The Hichborn restaurant in nearby Stockton Springs has become our go to for special occasions with guests. We visited them in August when Tom & Karen were here, and couldn’t wait to go back with Catherine. We took Beth when she was here for her solo visit, and she had told Catherine how good it was, especially the Oysters.
We arrived at 6pm on Sunday evening. And yes, this was the correct time and day! It is a prix fixe meal with no substitutions. Everything is tightly planned to synchronize the food to the number of guests with reservations. This allows the restaurant to optimize their service and profitability in pandemic times, since getting staff and all of the locally grown foods can be difficult.
These next two pics show the menu for the night, as well as a listing of all the local farms where they buy their food. As usual, click a pic to enlarge.
We started with our usual libations, while Catherine opted for one of their ’sans alcohol’ specialty cocktails; she had graciously volunteered to be the designated driver.
Onto the food – we started with an amuse bouche to get us started – a delicate creation of chicken pate and other stuff (I wasn’t listening). The tiny pate creation was followed by a pair of oysters (someone got an extra helping of these #sister-trip-worthy-oysters, since I don’t eat them. After the oysters, we were served another chef’s surprise – a spicy and delicious lamb dumpling. Then came the radicchio salad which was just right and very tasty.
Next came the heartier options in the meal. Fish stew, with leeks, fennel, tomato, kale, olives, new potato, and fish pieces. All topped with a wonderful roasted garlic aioli. This certainly was a meal in itself. Along with the fish stew came a delicious homemade bread and butter combination – to die for ( we love bread!). The fish stew was Catherine’s favorite.
We were starting to get a little full, but knew the main course was next. The chef surprised us again, with a butternut squash and leek fritter. Oh my, this was the standout of the evening for me. I have had their fritters twice before, and they are a must have if on the menu. I would become a vegetarian if these were always available.
The main course did come next. This was the Wee Bit Farm Pork Filet, served with delicata squash, ancho chile, cipollini, and a jalapeño apple butter (which Lou really liked). This course was well received by our group of distinguished diners, and deemed very appropriate for a fall evening out.
Not sure we could eat another bite, dessert arrived and we had to try it. This was a butterscotch panna cotta, topped with a hazelnut cookie. I loved the cookie, but would rate the panna cotta as the weakest link (which is still quite good given the quality of the meal). Not sure what Catherine and Lou would say. I am just not a fan of panna cotta, and I was basically done with dinner after the amazing pork filet.
We all declined coffee and after dinner drinks, feeling sated and satisfied with another successful visit to The Hichborn. We will be back!