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Fresh air, fresh food at The Spring House

Fri, 09/04/2020 - 3:00pm

With unmatched 180-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean, the lawn and porch at The Spring House offer you a place to take a seat, take a breath, and let your cares melt away.

Expanded seating on the lawn allows diners to enjoy drinks and tapas, while porch-dining patrons can enjoy the dinner menu in its entirety. Indoor seating is available in the main dining room and in the parlor, which shows charming Victorian accents that evoke the bygone era in which the hotel was first built. The hotel has discreet signs scattered about asking guests to wear mask and sanitize, and comfortable seating on the front covered porch allows for natural social distancing.

The Spring House property includes expansive gardens that often inform what’s on the menu. Chef Brian meets with the head gardener daily to find out what’s fresh — right now — and what will be ripe in a few days. The menu here has lots of healthy options and almost every item features local produce from the property.

As I waited for my food, I watched several servers carrying out tomato dotted salads brimming with plump shrimp—a popular add-on according to the waitstaff. I don’t often see a salad go by and say “I want one of those!” but this salad is a definite must when dining at this restaurant. My tasting started with a delicious sausage and rabe egg roll nestled atop a Cannellini bean puree, flavored with red chili oil and parmesan cheese. This well-seasoned appetizer had an earthy healthy taste, with the slightly bitter rabe playing nicely off the sweet sausage and buttery bean puree.

This same play of flavor profiles was present in the salmon entree, where pickled mustard seeds and broccolini balanced nicely against a perfectly seared piece of Faroe Island salmon lightly bathed in a sweet chive cream sauce. Justdug fingerling potatoes tasted as good as you’d imagine; there is nothing that beats vegetables taken right from garden to kitchen to table. Vegetables took center stage in the other entree I tasted; a fork-tender cauliflower “steak” served with zucchini noodles so thin and tender that they almost melted in my mouth with each bite. Pine nuts and panko crumbs gave the dish a nice texture and the burnt tomato vinaigrette and basil oil once again showcased Chef Brian’s yin-yang of flavors that complement each dish.

Not only does the menu feature their own, locally-grown vegetables, the seafood is also procured locally, including Block Island oysters and swordfish. Chef also described one of his favorite dishes that includes the Spring House’s own hard-neck garlic. After waiting nine months from seed to harvest, the garlic is slow-roasted and served with a fresh tomato, olive and zucchini tapenade over bread—a kind of deconstructed bruchetta.

The freshness of the garlic gives it a milder taste than what you might imagine, and it’s another must-try as you settle into an Adirondack chair, lean back, sip some wine and watch the day melt into night.