A 10-course meal sounds pretty ridiculous now that I think about it. This idea was, at some point, planted in my brain and was such a no-brainer when I was making the list. I had experienced and enjoyed a few 5-course meals, and thought a 10-course was it's less common, more epic big brother. I didn't realize how less common it was until I began researching some ideas and came up pretty empty handed. Sometime in February I decided to focus on other items and would let #68 take on a more spontaneous approach... maybe in Europe... maybe walking the streets of Boston, etc.
I was on the bus coming home for Mother's Day and decided to review the list in case there were any items I could cross off while I was home. I gave #68 another thought and googled it with low - expectations. To my surprise Vinland a, "Avant-garde bar/eatery serving locally sourced New American fare in an eco-chic setting." popped right up and conveniently located in Portland. 10- courses and came with a (necessary) option to add on eight wine pairings. Over the weekend I presented the idea to my parents that we should make reservations for my next visit home for Father's Day. Despite the hefty price tag, were game. Not only are those two incredibly supportive of me and this project, but also lovers and seekers of new experiences - I wonder where I get it from.
Saturday, June 16
I arrived to Portland from Boston on the bus around noon where my parents were waiting. This weekend was an epic one of sorts. Not only was it Father's Day Weekend, it was also the first time I had seen my parents since I turned 24 the weekend prior, and June 16 is my moms half-birthday. Yes, we celebrate half birthdays. One day for yourself clearly isn't enough.
Our reservation at Vinland was at 5 PM giving us some time to kill. We had planned in very Maine like manner to have a Father's Day lobster dinner the next evening and headed to my favorite fish market, Harbor Fish Market, to prepare. This lobster dinner was also crossing off another item #41 Have a lobster dinner in Maine.
We still had a little time before dinner so we decided to head to Boone's Fish House & Oyster Bar, a family favorite, for pre-dinner drinks on the water. Boone's is a great spot because it has a patio that overlooks Porthole, an outdoor bar that often has live music, and where the booze cruises dock.
Finally, it was on to dinner.
Meet Tim. Tim was our waiter and perfectly bearded Portland import. He ran through what was about to go down...
Tim knew we weren't ready, look at his face.
Tim, now looking back, when I said I was ready I lied.
Meet David. The owner and chef of Vinland. A true genius in the kitchen and as nice as he is talented!
What proceeded was 4.5 hours (FOUR AND A HALF HOURS) of eating, drinking, and laughing. It was such a fantastic experience to share with my favorite people on Earth.
I'm going to write on each photo the course and snack numbers and ingredients. Following the photos of food, there will be the menu if you want to check that out. Here's what our evening consisted of:
As you can tell somewhere around snack 8 I lost my light and started to get a little drunk. I swear they looked better when I took them!
The three of us had the best time all experiencing something new together. My dad even said when he was leaving,
"That was the best meal I ever had."
If you're ever in Portland and up to try something new (and have 5 hours of freedom) this is a wonderful experience with people you love.
All my love,