Walk into the Jamesport Manor Inn, and it’s hard to discern that this is not the original structure which dated back to about 1750 but tragically burned to the ground in October 2005. The entire building has been completely restored, and owners Matt and Gail Kar and Frank and Anne McVeigh meticulously oversaw every detail to ensure that the current structure is a virtual replica of the landmark.
Key among the renovations was recreating the original manor’s two dining rooms. With their intricate woodwork and beautiful fireplaces, the dual rooms invite patrons to sample the restaurant’s unique, inventive and locally-influenced menu.
Right off of the bat, I noted that this was going to be a hearty lunch – the majority of the scrumptious selections beg for longer, sit-down meals. Not that I’m complaining at all. I was perfectly content to lounge in what I deemed to be a quaint breakfast nook with a view of the outdoor patio, bask in the sunshine streaming through the window and enjoy a relaxing lunch.
We started off with an appetizer – I chose the Warm Stilton Blue Cheese Pear Halves with Endive, Balsamic Syrup and Candied Pecans, and my mom went with the Roasted Local Beet Salad with Aged Goat Cheese, Bacon, Orange Segments and Roasted Pistachios. It was hard not to order the decadent-sounding Jumbo Lump Crabmeat Mac n Cheese. The dish is definitely a must-try when I go back.
Both appetizers were delicious. The blue cheese and warm pear halves are an incredible combination, and the salad was the perfect option for a cool winter day. The orange segments in my mom’s roasted beet salad definitely gave the dish a summery feel, which was just the thing as we both have early-onset spring fever.
For our main course, we went with the Goat Cheese Pan-Roasted Organic Chicken, which came highly recommended and is accompanied with a Maple Acorn Squash Puree, Asparagus and a Red Wine Vinegar Reduction. The chicken was delicious, and the addition of the goat cheese was like “the icing on the cake.” I opted for the Porcini Mushroom Ravioli with Melted Leeks and Haricot Verts in a Parmesan Truffle Broth. The broth infused the entire dish with a touch of sweetness, and the contrasting textures between the mushrooms, haricot verts and raviolis gave a uniquely delicious twist to a typical pasta dish.
Upon hearing the dessert options, we felt compelled to end the meal with a sweet treat. I chose the b with Gelato, which I believe is French for “an ice cream and donut sandwich drizzled with chocolate.” It’s as delicious as it sounds.
Disclaimer: We were not able to finish our entire meal. But I was all too happy to have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Jamesport Manor Inn, 370 Manor Lane, Jamesport. 631-722-0500, www.jamesportmanorinn.com. See Side Dish, page 34, for special event information.