We kidnapped Catherine today and drove to the cabin. She has to give up the hot tub, but gets new walking trails. A couple snaps before we left Northport – there hasn’t been a lot of progress on Project Shed, but someone was there working when we left at 10am. We still have some trees with color, although the wind has knocked down many leaves.
I sat in the backseat with the pups, so didn’t take too many photos. As you would expect, we are way past peak, and it looked much different when compared to our last trip. Still some pockets of color and a few interesting things to see.
So glad we were able to visit a couple of weeks ago when fall foliage was at its best (for this year). The pups slept most of the way, not impressed by the view. Stitch started getting antsy after an hour and a half or so. He was trying his best to look cute, and convince me he needs a treat:
We arrived at the cabin in time for lunch and have been chilling. Catherine did get out for a walk. I had something urgent to do, so couldn’t join her (starting a new game 😎). Lou is cooking steaks for dinner, so we can snuggle in and enjoy the warmth of the fireplace.
Catherine has been taking care of school business during the day by participating in zoom meetings. She had a break yesterday before lunch, so we went to Young’s Lobster Pound. The weather was dreary, but we had fun at the Pound.
A typical view of Belfast Harbor from the deck at Young’s, with some fall color showing:
Catherine’s lunch came and shockingly, she had chosen to have only oysters on the half shell. Maybe she isn’t feeling well?
Let’s try that again …
There was a method to our madness. Once the oysters were consumed, we walked around and then went to pick up dinner. You guessed it – three 1.5 pound hard shell lobsters, steamed and ready to eat.
Once home, Catherine wrapped up the lobsters and put them in the fridge, ready to be reheated for dinner. Catherine took care of most of the dinner prep, making a tasty salad, melted butter for the lobster, and corn on the cob. A regular lobster bake!
We missed Beth, but will happily do a replay of this day when she gets a chance to visit again ❤️
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!
If you guessed the pretty one in the ski sweater, you got it right! Catherine popped in for a visit this weekend and will be staying until Halloween! We are happy to see her and glad she gets a little time to relax. Beth was trying to arrange a fall visit but she and Todd were already on vacation, so we are hoping to see her after the New Year.
It rained today, but that actually brought out a little more color in the leaves.
We were very sad to say goodbye to Catherine when Ross came to pick her up yesterday morning. But we also appreciated the visit and had a wonderful time. The only thing that would have been better is to have the other half of the Sister Duo as well. But we will look forward to seeing Beth on the next visit! Thank you, Catherine, for brightening our summer.
I was going to add these food photos to the previous food post, but they deserve their own space – especially Catherine’s mussels. We chose 45 North for our closing dinner. It was a repeat, but so far the restaurant has been consistent, and the staff is friendly. We hope to have more options later in the summer.
Catherine said the mussels were quite good. She followed with the Hake dish – a pleasant white fish, served on a bed of corn purée, bean salad and arugula. She said it was tasty, and I think I will try that next time. Lou and I opted for a burger – I took half home. All in all, we were once again happy with our meals.