AND superb food!”

The Sugar Mill Restaurant
Ranked #7 of 153 Restaurants in Tortola
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 26 - USD 35
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Fine dining but on real food with substantial portions. Cocktail bar and Pavillions lounge area overlooking the sea. 400 year old stone built dining room formerly the Rum house of the plantation. Terace section overlooking the sea.
Reviewed 26 May 2017

My husband and I stayed at the Sugar Mill Hotel for three weeks (April 1 to 22) and dined at the hotel's two restaurants every day – the casually elegant, very romantic Terrace for dinner (sometimes breakfast as well), and the much more casual Islands, which is right on the hotel's beach, for lunch. We never once had a less than perfect experience. In fact, both the food and the ambiance were too good to even think of dining elsewhere, and the always-charming owners, Dennis & Mary – who have a special knack for bringing people together – saw to it that we and all of their hotel guests had one great evening after another…. in our case, 21 in a row.

The dinner menu in the main restaurant is extensive, full of tempting dishes designed by the hotel's exceptionally talented chef, Bernard. Wonderful starters, salads, superb entrees and desserts were served every night by a professional staff, overseen by the always gracious and elegant maitre d', Sharon.

Some of our favorite (and repeat) dishes were the cocktail de crevettes, goat-cheese & spinach ravioli, crab cakes, conch fritters, chicken sate, Caesar salad w/grilled shrimp, the fresh "catch of the day" selections, grilled lobster, scampi w/linguini, curried chicken or conch w/mango chutney, the crispy pork belly, and, believe it or not, the best filet mignon we've ever had. Everything was cooked fresh to order, which takes time; but the leisurely pace of a several-course dinner is something to be savored at the Sugar Mill, and we did.

Drinks are top shelf, the wine selection was excellent, and Teresa's island cocktail creations are simply the best. I should note that breakfast in the Terrace Restaurant was also a treat. We loved being able to watch the waves crashing on the beach whilst enjoying our eggs benedict, French toast, full English breakfast, or other morning fare. Lunches at the hotel's open-air Islands restaurant were also consistently terrific. The fish tacos or shrimp-filled pita pockets, among many other options, come with panoramic views of the sea, diving pelicans, Long Bay surfers, and Jost Van Dyke. And since even a three-week stay wasn't long enough for us to try everything on the Sugar Mill's menus, we've already booked a return trip for next April, only this time it will be a reunion with a few other guests we met. We can't wait!

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Thank chapworthy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 - 32 of 648 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2017 via mobile

I went here during vacation with my wife and daughter. The location is perfect and the staff was very friendly. My wife and I both got the fish tacos and they were amazing! By far the best fish tacos I have ever had. I plan to go back again before heading home. This place is a must when in Tortola!

1  Thank corcorans11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2017

Even a five-star establishment has an off night, and it’s a hallmark of quality management that when something does go wrong you fix it, learn from it, and continue to improve. The Sugar Mill is not that kind of place, and the blame is completely on the management.

I don’t’ know if the person we dealt with was the owner, Dennis, who is lionized throughout most of the reviews on this site, but judging by the responses written in this forum to any hint of criticism I would wager our encounter was with the same person who bullies, belittles, and “bans” former clients in the management responses to critical reviews.

This should have been a wonderful experience. The restaurant and the grounds are stunning at night. It is an elegant and romantic setting, finely appointed and decorated. The host staff was friendly and charming even though we did not have reservations. The service staff was efficient with the exception of the communication issue that led to this debacle. The conch fritters were very good, and my Lobster Thermidor lived up to the praise it regularly garners in reviews.

However…

When my wife ordered the duck entrée, she was very specific with the server that she would like it medium-rare, and that she did not want it cooked beyond that. Our friends ordered a dinner of steak and lobster for two to split, and ordered their steak medium-rare. The duck was delivered to the table first, and the breast is sliced on the plate, and there was no hint of red or even pink. I used the flashlight on my phone to be sure. We told the waitress we were sorry, but requested that the kitchen send out another cooked correctly. While the waitress was gone, our friends cut into their steak and it was also medium-well.

The waitress returned and told us the kitchen did not have another duck breast they could serve medium-rare, and she asked if my wife wanted something different. She said that she did not want everyone to wait and that she would eat the duck. It was surprisingly moist considering the doneness, and the chutney was delicious. The same could not be said for our friends’ steak and lobster. The steak was mealy and dry and the small half a lobster was overcooked. Had this been the end of our experience we would have been disappointed, but I would never have bothered writing a review and we would have chalked it up to a bad night.

