A Taste of Spring

 

Asparagus

Since it’s supposed to be spring (forget that we’re supposed to get a little more snow), a little green may be nice.

ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH SOFT POACHED EGG & CRISPY PANCETTA

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches asparagus chopped, tips reserved and hard stalks reserved
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, roughly chopped
  • 8 slices of paper thin pancetta (or bacon)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced

Directions:

» Roughly chop the hard stalks and simmer in the chicken stock for 15 minutes.

» Sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil until soft but not brown. Add 3 tablespoons of dry white wine and continue cooking until evaporated. Add the asparagus and chicken stock to onion and garlic, and bring to boil. Simmer 10 minutes.

» With a colander, blanch the tips in the soup until tender. Plunge in ice water.

» Crisp pancetta or bacon in the oven.

» In a blender, puree the asparagus, stock and parsley in blender. Add remaining cold butter. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

» Poach the eggs in simmering water until just set.

» To serve: Ladle soup into 4 bowls. Arrange egg on top and garnish with crispy pancetta and warm asparagus tips.

Another Taste of The Gables

 

Spring will be upon us soon, and this recipe is perfect for the season.

quiche photo 2Leek and Potato Quiche with Smoked Whiting

Filling

  • 1 large leek, cutting into rings and washed thoroughly
  • 2 potatoes, peeled, sliced and blanched until fork tender
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 eggs and 2 yolks
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup smoked whiting, picked carefully for pin bones
  • salt & black pepper to taste

Crust

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick good quality butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5-6 tablespoons ice cold water

For the crust:

In a food processor, cut the butter into the flour and salt. Pulse the machine until medium size crumbs form. Add the egg and pulse again. Add 2-3 tablespoons cold water, and combine again.

Add the reserved cold water little by little, until the dough barely comes together when you pinch it with your fingers. Turn it out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball. do not overwork it. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Roll out the dough into a 9-inch tart pan. Place a greased piece of foil on top, and chill 15 minutes. Place pie weights or a few handfuls of dried beans on top of foil. Bake the crust in a 350-degrees oven until the crust is barely golden brown. Let cool.

For the filling:

Gently sauté the leeks in olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Do this slowly until they are soft and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and let cool.

Toss the cooled potatoes with the leeks. Season to taste. Add half of the parsley, and toss.

Scramble the eggs and yolks with the sour cream and remaining melted butter. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add remaining parsley. Layer the leeks, potatoes and flaked whiting in the cooked and cooled pie crust. Slowly add the eggs until almost full.

Though you may have extra scrambled eggs, do not be tempted to overfill. Bake at 325 degrees until the eggs are set, about 20 to 30 minutes., moving the egg mixture around from time to time with a chopstick to ensure event cooking.

Serve warm or room temperature, but not too to or cold, along with simple arugula or mixed-green salad with lemon and olive oil

Makes one 9-inch quiche.

 

A Taste of The Gables

red onion close

If you missed us Valentine’s Day Weekend, you will have to hang on until we reopen Easter weekend.

However, over the course of the next month or so, we will posting a few of our chef’s recipes that will allow you have a taste of The Gables at home.

The first, Chicken Liver Pâté with Red Onion Marmalade made several appearances on our menu this past fall.

Enjoy!!

Pâté:

  • 1 tub of fresh chicken livers (preferably organic)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • pinch each of ground nutmeg, allspice, cloves
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • salt & white pepper

Season liver with salt  & pepper.  Sauté liver with olive oil until edges begin to brown. Add butter, onion, sage and spices, and cook until the onions are soft and liver is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add brandy. Continue to simmer until reduced by half.

Add to a food processor and purée until smooth. With a rubber spatula, pass purée through a fine sieve into a bowl. Season to taste. Chill for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whip the cream into soft peaks. When the pâté is no longer hot, fold in the whipped cream. Check for seasoning once more.

Line a mold or ramekins with plastic wrap. A bit of nonstick spray will the plastic in place and make removal easier. Fill cups, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers, red currant jelly or red onion marmalade.

Marmalade:

  • 4 red onions thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • fresh thyme or rosemary sprig
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Sauté onions in oil until soft and fragrant. Add sugar and salt, and cook until edges begin to brown. Add red wine, bay and herb sprig. Cook over low heat until the red win has evaporated. Check for seasoning. Serve warm or chilled as a garnish for pâté.

May Peace & Joy Surround You

Christmas Lights resized
I’m so grateful to be able to celebrate the New Year at The Gables.  Because of the life changing events of 2012, fire and flood, I will never take The Gables, the staff, and our clientele for granted.
This has been a good year for us.  Mother Nature has been kind to the shore. Folks on our island and our mainland neighbors who suffered through hurricane Sandy, are rebuilding and making life on the island “normal”. It makes surviving the storm all that much sweeter.
So we end 2013 with a party and a feast, music and dancing, and we toast each other for hanging in.
Wishing everyone the best year ahead.
May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now,
And bless you evermore.        Irish Blessing

Sondra

Fall 2013 at The Gables — “Casual Friday”, “A Sunday Kind of Love” & More

Gables-Facade-03-2733209710-O

The Gables Historic Inn & Restaurant, celebrating its 120th year of hospitality to the residents and visitors of Long Beach Island region is pleased to announce special offerings available for Fall 2013.

The restaurant and inn is now open Fridays through Sunday for dining and lodging.

As of mid-October The Gables reintroduced our popular “Casual Friday” menu, offering more informal fare, including items such as a wonderful burger, hearty soups, and classic American comfort foods. The elegant ambiance remains intact, so that diners can enjoy their thoughtfully prepared and satisfying meal by candlelight in front of a cozy fireplace.

