Wednesday June 22, 2011
Recycling Soap. Saving Lives
The Bass Cottage Inn is pleased to announce that we have begun participating in the Clean The World Hospitality Recycling program. Our partially used soaps, shampoos and conditioners will be recycled to reduce waste, but more importantly, to help prevent millions of deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses every year.
Clean The World is simply a great idea and it allows us to put out values to work helping others. The Clean The World Foundation, Inc. was founded in February 2009. Since its inception, Clean The World has been steadily increasing its services and operations to help those in need - whether in Haiti, tsunami-ravaged Japan and other areas around the globe. So far, Clean The World has put over 8 million soap bars and 200,000 pounds of shampoo and conditioner back into human use while eliminating more than 550 tons of waste.
When you depart the Inn, your unused bathroom amenities are collected by our housekeeping staff. Periodically, we ship --- at our expense -- collected products to the Clean The World processing facility where it is all processed, sanitized and shipped out to help others in need.
Some things you need to think about a while. To us here at The Bass Cottage Inn, this was a no-brainer.
Tuesday June 21, 2011
Nine ways to get out on the water in Bar harbor
While many come to Acadia for hiking in the park, we think getting out on the water is a wonderful way to spend your day while vacationing in Bar Harbor. Here are 9 ideas for water adventures. Just be sure to bring something warm to wear as the ocean is very cool all summer...it's a natural air-conditioner.
* Cruise Frenchman Bay on the four-masted schooner Margaret Todd (see left). A 150 foot vessel with distinctive red sails, it departs from the pier close to The Bass Cottage Inn. A gentle, quiet cruise...the sunset cruise is the most popular.
* Take a sail on a real, vintage sail boat. Once these workhorses plied the Maine coast conducting all sorts of commercial trade. Now, you can get close to the action and sail with a small group in a real, old sailing vessel. We like Capt. Jesse's trips with Acadia Sailing Co. which leave from the Atantic Oceanside in Bar Harbor, and, Capt. Carl's 1899 Friendship sloop (Downeast Friendship Charters) which leaves from nearby Southwest Harbor.
* Watch those whales! From early June through mid/late October the whales camp out in the Gulf of Maine where they enjoy feeding in the relatively shallow (600 ft) waters. They also enjoy entertaining visitors that go out with Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. You'll head out over 20 miles into the Atlantic on a high-speed catarmaran to see humpbacks, finbacks, minke whales and other aquatic life. Whale watching tours are about 3 1/2 hours long and depart from the Town Pier near The Bass Cottage Inn.
* Learn about lobsterin'. Maine and lobster go together like hot air and politicians. Capt. John takes you out aboard the LuLu to show you have lobsters are caught and teach you about the history and culture of Maine's lobster fishery. This has been rated the #1 Bar Harbor activity on Tripadvisor.
* Sea kayak excursions. Skim over Frenchman Bay on a guided kayak expedition. Sea kayaking in Bar Harbor area has been rated as some of the best in the world. And, Aquaterra Adventures, near The Bass Cottage Inn, is one of the best outfits in the area for excursions, instruction and equipment.
* Fresh water kayaking and canoeing. We do have some gorgeous lakes here on Mount Desert Island as well. If kayaking on the ocean seems daunting to you, consider a kayak or canoe paddle on nearby Great Long Pond in nearby Somesville. National Park Canoe and Kayak Rental has location on the northern end of that 'pond' so you can put in, explore the coves and shoreline and relax at your own pace.
* Nature cruises. The beauty of wild Mother Nature is on display as you cruise the rocky shores around Mount Desert Island. You'll see all sorts of aquatic birds, harbor seals (the cute ones who look like puppies), grey seals (uh...not so cute but big!), porpoises and bald eagles. We recommend the 2-hour trip on The Acadian leaving from the nearby town pier. Or. for something more far-afield, Island Cruises with Capt. Eli out of nearby Bass Harbor.
* The Ferries. Sometimes, just a short journey on the water from place to place is all you need to capture the sea-faring experience. We like the Beal and Bunker Cranberry Isles mailboat which does trips out of nearby Northeast Harbor. You'll want to spend time in Isleford on Little Cranberry Island. There's also the Swan's Island ferry which makes the 6 mile trip to that remote fishing island from Bass Harbor. Finally, you can take your bike on the Bar Harbor-Winter Harbor ferry to visit the 'other side' of Acadia and it's pink granite coastline on the Schoodic Penisula across Frenchman Bay.
