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Jul 4, 2007 08:43 AM

Anyone been to White Barn Inn recently?

Based on some of the negative reviews on over the past year, it appears that White Barn Inn may be slipping... has anyone been to the restaurant recently? We're headed up to Kennebunkport this weekend and wanted to dine there Saturday evening for my birthday, but maybe it'd be worth the drive to Arrows in Ogunquit instead?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!


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  1. The last couple of reviews about Arrows posted on the chowhound web site haven't given it a high review. Of course your on your own. As far as the white barn inn goes as far as im conderned any place that cost you over $40.00 per meal I feel is a little to much. But Im sure thats just me and from some of the posting in the past about the place people just rave about it. I guess thats what makes the world go round.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Earle

      Now Earle, I hope you are sitting down because it you think "over $40.00 per a little too much.", perhaps you would be surprised to know the current price is $93.00 per meal. Of course with a "wine pairing" your price would be a mere $141.00 per meal.

      For a special occasion you might enjoy the Summer Tasting Menu for only $190.00 per person including wine.

      We've come a long way from $40.00 per meal. And frankly, it doesn't compare to many New England restaurants at half the price.

    2. White Barn is very stuffy and pretentious. Arrows is fabulous but very expensive. Go to MCPerkins Cove- a lovely restaurant owned by Mark and clarke who own Arrows. Beautiful ocean view and great food. The cockles cooked in beer are wonderful; the hungariian roast duck is fabulous; the kober burger is very tasty. This is quite a nice plavce0 fancy enough for a birthday but much cheaper tha WBI and Arrows.

      10 Replies
      1. re: emilief

        Haven't been to Arrows, but I would definitely agree with emilief's and Win's not-so-hot takes on White Barn Inn.

        I should say I have no categorical gripes with either pomp and circumstance or a large price tag to go with an elegant meal (I have loved my experiences at L'Espalier in Boston, for example), but my primary focus, as with most chowhounds, is on great food. And on my recent visit to WBI, I found the food to be lacking.

        I went in the early spring, so my specific memories have faded, but I recall that although everything was competently prepared, nothing seemed at all inspired. Many of the items seemed stylistically past their prime, the stuff of a fine meal from perhaps 10 years ago.

        Above all, it seemed expensive for the sole purpose of being expensive, as if the dollar amount itself would make the experience more desirable.

        For these reasons, I don't care to go back.

        1. re: finlero

          Any other (more recent) takes on this? We are heading up this weekend and I am kin of apprehensive; thinking of cancelling dinner there and going up to Portland instead

          1. re: donjay

            With age comes wisdom... Come up to Portland!!! Hugo's would be the way to go for a special dinner...Second that rec for MC Perk Cove, but they are closed until 2/2...

            My last experience at the White Barn in summer 07 has been blocked from memory...I only know that I went and will never return...

            1. re: donjay

              I just visited with a friend of mine who went up to the White Barn Inn for their Anniversary and they loved their meal and were very impressed. This is a person who is used to the highest quality and caliber of service so based on her reviews, I would have gone as well. Good luck!

              1. re: bostonfoodie111

                considering that the original post was from July 07, and we are still beating a dead horse on this issue,sure means to me, that some people love spending there money on frivolous meals and going to a place that is so over the top ,that they think they got a bargain. So I guess that is human nature and a look at the state of the economy .and the bottom line on your tax form. And to Win thanks for the update. Earle Ct.

                1. re: Earle

                  Maybe it's your dead horse, but other CH'ers are giving their expierences of WB for the benefit of the board. At times I like comfort food and bargains and then I may enjoy an elegant meal, you know dining vs. eating out, big differences.

              2. re: donjay

                Been several times, always excellent from start to finish. Read reviews carefully, nothing ''specific' mentioned on the neg comments raises questions on the validity of them for me, . It's not a $15/pp night, so it shouldn't be compared to places that have menu's like that.

                1. re: treb

                  we love it there and have only had wonderful excellent meals. I just don't like eating at 6pm or 9pm. You cannot make a 7 or 7:30 resv, so last summer, I told them I will no longer be eating at at White Barn Inn. They could care less.

                2. re: donjay

                  Just as a note the OP responding is not from the area and from the post has not been to the WBI. So the comment is just speculation and personal opinion of a place based on menu price. Lame.

                  1. re: treb

                    I had read the original post a little differently. It seemed to me the OP had essentially heard some rumors that the WBI wasn't as good as it had once been, and was soliciting feedback from an additional source (in this case Chowhound) to confirm or refute said rumors.

                    treb, I think it's terrific that you've had a number of apparently stellar experiences there. As for me, again, although I love luxurious e-ticket dinners, my single WBI experience wasn't as enjoyable as other experiences at similarly priced restaurants. It might have been an off night, it might have been a difference of preferences, it might be I was in the wrong mood to enjoy it, or it might be a more global issue of quality.

                    If everyone had the same opinion of every restaurant, this site would be practically useless. To me, it's the difference of opinion that makes the site so helpful, especially for my relatively infrequent visits to restaurants that will cost me $300 or more for an evening. The trick, of course, is figuring out whose opinions I'll agree with and whose I won't.