Summers are always booked solid at 26 School House. Summer in Mystic is great, but the "Off" season can be equally good. Less crowds, easy reservations, and less traffic are really nice, and the scenes and wildlife are a year round event. The house is really well insulated, has a super efficient furnace and networked thermostats to keep it comfortable. We added a really nice gas fireplace to warm up chilly nights. Now that we have the kitchen upgrade done, we are going to really ramp up the idea of the cooking vacation. Really? Aren't vacations supposed to be relaxing?
Restaurants are expensive, and sometimes not that great. I frequently finish dining out, thinking "I could have done that better for a fraction of the cost." As a result, when we are at Mystic, we eat most of our meals at home. The ingredients available locally are fantastic, the view is better than any restaurant and the kitchen is a great cooking/gathering place. And we can drink great wine at a reasonable cost. Three couples at a nice restaurant can easily spend over $300. At home, the same $300+ can buy ingredients for a truly epic meal.
Appetizers - Artisan Cheese, charcuterie selection, oysters) $50 + 2 bottles Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Wine $30
Main course - Rack of lamb with shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, roasted red potatoes $60 + 2 bottles Pinot Noir $40
Dessert - Purchased from bakery $20, and Taylor Floodgate 10 yr Tawny Port $25
We are only up to $225! Lets add some lobster to the Lamb to make it a Surf n Turf for and extra $30. Finally, Lets pay somebody to clean up the dishes! We still have paid less than a restaurant.
So the elephant in the kitchen is "How are you going to cook all that?" Easy! The appetizer is mostly purchased ready to go, and the oysters can be shucked in a few minutes. The rack of lamb is oven roasted until the internal temp is 130 degrees, the potatoes and asparagus roast in the oven on aluminum foil. The shiitake mushroom sauce takes a few minutes, but is easy. With a few instructions, the right utensils, and a thermometer anybody can pull this off.
Our websites www.26schoolhouse.com and www.Chucksfood.com have instructions already, and we are constantly adding information for cooking a wide variety of spectacular dishes.