A Converted Greenhouse in Deer Isle Becomes a Luxury Dining Experience
Executive chef and owner of Aragosta at Goose Cove Devin Finigan created a uniquely botanical dining room with incredible views.
“My first year at Aragosta, I put in a glass greenhouse. It’s where I grow a lot of the food that’s used in the restaurant, along with annual flowers. Every day before I go into the kitchen, before I put on my chef’s jacket, I go in there and water the plants. It puts me in a great mindset.
“When COVID happened, I started serving dinner in it. The only thing is, it was right next to my kitchen entrance, which is not where you want your VIP guests hanging out. Other people didn’t care; they thought it was great. But I thought, all right, I’ll order an identical kit from Gothic Arch Greenhouse in Alabama—a company I love—and I know the spot I want to put it, down on a hill where the view is epic. I had it match the tree line because I didn’t want it to obstruct the view. When you crest the hill, you can just see the ocean. It’s perfect.
“When it came to designing the interior, I wanted to have a family-style table with hanging lights above. Because of COVID, everything was backordered, and the lighting option was my third choice, but it ended up being so beautiful. The plants had to be able to tolerate the heat, so I chose citrus and succulents. We put an old wine barrel with a little sink in there for water, and of course I had to put in electricity. Getting the greenhouse to where we wanted it involved lots of other people: plumbers, electricians, and my very talented carpenter, Brad Rice of Moose Island Builders, who has worked for me the past three years.
“The greenhouse sits on a cedar platform, and my biggest concern was the staircase. The space needed to be universally accessible, so Brad and I worked on the design. I wanted it to almost be flush with the grass. He managed to keep it low to the ground, and I now have plants and vines kind of cascading over, and wild roses that grow up one side of it.
“We wanted to offer a unique dining experience with an incredible view and surrounded by beautiful plants, to make it as romantic as possible out there. And we did; it’s a showpiece. And what’s even cooler? Another greenhouse just arrived, so soon there will be two.”
—Devin Finigan, executive chef and proprietor of Aragosta at Goose Cove