ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 3 - Summer

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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Page 65 of 131

THIS ISSUE: TAKING IT OUTSIDE Ocean House's veranda features a raw bar. RIGHT: Guests can sample seasonal, light fare like the baby octopus salad. A CULINARY ADVENTURE AWAITS AT OCEAN HOUSE, RHODE ISLAND'S LUXE SUMMER PLAYGROUND IN WATCH HILL. BY MAT SCHAFFER PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHIP RIEGEL I s there a more magical oceanfront resort in New England than the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island? Perched on a bluff overlooking Block Island Sound, this sprawling, daffodil-yellow Victorian hotel conjures an era of top hats and bathing dresses, when wealthy vacationers came here to enjoy the beautiful beaches and genteel company. Having fallen into disrepair, the original building, constructed in 1868, was razed in 2004 and rebuilt so that its exterior would precisely duplicate its predecessor, with all 247 windows in their original positions. Reopened in 2010, the new Ocean House (featuring 49 guest rooms and 13 signature suites) combines the opulence of a 145-year-old hostelry with every modern amenity. The stone fireplace in the lobby dates back to 1895, while iPads in each room connect guests to the property's myriad services. The only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide five-star hotel in Rhode Island, Ocean House boasts spectacular ocean views, a croquet court, a spa and salon, a museum's worth of framed art on the walls, and the kind of pampering, attentive service you'd expect from a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association. Douglas Fairbanks's 1916 film American Aristocracy was filmed here, as were scenes from Wes Anderson's 2012 comedy Moonrise Kingdom. While the staff is tight-lipped about celebrity guests, Hugh Jackman, Sommelier Regis Philbin, and Taylor Swift have all stayed here. Jonathan a Feiler offers Swift must have enjoyed herself, because she purchased selection from the hotel's the multimillion-dollar mansion next door. 740-label wine At Ocean House, food is as important as the accom- cellar. modations. "We are a culinary hotel," says Executive Chef John Kolesar, who oversees five separate dining operations during the summer season: a seaside terrace serving breakfast and lunch, the beachside Dune Cottage offering grilled skewers and brick-oven pizzas, a raw bar on the veranda, a bistro that specializes in American brasserie fare, and Seasons, the principal restaurant at Ocean House, which offers a sophisticated finedining menu. The latter is a lovely space with a nautical feel—cream-colored, lathed ceilings hung with cobalt-blue lanterns, and blown-glass oil lamps on every table. The best seats in the house? The four tables by the rear windows that look out toward Block Island and the six seats at the chef's counter, where diners can enjoy a special 10-course, prix-fixe tasting menu served by the culinary staff from an open kitchen (24 hours notice is required). Sommelier Jonathan Feiler helps guests pair dinner with wines from the hotel's impressive cellar. "We try to procure products that won't otherwise be available," he says, "such as library wines and short-run labels." This summer he recommends pairing the Tre Monti Perlante Frizzante Secco with fresh raw seafood. "This blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, continued on page 66 Paul Pearson's menu, which changes frequently, takes full advantage of the summer harvest. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF OCEAN HOUSE ocean state of opulence 64 BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 064-066_BC_SC_SMD_SUM13.indd 64 6/10/13 1:40 PM

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