inaugural Farm to Table Dinner Friday, June 27, at 6 p.m.

Point Lookout’s upcoming farm-to-table dinner ‘as local as it gets’

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 3:15pm

    NORTHPORT — It’s not commonly known that athenahealth owns Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center in Northport, but it makes sense that CEO Jonathan Bush had a strong interest in sustainability and healthy living and wanted to use more of the Center’s 387 acres. So, in 2011, they began the work to transform the under-used softball fields (coincidentally the flattest part of the mountain) into an organic, year-round farm and hired Farm Manager Spencer Nietmann a year later to build and run it.

    The result is Point Lookout Farm, a MOFGA Certified organic farm that serves as the Center’s source of produce for Copper Pine Café, all of their weddings, catered events and special public evenings.

    In two years, the farm has grown on the half an acre they use, along with three 50-foot long greenhouses. Beside the farm, Nietmann is also responsible for a chicken coop with eggs he collects daily from the chickens and two colonies of honey bees behind the chicken coop.

    “This year we’ve also added a small orchard with peaches, pears, apples, plums and sour cherries, along with high bush blueberries and raspberries,” he said.

    “We’ve had a few open houses, but this will be a chance for people to look around, ask questions and take a tour,” said Nietmann, adding that the public is welcome to come up to the farm anytime and take a look around.

    This Friday, all of that hard work from the last two years will culminate in the Center’s first farm-to-table dinner using as much of the farm’s organic produce as possible, as well as meats, seafood and alcoholic beverages all sourced locally from the Midcoast. 

    Although the Center could easily host dinner guests in a number of their onsite dining facilities, the dinner will take place right where it all began — inside the seedling house with entertainment, farm tours and cocktails kicking it off in a small outdoor area that created this week they’ve termed the “Hay Bale Lounge.”

    Executive Chef Shawn Wilcox, the man who runs all of the Center’s wedding banquets and special catered events, has teamed up with Nietmann to create an unforgettable evening for foodies. The specialty cocktail will feature the farm’s cilantro along with Three Crow rum, Cold River vodka and Back River gin. Wilcox said each of the five courses is a small plate. 

    “I broke it down that way to introduce as many of the farm products as I could,” he said.

    Before dinner starts, appetizers will include a lamb kabob from North Star Farms and Oysters Rockefeller with the farm’s spinach and fennel. Diners can expect:

    • Roasted beet and arugula salad featuring an Appleton Creamery goat cheese foam with a light herb vinaigrette.
    • Sesame seared fish (the type of fish to be determined this week and caught by local fishermen) with braised mustard greens and bok choy tossed with miso vinaigrette.
    • Coq au vin supplied by Westons Meats with house-cured pancetta and braised with Breakwater pinot noir.
    • Maine Family Farms braised short rib with carrot bundles wrapped with scallions.
    • Homemade ice cream using fresh flowers from the farm, including Borage, and Nasturtium in a tuile wafer (a crispy cup similar to a fortune cookie.)

     Breakwater wines and local beers will be served at dinner.

    “There are no cooking facilities up there so we’re going to create it ourselves with a charcoal grill and a couple of gas burners,” said Wilcox.

    This is first of many such events Point Lookout plans to host, with this dinner representing Point Lookout’s commitment to sustainability and healthy living by fostering community, conversation and education about health through food. The cost is $89 per person. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Call 789-2000 to make reservations.

    For more information visit: Point Lookout Resort & Conference Center.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at