Innovative craft cocktails paired with creative fare makes for an intoxicating experience in Sea Glass Lounge at Inn by the Sea
Move over wine menus- Chef Chadwick and mixologist Shayne Conlon are creating innovative food and craft cocktail pairings with new flavor combinations and unexpected ingredients in Sea Glass lounge.
“It’s about pairing cocktails with menus and bar fare to enhance both the food and the spirits,” said Shayne Conlon, Director or Food and Beverage at Sea Glass “Diners are used to enhancing a meal with wine or even beer, but crafting cocktails actually gives us greater latitude and more options to improve a dish. And in the Portland area we are very lucky to have some great local spirit producers to work with.”
Chef Andrew Chadwick changes the menu in Sea Glass four or five times a year to take advantage of the freshest regional ingredients available. “With every menu change, we work together to create flavor combinations in the bar that complement or contrast with new ingredients. As with wine, a delicately flavored chicken or fish dish calls for a lighter flavored cocktail. Typically gin or vodka-based cocktails pair well with seafood, while red meat can handle something heavier and more complex like whiskey.
According to Conlon it’s easy to overpower food with cocktails that have strong, complex flavors. To be safe he suggests starting with flavors that have a traditional association, such as pairing a mint julep with a rack of lamb, or turkey with a cranberry cocktail.
“Simply having a shared ingredient in both cocktail and menu item can be a winning complement to both,” stated Conlon. “Creating contrast also works well- spicy or hot food pair well with spirits that cool your palette. And like wine, it’s always good to consider where the food and alcohol originate. Food and spirits from the same region often meld beautifully.”
Ocean view Sea Glass restaurant and fireplace lounge at Inn by the Sea are open to the public all year, 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 40 Bowery Beach Road in Cape Elizabeth. Reservations 207.799.3134.