January 26, 2011

Falling in Love....with Peaks Island!

After just one visit, we fell in love with Peaks Island, Maine!
 Peaks Island is part of the city of Portland, but it is a small village in a gorgeous ocean setting. It was our first weekend outing when Spring finally arrived last year. We jumped in the car, drove down to Old Port, hopped the ferry and our adventure began!
 In a short 15 minute ferry ride, we had the island in our sights!

A Maine House Mosaic

There was a feeling of a small, eclectic New England community greeting us. Friends and neighbors were returning home, talking excitedly about their day, catching up on news and discussing weekend plans as they proceeded on foot up the main street toward their homes.

 You don't need a car on the island, in fact, they discourage this, wanting to keep island traffic to a minimum, while the preferred method of getting around the island is either, walking, golf cart or bicycles. Seagulls were flying overhead, following the lobster boats heading out to the bay on their quest to fill their traps with the daily catch, which would then be the dinner feature at Peak's Island Inn!

The homes on the island are unique, colorful, architecturally interesting and vastly different! There is a historical church on the island dating back to 1861 and an elementary school established in 1832. Can you imagine?

Residents on the island were very friendly, waving and telling us the direction we needed to walk in order to experience the water route! We encountered large stands of winterberries making vibrant splashes of bright red all along our walk. Bittersweet grows wild and rampant. A tangle of its berries grows in front of the rocks leading down to the water. The sun brought a beautiful shade of blue to the water while white waves crashed against the rocks.

We decided to have dinner at The Inn prior to heading back to Portland from our island tour. There was hustle and bustle all around as The Inn staff prepared for an evening wedding out in the gazebo. This apparently is a popular establishment for small weddings and I can see why...totally romantic gardens overlooking the bay with the nightlights of Portland in the background and gentle ocean breezes pouring in! I have read that there are already 32 weddings booked for this year!

Some of Peaks' Inn featured dishes are squash ravioli with duck sausage in a cranberry cream sauce, artichoke and spinach dip which is served in a bread bowl with lots of crispy homemade pita chips and topped with Havarti cheese, a Maine shrimp dinner which featured a pound of Maine shrimp (keep in mind that Maine shrimp seem quite small to us and don't compare to Gulf Shrimp) but are tasty, Chicken Piccata which has just the right amount of lemon and capers in the sauce and for their featured lunch dish, it was The Grilled Rachael! For dessert.....The Peanut Butter Pie......oh heaven!!!

Shipyard was their featured go-to beer and they had Old Thumper on tap.
 We experienced a glass of The Inn's Malbec wine (a red French Bordeaux claret blend) that was simply divine! We later found it at Whole Foods in Portland.

Are we going back you ask? You betcha! We plan to return to  Peaks Island during the spring bird migration. It's a top spot to see migrating birds, with trails through a number of wetlands. And we're very much looking forward to experiencing the inn's monthly brunch. We've heard it's one of Maine's best. That's it!
Yes, darling and I shall experience "birds and brunch!"

Estelle's has two great recipes of her own that are similar to those served at Peaks Island Inn!

Estelle's Grilled Rachael
5 ounces sliced roasted turkey breast
2 ounces sliced Pastrami
2 slices sourdough bread
Unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Russian or Thousand Island dressing
3 thin slices Swiss cheese
1/4 cup Creamy Coleslaw

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat.
 Layer turkey slices, along with Pastrami slices on griddle and let cook for 1 minute.
Butter one side of 1 slice of bread and spread opposite side with Russian dressing; place buttered-side down on griddle. Butter one side of remaining slice of bread and place buttered-side down on griddle; top with cheese. Turn turkey and Pastrami, then top with coleslaw. Cook until turkey, Pastrami and bread are warmed through and cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Sandwich turkey, Pastrami and coleslaw between bread. Slice and serve immediately.

Melissa's Almost Heaven in a Pan
20 Oreo Cookies
1 8- ounce package of Cream Cheese, Softened
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 12- ounce tub of Cool Whip

Press crushed cookies into the bottom of a 9 x13 inch pan. Reserve a few crumbs for topping. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Then, fold in whipped topping. Spread over the Oreo cookie base and sprinkle reserved crumbs on top. Freeze 1-2 hours, Thaw 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.


The Inn on Peaks Island

1 comment:

  1. Mom, if I made 1/10th of the stuff on your blog, they would have to give Jenn and I four seats on the airplane when we came up there.


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