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Oct 10, 2007 02:54 PM

Arrow Review, a bit overdue

Sorry for the late post, but summer slipped away and I forgot to post re: a dinner at Arrows in Maine. It's been a while, so I forgot about the actual dishes, although my overall impression remains strong. We were very excited to go, given its almost national reputation. The evening is perfect and you can walk around the garden, which everyone should do. You're greeted by someone at the entrance to the restaurant that provides a small treat, like an amust. Neat room, a bit small, definately request a table by the window if possible. We decided to get the tasting menu, which I will start by saying is ridiculously large. It is ten courses,and I would say that it seemed like we got four full sized entrees as part of the tasting. Again, sorry I don't rememeber the actual dishes, but I was overall less than dazzled. Nothing really stood out, although they were trying to fuse different flavors together. Still probably the best meal you're going to get in Maine, but not one of the best restaurants in the country.

My biggest peeve however was the waiter, who seemed to be very aggressively pushing the wine list on us. Apparently in Maine you can take unfinished bottles with you, which he kept reminding us of, as he suggested that we buy another bottle that is more appropriate with the dish we were about to get. We were celebrating so ultimately I went along and we bought way too many bottles for two people. Ironically, there is no wine pairing to go with the tasting menu, which I found surprosing. As a result, we spent way too much $$$, most of it on wine.

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  1. We were at Arrows this past weekend. AS we were opn our way to the entrance were served with an amuise bouche of cold pumpkin soup. Appetizers of vietnamese lettuce cups with duck, cracklings and mango with lime cilantro dipping sauce. DH had the home made smoked meats: duck pastrami, proscuitto, smoked pork loin, garlic sausage: yum! I had butter poached lobster with braised spring onions, bacon lardons and foie gras croutons. DH had halibut three ways. Complimenatary six ice creams for dessert. On the way out, outside were served witha caramel brownie which was really decadent. The gardens were beautifully decorated with pumpkins, decorative kale, oprange lights, flowers etc. A wonderful evening.!!!!

    1. chefboyardee --
      You are certainly right about the waiters pushing wine. I recounted a very similar story and emilief ridiculed my lack of resistance to the pressure of the wait staff. I'll never go back.

      1 Reply
      1. re: babyslam

        I certainly never meant to ridicule you- please forgive if you thought so. WE were there Sunday and there was no pressur whatsoever about wine. WE had a glass of champagne each and a glass of wine each - no comments were made and no discussion about other options. Maybe it is certain waiters. In any event, sorry to hear you are not going back as it is quite beautiful and the food is better than ever. But, of course there are plenty of fish in the sea so why bother to return when you were not happy!

      2. At $135/pp before,tax,wine,tip i would hope it was large! Wow.. Too rich for me. I have had cars that cost less then that meal for 2!

        I think when in Maine if i was going to spend that sorta money id invite a dozen friends and go out and get 24 lobsters and have a party.

        1. I'm curious why you should think that this is "the best meal you're likely to get in Maine" - there are many, many other fine restaurants. I haven't been to Arrows,. but reports here seem mixed at best.

          1. Maine is a big state, I doubt that this is the best food anywhere there.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jspear

              Gourmet magazine rated it the 14th best restaurant in the U.S. Easily the highest rated in the state, Fore St. being the only other one rated in the top 50. But this is Gourmet magazine doing the ratings.

              1. re: jspear

                As has been said, Gourmet rates it the best in the state, and largely one of best in New England. Agreed that "Best" is often overused. Maybe one of the most Haute Cuisine type meals in Maine is a better description. I have had better food at a lobster pound at the end of the dock, so that certainly counts as the best meal I have had in Maine. Arrow is certainly remarked as being one of the more cutting edge restaurants in the state.

                Anyway, I think it was probably the waiter. Sometimes you show that you know wine and they smell blood in the water. If I acted ignorant, it may have been better. I should have also pushed back more, but we were celebrating something, and I just did not want to get into it with him. I probably won't go back, but worth trying once to decide for yourself.

                1. re: chefboyardee

                  As an aside, I had an equally unimpressive and disappointing meal at their sister restaurant, MC Perkins Cove, this summer.