A kaleidoscopic tablescape of farm-to-fork treasures
If it were possible to make a kaleidoscope of flavor, texture and scent – along with color – this September would make a dazzling sensory tablescape. Just as you focus on the coral hue of the grilled salmon with an autumnal brown sugar glaze, charred broccolini, fingerlings and the lemon thyme buerre blanc – thyme fresh-snipped from our kitchen garden, a turn brings out the golden hues of the stuffed acorn squash whose red quinoa, golden raisins, kale, caramelized onions and tomato sauce with fins herbs reflect the rays of the setting sun. Just reading the fall menu for 88 seems an incantation of the autumn harvest at its best: the fruits of sea and orchard, earthy mushrooms and smoky meats meant to stir the soul as well as the senses.
An Indian Summer repast – dinner in 88 or Bogie’s – will create “Oceanside memories, made in Maine” that will linger into the colder months, when all we have is the inner glow from such wonderful opportunities to dine on the locally fished, farmed and harvested treasures that seem to abound here on the Midcoast.
As if the local purveyors – Maine Cheese Company, Atlantic Lobster, Tourmaline Hill Farm and more – weren’t enough, we have our very own vineyard and craft brewery within reach. Cellardoor Winery and Boothbay Craft Brewery are at their peak in this harvest season. As if the universe somehow knows that autumn alpine light can turn deep burgundies and golden artisanal ales into the stained glass windows into our imaginations.
As Proust recognized in a single madeleine, the memories stirred by tastes are among the most atavistic we humans enjoy. If you can call up September in the middle of a snowstorm this winter, just by enjoying one more dinner at Spruce Point Inn, the need seems as urgent as cleaning the chimney or putting up the storm windows against winter winds to come.
Give that sensory kaleidoscope one more turn. We’ll be waiting for you.