WOODSTOCK – A new Lincoln Inn will open soon.
Under the new ownership and management of Mara Mehlman, the Lincoln Inn located at the covered bridge about five miles west of downtown, has undergone renovations. The floors have been redone, the walls given a fresh coat of paint, and the inn is now open for business.
Mehlman said she had spent the past few years in Great Britain, but wanted to return to the U.S.
“I had my eye on an inn in New Hampshire, but it was not what it was advertised to be,” Mehlman said. “I had friends in Woodstock. I saw this place and fell in love.”
She recalled a visit to Woodstock about seven years ago.
“I told myself, ‘Oh, my God, it’s so beautiful here. Someday I’ve got to live here,’ and now I live in Woodstock,” she said.
Mehlman brings with her a new chef, Jevsenija Saramova, who learned her trade in Latvia, but has worked in England and France for about 14 years. She doesn’t have a specialty, referring to herself as a “fusion chef.”
“I like to try everything,” she said, “though my favorite meat is lamb. When you work in England and France, you observe what the chef does. I don’t like to stick strictly to the recipe.”
Mehlman said the two spent plenty of time in local restaurants to determine what area customers like in their dining. She also had high praise for Saramova’s plating.
“You eat with your eyes first,” Saramova said. “After that comes the smell of the meal, and then the taste.”
Saramova also had a lot to say about the décor and she is in the process of transforming the kitchen to her specifications. Thus, the dark blue walls of the previous incarnation of the Lincoln Inn are gone, replaced with a more welcoming olive green, giving the restaurant a Colonial flair.
“Everything has to be right,” said Saramova. “I spent two weeks renovating the kitchen myself. We’re planning a soft opening,” which is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 26.
One important change: the tavern will be open to the public.
“It will have a bar menu, separate from the restaurant,” Mehlman said. “What we plan on doing is making the tavern a place for locals as well as guests. Our plan is to have the restaurant open every night during foliage.”
Saramova said the restaurant would likely be closed on Mondays.
Mehlman said she would like to stage events for the general public. She said a classic car show might be a possibility; she herself has a 1961 Studebaker, which has been well cared for. Mehlman said she might welcome authors reading from their books among her events.
“I want the inn to be a community place,” she said. “We want to be approachable. I like to do special occasions, and we have a liquor license for both inside and outside. The tourists are important, but they’re not here all year.”
For more info visit, lincolninn.com.
New Chef Jevsenija Saramova, left, and owner Mara Mehlman, right, re-open the Lincoln Inn with a renovated tavern that will be open to the public.
Photo and written by Stephen Seitz