The Weekapaug Inn Set to Reopen
After a $20 million transformation, the Rhode Island inn opens with a new executive chef
Keywords Rhode Island, New England
When the 31-room Weekapaug Inn re-opens its doors in October 2012, there will be a new chef in the kitchen. The seaside hotel, with views of Quonochontaug Pond and the Atlantic Ocean, has appointed Jennifer Backman to oversee the inn’s dining experiences, from The Restaurant to the more casual SeaRoom, which will both offer a modern interpretation of coastal New England cuisine.
Previously with sister property the Ocean House, Backman was the sous chef in Seasons restaurant during the resort’s opening in 2010 and was later promoted to executive sous chef. A fan of ethical sourcing, Backman will bring that approach to Weekapaug Inn, along with resort’s farm-to-table philosophy and campaign to locally source ingredients. The menu will highlight the region’s traditional cultures, which include Italian, Portuguese, and Native American influences.
The Restaurant's menu will include such starters as sweet pea and ricotta agnolotti with Vidalia onion, Meyer lemon, truffle, and pea shoots; and main courses like pan-roasted native tautog with Jonah crab salad, asparagus, fennel, and a smoked tomato vinaigrette.
The Restaurant’s new look features dark stained oak tables, brown rattan chairs, and walls and the ceiling covered with natural grass and white painted battens. The design incorporates elements from the original inn, which was built in 1899, including upholstered banquets and sofas and a grand, wood-burning fireplace.
The more relaxed SeaRoom, in the Weekapaug Inn’s grand parlor, serves traditional New England comfort food like hearty New England clam chowder, native lobster and sweet corn fritters with tarragon remoulade, and bouillabaisse with native white fish, shrimp, mussels, potato, and a saffron-lobster broth.