LOCAL CHEFS HIGH ON BERRY TREATS
IF YOU DON’T FEEL like making your own strawberry treats, try one of these sweet or savory strawberry dishes that are being served right now by chefs around town:
Bresca, 111 Middle St.: Chef/owner Krista Kern Desjarlais is making a strawberry black olive ice cream float with fresh basil and tapioca pearls. The chef says she makes all of the ingredients herself except for the tapioca pearls. The dish consists of fresh strawberry ice cream with candied kalamata olives and aged balsamic swirl, strawberry soda from a siphon, tapioca soaked in strawberry syrup, fresh farm petite strawberries from New Gloucester and micro basil from Micro Mainea.
Back Bay Grill, 65 Portland St.: Chef Larry Matthews is serving two strawberry desserts. One is a local strawberry shortcake with vanilla bean whipped cream and strawberry sorbet. The other choice is vanilla panna cotta, strawberry and rose water consomme, walnut and orange madeleine.
The Salt Exchange, 245 Commercial St.: Sous chef Kimmo Meronen will be making seared duck breast with strawberry sauce. The strawberry sauce is made with strawberries, ginger, serrano chile and balsamic vinegar.
Local Sprouts Cooperative, 649 Congress St.: Strawberry salad with Maine strawberries, Sunset Acres goat cheese, toasted nuts and balsamic vinaigrette over local greens. For a special, the restaurant is serving chilled strawberry zucchini soup with goat cheese and caramelized onions.
East Ender, 47 Middle St.: Chef Mitchell Gerow is making a hogs head cheese with peas and strawberries. The pork comes from Dandelion Spring Farm.
The Cape Neddick Inn Restaurant, 1273 U.S. Route 1: Baker Lori Damboise-Nowell is making her fresh strawberry-rhubarb crisps. Find the recipe on our Maine a la Carte blog (pressherald.com/blogs/mainealacarte).
The Kennebunk Inn and Academe Brasserie, 45 Main St.: Chef/owner Shanna O’Hea says she likes to make strawberry gazpacho “wonderful with the addition of tomatoes, red, green, jalapeno peppers, onion, garlic and olive oil. We puree it smooth, strain out the strawberry seeds and serve it beautifully chilled with shaved frozen goat cheese and balsamic gel.”
For a sweet dish, she draws upon her memories of working in London and makes a strawberry fool. She crushes Maine strawberries by hand into a lightly sweetened whipped cream, then finishes the dish with strawberry puree accented with rose water. “Although this is a very classic dessert, I modernize it by pairing it with a lemon basil shortbread for added texture and herbaceous taste,” O’Hea says.
Earth at Hidden Pond, 354 Goose Rocks Road: Seared foie gras with strawberry-rhubarb, angelica and long pepper crumble.
50 Local, 50 Main St.: Chef David Ross is offering a caramelized white chocolate and strawberry panna cotta with strawberry gelee and basil.
Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea, 40 Bowery Beach Road: Pastry chef Karen Toner is doing a twist on strawberry shortcake. She bakes her grandmother’s traditional biscuit recipe, then roasts the strawberries, which creates a rich syrup that seeps into the biscuit and intensifies and seals the flavor of the berries. She then tops the biscuit with the chilled, roasted strawberries, adds fresh whipped cream and serves the shortcake with house-made strawberry sorbet and house-made mint gelee. The inn is also serving two strawberry cocktails in June – a strawberry mojito and a cocktail called “Farm Fresh Strawberry” made with strawberry-infused rum, lime juice and simple syrup.
Black Point Inn, 510 Black Point Road, Prout’s Neck: Mercedes Foster, pastry chef at the inn, is using strawberries from Maxwell’s Farm to produce a chilled, layered dessert that is a play on strawberries and cream. They are calling it a strawberry neopolitan and serving it with a milk crumble.
Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn, 83 Bayview St.: Chef Geoffroy Deconinck is serving a strawberry tart with a rhubarb marmalade and yogurt sorbet.
SeaGrass Bistro, 305 U.S. Route 1: Chef/owner Stephanie Brown is serving a salad made with local mixed greens, house-smoked almonds, fresh strawberries and mint balsamic vinaigrette, and a dessert of house-made strawberry mojito ice cream with fresh basil and rum.
– Compiled by Meredith Goad