Last summer, Richard and I were invited to a 60th birthday celebration for a very dear friend and neighbor. The celebration, she told us, was to be held on CabbageIsland as she had always wanted to have a clambake for her birthday so where better to do it than on the five and a half-acre CabbageIsland inLinekinBay.
We were psyched. It was a beautiful Saturday evening in July; our guests had all checked in; good friends were inn-sitting for us and we were about to embark on a fact-finding mission: we were about to find out for ourselves if everything we had heard about “The Cabbage Island Clambake” http://www.cabbageislandclambakes.com/clambakes.htm was true. The experience from start to finish was amazing – from the boat ride to the dinner to the friendly and professional staff to the island itself – we understood completely why this adventure is and continues to be a favoriteBoothbayHarborattraction!
The boat, named the Bennie Alice, departed from Pier 6 at Fisherman’s Wharf (the boat goes out daily in the summer and twice on Saturday and Sunday). Along with about 150 other adventurers, we gently cruised out ofBoothbayHarbor, pastSquirrelIsland, around the Burnt Island Lighthouse, gazed at Ocean Point,RamIslandand other coastline treasures until we docked about forty-five minutes later atCabbageIsland.
Once we had disembarked, we made for the picnic tables that theCabbageIslandstaff had so thoughtfully set up for our party of 12. Drink orders were placed (FYI – they do offer full liquor service on board the Bennie Alice and onCabbageIsland) and then our meal began with a cup of deliciousNew Englandseafood chowder (generous chunks of fish and clams swimming in a lightly seasoned broth). Shortly afterward we heard the boat horn announcing that “lobsters were ready”. We made our way to the area designated for picking up dinner.
Dinner was sumptuous as we worked our way through two luscious bright red lobsters, tender white steamed clams wrapped in foil, an ear of sweet golden corn on the cob, an onion, and a full size newMainepotato accompanied by plenty of drawn butter for dipping. It was a culinary delight! Richard and I said to each other as we picked up our artfully arranged trays that there was no way we were going to be able to eat all of that food – well guess what? We did. It was delicious! And to top it all off, we were served generous slices of the famous Cabbage Island Blueberry Cake with fresh coffee. Did I mention that it was delicious?!
The magic, they claim, is in the cooking process. The Original Downeast Clambake ofBoothbayHarboris cooked in seaweed, steamed from top to bottom, and covered with tarpaulins and rocks in order to capture all the flavor and sweetness of theMainelobsters and clams.
Magic is a good word to use in conjunction with the Cabbage Island Clambake. Needless to say our friend enjoyed her birthday celebration as did we and the rest of her party – none of us wanted to see the evening end. It was perfect: good friends, delicious food, a beautiful location, and all surrounded by the sea. AUDIBLE SIGH …
Advance reservations are suggested as the clambakes are very popular. Be sure to get there early as reservations are held until 15 minutes prior to departure. For reservations call 207-633-7200.