Reporting back on Old Inn on the Green (long)
Hey chowhounds, thanks for all suggestions, I ultimately decided on Old Inn and it was fantastic!
This was a sensational menu. We got there early and opted to dine outside, it was a beautiful evening. The dining room excusively uses candles and our table also was lit by a candle stick. We decided to spurge and order the 8 course tasting menu ($85). The nice thing about this tasting menu is that you have choices for 4 of the courses, so between Hubby and I, we were able to try over 14 different things. there were 3 amuses, a salmon puff (good), smoked tuna on cucumber (better) and a raw oyster (great). Next was a fluke ceviche, with cilantro and orange oil. They fish had good texture and flavor combo was good, but honestly, I'm just not such a ceviche fan, I would rather you take my raw fish and wrap it in some rice and seaweed. The menu called it "Maine Line-Caught Fluke," does it make a difference that it was 'line-caught'???
Second course was a Ricotta Agnolotti with pea mint sauce. Basically 3 small homemade filla pasta, perfectly cooked, the sauce tasted of spring. very nice.
We had a choice of the third course, Hubby had Foie Gras, it came with a strawberry compote and a vanilla shortbread, which made the whole thing kinda desserty. It was good, but strange, nothing like liver for dessert. I chose the swordfish. I am ok with swordfish, till this meal, I have never been super impressed but this dish changed it all. There's no way to describe it to adequately convey how great it was. It was just perfectly cooked and seasoned, crispy skin, melt in your mouth textured flesh. It was served along with a red pepper sauce and a yellow pepper sauce. If I had just ordered this for dinner, I would have been blissfully happy.
Fourth course, almost half way through. Hubby had lobster and udon noodles, it was served in a tea cup and was probably my least favorite part of the whole meal. I'm just not a fan of asian fusion flavors. I had squab with figs, and a foie gras flan. The combo of squab and figs was delicious, well composed, but the flan was amazing. I think the flan and the swordfish need to have a deathmatch to determine my favorite dish of the night. (I'm guessing the fish would win, after all, it has a weapon.) I love flans, all flans, sweet flans, savory flans. I still remember the great blue crab flan I had at EVOO in Somerville 5 years ago.
Fifth course. Hubby had sweetbreads, they were head and shoulders above the previous nights. Great texture and flavor. I had halibut with seaweed salad, miso vinaigrette, mango chutney. It was okay, again those Asian flavors. My least favorite fish of the night (and there's more fish to come)
Sixth course. Hubby had braised shortribs with the cutest little spatzle. The meat was very tender, but I think a little under seasoned. I had salmon with white bean, smoked tomato puree and bacon. The salmon skin was nice and crispy, like all skin should be and the bacon added nice smoky note.
Seventh - the cheese course. He had Bayley Hazen, a lovely blue by Jasper Hill, and I had a nice raw sheep's milk cheese.
Refresher - a suprisingly large martini glass with a loose rose gelee and a small scoop of musk melon sorbet, and topped with some basil. I enjoyed the sorbet immensely, but the gelee had a almost medicinal taste to it? I didn't finish the gelee.
Eighth - dessert at last. Hubby had a Strawberry Lemon Verbena cake with mascarpone mousse and lemon sorbet. Nice flavors, but no where near as good as my chocolate cake, topped with a honey whipped ricotta. The topping really turned a standard chocoalte dessert in to something different and special. The check came with chocolate peach truffles. Good, but ordinary.
Bread - the bread was great, warm slices of a baugette they make on the premises.
Service - was fantastic, really liked our server, she was friendly, knowledgable, and accomodating.
No alcohol for us, just milk with dessert.
It was just such a great meal, I would highly recommend it to all.
Read G's Flog - a blog about all things food - gltsoi.livejournal.com
See? What did I tell you. As I said, it is a special occasion restaurant in the same vein as Blantyre and Wheatleigh. And, the wine list is one of the best in the county. If youever want to have some fun (I am a passionate, albeit not pissy about it oenophile), go to Blantyre's website and read the list...just incredible. Anyway, Old Inn IS fabulous, and, many restauranteurs go there. Glad you enjoyed it.
Peter Platt, the chef at Old Inn, previously was the chef at Wheatleigh. He really is talented. The place is not nearly as formal as Blantyre and Wheatleigh, but in my mind that's a good thing; we're talking the Berkshires, after all, not Paris. It's also not nearly as expensive.
I had the same wonderful experience at the Old Inn - had the tasting menu WITH wine - WooHooo! Thank goodness for expandable waistbands! I don't remember all the courses (they just kept coming), but the oyster was luscious, I had a beet tart paired with goat cheese that was other-worldy (in a good way!), a crisp skinned bass, and the short ribs, along with all the other courses. I'll have to take notes next time. The plates were small, but everything was prepared with great care and great presentation, and I was completely stuffed by dinner's end. What a wonderful, relaxed, positively beautiful place for dinner. We'll be going back for sure.