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There's Something About Bloody Mary's

(April 9, 2003)

Few watering holes are so legendary that they deserve mention on a list of historic touring places, but this bar/restaurant is an exception. Bloody Mary's is a Bora Bora institution and "in" place to hang out, thanks to the many international jet set that continue to dine there. A large outrigger canoe marks the entrance to the dwelling where a long sign catalogues the varied list of celebrities - ranging from Willie Nelson to Nelson Rockefeller.

Walk past lighted torches, large tikis, and a tacky T-shirt shop to begin a very unique experience. Built by stagehands that worked on the 1977 flick, Hurricane, Bloody Mary's character is tropical shabby chic. A thatched roof, sand floor, in addition to tables and stools made of coconut-palm lumber sets the mood for South Seas ambiance.

Enjoy cocktails at the cozy wooden horseshoe-shaped bar. Its here that the famous and not so famous set upon coconut stumps to swizzle fruity tropical concoctions along with the house specialty - Bloody Mary. Most lips around the bar were glued to the tops of straws while others were muttering self-deluding words regarding tomato juice being vitamin-rich, and a few were singing (slurring) Jimmy Buffet tunes. A wall next the bar is a virtual worldwide graffiti area where anyone can leave their mark by stapling a business card or autographed money.

After cocktails, diners are led to the fish table holding the evening's meal selections. Each evening, the daily catch of local anglers is displayed on ice, where after an explanation of exactly what's available, the host takes your order directly with the chef where it is cooked on an open grill. Choices are vast, pick a combination plate, or create your own particular combination. Swordfish, wahoo, mahi-mahi, salmon, lobster (in season), crab, shrimp, steak, chicken, and a vegetarian plate are available. Whatever you chose the meal comes with a choice of potato, vegetable, and salad. (The restaurant is open for lunch too and offers a menu of burgers, sandwiches, and local specialties.)

At the table kick back and relax on your coconut stool (Careful! They tip over easily, especially if you've had one too many Mai Tais) take off your shoes and curl your toes in the silky sand. Service by Polynesian waiters is friendly and efficient. The teriyaki shrimp kabob appetizer with pineapple and small cherry tomatoes was tangy and delightful. Swordfish is perfectly prepared, and the wahoo marinated in teriyaki sauce had just the right kick. Selections for dessert where numerous but the locally made coconut ice cream made for a nice finish to this filling meal.

While the food is quite good, Bloody Mary's is all about local charm. Be aware an average dinner for two along with cocktails will set you back about 15,000 cfp ($90). If you ever make it to Bloody Mary's make a point to check out the bathrooms with their waterfall sinks and phallic toilet handles - truly a unique ending to a not so Bora Bora boring dinner. Bon Apetit!

If You Go:

Visit Bloody Mary's website for the latest information.

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