*Lighthouse Cruise. See the coastline, mansions and lighthouses around Acadia. You'll see the lighthouses at Baker Island, Egg Rock, Bear Island and more. Plus, you'll catch glimpses of the Rockefeller Estate and Skylands (Martha Stewart's splendid home in Seal Harbor).
Come stay with us at The Bass Cottage Inn, Bar Harbor and we can help get you afloat. Cheers.
Thursday June 16, 2011
10 Tables at The Bass Cottage Inn menu June 27-July 4th
Summer is arriving to Bar Harbor. Everything is green and the woods smell fresh and delightful. Our guests at the Inn are thoroughly enjoying active days in Acadia National Park. What better way to wind down your day than dinner -- right at the Inn -- at 10 Tables.
Food at 10 Tables is all about freshness and integrity. You won't find tomato water, squid ink foam, tequila lime cream or other food fads. What you WILL find is delicious, fresh food served in a beautiful dining room by gracious servers.
Here's the menu coming up for June 27 - July 4th. Advanced reservations are recommended, as the word on what we're up to is getting out in a big way.
Roasted beets, goat cheese mousse, garden greens, candied pecans, balsamic vinaigrette OR
Crab cakes, orange and yellow pepper marmelade, garden greens, lemon-chive dressing
Sauteed lobster, meyer lemon butter, truffled potato 'risotto' ($7.00 supplemental charge) OR
Grilled Angus tenderloin, braised mushrooms, cabernet sauce, potato leek gratin
- above served with orange glazed carrots
Classic strawberry shortcake, whipped sweet marscapone cream OR
Old fashioned apple walnut spice cake, salt caramel ice cream
$45 per person prix fixe. Wine or microbrews available at additional cost
To book a table at 10 Tables, call 207-288-1234 or 866-782-9224
Tuesday May 24, 2011
Press Release: 10 Tables set to open June 10
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bar Harbor Award-Winning Inn Launches Restaurant
“10 Tables at The Bass Cottage Inn” To Offer Fine Dining to Guests and General Public
Bar Harbor, Maine – May 24, 2011. Responding to guest requests and a growing need for seasonal fine dining in the Acadia region, The Bass Cottage Inn (www.basscottage.com) has opened 10 Tables (www.10tablesbarharbor.com), an intimate restaurant located at the Inn offering dinner to the public five nights a week from June to late October.
The Bass Cottage Inn has been recognized by Yankee Magazine (Best of New England –Editor’s Choice 2010), Boston Magazine (Best of New England 2009 and 2010), as well as other guides and publications. A Boston Globe review claimed “…at The Bass Cottage Inn what you see is what you get, which is pretty darn wonderful.”
“The Bass Cottage Inn has built a reputation for excellent hospitality, luxury accommodations and outstanding breakfasts over its first 7 seasons of operation,” said Owner/Innkeeper Jeffrey Anderholm. “We’ve become established as Bar Harbor’s finest small luxury inn – a modern Maine classic. Our dinner guests at 10 Tables will enjoy the same luxury and hospitality.”
10 Tables at The Bass Cottage Inn will offer an intimate and local dining experience for both inn guests and the general public. The chef’s daily prix fixe menu will draw on regional themes and local ingredients. Reservations are strongly recommended and the limited number of guests seated each night will ensure an air of graciousness and intimacy that is central to dining concept at 10 Tables.
“We call our food philosophy the Creative New England Table – local ingredients from Maine and New England in recipes inspired by regional cuisines from France, Italy and New England itself,” said Chef/Innkeeper Teri Anderholm. The three course daily $45 per person prix fixe menu will focus on freshness and a refined simplicity. A handpicked selection of fine wines and microbrews will be available to complement the chef’s menu each evening.
10 Tables at The Bass Cottage Inn will offer dinner service Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday), with reservations available from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The restaurant will operate from June through mid-October each season. Opening night for this season is Friday, June 10.
Reservations may be made by calling 207-288-1234 or toll-free 866-782-9224
The Bass Cottage Inn (www.basscottage.com) is a ten-room full-service luxury inn located in the heart of Bar Harbor. The current innkeepers, Jeffrey and Teri Anderholm, opened the Inn in 2004 after completing a $1 million renovation.
