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Nov 18, 2007 06:28 PM

Lydia Shire's Blue Sky on York Beach, ME

Has anyone been yet? Thoughts?

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  1. I stopped in on Saturday evening at 5:00pm. The restaurant was busy with set up activity and many waiters, waitresses and bar staff were gathering to listen to the specials of the day. The restaurant had been open for only one week and the bakery area on the first floor is not ready as yet.

    I must stay the restaurant looked spectacular, in my opinion. It's very open and airy; lots of chome, white leather or leather-looking upholstered chairs. There is a bar area with some small tables and chairs immediately to your right when you enter. The main dining room is truly expansive and beautiful. There is also another large bar that is part of the main dining room.

    I'm looking forward to making a reservation. I did obtain a menu. The menu is divided by Hearth Cooking (chicken, oxtails, pasta with crab; Starters (raw bar, mussles, salad, soub, etc.), Maine (grey sole, white clam sauce, brick chicken, skirt stea, salmon, etc), Lobster and Spuds and Veg. I hope it's successful--and I'm looking forward to a dinner there soon.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LindaBarbara

      Did you happen to catch an website for it? I haven't been able to guess the correct yet. Is it only dinner or did you see a lunch menu as well?

      1. re: grittys457

        This is the best i could find for you. Im not sure if they have an official website as yet. but this will give you a little look and a little about the place.( I hope this allows you to open the site. Earle CT.

        1. re: grittys457

          A little late, but just in case others are looking for it, here's the website...

      2. I had the pleasure of dining at Blue Sky this weekend. One word sums it up: "WOW!" It's like NYC popped into quaint York Beach. The staff is pleasant and very attentive. NOt snobby and the Chef, Lydia, came to our table. I can't say enough about the flavors, textures and food quality. The special was fresh Nantucket scallops with the most amazing sea veggies and salsify on the side. Each course was grand and I chose the duck. The best I've had. My only complaint is that the vegetable course was additional and very pricey so I chose not to indulge. It is very pricey for this area and while worth the extra, I feel the veggie should come with the course. I had no room for dessert. I would HIGHLY recommend this spot for a very special occasion. The decor is just strikingly lovely yet simple and very cosmopolitan. I'm so excited to have a restaurant of this level in the area.

        1. I ate at Blue Sky on Friday night and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. (I was expecting an overdone room with pompous service and an overambitious menu.) The dining room is fabulous with lots of different nooks and crannies to sit in -- it's very sophisticated. The menu is outstanding -- I couldn't decide what to order. There is a whole Lobster Menu! We shared a Lobster Pizza to start and it was so delicious, I could have stopped there. For dinner, my husband had a pork and lobster dish and I had Chicken Under a Brick. He devoured his! Mine was served in a light au jus with a smattering of a spicy sauce -- a nice balanced dish. The portions were huge, and for such an ambitious menu, I thought the quality and execution were terrific. (Loved the bread basket and the butter dusted with sea salt.) The only downsides were the unprofessional server -- very soft-spoken and young for this kind of restaurant -- and the weak "Wine by the Glass" menu. I loved it, highly recommend it and can't wait to return!

          1 Reply
          1. re: majik

            I can't wait to make the trip up to lower Maine and stop in!
            (It will make our Christmas visit to see my MIL all worthwhile.. ;-D ) Lydia Shire in York, ME, how cool is that.
            Is it over-the-top expensive or manageable?

            About time someone did something with that beautiful old building.
            The reincarnation of Pop's Shell Shack!

