In looking for menus that were attractive to us and would get us away from Atlantis, we came across Montagu Gardens. What caught my eye were the reasonable prices and the reports that they would pick you up and return you to your hotel. That alone saves you over $23 in taxi costs.
We called in a reservation and were pleased to be picked up at the Royal Towers on time by Oscar. After a brief stop to pick up two more couples at the Coral Towers, Oscar waxed enthusiastically about Nassau and the history of Montagu Gardens. He also described many of the things on the menu.
The restaurant occupies the first floor of the mansion. It is not huge, but tables are adequately spaced. They had decorated for Christmas, so the place was warm and inviting. Maybe 25% of the tables were occupied, including several larger family groups of locals. They do a big business with civic events, corporate parties, etc., and had something going on with a band in an outdoor courtyard (separated from the building by trees).
We were seated immediately on arrival, given menus quickly, and then the waitress disappeared. About 10 minutes later, a waiter asked if we were being helped. When we said we didn't think so, we saw him go to talk with someone and then he came back to our table with what Oscar had promised was delicious garlic bread. He stuck with us for the rest of the meal and was very accommodating.
This was one of the few restaurants that offered snapper fillet. Most places served the whole fish. My wife loves snapper and we were looking forward to finally having it on this, our 5th and last night in the area, but they did not have any! I settled on the blackened Bahamian grouper. The fish was good with a thin, tame coating of spices. My wife decided to just have a side dish of grilled vegetables.
I also decided I couldn't leave Nassau without trying the Conch Chowder. I wish I had made that decision on the first night. The soup was very tasty with a tomato base, small vegetables, and spices. What caused me to love it is the very close resemblance to Maryland crab soup. The stocks were very similar! And, like Maryland crab soup, there was very little discernible conch in the bowl. To be honest, I've had many bowls of crab soup with little crab in it, so it might be a combination of how much seafood they put in the pot and how much it was stirred when they filled your bowl.
When we got our bill, I called the waiter over and told him I was unhappy with it. He had forgotten to charge for the vegetable side dish. I really think he was new, because he went off to talk with someone again. When he came back, the bill was unchanged and he said not to worry about it. I didn't (but I did add the cost of the dish to the tip).
Oscar was on a run, so another waiter returned us to our hotel. We were glad to be taken for a ride!
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