Monday May 16, 2011
10 Tables: The Creative New England Table
It will soon be time for dinner at The Bass Cottage Inn.
Introducing 10 Tables, our own intimate dinner destination...and all you might have to do is walk down the stairs!
Since 2004, The Bass Cottage Inn has built a reputation for excellent hospitality and luxury accommodations. We think of our style as Modern Maine Classic. Our dinner guests at 10 Tables will enjoy the same luxury and hospitality.
10 Tables at The Bass Cottage Inn will offer an intimate and local dining experience for both inn guests and the general public. The chef’s daily prix fixe menu ($45 plus wine and beer offerings) will draw on regional themes and local ingredients. Reservations are strongly recommended and the limited number of guests seated each night will ensure an air of graciousness and intimacy that is central to dining concept at 10 Tables.
Chef/Innkeeper Teri Anderholm: “We call our food philosophy the Creative New England Table – local ingredients from Maine and New England in recipes inspired by regional cuisines from France, Italy and New England itself.
What's cooking? 10 Tables Sample Menus
The three course daily $45 per person prix fixe menu will focus on freshness and a refined simplicity. A handpicked selection of fine wines will be available to complement the chef’s menu each evening.
10 Tables at The Bass Cottage Inn will offer dinner service Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday), with reservations available from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The restaurant will operate from June through late October each season.
Sunday May 15, 2011
Sorry to have avoided my blogging duties, dear readers. I can't believe we haven't added a new blog entry since late March. Starting in April, we crawled out of our snow cave and started to work on spiffing up The Bass Cottage Inn for this, our eighth season.
Spring has finally arrived in Acadia and Bar Harbor is open for business once again. From the reports I've been getting from other innkeepers, restauranteurs and shopkeepers the outlook for the season is very strong.
Teri and I explored the famous Asticou Azalea Garden the other day (see photo). This small parcel is a great stop during your visit to Mount Desert Island, Maine. It features an elegant and priceless garden that is designed in an Asian style. Take a stroll along it's beautiful pathways. Sit and reflect on the many benches provided while you breathe in the aroma of azaleas and other carefully tended plantings.. At the time, the azaleas were not out, but they are starting to bloom now. The heathers were looking good, however. Asticou Gardens are located near Northeast Harbor.
Back from our little hike, it was back to work at the Inn. We wrapped up several weeks of patching, painting, installing some ceiling fans, moving furniture, upgrading the kitchen for restaurant service...
Wait, did he say a "restaurant"??
Yes, this year we will start dinner for guests and the public five nights a week from early June to late October. The restaurant will be called 10 Tables at The Bass Cottage Inn. Each night we'll feature a Chef's prix fixe menu chosen and prepared by Chef (and Innkeeper) Teri Anderholm and her team.
The dining experience will be intimate and quiet, with care shown to maintaining the serenity of the Inn itself. No more than 30-40 diners will be seated each evening, with seatings from 6:00p to 8:00pm.
If you are coming to stay at the Inn or are in the Bar Harbor area, call 207-288-1234 for dinner reservations.
For a look at seasonal sample menus visit:
10 Tables at The Bass Cottage Inn
More on 10 Tables in the next blog entry...coming soon!
Monday March 21, 2011
Late Winter Innkeepers' Ramble Along The Maine Coast
In late March we shake off the winter cobwebs (and icicles) and start getting active with our plans for the upcoming inn-keeping season. The 2011 Maine Restaurant and Lodging Expo in Portland last week provided us a great reason to visit Portland with stops along Maine's mid-coast region. The expo gave us a chance to see some new vendors whose products will enhance our guest visits. We also spent a lot of time learning more about produce, meat and seafood purveyors.
Now, why would we be doing the latter? It's a secret...for now. But stay tuned!
On the way south from Bar Harbor we visited the legendary Morse's Sauerkraut (1) in rural Waldoboro. Morse's have been making delicious homemade sauerkraut for decades. They also have a "European deli" with incredible meats, cheeses, spices, condiments and Euro-treats that are hard to find elsewhere. After a hearty lunch of Choucroute Garni and homemade pickles, we did a little food shopping and headed off to Portland. Morse's is worth the detour for their great fresh sauerkraut and more.
