By Brooke Geery
FAIR HAVEN— Sometimes you walk into a place and it immediately feels like home. The Fair Haven Inn is one of those places.
When I arrived for happy hour on a rainy day last week, co-owner Bruce Ieremias greeted us at the side door, informing me that the front door was being painted — as if I’d had just shown up at my grandparents’ house. Mr. Ieremias then turned to one of the newly hired H2B visa workers from Mexico and explained something quickly in Spanish.
Inside, chef-owner Mihaela Ieremias, who is of Romanian and Greek descent, quickly poured a cold beer for me while I waited for my friend to arrive. Before I knew it, there was freshly baked bread on the table, and I could barely finish a drink without another appearing. Once my friend arrived, the attention slowed and the staff respected our space and conversation, only popping in to make sure we weren’t hungry or thirsty.
It’s fine dining, yes, but it also comes with a price tag that won’t break the bank. Dinner entrees range from $18.95-$30 per plate. The Ieremias aim to create an experience that you might find at a great restaurant in Europe, so every meal comes with bread, salad and more. In other words, don’t make the same mistake we did and show up without a real appetite.
According to its social media, The Fair Haven Inn is “truly an area landmark. [It] earns its reputation as a fine dining establishment through the culinary expertise of its proprietors. Fine dining is our specialty, we are known as the poets of fish.”
They’re not exaggerating.
The crispy crab cakes with garlic aioli literally melt in your mouth and the calamari was tender and flavorful. But perhaps my favorite appetizer item was the spanakopita, crafted with the kind of care that’s only matched if you have a grandmother from Greece. Stuffed without even ordering from the dinner menu, we left smiling and happy, despite the rain pouring down outside. Next time, I will go hungry and look forward to eating a full meal.
Covid-restrictions have loosened, but staffing issues are proving a challenge for many restaurants in the area. However, thanks to the Ieremias’ pre-pandemic status as a global employer, they are able to employ the aforementioned H2B visa workers, so it is among the lucky without staffing issues, at least for now.
The Inn is located at 5 Adams St. in the center of Fair Haven village on Route 4A and 22A. Reservations are not required but suggested and can be made by calling 802-265-4907. It is open for lunch, dinner and takeout Wednesday-Monday. Hours are subject to change so visit fairhaveninn.com or call before you go!