Five Things: Seasons at Ocean House, Watch Hill
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
One. Cocktail hour.
Seasons impressed me from the beginning with an expansive and varied cocktail list. Favorites from the 1930 Savoy cocktail book are given new life alongside new offerings with a bit more whimsy. The Blood & Sand (created for the 1922 movie by the same name) was simple, elegant and perfect for cocktail hour. Scotch whiskey is blended with Cherry Heering, sweet vermouth and orange juice for a sweet and balanced sip. My server also suggested I tried something new. Under her guidance I opted for the In The Weeds cocktail. An homage to busy kitchen lines, this new flavor combined gin, green chartreuse and a tarragon tea. A bit murky visually, but delicious.
Two. Oysters & scallops.
Three. Savory, at last.
Through five courses the kitchen had kept the menu fairly sweet, with all dishes having a primary or fairly dominant saccharinity to them. With my palate craving something piquant the Crispy skinned breast of Pekin duck arrived. With perfect cookery and assured seasoning, this dish stirred me. Dominant fat flavors from the duck melded with crisp bacon and charred Brussels sprouts. The finish, a red beet aigre-doux, brought a pleasantly sour end.
Four. You had me at soufflé.
Many restaurants have given up on soufflés, seeking easier and more humble offerings. I am glad the Ocean House is still putting out a soufflé of the evening, the world deserves this well executed dessert. With a bit of flamboyant service the staff finished this dessert tableside by deeply scoring the delicate pistachio pastry and pouring in a rich pineapple crème anglaise. Instant custard! I will remember this delicate and special dessert for some time.
Five. Be prepared.
Seasons is without a doubt a wonderful restaurant in an iconic resort. With that comes a price tag. Although you can be diligent in menu selection you should be prepared to spend over $100 per person (perhaps well over) for a truly remarkable and memorable experience. My exceptionally trained server, Jenna, helped to provide an elevated level of service that was friendly and informed but not overwhelming. The resident sommelier, Jonathon Feiler, skillfully paired wines with each course and charmed the table with well-honed anecdotes. So while this might not be in every diner’s Tuesday night budget pick an occasion and celebrate with a meal and a restaurant that you will remember for a long time.
Would I go back? Yes. The meal and the beautiful property will surely lure me back in.
Hit “Save” Seasons at The Ocean House, 1 Bluff Ave, Watch Hill, 401-584-700. Call for seasonal hours.
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