White Barn Inn

April 25, 2012

Nestled in the quaint New England coastal town of Kennebunkport, White Barn Inn was one of my first stops through southern Maine last week, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. An intimate, classic inn setting, I was welcomed with open arms into the kitchen of Grand Chef, Jonathan Cartwright, to taste his Forbes Five Star menu. Feasting on more than my stomach could take, it was too delicious to leave the plate anything but clean. The various courses included an appetizer of Pan Roast New England Quail Breast and Foie Gras with a Basket of Smoked Leg Confit and Forest Mushroom Risotto. Parmesan Cheese Ice Cream with Crisp Fig Fitter as an intermezzo and Local Salmon Filet in a Parma Ham “Jacket” with Bacon Wrapped Scallop, Spaghetti Squash and Maple Dijon Mustard Sauce for the main course. Although it didn’t stop there, as I had to try Cartwright’s specialty smoked lobster dish and finished off with a multitude of desserts. The entire inn was more than welcoming, and certainly a must-stay for anyone traveling to the Pine Tree State. I hope to return very soon, next time booking an extra day to take advantage of their luxurious spa treatments!

A walk along Kennebunkport's rocky coastline and White Barn Inn

Smoked lobster

An extra dish from the chef

Lounge area

Parmesan Cheese Ice Cream with Crisp Fig Fitter

Inn interior

Pan Roast New England Quail Breast and Foie Gras with a Basket of Smoked Leg Confit and Forest Mushroom Risotto

Local Salmon Filet in a Parma Ham "Jacket"

Bacon wrapped scallop

Salmon

Front Porch at May's Annex

Grand Chef, Jonathan Cartwright's signature smoked lobster dish

Grand Marnier souffle with chocolate sauce

Grand Marnier souffle with chocolate sauce and sorbet

Espresso

Front porch

Maine blueberry sorbet

Breakfast Quiche

Fresh bread

Muffins

Fresh berries

Breakfast meat selection

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Fjorubordid

September 23, 2011

It’s said that people risk their lives in bad weather en route to the village of Stokkseyri for just a few spoonfuls of lobster soup from Fjorubordid. So of course, we decided it would be the ideal place to have lunch on a quiet Monday afternoon. With little more than a few neighborhoods, a closed gift shop and a church, surely this charming coastal town’s restaurant is the spotlight. Offering stunning views and a menu of delicious breads, soups, salads and seafood, we left town stuffed as can be and checked off Stokkseyri on our to-do list.

Lobster soup and sides

 

Some of the best bread dipping sauce-- sundried tomato, sweet garlic and tzatziki

 

Country side salad-- Mozzarella cheese & tomatoes, fresh green salad & slices of marinated beef

 

Lobster soup

 

Fresh homemade bread with tomato spread

Hotel Ranga, one of the world’s top destinations for viewing the Aurora Borealis and Southern Iceland’s only 4 star resort, has everything you could possibly want for a relaxing stay in the countryside, not to mention an outstanding dining room and extremely friendly service from everyone. The hotel’s rustic luxury accomodations sit on wide open land overlooking the East Ranga River. Their chef prepared his modern Nordic cuisine with local ingredients of only the freshest quality, and brought out a beautiful array of dishes.  Although the weather conditions weren’t conducive to check out the Northern Lights, on the positive side, it’s just one more reason for me to start planning my return trip.

East Ranga River at the hotel

Dining room at Hotel Ranga

Smoked Puffin served with beerbread crumble and "cumberland" sauce

Hotel Ranga's Wine bar

Icelandic Cod served on a bed of nuts and local barley with whitewine sauce

Local wild salmon with sweet potato and white chocolate puree, lobster foam and local strawberries

Local wild salmon with sweet potato and white chocolate puree, lobster foam and local strawberries

The hotel's porch

The best chocolate cake dessert

Icelandic Mountain lamb and lobster combo with potato terrine and blueberry demiglaze

Icelandic mountain lamb and lobster combo with potato terrine and blueberry demiglaze

International Suites

Every book I read about Reykjavik told me the best lobster soup around is at Saegreifinn, so we made it top on our list of things to do. The Old Harbour is a beautiful little area tucked into the city, and after spending a morning walking around we took a lunch break to fill ourselves up. It was just as good as everyone had said. The seafood shack, started by a retired fisherman, served top notch lobster soup, fresh homemade bread, and delicious grilled scallop kebabs.

Lobster Soup

 

Lobster Soup

Fresh bread and butter

 

Grilled Scallop Kebabs

 

Lobster & Scallops

Blue Lagoon

September 6, 2011

Our first stop in Iceland was to the famous Blue Lagoon for a spa day. In a dream-like setting, you can’t get more relaxing than bathing in their natural geothermal pools, getting in-water massages and putting on mud masks from scooping up the natural minerals. For lunch, my friend and I tried out their restaurant’s buffet. Being in a country known for their seafood, we sampled a variety of dishes ranging from minke whale sashimi to herring and dill cured salmon before heading back to the pools for more relaxation.

Minke whale sashimi and the spa's natural geothermal seawater pools

Dill cured salmon

Skyr, an Icelandic-style yogurt

Salad

White pasta with chicken and carrots

Sushi of the day

Braised Cod

 

Herring

Do or Dine

August 18, 2011

Saturday afternoon I biked to Brooklyn to visit a friend who recently moved to Bed Sty– not exactly a neighborhood I’m most familiar with, nor do I usually think of when I want to go out for a great meal, but hidden behind the doors of what appears to be an old, run-down Indian fast food joint, is actually a recently opened restaurant, Do or Dine. With dishes like deep fried deviled eggs or the controversial foie gras doughnut, it’s worth the trek out for an evening. The owners and wait staff have fun with the place, giving off personable charm to their customers. It’s BYOB, so drinks won’t drain your wallet, and the back patio is a great place to spend an evening.

Lamb Breast, with cumin and lime

Octopus tacos topped with nori strips

Prawns with cherry tomatoes in clam broth

Deep fried deviled eggs with bacon and culantro

Smoked salmon spread

Foie Gras Doughnut

Newport Classics

August 5, 2011

Aside from the wonderful meals at Belle’s and Corner Café, here are some other highlights from Newport that I highly recommend if ever traveling through. We grabbed a late lunch at The Landing, and ended up staying there until sunset, which offered phenomenal views with an acoustic performance in the background and the bar becoming lively by evening. The Clarke Cooke House, also a popular destination, is just around the corner with four floors of various dining options. If you’re feeling ambitious, a stroll through the market at Aquidneck Lobster Co. provides plenty of options for a home-cooked meal, yet Barking Crab just up the road has delicious seafood prepared for you. As for drinks, it doesn’t get much better than Del’s Lemonade, a Rhode Island favorite, and their trucks are conveniently plotted around town for easy access.

If only I could go back again this weekend to do it all over again. Have a good one! x

Yellow tomatoes, feta cheese, asparagus and vinaigrette from The Landing

Salad at The Landing

Aquidneck Lobster Co.

Fresh fish at the Lobster Aquidneck Co.

Del's Lemonade

Spinach and artichoke dip at Barking Crab

Naked lobster roll at Barking Crab

Penne with chicken in a parmigiano cream reduction with mushrooms, tomato, basil, and toasted almonds at Clarke Cooke House