Saturday, July 25, 2009

Copper Beech Inn

Located in Ivoryton.

The Copper Beech Inn is one of those special places which lend New England its charm.
Nestled away in a small rural town, there is no reason not to want to come to the Copper Beech.
We came to eat.

The dining room is warm and comfortable. Appointed nicely, but ultimately unassuming. Comfortable in its own skin, if you will.

Another meal, another Sancerre. I love this wine, as it never disappoints.

To start, I chose the pork belly with a black garlic glaze, cucumber pickled radish-cilantro, and scallion pancake; my wife, the Grilled Cheese Sandwich: oxtail, Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese, black truffles, horseradish foam and smoked mushrooms.

My pork belly was good; loved the pickled radish.
However, the scallion pancake was awful: thin, hard and dry.

Ah, but now the grilled cheese: the best! One of the best dishes my wife and I have ever eaten. Simply lovely.

For mains we had the halibut with almond puree, ricotta gnocchi and sorels and morels; and the veal chop with cheddar croquette and spring onion salad.

Both were very good, nicely prepared and tasty.

But it's the grilled cheese we'll remember.

Bill's Seafood Restaurant

Located in Westbrook.

This classic seafood joint sits on the Patchogue River adjacent to the "Singing Bridge" in Westbrook.
They don't take reservations, and they dont take credit cards.
So show up early on a Friday or Saturday night, especially if you expect to sit outside on the deck, and bring cash.
The primary draw of Bills is the outdoor seating on the deck with its multitude of picnic tables.
Summertime on the shoreline does not get better than this.
And a lot of people are onto that fact. Which is why you'll have to queue up and expect a wait of about 30 minutes for you table, if you arrive at the height of dinner hour.

Inside you won't find anything special, except maybe the Dixieland jazz band, and the old couple dancing.
The room is relatively dark, with substantial old wooden tables and a nautical theme throughout.
But the deck is where you want to be. Fortunately, you'll be lined up near the bar, so enjoy a cocktail while you wait.

Once seated, you will find the wait staff attentive and quick, given the size of their audience.
Our waitress brought drinks for two tables, and took our order with only one hand free.
Bill knows how to turn tables.

I ordered the New England Clam Chowder, and a special, Jamaican Jerk Swordfish on a bed of greens with the house vinagrette.
My wife chose the seafood chowder and mussels in a white sauce.

Complaint: my chowder was only just warm.
Compliment: my wife's seafood chowder was excellent. Perfectly balanced, and not too fishy.

My wife's mussels were also very good.

Now, to my swordfish. There was nothing Jamaican or Jerky about it. I doubt it had ever even been introduced to a habanero.
However, it was seasoned nicely and cooked to near perfection.
The vinagrette was slightly sweet and very tasty.

For dessert, you can visit Ashley's Ice Cream located on the same property.

Overall, a very good dining experience.