Beyond the small town of Greenville, at the southern end of 40-mile-long Moosehead Lake, lies one of Maine’s vast wild areas. The region, three hours’ drive from Portland, draws people who love recreating at or beyond the edge of civilization.

Our unforgettable dinner begins high above the lake, at Blair Hill Inn. Built in 1891, it was once part of a 2,000-acre breeding farm for cattle and sheep.

The stately clapboard building with barn is perched at an elevation of 1,500 feet. It’s surrounded by rock-walled gardens, sweeping lawns and a large vegetable plot. When we make reservations, innkeeper and owner (with husband Dan) Ruth McLaughlin encourages our group to make time to sit on the porch. We relax in wicker armchairs facing west, watching the sun descend over the shimmering lake far below. It’s a setting like none other.

Because it’s a clear September twilight, the view is all the way to the western ski mountains, above furls of shoreline and ridges of mountain and forest. This gorgeous weather, I remind myself, won’t be the case for all diners, and I resolve to let it not stand in the way of a fair examination of the evening’s food.

Our server brings out our drinks, and when we ask if we can have a little nosh to accompany, she offers to bring out the night’s amuse-bouche. Sushi rolls of scallops that are marinated, dusted with corn meal and deep-fried get heat from Sriracha and crunch from diced English cucumber. It’s a very promising start.

We are then ushered to a table set in an alcove of a living room with plush but understated furnishings. Other diners occupy an adjoining dining and sunroom. A few more enjoy the separate lounge with a bar and a fireplace.

The inn offers dinner three nights a week, and the menu is a prix-fixe, five-course affair for $59 (gratuity, tax and beverages not included).

Roasted golden beets and shiitake mushrooms mingle with gnocchi-like ricotta dumplings and shaved parmesan for a savory, hearty appetizer. It’s good, but not as captivating as the pan-fried, smoked halibut cake, accompanied by a rouge vinaigrette and frisee, with a topping of tobiko (flying fish roe). The tiny orange orbs pop with a salty finesse with each bite of the lovely smoked fishcake. Mouth fun.

A whole hubbard squash may be an ugly beast, but the chef’s velvety golden soup from the winter squash, finished with a touch of sweet from maple cr? fraiche, is a beauty and all the more enjoyable because this soup is much less common than its butternut cousin.

Three entrees are offered. Steak knives are delivered for all and utilized. The red snapper, a dense and tougher fish that arrives as a medallion cooked just shy of opaque, is best sawed — not a complaint.

A whole roasted pepper and a robust and rich tomato “fondue” underneath make this dish a delight. It’s a bit of a surprise to find the Floridian fish on the menu.

Perfectly cooked to order New York sirloin with a thickly charred crust bears a touch of the advertised wood-grilled flavor. The garlic spinach and red wine sauce are delicious partners. My only quibble is the potato fries. They are as thin as spaghetti and a little limp, and lack that burst into a soft center of starch.

A pork duet is the third entree option, and it’s meticulously arranged in a vertical fashion on the plate. The grilled round with molasses nestles under a stout-braised pork belly that gives the drier, denser meat a moist and flavorful enhancement. For best results, take both in the same bite.

Grits are combined with sour cream to elevate the Southern side into a luscious — even elegant — accompaniment.

Chef Jonathan Cox, new to the inn this season, prepares a different five-course feast every week. Based on our evening, he has an expert’s hand, eye and sense of combinations, along with a desire to please a clientele that varies from well-heeled traditionalists to urban sophisticates.

Two delicious housemade desserts — an apple gallette with homemade ice cream and a chocolate panna cotta — are probably the best to be found in these parts.

I’d prefer a more bitter and intense chocolate flavor to the first; an airier crust to the second. But these are small matters. And the panna cotta’s honey-roasted pistachios and mint chantilly are lovely touches.

Service is gracious without pretension, and courses are expertly timed. Our server, a junior at the University of Maine, cheerfully finds the answers to our questions on wine and ingredients. McLaughlin keeps a genial background presence.

The inn’s furnishings are a stylish mix of classic and new, and the dining areas have a sumptuous but warm feel. It all comes together without a trace of pomp.

You might say civilization ends in Greenville, but it makes a grand last hurrah at the Blair Hill Inn. Enjoy it while you can: The dining room closes for the season in mid-October.

Nancy Heiser is a freelance writer who lives near Portland.