Guests are always asking for our advice on where to stay in Portland on their way to Bar Harbor. We stayed at the Inn on Carleton in the West End. Innkeeper Buddy runs a very nice inn. Check them out!
Portland, for us, is all about the restaurant scene. This time we dined at Bresca, a jewel of a restaurant on Middle St. Bresca (2) is small and focused: a short menu, a few tables, plenty of great service and food that is elegantly prepared. Inspiration for the eclectic menu comes from Italy, Spain and France. This was food with integrity, served thoughtfully. No wonder the chef/owner has been nominated for a James Beard Award. For a late lunch after the trade show we headed to the legendary Duckfat (3). Duckfat is famed for...handcut Belgian fries cooked in...DUCKFAT and served with dipping sauces like Truffled Ketchup and Curry Mayo. Incredibly savory and a worthy deviation from our healthy eating regimen. Great pressed sandwiches and tasty microbrew rounded out this lunch which had us looking for a place to nap.
Now heading back north to Bar Harbor, we stopped in to Belfast for some window shopping and lunch at the famous vegetarian eatery known as Chase's Daily (4). Chase's Daily proves that you don't need meat to enjoy a meal. We enjoyed some great rustic bean soup and a Grilled Tuscan White Bean sandwich topped with sauteed broccoli rabe and roasted peppers. Chase's Daily has a market out back which, in the warmer months, has fresh Maine produce to accompany the selection of breads, baked goods and fine cheeses.
We ended up back in Bar Harbor as Spring officially arrived. A great walk on Acadia's Ocean Path (5) with Riley brightened our mood and burned off some calories from the week's travels. Spring is here...can the summer season be far behind?
Wednesday March 9, 2011
Taste of the Season: Maine Shrimp-Lobster Linguine
At this time of year lobster tends to get expensive, even for citizens of Downeast Maine. The guys have their traps hauled up on land to protect them from loss in vicious winter storms. But, we DO enjoy juicy divers scallops and sweet Gulf of Maine shrimp being harvested right now off the Bar Harbor coastline in Frenchman Bay.
Fresh shrimp found in Maine are a cold water shrimp (see left). The shrimp are harvested with trawlers from depths of 100 to 200 feet and deeper feet. When caught and brought onto the boat they are immediately iced and then delivered to shore. The color of pink shrimp comes from the nutrient-rich cold water of the Gulf of Maine. The season generally runs from December until early spring but is subject to change every year. Fresh shrimp sold at a fish monger or by the side of the road are best. But, these shrimp freeze well so don't worry. You can order it online. Unless you have LOTS of free time, order the shrimp meat -- shrimp that are already cleaned. More expensive but worth it!
Visitors to The Bass Cottage Inn may recall our breakfast entree, Shrimp on a Raft - herbed biscuit served with Maine shrimp sauce (with those very same sweet little buggers) and poached eggs.
Here's a dinner treat Jeff and Teri enjoy at home during the winter which showcases our local Maine shrimp with an important cameo appearance by local lobster (thanks for the cookbook "Dishing Up Maine" by Brooke Dojny for providing a great point of departure). We've added some of Maine's signature lobster (including the flavorful liver known as the tomalley) and piquant pickled peppers.
Maine Shrimp/Lobster Linguine
- 1 --1.5 lb lobster, partially steamed, meat removed, 1-2 teaspoons tomalley reserved (optional)
- 6 tablespoons of butter
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 large shallots, minced
- 1 bottle, clam juice
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 teaspoons, angostura bitters
- 2 teaspoons, lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 hot cherry pepper (seeded) or 2 pepadew peppers, minced
- 1 lb, Maine shrimp meat
- 12 oz. linguine, fettuccine or tagliatelle
- fresh parsley, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Fill pan with water deep enough to cover the lobster's head (3-4 inches). When boiling, put the live lobster in the water, headfirst, and cover the pan. Steam for 10 minutes (the meat will finish cooking when you saute it later).
Remove partially cooked lobster and set in a colander to drain. Use the same pot to cook your pasta...fill and put on the burner.
