Sunday, July 12, 2009

A special Sunday surprise

Today, I ventured out (via bicycle!) to the newly restored Stone House, located near Sakonnet Point, for a light Sunday lunch.

Having worked at the Stone House many years ago while in college catering weddings, I have fond memories of passing hors d'oeurves or setting tables on the front sweeping lawn that faces the ocean. As I biked down West Main Road, I wondered - would the food be as stellar as the online menus and website suggests?

Arriving in the drive, I was taken a bit back by the dirt - clearly the construction is still underways. The old barn had been dramatically transformed into a modern, clean structure that houses Pietra, their finer dining establishment, as well as timeshare suites upstairs. The main building, currently still being finished, will feature guest rooms, as well as the 1854 restaurant.

The Stone House also features what looks to be an amazing spa - massages, facials, healing ceremonies and more. It also uses the locally produced (and fabulous!) beauty product line Farmaesthetics. I am incredibly eager to test the spa and yoga classes (on the yoga deck) out!

Back to lunch today - walking in to Pietra, I was immediately transformed to two of my favorite restaurants, Rebecca's in CT and The Modern, in NYC. This dining room features elements that remind me of both of these establishments - warm wood tones, clean modern tables and chairs, delicate crystal glasses, modern silverware, and more. I love how the floor is cork, and in the restroom, there are cool light fixtures that seem to be fully integrated with the wall!

We sat down, and ordered a bottle of one of my favorite light wines - Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc. Alas, they had run out (clearly a favorite!), so I instead chose a glass of the Chateau St. Michelle Chardonnay. It arrived with some delicious warm whole wheat rolls fresh from the oven, accompanied by some perfectly seasoned butter. I sipped and nibbled as I perused the daily offerings.

The menu looked delightful - sushi selections, with lots of seafood, fresh salads, and heartier entree fare, as well. Truly, as their menu sites, a "tribute to the many foragers, farmers, ranchers, vintners, and fisherman" in the area - meat from Treaty Rock Farm, local greens and vegetables from Wishing Stone Farm and Heritage Farms, cornmeal from Gray's, and so much more.

I decided on the goat cheese croquetas salad, with pistachios, mixed baby greens, strawberries, and port poached figs. My lunch companions selected the watermelon gazpacho, the fresh crudo selections, Sakonnet BLT, and the short rib ravioli. The dishes arrived swiftly, simply and elegantly presented in modern white dishes - visually alone, they surpassed all my hopes and expectations!

The salad, albeit small, was utterly divine - sweet fruits complemented the fresh crunch of the lettuces, and the creaminess of the pistachio croquetas. The short rib ravioli was not multiple small pieces (blah...), but rather one large ravioli, perfectly trimmed and topped with cheese, and filled with tender pieces of my most favorite meat in the whole world. The BLT was filled with tender lobster, smoky bacon, and fresh basil, accompanied with tasty herb hand cut fries. Not too much salt, nor too much mayo - everything was just right!

Pietra is a delightful and welcome addition to the Little Compton restaurant scene. I cannot wait to watch the progress of the inn, and 1854 restaurant, as well as to return to Pietra again for another meal!

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