From Long Island, we move back to the Northeast to feature Maine coast cuisine, at 88. This casually elegant restaurant is located at Spruce Point Inn, serving dinner nightly from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. In addition to having the special charm of being a summer-only destination, this restaurant also has a father-son pairing in the kitchen providing delicious meals for their diners. I was able to speak with Assistant Chef Peter Stiles (not to be confused with Executive Chef Peter Stiles, Sr.).
TT: When does the 88 open and close for the season?
PS: 88 opened on May 24th for hotel guests and June 3rd for the general public. We will close after Columbus Day.
TT: Do you use local meat, produce, or dairy in your menu?
PS: We have free range chicken from Maine-ly Poultry, cheeses from Maine, locally sourced grass-fed beef, and produce from the farmers market when it opens. Of course, all of our seafood is from Maine.
TT: You have your own garden at Spruce Point Inn. What grows there?
PS: Currently, our garden is producing an assortment of herbs.
TT: What menu items would make for a perfect summer dinner at your restaurant?
PS: I have two suggestions. First is our semolina crusted haddock, which consists of Mill Cove Haddock Filet that is semolina dusted, pan seared, and served with a Maine rhubarb chutney and roasted corn relish with rhubarb compote. Second are the pan seared scallops which are served with roasted golden beets and topped with an orange pomegranate and fennel reduction.
TT: Besides being a summer-only restaurant, what makes 88 unique?
PS: We are part of the slow food movement. We are going back to our roots, going local and organic, and staying away from mass produced meats. Our style of food is very classic European. We aren’t trying to do anything goofy. You will see a lot of European influence in our food. Many of our dishes are old but classic; if it’s not broken, why fix it?
TT: How often does your menu change?
PS: Our specials change every two weeks.
To learn more about delightful oceanview dining at 88, please visit their website.