The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 4, 2003


Heron's Landing
A lighter side of dining Carlisle, Massachusetts

One of the best-kept secrets in dining is right here in Carlisle. There is a place of cuisine that rivals the best of Chucky Cheese or MacDonald's.

The setting is (as the name implies) waterside with gardens you can wander through in warmer weather. Well, you can wander, but watch your step. Instead of Heron's Landing it would more appropriately be called Goose Acres. From the dining room, the view of wildlife is superb, if you like Canada geese. The gardens in spring are rich with flowering trees and perennials including magnolias, dogwoods, and flowering cherries, well chewed by the deer. Irises and peonies are abundant in spring, but the lawn is riddled with mole tunnels.

We arrived to be seated immediately with complimentary canapés of smoked dogfish paté and kidneys with horseradish sauce. We actually needed something a lot stronger than the B& G Pouilly-Fuissé to cope with these specialties.

This evening we opted for the chef's choice, which was accompanied by a Napa Valley Merlot 1999. Our salad was a citrus salad of blood oranges (somehow the name "blood" oranges always conjures up something unsavory for me), grapefruit and kumquats with sugar-glazed walnuts. The flavors were unbalanced with a light vinaigrette dressing.

The piece de résistance was Muscovy duck with fruit stuffing. It certainly was "resistance" that the duck was more like rubber ducky. Charred vegetables accompanied this. Everything was done to astound and impress, and it certainly did.

Chocolate shells filled with tofu completed our dinner. Throughout the evening the chef checked to see that everything was to our likingthis of course depends on your usual style of eating and though we didn't tell him, we still prefer Papa Gino's. The atmosphere, setting and food does not require a return trip, but if you are anxious to try it anyway, make sure your reservation is for April 1, to keep your dining experiences consistent.

[Oops! Our reviewer forgot that the Mosquito came out on April 4, not April 1, April Fool's Day.]

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito