31. The Inn at Bay Fortune
It’s every bit as spectacular as its name. FireWorks Feast is part performance, lecture and walking tour—and all gourmet extravaganza. It begins with cocktails and snacks in the courtyard. Then a tour of the gardens, punctuated by a visit to the oyster shack. Glistening with mint-chili aioli, a couple hundred Fortune Bay oysters burble on coals, only to be quickly dispatched by 100-plus guests. Then it’s back to the Inn, where a few hundred more oysters meet their demise—47,861 when we dropped in, according to the chalkboard. Then it’s time to meet the beast. To wit, the 25-foot-long open-flamed hearth, and the feast’s namesake. Dining is communal, and talk flows easily. A footlong menu at each seat lists more than 100 ingredients in play, all from the gardens, local farmers and local water. Smith’s dining experience is every bit as sincere and authentic as his TV persona. Service is joyful, almost evangelical. Diners lucky enough to have a room at the Inn get to bask in the waning light and enjoy another cocktail after a round of s’mores on the lawn.
Photos: ALEX BRUCE