Sunset fell at 6:50 PM.  The fog was rolling in as thick as a crypt, and by the time we pulled up to the front door of the imposing visage of the Black Point Inn looking like Manderley on the mount, it was already dark at 7:05.

The setting earlier this summer

But when we decided to go to the inn for dinner on a recent Friday night it wasn’t close to dusk yet, disregarding the logistics of dining by the sea at the tail end of summer.  If our fantasy was to dine by the sea on a perfect summer’s eve to gaze at the undulating sea, we miscalculated. Views of the ocean don’t exist at night.

Arriving earlier thnis summer

And the idea of sitting on the oceanside porch of the Chart Room, the inn’s casual restaurant (compared to its elegant Point Room for more formal dining) should have happened a few hours earlier.

The quiet elegance of the reception room at the inn is a warm and cozy spot for cocktails befoe dinner

We had reserved a table on the deck.  But the restaurant smartly assumed we wouldn’t want to eat out there with the fog and fixed us up inside. The fireplace in the lobby where we sat for drinks was warming and inviting.

We all thought what a nice change from the typically trendy restaurants in Portland where you feel you must look smart and bright.

The menu by chef Daniel Dumont is a very well executed Continental menu with the nonchalance of bar dining in this informal dining room. In the height of summer, the outdoor dining deck is fantastic.

Inside it’s still very cozy with its clubby attractiveness.  Picture men in Nantucket pink shorts and black loafers and ladies with a simple strand of pearls.

We ordered martinis or variations thereof perfectly served by our waitress who couldn’t have been more efficient and friendly.

Very well-made drinks arrived served in tall, wide stem glasses chilled just right.  The menu has enough choices to make it interesting.

Cream of tomato soup

Starters we enjoyed included an excellent onion soup with its scrim of thick melted gruyere covering the rich, onion broth underneath.  Lobster bisque was not on the menu (I’ve had it there before and it’s good) but the soup of the day, a cream of tomato, was a good choice. Velvety smooth with rich tomato flavor, which I thought tasted as though it were enriched with canned tomatoes with the fresh ones used to make the puree.  Still it was first rate.

Haddock witih lobster Newburgh sauce

Entrees such as pan roasted chicken breast with an oatmeal crust was served over a mound of mashed potatoes done just right–nice and thick, a few lumps and well-seasoned.  The dish of haddock served with a lobster Newburgh sauce enriched the flaky fish underneath.

Oatmeal crusted chicken breast

The inn closes for the season at the end of October.  And that’s too bad because it would be nice to enjoy a cozy wintertime dinner there in front of the fireplace to sit comfortably in tufted chairs. But Prouts Neck after its brilliant country club summer is beautifully lonely off season after dark.

The Black Point Inn, the Charty Room, 510 Black Point Rd., Scarborough, ME 207-883-2500

Rating: Excellent preparations of a simple menu of Continental classics and pub fare

Ambiance: Clubby, great ocean views from the outdoor dining deck and inside at the Chart Room, the inn’s casual restaurant

Service: Very good

Tables: Spacious

$$$: Moderately expensive

Parking: On-site