Posts Tagged ‘Inn by the Sea’

Splurge and save at the Inn by the Sea

May 8, 2010

Through May 26, write a $35 check to Habitat for Humanity, and save 50 percent, Sundays through Thursdays, on a two-bedroom beach, cottage, or loft cottage at the chic, ultra-green, four-diamond, oceanfront Inn by the Sea, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. With the donation, rates range $134.50-$169.50. While you won’t see the special advertised on the site, the rate pops up when you click on reservations and enter potential dates for an overnight or two.

Act quickly, and apply your savings toward the Chef Tasting Menu, served through May 15, in the inn’s ocean-view Sea Glass Restaurant. Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich prepared this six-course New England with a Twist dinner at the James Beard House in New York in February 2010. The price is  $75 per person, or $110 with wine flight, and includes:

amuse bouche
• lobster and seafood ceviche
• roasted beet carpaccio
• pan-seared jumbo scallops
• Atlantic cod and lobster “chowder”
• red wine braised beef cheeks
• local apple crostata

Alternatively, you might splurge at the inn’s spa. Or just reap the savings and enjoy beach strolls, walking through inn’s certified butterfly and bird plantings, or simply plunking down in a lawn chair and enjoying the serenity of listening to waves rolling into shore and birds singing. A boardwalk above a marsh and path through the dunes connects the inn to Crescent Beach; really, it’s quite idyllic.

And here’s a tip: If you stay overnight, order the crab cakes Benedict for breakfast, then keep in the seafood mode with lunch at the nearby Lobster Shack at Two Lights.

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Restaurant Week Maine lodging deals

February 19, 2010

Restaurant Week Maine is quickly approaching and this year, there are some decent lodging deals offered that complement the set-price dinners. For example, the Inn by the Sea is offering a $99 traditional room or garden suites (add $30 for a spa suite), Sun. through Thurs.; Camden’s Hartstone Inn has traditional rooms beginning at $175 including breakfast and dinner, and the Camden Harbour Inn has rates beginning at $87.50 pp including breakfast and dinner. Some Portland B&B’s are discounting rooms, other properties haven’t detailed the offerings, so you need to ask. In any case, it’s a great way to sample some fab properties at a fraction of the peak season costs.

Two chefs team for Haiti relief

January 30, 2010

Okay, foodies, here’s an interesting duo. Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich, of Sea Glass Restaurant at Inn by the Sea, and Chef Larry Mathew  Jr., of Back Bay Grill, are teaming on a Share Our Strength for Haiti Relief dinner.

The five-course dinner with wine pairings is $90 per person, with all net proceeds benefiting Haitian relief efforts. Event takes place at the Sea Glass Restaurant on Feb. 11. Seating is at 6 p.m., but if that sells out, a second seating will be added.

Here’s the menu:

Amuse
Maine Lobster Croquette
Lemon Aioli
*
First Course
Truffle Parsnip Soup
**
Second Course
Crispy Sweetbreads, Mushroom & Cipollini Onion Fricassee
***
Entree
Olive Oil Poached Rack of Lamb
Mustard Spaetzel / Roasted Beets / Balsamic Jelly / Mint
Gremolata
****
Dessert
Coconut Rice Pudding
Vanilla Braised Pineapple

Dine and wine by the sea

January 15, 2010

The Inn by the Sea has a few wine (and one beer) dinners scheduled and has released its Restaurant Week menu. The special dinners do sell out, so it’s wise to make reservations well in advance.

• Feb. 18: A Five-course Argentine Harvest Dinner paired with wines from the Andeluna cellars. Stern Greenwood, from the San Francisco Wine Exchange will describe the wines chosen. It’s worth noting that Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich was reared in Argentina, so he knows the country’s flavors. The courses:

1. South American seafood and lobster ceviche with yuca chips paired with 2007 Torrontes

2. Slow-braised chicken embanadas dumplings paired with 2004 chardonnay reserve

3. Sweetbreads Milanese style, with balsamic glaze and mushroom escabeche, paired with 2004 Malbec limited reserve

4. Entree: grilled grass-fed steak medallion with chimichurri salsa verde and smoked twice-baked potato, paired with 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon reserve

5. aalfajores com dulce de leche.

• March 11: Terredora Winery Wine Dinner

• March 25: Gritty’s Beer Dinner

Restaurant Week, March 1-10: The three-course dinner menu will offer a choice of three appetizers (cream of celery root soup, citrus marinated beets, pan-seared jumbo scallop), three entrees (handmade ricotta gnocchi, gulf of Maine lobster & cod chowder, red wine-braised beef cheeks) and two dessrets (profiteroles, carrot cake). Price will be $30.10.

Foodie news: Inn by the Sea

January 14, 2010

Kudo to Mitchell Kaldrovich, executive chef at the Inn by the Sea, in Cape Elizabeth. He’ll be cooking at the James Beard House on Feb. 27.

In light of that, you might want to check out the inn’s  Inncredible Foodie package:

• two nights lodging

• chef’s choice welcome amenity upon arrival

• meet Kaldrovich in downtown Portland to create a customized lunch menu and tour area specialty purveyors for ingredients together; during the tour, you’ll learn about product selection and preparation techniques

• invitation to join the chef in the kitchen to help prepare the menu. Afterwards, enjoy it with wine parings in the Sea Glass restaurant

• five-course tasting menu with wine parings for two for dinner

Rates begin at $1,015, including everything but food and beverage gratuities.

Snowshoe splurge

January 7, 2010

Craving snowshoes? The Winter Escape package at The Inn by the Sea, an oceanfront boutique hotel in Cape Elizabeth, includes two pairs. Test them on snow-covered Crescent Beach.

