Recently, on the hottest day on record this year in Seaside, Maggie’s on the Prom front house manager Liz Powell was hoping for a breeze to lift off the ocean-front patio and travel inside.
Up a stone staircase in the shingled, 14-room Seaside Oceanfront Inn, which shares the building with Maggie’s, it’s not hard to imagine that the Pacific coughs up plenty of cool wind into the dining room, but that afternoon the air was still and heavy with heat.
This was during a slow moment of a dwindling lunch service. There were a few customers situated on the patio basking in the sun. No one sat inside beneath the great stone hearth that was obviously unlit on a hot day.
There was no one else seated at the marble bar that is dominated by a seashell-shaped metal curvature. It’s the kind of object you might expect to find in the sculpture garden of a Modern Art museum, though, of course, here it is functional, stacked with bottles of wine.
Produce was still coming into the kitchen and you could feel the energy in the room shifting from pushing out lunch orders to prepping for dinner.
At the end of the bar Executive Chef Brad Dodson was figuring out some details. Maggie’s, like many of the North Coast’s fine dining establishments, strives to keep things local and seasonal. The restaurant is about three weeks deep into its new seasonal menu.
Dodson seemed especially pleased with their current fresh pasta course off the dinner menu which features peas, asparagus, mushrooms, mint and can be topped with crab or in-house smoked steelhead for an additional cost.
“I think we are the only ones in town doing fresh pasta right now,” he said. “We’re getting these great eggs from a local farmer and it makes a really rich, yellow dough.”
Of course, seasonal doesn’t just spring from the kitchen. It can also be an attitude splashing around behind the bar.
Maggie’s on the Prom has two new cocktails on their summer menu: a Lavender Gin and Tonic and a whiskey-based Marionberry Sour, which Powell mentioned are already popular pours with the crowd.
Besides that, they also sling a lot of Beachcombers because, you know, when people go to the beach they get thinking about rum, dark rum, coconut cream and fruit juices.
The Lavender Gin and Tonic was that breath of fresh air needed on a stifling afternoon. The floral, infused syrup is the star here. The addition makes it sweeter than your average G & T, but with a drink so simple — just three ingredients — you could really change the tenor of this drink depending on the gin you use.
Maggie’s pours Crater Lake Gin, an award-winning compound gin from Tumalo in Deschutes County, Ore.
Compound gins infuse their botanicals after distillation and are less floral-forward than a lot of the gins du jour.
Crater Lake’s has a high citrus note which plays well with the lavender syrup. The end product is nothing short of refreshing.
So, while a breeze would have been nice, a cold Lavender Gin and Tonic wasn’t a half-bad replacement.
Lavender Gin and Tonic
2 ounces Crater Lake Gin, or gin of your choice
1 ounce lavender simple syrup*
Sprig of fresh lavender for garnish
Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour the gin and syrup over the ice. Top with tonic water, stir and add the lavender sprig.
*To make the lavender syrup, add equal parts dried lavender leaves, water and sugar to a pot and bring to a boil. Once the pot reaches a boil and the sugar has dissolved, turn off heat, let cool and then strain.
—Recipe provided by Liz Powell, front house manager at Maggie’s on the Prom in Seaside.