Elegant French Lunch at Ocean House’s Gondola Village


When the Ocean House premiered the Gondola Village several years ago, it was pre-Covid. Social distancing and private dining areas were not part of our vocabulary. Little did they know how prescient this collection of restored vintage gondolas, tricked out with cozy pillows and heated sherpa blankets, would be. We heard the menu had morphed from Swiss to French this year, and Laura and I decided it would be the perfect venue for our tiny holiday party! A reservation here is a fantastic way to celebrate an extra-special occasion or just to cheer oneself in the middle of a dreary New England winter. We settled into our cozy gondola with goblets of the house cocktail (Veuve Rose with cranberries and a hint of cinnamon) and congratulated ourselves on picking the perfect venue to celebrate making it through another trying year!

Here’s my advice: Go HUNGRY! This year’s menu includes four yummy courses, and you won’t be able to resist any of them. The first serving for the table, of a wheel of brie surrounded by fruits and nuts and a splash of Marc then flambeed, was enough for dinner, but NO! After happily spreading warm, melted brie on toastettes (and toasting repeatedly), we moved on to a comforting crock of onion soup (yes, more cheese!). Laura, ever reasonable, ordered a light and deconstructed trout amandine while I threw caution to the wind (as is my way during the holidays) and ordered the pastry-crusted boeuf bourguignon. A warm apple Tarte Tatin with housemade vanilla ice cream rounded out the meal (as did a bottle of Veuve Cliquot). The unhurried but attentive service was perfect, and we lingered over lunch for hours. An entirely joyous finish to 2021!

Good to know:
The Gondolas are open Wednesday through Monday for lunch at 1pm and dinner at 6pm. An “Apres Ski” menu is offered at 4pm featuring oysters with caviar, rillettes, crab salad, and of course, Veuve Cliquot!
Charge your phone battery as the “Village” is an Instagrammers delight!
Reservations and more info here: https://www.oceanhouseri.com/gondolavillage