If you have fantasies of living in a bona fide mansion, take up residence in the freshly renovated Spicer Mansion in Mystic. This mid-19th century Italianate built by Sea Captain, Elihu Spicer, has just been restored by the folks behind the Ocean House, and reimagined as a high end bed & breakfast (and dinner!). What a treat to traipse through this splendid home…old dropped ceilings were removed to reveal a fresco of Mrs. Spicer (once naked, now swathed!), and under the dingy wall-to-wall was intricate parquet that barely needed a sanding. Play chess in the grand parlors, pick at a jigsaw in front of the fireplace, or wander around oohing and aahing over the 14 foot ceilings, intricate moldings and polished original woodwork. The place is a stunner, but that ain’t all.
The very intimate dining room serves a tasting menu created by Jen Backman, previously chef at the Weekapaug Inn and sous-chef at the Ocean House. She’s been let loose here, and we had a magnificent meal. Starting with canapes and champagne in the parlor, we moved on to slim slices of scallop ceviche with grapefruit and yuzu, a perfect square of striped bass in saffron, ridiculous house made tagliatelle with pancetta, parmigiano, a quail egg and dusting of truffle, moroccan spiced lamb and a three layer strawberry and matcha mousse cake. Service provided by our delightful French waitress was seamless (not always the case at Ocean House properties), and it was a memorable, if over-the-top evening (tweezers were heavily involved in the preparation). When we were presented with a glass box full of goodies (truffles, macarons, pate de fruits and cookies) at the bitter end, we were close to speechless. By that point, I was dreading waddling up the two sets of twenty-three stairs to our third floor suite, but equally relieved that we were staying the night. Portions are intentionally small and the price for this visionary feast was a not-too-crazy $115 for seven courses. An entirely vegetarian degustation menu is available, also. The dining room seats twenty or so. Anyone can call to request an invitation to dine at the mansion. (855) 679-2468 This is your answer if you’ve got a very special birthday or anniversary on the horizon.