Here’s the deal,  the package includes:

•  Two nights in a single bedroom accommodation

•  Two welcome spiked hot chocolates

•  Full gourmet breakfast for two each morning

•  Two pairs of L.L. Bean Winter Walker snowshoes (value around $100 each)

•  Two passes to an L.L. Bean snowshoeing outdoor activity in Freeport (weather dependent)

Rates range $336.45–$370.15 per night, depending upon type of room chose (traditional to spa).

Here’s the fine print: A two-night minimum is required, and packages must be booked at least three days in advance of arrival. Snowshoeing outdoor adventure takes place in Freeport, from 9:30 a.m. until noon and requires onsite registration after 8:30 AM on the activity day. Snowshoeing outdoor adventure is weather dependent and has no cash value if not consumed.

No familiar with the Inn by the Sea? Read my review in maine. magazine.

By the sea, by the sea…

June 21, 2009

Inn By The Sea…by the beautiful sea. That’s the location of the Inn by the Sea.

The inn, a collection of rooms, suites, and two-bedroom cottages evoking Victorian shingle-style architecture, has long been one of Maine’s finest accommodations. Now, one year after a multi-million dollar renovation, it shines even brighter.

IMG_0859Now this is not the place to come on a meager budget unless you snag one of the off-season rates or spring Habitat for Humanity programs, but if you got the bucks, well, you won’t find much classier accommodations in Maine, nor a better inn dining room, nor better service. Nor a place more accommodating to kids and pets.

Now add a cozy lounge, a spa (open to nonguests), a pool, a private boardwalk over the wetlands and dunes to Crescent Beach, a welcoming paw to pets, and ultra-green status—Heck, this place is a certified butterfly waystation and a certified wildlife habitat with  five acres of indigenous gardens, it offers eco-education programs, uses biofuel, has solar heating, a saline pool, amenities in recycled bottles, it has dual-flush toilets, and all the other musts of any green resort, from lightbulbs to bamboo sheets. No green washing here; this place is the real deal.

IMG_0857In the main inn are deluxe rooms (fireplaces), Garden Suites (ground floor level with patio; separate bedroom), and Spa Suites (bi-level with loft bedroom and balcony). Lucky me, I stayed in a spa suite. It was more than spacious, with an expansive downstairs living room, a wet bar with mini fridge and coffeemaker, a porch, and an upstairs balcony bedroom with a bathroom that’s larger than many motel rooms. It has a large spa tub, separate and humongous shower, water closet, dual sinks, and heated floors (loved those!). And the views! Over the gardens, lawn, and pool, to the shrubs shrouding the wetlands, and the ocean.

Throughout the inn the decor is contemporary with a nautical vibe and vaguely reminiscent of a tony yacht: dark wood, compass rose patterns in the floor tiles, images of boats, berth-like sofas, rattan chairs like you’d have expected to find on the Queen Mary, porthole-shaped mirrors. But make no mistake about it, the ocean views are the centerpiece, with big windows framing the gardens and lawns and beyond them, a short stretch of woods-framed wetlands, the dunes, the ocean.

My favorite part: At night,I left my window open to hear waves crashing on distant reefs and against the shore and, on the foggy night, a distant fog horn. That’s my kind of sleep-inducing symphony.

Sea Glass Dining RoomFOOD: If you can’t afford to sleep here, at least dine here; the Sea Glass restaurant is a treat. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner (entrees $18-29), and there’s also a tapas menu in the lounge. Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich gives an international accent to locally sourced Maine foods, but only the grilled gaucho steak and frites truly utilizes his Argentinian upbringing, with a chimichurri sauce.

I can recommend the Mediterranean scramble for breakfast (eggs, with tomatoes, spinach, feta, Kalamata olives), mmmm. And at dinner, the roasted mushroom tart appetizer was a surprise. More deconstructed, than not, with a housemade crust, topped with lightly roasted wild mushrooms, arugula, crumbled feta, and balsamic syrup. It was bright, crisp, full of flavor. The seafood and lobster paella was equally memorable, a classic done well.

I also snitched tastes off other plates . The pan-seared jumbo scallops are another house specialty and with good reason. These are served with truffle parsnip puree, shaved fennel, gaufrettes,and beurre monte—a lot of fancy words that added up to lingering flavors. The goat cheese gnocchi and marinated beet carpaccio also hit the mark, pleasant surprises, not the usual same-ole, same-ole treatments of goat cheese and beets.

WOOF: Seventeen rooms are dog friendly, one is cat friendly. Get this: Fido can order off a room-service pet menu and have an in-room massage, is welcome throughout the inn and on its grounds, and in winter, is allowed to play on Crescent Beach. If I return, I’m bring my Leos.

IMG_0858

Maine: By the sea, by the sea…

May 14, 2008

I spent many a sunny day in my youth on the sands of Cape Elizabeth’s Crescent Beach, and special occasions often meant a dinner at the Crescent Beach Inn. Decades ago, that was torn down and replaced in 1986 by the Inn by the Sea. The beach-front inn has always been ahead of the curve: It was one of the first true luxury properties in Maine; one of the first to welcome pets (at no extra charge!); and one of the first to earn green certification.

Not one to be left behind, the inn has just finished a multi-million dollar renovation, redecorating in handsome understated colors, and will reopen on June 6. Everything’s been spiffed up, redecorated and upgraded, and noteworthy is the addition of a full-service spa.

My dog, Bernie, insists I tell you that this is one cool place to go. Dogs are honored guests in specific pet-friendly rooms and receive bowls, beach towels, blankets, even treats at turn down. Specialty services are available, including gourmet room-service, walking service and day care. And there’s also a doggie bag filled with all sorts of goodies, from treats to toys. Now that’s something to woof about.