Before the iceberg, before the lifeboats, before the sinking, there was dinner.

The menu from that fateful night inspired the Portland Supper Club’s latest experience-dining event, in collaboration with The Cumberland Club, which was founded in 1877 and was an exclusive men’s club when the Titanic sank on April 14, 1912.

“We coordinate the theme and set it up, but then we open tickets up to the public,” said Lauren Paige, coordinator for the Portland Supper Club, an informal group of dining enthusiasts that has organized six theme dinners over the past two years. “We follow the theme wherever it carries us.”

Sid Tripp, founder of the Portland Supper Club, remembered Arrows restaurant in Ogunquit serving the original 10 courses years ago and enlisted chef Joe Brennan of The Cumberland Club to create a six-course feast more suited to modern palates.

“I looked at what they had on all the decks for the final meal and just spun it and recreated it to be delicious,” said Brennan, who reworked the Punch Romaine and sorbet course into a rum pop frozen with liquid nitrate, a palate cleanser between the scallops and the beef Wellington.

“I had a grand time,” said Debbie Elliott of Yarmouth, who changed flights to come in from Palm Springs in time for the event.

The evening was touched by elements of humor and reverence, with a signature cocktail called The Life Preserver that included an oversized ice cube, violinist Julian Spiro playing “Nearer My God to Thee” and guests standing for a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives in 1912.

“I think it was superb and in the memory of everybody who perished on the Titanic,” said John Kilbourne of Brunswick. “We’re a coastal, seafaring community, and this is absolutely appropriate.”

“I enjoyed the violin, and the food was exceptional,” said Erin Donovan of Arundel. “This building, the architecture, lends itself to the time period. And we know we’re going to make it. We have Uber now, and we’ll get home safely.”

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

[email protected]

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