Captain’s Inn at Point Lookout – January 2016
6.63 = 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 6, 6, 6

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DP8’s first 2016 stay-close-to-home, support-local choice found us wending our way up Hervey Street Road onto SR 23 and into the parking lot of Captain’s Inn at Point Lookout.

Owner Captain Jack, who would later greet us, has bought and re-opened this scenic wonder in the last couple years. Maritime motif surrounds all, even the life-size mannequin upon entering, a tad scary looking but a humorous idiosyncratic touch.

The menu is comfortable American, with a touch of almost anything for anyone.
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seafood mac-n-cheese (Kerry, Deb K: both very good)
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lamb shank, with white bean cassoulet (Ross: very good; Don: satisfactory, grilled?, dry, an excellent palate complement to the cassoulet)
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shrimp scampi (Deb T: not her usual but good; Chay: good, not great)
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pork loin, with a generous side of sweet potato hash and sautéed spinach (Lynda: cared more for the sides, presentation of three stripes of color, enough for a doggie bag, Wayside good & basic)
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chicken francaise (Julie: very good)

Within five minutes of seating, a basket of sliced Italian bread appeared with an accompanying small bowl of individual pull-tab butter pats.
          A house salad accompanied the entrées. A six inch plate of greens, carrot slices, onion half-rings, halved cherry tomatoes, and olives comprised the salad, and we deemed it an ordinary but welcome starter.

Appetizers attracted two:
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cream of broccoli soup (Don: fair, a lot of cream, not so broccoli-y)
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New England clam chowder (Kerry: good)

The dessert course beckoned.
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chocolate cream pie (Don, Deb T, Julie: all thought it average to good, a good slice, with chocolate dots and drizzle [difficult to compete with Charlene])
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cherry pie (Ross: a mediocre product, gelatin overpowered)
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peanut butter pie (Deb & Chay: good, airy, creamy)
===> black Sambuca (Chay: a generous portion shared with the table!)

Drink selections deviated from the normal. The on tap selection caught our eye early and not a single wine was ordered. Spaten Octoberfest, Dogfish IPA, and a couple other worthy choices filled the table.

Service by Christina was mostly good – attentive, patient, frequent checks, and an overall good job. An empty room meant we were her sole object of attention. (For my part, I enjoy watching a server place entrées without asking who ordered it, an event that rarely happened this evening. And hearing “you got it” seventeen times after requests and orders was about twelve times too many for me. This may have not bothered others at the table.)
          Water was filled without asking, a certain coffee cup did not have to be filled regularly, and a couple other waitstaff assisted with busboying.

(To be noted: eyewitnesses told and retold of DP8’s first visit in September 2007, a dinner that will live in infamy for Kriss (dteator.com/restaurants/zVictRose.htm). This time, no waiting for a table in a sea of emptiness, no bikers unhappy with service, wine that was available the first time, no cook who scared the waitstaff more than the unhappy bikers, and more. Kriss, we had a perfectly normal experience, other than the re-telling of one of our most memorable DP8 dinners.

Ambience has not changed much in the intervening eight years. A large rectangular space allows for twenty or more tables. We sympathized for the owner, knowing that without us, only two other diners visited this Saturday evening during SNOW season. However, our dearth of snow may have extended its tentacles even to East Windham.
          Back to the topic.
          A row of outward facing windows would be the attraction in daylight. Not much to see in the dark.
          A center bare wood floor lies between carpeting, probably for an event with dancing. A fireplace on one end would have been cozier had we been sitting closer to it but its effect was still country-comfort.
          We sat four on a side, with noise level among the quietest ever, except for us, of course. The table was covered in burgundy linen overlaying white linen. A ten inch tall lighthouse centered our table, as one did for every table. A white linen napkin held two forks and a knife, and seating was comfortable.
          Lighting came from sconces on the walls, several chandeliers, and the spillover glow from the bar with its two tvs.
          Different from 2007 was the elimination of a dividing wall between the bar and the restaurant. Now, a half wall served as visual separation, and the extra eye-candy was welcome for most.
         
Background music played throughout the evening, with an occasional strain audible enough over our chatter. Dylan belted out Like a Rolling Stone, Simon and Garfunkle lilted The Sound of Silence, Cat Stevens fit in some place, and we old-timers recognized many a tune from forty and fifty years ago. (Seriously, we are still young, still young, still young … )
          The pacing for the evening was quick, even though I did not feel rushed, nor was a hint of that mentioned during the evening. Ninety minutes after we arrived, we were posing with the mannequin on the way out.

The bill for the evening totaled $87 per couple, a reasonable value.
          Good luck, Captain’s Inn, and Captain Jack. Point Lookout’s view is a treasure to partake in.

The evening group pick had started at the Teator residence, on a nearly 40 degree evening, another anomaly among many this winter of not really winter yet (forecast of Monday on is back to normal). A plate of carrot-celery-broccoli along a small bowl of dip started, joined with a plate of Philadelphia cream cheese topped with roasted pineapple and habanero sauce. A couple IPAs, a cab sauvignon and a Vinho Verde took care of the drinks.
          Discussion topics at the house, in the car, and at Point Lookout included: our wacky much-warmer-than-usual winter so far, poor skiing conditions, sympathy for winter businesses, Deb’s wall of her paintings, Powerball mania (no winners, 1B+ next), post-Christmas notes, the first Point Lookout excursion re-telling and its toll on Kriss, the whereabouts of the Monteverds, the whereabouts of the Adamses, the upcoming cruise, Kerry’s beard, a Christmas gift for Kerry of his student pictures from K-college, the Quinn kids, the Pisano-Burhouse clan, the emptiness of Point Lookout, exploits of parents (a fall, the rest about the same), lottery winnings for some, CD school stuff, being the old-timer of the staff and changes seen, more than a few comments about ... (for a change, Ken is not to blame, but should be!), and more that has escaped my recall.