When we arrived at the Atlantic Inn, we were once again captivated by the wide open view that spreads down across the lawns to the Old Harbor, over to Crescent Beach and on out beyond Clayhead. Guests travel long distances to enjoy this view — and the inn’s hospitality. It was tempting to just linger on the porch for a while, but we were there to talk to executive chef Bobby Will about his good food and to hear how he creates the Atlantic’s own unique style.
Will prepared the braised beef Bolognese, accompanied by an appetizer of seared sea scallops. “They’re simple and rustic with beautiful flavors,” he said. “Great examples of what we do here.”
It all begins with the freshest ingredients — “as much local as possible.” The vegetables come from Shannon McCabe’s gardens on the island, the scallops from Block Island Sound and the beef from Sprague Farm over on the West Side. Will says the beef has “no hormones or other additives — an unbelievably natural flavor.”
The scallops are pan-seared with roasted red beets in a wild mushroom broth and finished with shaved baby carrots and a tarragon aioli. “It’s one of our most popular appetizers. We go through a lot of scallops,” Will said.
The presentation of the braised beef Bolognese was all colors and textures; the aroma was the first indication that this dish would be delicious. The bolognese (a traditional Italian meat sauce) was full of good things – the beef with carrots, onions, imported San Marzano tomatoes, herbs and veal stock. The sauce was sautéed with fresh pappardelle pasta, plated and then topped with shaved Italian black truffles, parmigiano-reggiano cheese and basil. This dish served in a traditional turn-of-the century country inn — perfect combination!
Don’t forget the choice of tapas (also any appetizer from the dinner menu) served on the lawn beginning at 5 p.m. every evening. The house-pickled vegetable medley with a black hummus is a favorite. You can enjoy the view and the breeze, and walk right in for dinner beginning at 6 p.m. — Becky Ballard
The Atlantic Inn is located on High Street. Please call 466-5883 for more information.
Order this… is a weekly column celebrating the delicious food and drink that is found at restaurants, pubs and hotels on Block Island. If you have a recommendation to share with our readers, please call us at 466-2222.
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