That was not how the night ended. The server felt bad that we were disappointed (we had informed her at this point that the steak was also overcooked), and asked if she could bring us something else to make it up to us… some of the other appetizers perhaps? We were eating our dinners at that time and declined her offer. After dinner I was reading the dessert menu and remembered several good reviews of some of the desserts, so I called over the waitress and reminded her that we had declined the offer for appetizers but would like to try two of their desserts instead. This is apparently where the miscommunication occurred. She did not interpret this as me accepting her previous offer, but instead she brought the two $9 desserts and added them to the bill. When the bill was delivered I explained that we would not have ordered desserts and that I wanted them removed from the bill. She went to have them removed and sheepishly came back and stated that the manager said he would not remove them. I asked her to have the manager come to the table.

He arrived at the end of the table, ready for a fight. I started to explain the events that led to the issue, but when I got to the part about the duck not being cooked medium-rare he interrupted and said, “So it was not cooked the way YOU wanted it.” I repeated, “It was not medium-rare.” He made a point to say, “So it was not cooked to YOUR specifications”, dripping condescension with every word. Among three of the people at our table we had over 50 years of restaurant experience, and I have been both a sous-chef and a general manager for multiple restaurants. We know what medium-rare looks like. I explained that the kitchen could not replace the duck and was interrupted again with, “Did you eat it?” I said, “Yes, my wife didn’t want the rest of us to wait, so she ate it.” He restated – “So you ate it.” Again I replied “Yes.” He apparently thought we were trying to get out of paying for the entrees, but could not contain his ego long enough to find out the real issue. He said, “We have a custom here that if you eat it, you pay for it.” I told him that we had the same custom in the States, but we also have a custom that if a business did not deliver its product or service as ordered the owner would rectify it, not blame the customer. He claimed he was not blaming us, but I interrupted him this time and said that was exactly what he was doing and that we were not going to waste another minute of our time listening to his accusations. We paid our bill, including the charge for the desserts, and left.

Dennis, I am relatively certain your pompous nature will not allow you to read this without bloviating some disparaging response intended to eviscerate me as you have done to others who have had the audacity to complain in the past, but don’t bother “banning” me. You are in no danger of me ever returning to an establishment you own or operate.

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9  Thank MichaelGerard2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SUGARTEAM, Sugar Mill Team at The Sugar Mill Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2017

When the big " blonde" woman in your party was asked if she ate the duck she said no. When she was asked if she had had anything for a main course in place of the duck she said no. You know and we know that she was lying. She ate every piece of the duck and every thing else on the plate with it. And you eventually admitted that she had eaten it. Then caught in the lie she stormed out. Can I suggest you get your stories straight in future.

Your party ate every morsel of the all the starters , all the mains mains and all the desserts. But because you thought did not like the colour of the duck [ which you say you peered at using the light of a mobile phone - wow what a class act ] you thought you would bully the waitress into giving you desserts or starters or whatever for free.

Why would you think you are entitled to do that?

Do you demand that Wal Mart reduce the bill because you do not like the shade of your corn dogs? Do you demand a reduced rent from trailer park owners because the grass is not green enough? Will you be deducting 10% of your taxes because you don't like the shade of Donald Trumps hair?

No?

Why then do you people think you are allowed to get away with it in restaurants?

We are delighted to hear that you and " the blonde" will not be returning.

The same does not apply to your two companions who cringed with embarrassment throughout your ill mannered rant , with lots of glances at us with rolling eyes and shaking heads. Have you heard from them recently? Somehow we doubt it.



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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2017

We chose this restaurant to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. Staff ignored us when we entered... except for one gentleman, who was excellent. He acknowledged us and allowed us to order a drink while we waited for our table. The restaurant is absolutely beautiful. Hubby's food was good, not great. Mine was bland. I ordered a slice of key lime pie for dessert... when it came, I noticed the crust was black. After looking at it, it was completely burned. Waiter was apologetic but I told him we didn't want it (we ate a tiny bite of it -- it was very burned) nor did we want a replacement piece. He insisted and brought us another piece to go (told him again we didn't want it). We were billed for it and decided that it wasn't worth it to argue. Although the waiter was really SUPER nice, it was disappointing to get billed for something that we didn't (or couldn't!) eat and left us feeling sour about the restaurant. I debated on not writing this review because of how ugly the owner has been to others on here after they wrote a critical review... but I figure it was worth it to share our experience. There are definitely better restaurants to go to on Tortola.

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2  Thank hanaltieri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SUGARTEAM, Manager at The Sugar Mill Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2017

The key lime pie was not burned , we make them day in day out.

The pastry is a very dark brown.

Sounds like everyone tried to please but there is no pleasing some people.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2017

This is considered to be one of the best restaurants on the island but is pricey for the offering. We did have a good meal here-food and service were good. Ambience was nice too.

Thank Rochelle F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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