Every once in awhile, on a spectacular summer weeknight, our family will act like tourists and visit a relaxed, beachside destination for dinner. Shade, a restaurant located inside the Higgins Beach Inn in Scarborough, is such a place. The casual restaurant features a bar with cherry red chairs. There is table seating on the cozy sun porch or on the spacious screened porch. On the day we arrived, we were unusually early, so the hostess invited our family to choose a non-alcoholic drink at the bar and walk to the beach while we waited.
All of us were delighted to get some beach time. We walked past cheerful summer houses to the shore, where surfers and walkers dotted the sand. The kids scaled the rocks along the beach while us old folks enjoyed a good dose of sea air.When we returned to the inn, we were seated on the screened porch. The eclectic, comfort-food driven menu had appealing choices for all of us — smoked pork tacos with salsa verde for our boy, crispy fried plantains and a spring salad for our vegan girl, a classic lobster roll for Mom, and a scallop roll with bacon and cheddar jack cheese plus spicy street corn for Dad. We also opted for a tomato and watermelon salad with creamy Burrata to share before our meal.
While we waited for dinner the kids went outside to explore, giving us parents time to catch up on our days. Later we discovered our duo had also grabbed the camera, and took a few photos of the colorful gardens and window boxes.
Our salad arrived first. We loved the twist of adding slices of refreshing watermelon to a classic combination of tomato, Burrata, basil and balsamic. It’s such a pretty summer salad, we plan on recreating it at home.
Our meals were equally enjoyable. This mom delighted in her first lobster roll of the summer. There were generous portions of lobster meat with lemon and light mayonnaise delivered on a buttery grilled brioche bun.Everyone enjoyed their meals, but the biggest crowd-pleaser was the street corn, which we’ll also be duplicating during summer barbecues. The grilled corn came coated with crumbles of Cojita cheese and chili powder.
There’s a reason Maine is called Vacationland. After a satisfying weeknight family dinner like this one, we all left relaxed and happy, not unlike the end of a really good vacation.
For more information on Shade and Higgins Beach Inn, visit here.
PS: Our family-friendly canoe trip at Scarborough Marsh.