The Hichborn is in a large historic house with bare wood tables, faint music in the background, lots of art on the walls (for sale), numerous plants, sound dampening panels on the ceiling and lowered lighting. The house is named for Nathan Hichborn a prolific boat builder who was also a politician. Owner Kirk Linder manages the front while his partner Charlie Zorich serves as chef in back. They offer only a printed tasting menu (with a couple extras thrown in) with optional wine pairings for a capacity of about 30. There is a full bar for cocktails as well as a wine by the glass or bottle menu. We chose the pairings and while they were well matched with the courses they were small pours and not topped off, especially when they were meant to go with extra courses. Both the owner and chef did come by and introduce themselves, which was very nice.
We ordered a cocktail but it only arrived just before the first pairing was presented. It came out with an amuse bouche of chicken liver mousse with berry jam on a toasted brioche. The toast was quite crisp and contrasted nicely with the creamy mousse.
The tasting started with two types of oysters – Pemetic Sea Farm and Morning Dew -with charred green tomato and Chile relish. The topping had a lovely bit of spice that yielded lots of flavor from the oysters. Both were very good but I preferred the little one called Morning Dew.
A tray of sliced baguette was presented with chive butter. They were both fine.
Heirloom tomatoes were plated with fennel, sweet onion and pickled chanterelles on top of whipped ricotta mixed with dill and mint then topped with radish sprouts. The chanterelles were locally sourced. I would have added a touch of salt but there was some on the bread tray around the butter that worked fine. This was a really good combo with fabulous ricotta. Even though the tomatoes were mild in flavor when mixed with the cheese and herbs it was wonderful.
An extra course was a scallop grown in a vertical sea farm (aquaculture). It was seasoned with ponzu, Japanese mayonnaise, horseradish and black sesame oil. It was amazing. The texture of the scallop was wonderful as were the flavors in the embellishments. It was yummy.
Gulf of Maine halibut was with Maine peach and jalapeño jam on summer succotash. The fish was cooked perfectly and wonderful with the jalapeño jam. It was a thick piece of fish and really juicy. The green beans in the succotash could have been cooked a bit more but otherwise it was a really tasty accompaniment. This was a great one.
An extra course was micro arugula and cucumber gazpacho. It tasted like liquified cucumber with a spicy accent. The texture was fluffy and could have benefited from a bit more salt. It was good not great.
Wee Bit Farm NY strip was plated with new potatoes, shishitos, roasted sweet onions and cherry tomato confit. It was well flavored beef but chewy. It was cooked a nice medium rare with a good grilled flavor, but not as succulent as you would expect. The potatoes were multicolored and were good as were the peppers. I would not have topped the beef with micro greens. They got in the way and were used in too many courses.
Maine peach and blueberry cobbler was with a buttermilk biscuit and anise ice cream. The peaches were dwarfed by the tiny wild blueberries. A nice biscuit was the topping. The fruit was excellent with a nice ice cream.
They are famous for their coconut cream pie and you can add that to your meal or take home a slice. We had to try it. It was a very tall pie and the crust needed more butter. The custard portion was quite thick and the cream light and sweet. The star of the plate was the extremely good toasted coconut that surrounded the slice on the plate. It was outstanding.