The most wonderful thing about Ocean House is that it whisks you away to a different time while offering all the best amenities that modernity has to offer. The Ocean House is the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star hotel in Rhode Island, and both the OH! Spa and Seasons restaurant are also Forbes Five Star rated, making it one of only 10 resorts in the world with a triple Forbes Five Star rating. Ocean House is also a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux, a fellowship of individually owned restaurants and hotels that sets the gold standard for unique, high-end, venues around the world. The accolades Ocean House has won are well deserved, as the impeccably trained staff and thoughtful accommodations leave absolutely nothing to be desired.
The Center for Wine and Culinary Arts is another elegant example of past meeting present at Ocean House. The Center was completed in late 2015 and offers guests an intimate place to taste, create, and explore food and wine in a 3000 square foot space where sommelier Gregory Astudillo and Food Forager Paul McComiskey lead daily classes. The food classes generally revolve around the seasonal agricultural bounties of New England whereas the wine classes take advantage of the Wine Spectator Award-winning 8000-bottle wine collection beautifully displayed in two stunning cellars right inside the Center. The classes all boast an unpretentious approachability for expert and novice alike. The gorgeous kitchen and entertaining space inside the Center for Wine and Culinary arts was built with a mix of state of the art appliances by Gaggenau and reclaimed wood from a 19th Century Connecticut tobacco barn, again blending past and present in that signature Ocean House style.
Guests looking for an exemplary culinary experience will not be disappointed. The Seasons restaurant at Ocean House, which overlooks the Atlantic coast, offers an outstanding farm to table menu of seasonal and sustainable New England cuisine. Guests can choose between three or four courses, and can have their meal paired with an exquisite bottle of wine selected by sommelier Gregory Astudillo. Guests looking for a truly special experience can opt to sit at the chef’s counter where chef Jacob Jasinski prepares and then serves an exquisite eight-course meal before their very eyes.
I opted for the tobacco-smoked rabbit with ravioli and brown butter emulsion to start, which was delicate and not at all gamey. We also shared oysters on the half shell topped with a green tomato granité, spicy radish, and finger lime, which are sourced from a local oyster farm whose owner told the Seasons that their preparation was the absolute best he has ever had, and I have to agree with him.
Our small plates were followed by an exquisite but not overly rich combination of truffled risotto with uni and piave vecchio, and a dish of beef two ways that incorporated beef cheek, ribeye steak, caramelized onions and marrow.
Dessert included single origin chocolate from Ecuador served as a terrine with pistachio praline, salted pistachio sorbet, meringue, and lemon curd, and an orange soufflé with mint crème anglaise and cranberry sorbet.
Every bite of every course at the Seasons was perfectly balanced and perfectly executed, and the dishes were satisfying without being too heavy. From the cocktails to the wine to the food, the staff at the Seasons delivered at every turn and demonstrated why they are a Forbes five-star restaurant.
By the end of the weekend we found ourselves wishing we had more time to spend at Ocean House and making plans to come back. A visit to the resort transports the guest to a different era, one of white gloves and top hats, and our trip back in time ended too abruptly. The grandeur and majesty of Ocean House and the attentive hospitality of its staff are something that, once experienced, will never be forgotten.
Additional reporting by Kate Kolenda.