Sometimes you just need to get away. And, it's a very cool thing when you don't need to go far for a little R and R. Just a little over an hour and a half east of Danbury is a spot for an elegant stay, relaxing spa, and dinner with a view. Recently, we were treated to an overnight stay at the Saybrook Point Inn along with a dinner overlooking the water at the Inn's award-winning restaurant, Fresh Salt.
We'll talk food in a moment, but first I just want to share a few photos of the lovely accommodations. We stayed in the 100-guestroom main inn, which is connected to the spa, fitness center, as well as indoor and outdoor salt water pools. There are also two luxury guesthouses across the street from the main inn.
Our room was incredibly spacious, with a view of the docks and lighthouse (which you can book as well, by the way). Most rooms have a fireplace, and while ours was electric, there are some with a real wood burning fireplace.
What a wonderful way to create a bit of cozy ambiance! Speaking of which, got to say, the king size bed with abundant pillows made for an amazing night's sleep.
Now, onto the real reason for our invitation; to experience the newly launched Spring menu at Fresh Salt, the signature casual fine dining restaurant at the Saybrook Point Inn. The Chef d'Cuisine Gese Rodriguez takes a simple, yet beautiful approach to his dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients, often from local farms and fisheries.
We started with a couple of cocktails. I had the Wild Hibiscus Martini featuring vodka, St. Germain, and a wild hibiscus flower blossom. The hibiscus martini was a bit on the sweet side for me, but it was a nice way to begin our evening watching the sun set over the water.
While I went sweet, Renato decided to go for something a little spicy with the Hot Karma Margarita, made with house-infused, smoked chipotle chili pepper tequila, CT-based Ripe margarita mix and rimmed with Black Hawaiian sea salt. Renato thought the margarita had just the right amount of spicy heat.
To start I went right for the broccoli avocado pistachio soup. The delightful green color certainly had me thinking Spring. It was creamy with a nice roasted broccoli flavor.
Renato chose the duck confit spring rolls with goat cheese and chipotle cherry salsa cruda. The salsa cruda really made this dish. While OK on its own with a deep savory duck flavor, the spring rolls didn't really shine without the pop of spicy and sweet from the cruda.
We also shared the sushi tuna triangles. These were flavorful, perfectly constructed hand-held bites of tuna tartare, sushi rice, ponzu sauce, pickled ginger, and sriracha.
For the main course, oddly enough, we both went for dishes from land instead of the sea. Looking back, that seems a little odd considering we are at a restaurant literally overlooking the water. I somewhat regret this decision. Our fellow blogger dinner companion, Jessica Gordon Ryan, raved about the tender-flaky roasted cod with crispy potato, little neck clams, and sweet pea-leek velou.
I actually decided on one of the evening's specials - the pistachio-encrusted lamb chops, cooked medium-rare served with green beans and "a tower" of potatoes, olives, and goat cheese. The meat was cooked exactly as I ordered it with a wonderful pistachio crust. The only thing I wished is that the goat cheese in the tower had been a bit more creamy as opposed to crumbly. However, that didn't stop me from eating it all. I think this should make a return appearance to the Spring menu specials.
Renato, again, chose one of the evening's specials, Osso Bucco served over polenta. In a unique preparation, the meat is removed from the bone, slow cooked and then rewrapped around a bone. You don't get the pleasure of scooping out the marrow. However, the meat was pull-apart tender (no knife required) and the creamy polenta had much of that deep, intense marrow flavor mixed in.
For dessert, we wanted to keep things light. Well, as light as you can make a dessert that is. I had the Spring Trio which consisted of small portions of chocolate mousse, semifreddo berry panna cotta, and mini pistachio macaroons. I liked the strong berry flavor of the semifreddo contrasted with the silkiness of the chocolate mousse. And, I especially enjoyed the mini pistachio macaroons; like I could have eaten a dozen of them.
Renato had Tahitian vanilla gelato topped with syrupy fig balsamic vinegar, and strawberries. It was simple and light, yet an enjoyable way to cap off the meal.
Our dinner at Fresh Salt and overnight experience at the Saybrook Point Inn felt like a mini-vacation. It's the perfect spot for a Connecticut getaway.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The meal and overnight accommodations were free of charge. The opinions contained herein are my own and reflect my experience. Your own may differ.
Saybrook Point Inn
2 Bridge Street
Old Saybrook, CT
For reservations call: 860-395-2000
Photos by Renato Ghio