On Saturdays and Sundays, The Gables offers its fine dining menu, featuring a la carte and prix fixe menus. A Sunday Kind of Love…the five course Chef’s Tasting Menu specially presented at half the regular price. This special offer is available on Sunday nights through December 29.

Owner Sondra Beninati opted to re-launch the “Casual Friday” menu based on demand. She states, “All summer we received emails and facebook posts asking about the return of “Casual Friday,” so we gave our clients what they wanted. We initially launched the menu last winter to offer local residents and homeowners coming to the area to work on their properties a casual start to the weekend with comforting food at comfortable prices. People then felt comfortable walking into The Gables wearing jeans and sweatshirts, even while we had our tables set with white linen tablecloths. While some of our regular were surprised by the change, they ultimately found it refreshing to see that our talented culinary staff has repertoire beyond what they usually experience when dining with us.”

Fall lodging specials are also in place. Through December, guests may book one of the inn’s three deluxe guest rooms and enjoy dinner for two from the Chef’s 5-Course Tasting Menu for $375. A second night of lodging is just $200.

The Gables will be open for the holidays as well with special menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Information on holiday offerings is available by calling 609-492-3553.

Reservations for dining and lodging may be made via the web at www.gableslbi.com and clicking on “Reserve a Table” to the left of the logo, or clicking on “Book a Room” to the right of the logo. To take advantage of lodging specials, please call to speak to a member of our staff.

To contact the staff about scheduling a wedding or private banquet, email to  info@gableslbi.com or call 609-492-3553.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Gratitude

quote_thankful

“The grateful heart sits at a continuous feast.”
Proverbs 15 15

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.”  - Novelist Charles Dickens

Gratitude

What a beautiful summer this has turned out to be. No one knew for sure how it would unfold.

Some of our fellow islanders and merchants are still struggling with Sandy’s aftermath, and my heart goes out for them. Many come in to The Gables just to forget about it for a while.

But, for the most part, LBI has pulled itself back onto its feet, and more and more people are realizing it.

During late spring and early summer, many people were hesitant, reluctant to plan a vacation here. They weren’t sure if the beaches, stores and restaurants would be open.

Roads were nearly empty of traffic. Boards still covered many windows. Lots of businesses had not reopened.

After a lot of work and determination, more and more businesses opened, residents rebuilt, and word spread that all of the benefits our beach towns offer are available again: fine dining, lodging, theater, music and general shore fun.

Families began returning.

Beaches became full.

Prospective brides began scouting wedding venues.

As I sat on our front porch during last week’s Wedding Open House, soaking in the sea air, breeze and excitement of couples planning their nuptials, I was overcome with gratitude.

I realized that a week ago today – August 22nd – we reopened after being closed following an Easter Sunday fire that damaged our beautiful landmark and threatened our livelihood. We were grateful that no one was hurt.

At the reopening benefit for emergency responders, we expressed our gratitude for them and for everyone who showed their support during the trying post-fire period.

We also were hopeful for a thriving “shoulder season.”

Then came Sandy, on October 29, – exactly two months after we were finally able to welcome everyone back and share our restored gem for the first time since the fire.

Once again, we were grateful that there was no loss of life and that The Gables and many other island structures could be salvaged.

We were grateful again when we reopened in late winter.

We have been so thankful to see our friends gradually return, stopping in for meals or just to say hello. Many had become family and had their own obstacles to overcome. Seeing them enjoy themselves brings us joy.

As we look forward to Chowder Fest and embrace early fall and all the beauty it brings us, I will frequently remind myself of one of the most important things in life: gratitude

Baby’s Back in Town

IMG_0363

Now things finally feel right again.

Don’t get me wrong.

We stewards of this precious Grand Old Lady treasure every detail of her body.

We were crushed to see some of her features charred by an Easter 2012 fire and then marred by Sandy.

We painstakingly and meticulously restored her to her natural authentic beauty, just as we did when we bought her in 2006.

We flaunted the results of her reconstructive surgery for 40 some days after the post-fire reopening.

Then Sandy hit and our Victorian mistress was back to her bare bones.

We again restored and redressed her, and reopened.

Her renewed majesty greeted customers who’ve become family and strangers we hope will become friends.

Great times and candlelit meals were again enjoyed amidst the warm ambiance that emanates from her 120-year-old soul.

We were again grateful, for her, and for the return of all the people she embraces.

But it seemed a little something was missing: a little piece of her heart.

The 1932 special edition Steinway babygrand piano that adorned her foyer and enchanted her guests had been away under the care of an expert specialist for 14 months since the fire.

The unique Steinway, nicknamed by one pianist as “The Butter Machine” for its ease of action and velvety tones, was finally released last week and returned home.

During the bustle of business this past Saturday night, I was stopped in my steps.

The music was wafting through The Gables like a fine perfume.

I just stood still for a split second, absorbing.

I finally felt like everything was right again.

And our Grand Old Lady seemed to have an even brighter glow about her.

Foyer

Memorial Day Weekend 2013

Flag over Gables

Memorial Day serves as a day of remembrance, commemorating those who have died in military service for the United States. For those of us who live and work at the shore, Memorial Day has an additional meaning – the unofficial start of the summer season.

This Memorial Day Weekend, and this summer season, are very special to those of us at The Gables. We lost the better part of last season due to the Easter fire. We enthusiastically reopened in late August, and 46 days later were forced to close up shop due to the storm.

By the time we opened our doors once again in February, we had already resolved to have our best year ever. We look forward to seeing all of the diners and guests whom we missed last summer. We look forward to delighting our diners with our chef’s latest culinary creations. We look forward to hosting another season of happy occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.

We look forward to spending our summer with you, and are grateful we are able to do so.