July 20, 2018

Dinner at Chebeague Island Inn

My husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary out on Chebeague Island this year with a stay at the Chebeague Island Inn. We were married on Peaks Island, so it seemed appropriate to spend the night on another island in Casco Bay a year later, fortunately with the same gorgeous weather we had on our wedding day. 

And while the meal and the stay were lovely, honestly, my favorite part was cozying up during a brief thundershower in the inn's living room with a book and a cocktail. I enjoyed a Hardshore gin and tonic with Orphan Train, in an overstuffed armchair, and felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. Fortunately for you, the public is also welcome to order drinks from the bar and enjoy them on the covered, wrap-around porch of the inn. 

When it came time for dinner, I reluctantly tore myself away from my cozy chair and took my spot at a table on the screened-in porch. Since I last ate at the inn in 2015, the Prentice Group has taken over, meaning Chef Matt Ginn of EVO oversees the kitchen now. I was looking forward to the traditional menu of the inn now updated with some modern touches. 

We started our meal off with some housemade biscuits and a bowl of steamed Bangs Island mussels ($17). The mussels were big and in a bowl of spicy, garlicky broth with bits of chorizo. The last time I'd had the mussels here, they were smoked and not served in a broth, so we loved the change to the more classic preparation. 

A. ordered the pan-seared chicken breast with potato salad, cippolini onions, and a blueberry glaze ($27). I had a small bite and found the chicken was perfectly cooked, with a nice sweetness from the blueberry sauce. The sauce erred on the side of savory, which I appreciated. 

The squash rollatini with hazelnut, grain salad, and burrata ($28) called to me, but I went with the scallops, served with pistachio, shishito peppers, and cucumber. The scallops were seared just right—crispy on the outside and rare inside. But the dish never came together in a coherent way. The peppers, cucumber, and hazelnut sauce all seemed like separate ingredients that didn't really go together. I really enjoyed the shape of the little scoops of cucumber though. 

Our meal with two glasses of wine came to $108 before tip. Since we were staying at the inn, we signed the meal to our room and decided to take the inn's bikes to the Slow Bell CafĂ© for ice cream. Just like any time on the island, it felt like we'd escaped on vacation in this idyllic place. 

The Chebeague Island Inn is accessible by the Casco Bay Lines from Portland. There is no car ferry, so call to arrange a ride from the ferry dock to the inn (about 3 miles). Otherwise, drive to Yarmouth to take the Chebeague Transportation Company's ferry and you can walk to the inn from the ferry dock.