When the lobster is cool enough to handle, break the tail off the body. You'll see the green tamale in the carapace. Spoon out 1-2 teaspoons of the tomalley and put in a small dish. (If tomalley bothers you you can omit it.) Remove the lobster meat from the tail, claws and knuckles. Cut into bite size pieces, refrigerate while you make the rest of the dish.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the olive oil. When melted, add the garlic and shallots. Saute for 5 minutes (do not burn!). Whisk in the tomalley. Cook for 1 more minute.
Add the clam juice and wine. Turn heat to high, bring to a boil and reduce by about 1/3. Then, add the lemon juice, zest, bitters and minced peppers. Take it off heat while you prep the pasta.
Cook the pasta al dente. Reheat the sauce in the saute pan, add the raw Maine shrimp and reserved lobster meat. Cook the seafood about 1-2 minutes taking care not to overcook it. Check for seasoning...add salt and pepper to taste. Then, add the pasta to the saute pan and toss to coat. If it's too dry, add some reserved pasta water.
Plate pasta, taking care to have some of the shrimp and lobster arranged on top of the noodles. Top with the fresh parsley. Enjoy your taste of Maine, Italian-style!
Monday February 28, 2011
WHERE TO STAY: Location is Everything!
(We're republishing and updating this blog post from a few years ago because everything is still true...and especially helpful when you're planning your first trip to Bar Harbor)
Mount Desert Island is a magical place -- the only place on the US Eastern seaboard where you have mountains, forests and the ocean all cheek by jowl in the same place. But there are lots of accommodation options if you are planning your trip to visit us. What's the best place to pick? Like lots of things in life - LOCATION IS EVERYTHING.
Bar Harbor is the center of activity on the island. Some folks in other towns say that our town is full of hustle and bustle. We think of it as "positive energy"...and you'll be saving energy by walking - not driving -- to most of the things you want to do. Shops, galleries, waterfront activities, the free Island Explorer shuttle to get to Acadia National Park, a multitude of fine dining choices - it's all here in Bar Harbor.
Bar Harbor is your ideal home-base for accommodations so you can avoid unnecessary car trips.
Bar Harbor itself has literally dozens of lodging options to choose from. There are 'big box' motels that are at or along the shore. They are lots of things, but 'quaint' ain't one of them.
We believe the best location blends proximity to the things you want to do with the peace and quiet you deserve. That way you can avoid unnecessary car trips when you sample Bar Harbor's fine dining, shopping, ocean excursions or visits to Acadia.
You'll find what you're looking for in area in the heart of Bar Harbor known as "The Field" The Field is a quiet enclave nestled between Bar Harbor's Main St. and the scenic oceanfront Shore Path. The Bass Cottage Inn is located in The Field on a quiet private road, but you're close to everything Bar Harbor has to offer. "Central, yet serene" as we like to say.
So, when choosing a place for your romantic getaway to Downeast Maine, LOCATION IS EVERYTHING.
Sunday February 27, 2011
What's Cooking? (Feb/Mar)
"Creative New England Table"
By now the notion of farm-to-table, organic, seasonal and regional is standard fare for chefs, restaurants and the dining public. I answer yes, to all above!
When I think about The Bass Cottage Inn’s dining style and our guests’ feedback, three words generally crop up. “Interesting, fresh and elegant.” Jeff and I have interpreted this into the following three words which we think say it all:
Creative ... New England ... Table
What does it mean? Here goes…
CREATIVE - enhancing the essence of ingredients by applying a unique culinary point of view based on classical cuisine and technique. Whether for breakfast or dinner service, formal training adds tremendous value to the quality of our guests' meals. At least that's what they told me during my professional chef's training at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. And, who's to argue??
NEW ENGLAND – the birthplace of America’s global melting pot, heavily influenced by Italy, Portugal, France, Asia , Canadian Maritime. We combine these influences with a Down East emphasis on freshness, purity, and, simple elegance and presentation. If it's local, it's bound to be more authentic and fresher.
TABLE – sharing the dining experience with others; being respectful of the seasons and what the region can most naturally provide.
Here’s a look at our “Creative New England Table” idea for a mid-winter evening:
** Creamy Leek and Potato Bisque with Smoked Scallops ** (shown in picture):
Leeks = a good winter root vegetable. Potato = from Aroostook County, Maine. Smoked Scallops = harvested in Frenchman Bay off the shore of Bar Harbor, smoked by Grindstone Neck in Winter Harbor near Acadia National Park on the Schoodic Peninsula.