Fresh off its debut this past summer, Red Maple at The Chequit Inn offers a new autumn menu, making it a perfect spot for relishing in relaxing cuisine and conversation. Open year round, Red Maple is set in the heart of Shelter Island and within walking distance of the North Ferry.
For me, visiting Shelter Island is a peaceful, country getaway. For this particular trip, it was made extra special with dinner with my husband and daughter at this new American restaurant featuring seasonally-inspired dishes reflecting the warm and robust flavors of fall’s bounty on the East End presented by Chef Robert Sawyer. Open year-round, Red Maple was conceived by owners David Bowd and Kevin O’Shea.
The restaurant, set just underneath the inn, is a spacious, yet intimate dining room that evokes a rustic minimalist vibe. There are a variety of cozy vignettes, including the intimate “snug booths” inspired by the traditional snugs of a British pub, and a sizable bar area with standing room, and a corner lounge. Outdoor patio seating is available during the warmer months.
The waitstaff was prompt, and helpful with our dish choices. As presented on their fall and winter menu, we split the Pretzel Bites: mustard duo ($5). The bites were freshly baked, and had a texture like little pillows, enrobed in butter, salt, and comfort. My cocktail of choice was the Maple Sapling: light rum, spiced rum, lime juice, nectar, ginger syrup ($12).
I couldn’t resist trying one of their best-selling salads, so I opted for the Kale + Butternut Squash: five spice pecan, roasted apple bacon dressing ($13). My second choice was the Port Poached Pear Salad: manchego, candied walnut, roasted rice wine vinaigrette as pears are my favorite autumn fruit. The salad was earthy and refreshing with the serenity of fall with the butternut squash and pecans. The apple bacon dressing was very light and the kale was the perfect, slightly crunchy texture.
For dinner, I delighted in the Seared Sea Scallops: roasted butternut squash, brussels sprout, brown butter pear emulsion ($28). My husband decided upon the Pan Roasted Atlantic Cod with classic ratatouille ($28). The scallops were local bay scallops and was one of my most favorite scallop dishes. I was pleased with the generous number of scallops in the dish, and the brown butter pear emulsion was so soothing on the palate. My husband’s cod was not at all greasy as cod can be at times, but instead was flaky and bountiful with the ratatouille, a very smart pairing.
If you love comfort food as much as I do, and just want to spend the evening cozying up with a touch of indulgence, Red Maple has a “Snug Menu.” as satisfying as it sounds, it features refined twists to classic American comfort dishes. You may choose a steaming bowl of New England Clam Chowder served with crispy bacon and grilled crouton; a choice of three versions of Mel’s Mac n’ Cheese: Classic, Garden Pea + Bacon, or the decadent 1.25lb lobster; and the Red Maple Burger, served with caramelized onion and fresh pickle on a brioche bun.
You can view the entire dinner menu here.
For a sweet ending, my husband had the Whoopie Pie Flight: classic chocolate, pumpkin, and red velvet; and I chose the Sweet + Salty Baked Brownie Sundae: vanilla bean gelato, salted caramel, and chocolate sauce. The Whoopie Pie Flight was a dessert of decadent proportions! Every aspect of the brownie sundae was homemade, including the velvety caramel sauce. The freshly baked brownie was snuggly warm and the vanilla bean gelato was cool and creamy.
Additional dessert selections included Classic Apple Pie, Ann’s Upstate Cheesecake with local beach plum glaze, and Chocolate Whiskey Pear Tart. All desserts cost $9/each. For next time, I would consider staying longer and pairing my dessert with a hot drink ($12/each), dessert wine ($6-$8/each), or cognac ($9-$14/each), all reasonably priced. The two hot drinks that sounded most appealing were the Mint + Whiskey Hot Chocolate with whiskey, hot chocolate, and mint syrup; and the Apple Cider Float: whiskey, sour apple schnapps, apple cider, cinnamon, and vanilla ice cream.
Red Maple at The Chequit is a property of Salt Hotels. It is open from 5pm Thursday thru Monday. Thursdays are two for one entree night and on Sunday nights, enjoy half price wine.
http://www.thechequit.com/redmaple/ // 631-749-0183