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The promise of Winter brings the promise of SAD to me. I am not talking about Seasonal Affected Disorder. While a serious affliction, I do not suffer from the direct change in seasons. I welcome snow days filled with hot chocolate and warm blankets. I welcome short days, holidays, all days. I welcome pine trees, mulberry spice and mulled wine. I do not welcome the lack of fresh herb seasoning.

SAD for me is Seasoning Absent Depression. Because I do not welcome what winter does to gardens – specifically herb gardens. Depression…I miss the fresh herbs that distinctly remind me of Spring and Summer. My freshest memory from summer travel takes me to sprigs of mint brightening up a blueberry mojito at Southwest Harbor, Maine’s Cafe 2 Eat A Pita.

Owner, gardener, service extraordinaire and sometimes bartender Nancy grows her herbs in flower boxes placed beautifully around the small-town street-facing patio. The herb garden plays double duty, providing beauty and scent to outdoor parishioners and giving the skilled chef and bartenders bright flavors. The rosemary, mint, thyme, etc. are key to dishes like seared duck breast, sautéed leeks and spinach, and world-famous pitas.

During our annual vacation we had several meals at the multi-personality restaurant. It may seem odd but the combination Eat a Pita with fresh veggie pitas, culinary treat Cafe 2 and funky island bar each shine in this Mt. Desert Island oasis.

Decor changes with each setting – baskets and lavender hang from the restaurant while the tropical decor of the outdoor bar remind that it’s five o clock somewhere. But really, it is the pleasant staff and special tastebud offerings like the blueberry bread pudding with almond sauce that makes this place a specialty for any season.

Only five short months until their doors open again.