George

I love their story. Tony and Laura Moskwa checked out more than 40 inns on the east coast before purchasing the Bradley Inn in New Harbor. And they love our state, as does their son Ross, who decided to move here with them to serve as a chef at the inn’s restaurant. They are all friendly hosts, truly enjoying visiting with each and every guest.

Since taking over here last spring, they’ve been hard at work making improvements, while retaining the great history of this special place, just a short walk from the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.

We spent the afternoon at Pemaquid Point, starting with a picnic, and enjoying the Pemaquid Art Gallery and the Fisherman’s Museum on the grounds of the lighthouse. We got a friendly greeting from Clarissa as we entered the inn, and spent an hour with Tony and Laura touring their buildings and talking about their experiences here.

Our dinner at the inn was superb. A couple we know happened to be seated next to us, and he is an expert in commercial fisheries, so I paid close attention to what he ordered and I ordered the same thing. Our servers, Suzie (who has worked for nine years here) and Rosalyn (a new employee) were helpful and attentive. The wine list is extensive, and we chose an Italian Sangiovese ($10/glass).

For my starter, I enjoyed the local Bristol mussels ($12), with preserved tomato and fresh herbs. This was my favorite dish. The mussels were cooked perfectly, and sat in a tasty sauce. The portion was very large, but I ate every mussel. There was quite a bit of sauce left in my bowl when I was done, but Linda forbade me from drinking it.

That turned out to be OK, because I had another tasty sauce with my Sustainable Local Fish entree ($33), which on this night turned out to be swordfish. The dish included more mussels, saffron-rosemary frigola and little neck clams.

I also loved Linda’s steak, and was amazed that she ate all of the mammoth serving. At the next table, a gentleman from Colorado who ran a meat packing plant was also raving about the steak. He should know.

Linda

We haven’t been to the Pemaquid area for a long time. It was a once-a-year trip to the ocean for my family when I was growing up. I remember climbing and picnicking on the rocks there.

I immensely enjoyed spending a big part of the day at Pemaquid Lighthouse. We indulged in reading a long time in our double seat traveling chair with a spectacular view and sounds of the ocean crashing on the rocks. Things like this are what make a day magical for me.

I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful the grounds at the Bradley Inn are. Sprawling lawns with well-tended plantings of flowers and shrubs are kept in tip-top shape by Tony.

The inn has 16 rooms, ranging from one with twin beds to a suite in the carriage house that has a full kitchen. There is also a cute cottage available. They are able to host weddings when tents are set up in the large backyard.

Our third floor room had a pine vaulted ceiling, a high four-poster bed, a gas fireplace and antique furniture. It was comfortable and offered a view of Johns Bay.

Dinner is a memorable event at the Bradley Inn. The dining room is off-white with mellow green beadboard on the lower half of the walls. The lights hanging from loopy cords lend a modern feel to the space.

The real memories begin when the elegant food comes out. An amuse-bouche of creamy roasted butternut squash soup with creme fraiche was the offering that evening. It was great.

There were lots of choices for appetizers and starters, but the salad special that evening won me over. The kale and arugula salad with roasted beets, toasted quinoa and goat cheese had a preserved lemon dressing. It was cool, light and refreshing and had a nice texture due to the quinoa.

Each part of my steak was exquisite. Perfectly medium-rare hanger steak was sliced and served with the most amazing french fries ever, atop a white truffle aioli. The beef melted in your mouth. The fries were crispy outside and flavored with herbs, while the center was creamy. If you don’t get an entree here that includes the fries, plan ahead and order them as an appetizer.

The vegetables were also perfect. Grilled corn on the cob pieces and crunchy baby rainbow carrots were served with tomato butter. It was a beautiful presentation, and a plate of food I will dream about.

Breakfast is included with your stay and is another extraordinary spread. Fresh fruit, blueberry muffins and a smoothie will start you off. And the entree of the day will keep you from being hungry again for most of the day.

This is an inn to put on your must-visit list. Surely you deserve a respite this fall or next summer.

Visit George’s website — georgesmithmaine.com — for book reviews, outdoor news and all Travelin’ Maine(rs) columns, found listed by town in the “Best of Maine” section.