Formerly the Bramble Inn, the new restaurant and B&B serves up Mediterranean-influenced dinners and heavenly desserts in a warm, contemporary setting.By Janice Randall Rohlf
Within less than a year, what was once the Bramble Inn is now Spinnaker, a B&B and restaurant in the heart of Brewster. If the former was beloved (and it was), its successor is on the same path to enchant patrons. For the 18th-century sea captain’s house reincarnation, it was out with the quaint and in with a quiet, contemporary luxury expressed by fresh white paint on the once-papered walls, subtle nods to the seashore and a genuine, warm welcome from new owners Rob and Andrea DeSimone. The three refreshed guestrooms and triumphal breakfasts won’t disappoint even the most seasoned travelers (one online review claims the croissants are better than in Paris!), while the restaurant is open to the public for dinner. Trust me, you don’t want to pass up an opportunity to eat here.
Lucky for me, I arrived before my guest, which gave me time to pull up a stool at the cozy, five-seat bar and order a glass of Italian pecorino wine, a nice switch from my usual chardonnay or pinot grigio that is dry yet flavorful. Spinnaker’s signature cocktail, Pamplemousse Spritz, a refreshing mix of gin, grapefruit juice and rosemary simple syrup, sounds perfect to sip in summer out on the lovely back patio, while other cocktails hint at Rob and Andrea’s frequent travels—the menu descriptions cite inspiration from such exotic locales as Venice and Cannes.
Nursing our drinks and chatting with the friendly bartender, my guest and I lingered over appetizers of crispy lobster fritters with Fra Diavolo dipping sauce, and melt-in-your-mouth gorgonzola-stuffed dates wrapped in Applewood smoked bacon.
Once settled in the dining room, which is in fact three separate areas, we noted a distinct Mediterranean influence to the menu in such dishes as Chatham clams with pasta and fennel sausage, turkey Milanese, and swordfish with red pepper and onion agrodolce sauce. It’s no surprise that Chef Rob’s culinary experience includes cooking apprenticeships in Italy as well as cooking at Bricco in Boston’s North End and helming Spiga, in Needham. His deft hand with la cucina italiana was also evident in my guest’s roasted duck ragu with handmade gnocchi; its robust San Marzano sauce smacked of a long cooking time and also introduced an essence of porcini mushrooms. I opted for Faroe Island salmon, served with seared cauliflower, sweet potato puree, crunchy capers and aged balsamic. It was exactly the embellished seafood dish I had hoped it would be.
Totally satisfied, we were cajoled into ending on a sweet note, and I highly recommend leaving room for dessert. Our verdict: a thumbs-way-up endorsement for the amazingly fudgy gluten-free brownie and also for the brioche bread pudding with salted caramel sauce and vanilla gelato. If ever there was heaven in a spoon, this is it!
2019 Main St., Brewster, 508-896-7644.
Winter hours: Thursday-Sunday, open for dinner.