          2. Went to Blue Sky last night. The space is beautiful with no expense spared. Very comfortable, upscale feel but intended to be casual. There is a terrific bar area with a fireplace as well as a bar type sitting area near their Hearth stove for special entrees. Lydia was there and we were seated five minutes before she came over to say hello and spent some time with us. It was early so there wasn't too much going on. Although as the evening progressed I don't think she spent 15 minutes in the back of the house. I asked her for her recommendations which we had. Firstly, a textbook duck confit with golden raisins and a gingerbread toast with, I think, a maple butter. Perfect! Additionally, we had the lamb pizza with leeks, goat cheese. The flavors were rich but found it a bit greasy as lamb is often this way. Too much to eat already, we took half the lamb pizza to go. As a snack or dinner for sure this would be enough for a meal. However, there was too much to choose from so next was a Scottish salmon with cippolini onion and a broth that was both rich, deep in flavor but refreshing. Very balanced and the fish was perfectly cooked. I had house papardelle with blue hubbard squash, pumpkin seed brittle. again, very rich but some how not overwhelming and delicious. The seeds had a great crunch against the softness of the papardelle, the squash cooked just right and a buttery, fall-ish flavor that was just right on a cold night. A special mention about the bread. There were four varieties in the basket, a corn bread, a squash muffin, ordinary focaccia and an Irish soda bread with raisins and caraway seeds that was incredible. A generous amount of butter with sprinkled sea salt on top was given although the breads did not need it. French press coffee finished it off with a sharing of pumpkin cheesecake. A great evening. A note on service: very attentive although it was obvious that some work still needs to be done. A missed knife here or there, young busboys asking if we want water, etc. Little things that never put a damper on my experience but there will be those who, for this price, will be expecting something much greater. I am sure they will get there.

            I found the wine list somewhat reasonable although most varietals started in the $50 range. There were a few $30 bottles but this is not their emphasis for sure. As another hound mentioned, the wines by the glass list is a little pedestrian, small but the prices there were to be expected $8-11 a glass for a 5oz pour. Not a cheap evening by any means although I can see eating at the bar as being inexpensive (just a pizza or app e.g.) $210 including tip for two. Apps $9-14, entrees $18-48 (2# lobster)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Noreaster

              Any websites or hours of operation. Would love to head up there Monday if they're open! Very intrigued!

            2. WOW! We were expecting so much more and were extremely disappointed. While the food was fine, it certainly wasn't fabulous. Our waiter pleasent and apologetic. However could use some direction, he served the men of the party first and the eldest woman last. Not what you would expect when you are paying $34.00 for an a la carte steak and $7.00 for a side of broccoli. The restaurant is very pretty, but very loud! It sounded like a high school cafeteria, we couldn't here each other at the table. Maybe due to the fact that we were seated right beside an office Christmas party, ( something they should have told us about when we made the reservation). The sheer brown curtain used to seperate large parties did nothing to lessen the noise factor. We were seated at 7:15 and our dinner finally arrived at 8:55! When it did arrive it came out piece-meal one dinner at a time, with several minutes in between each one. Again the waiter apologetic and sheepish. We did have the opportunity to meet owner/chef Ms. Shire, she explained to us that the restaurant was only a month old and they hadn't ironed out the kinks. We are williing to overlook many things but Ms. Shire is an experienced restauranter and should know by know how it works. When charged such high prices, particularily in York beach, Maine, we expected to get what we paid for, a great dinning experience, and we did not. Would we go back? No, there are so many great seacoast restaurants, why go back to Blue Sky?

              4 Replies
              1. re: outahere

                Interesting observation about the sound as I meant to mention something about it. I think we were seated just about where you were as there was a table of about 12 in this little off to the side room with a sheer curtain. The restaurant was full on that side and I wanted to mention that although it weas full, the sound didn't carry all that much, the tables were reasonably apart and conversation was easy to carry on. Boy, they musta been loud for you because our experience wad the opposite (but like I said, the restaurant was empty on the balcony side behind the bar.

                1. re: Noreaster

                  We were in the middle of the dinning room and it was a party of 30 in the alcove area next to us. There was a lot going on while we were there, several dropped/broken glasses and flatwear being dropped quite often.

                  1. re: outahere

                    There is no doubt it was much busier on saturday night then friday. We didn't experience the noise you did but there is no question there was much confusion by the waitstaff; a lot of huddling around the POS system, server not knowing what the alcohols were at the bar, another server getting our entrees reversed, missing flatware, etc. Like I mentioned, for these prices one would expect spot on service and it was not there. However, I have yet to see an advertisement or a website so they are definitely going through a soft opening so therefore these things were forgiven by me and it did not ruin or take away from my experience. But I can see how it can at those prices. However, if that kind of thing bothered me, knowing it just opened, I would wait three months

                2. re: outahere

                  Wel, it's three months later and they haven't worked the kinks out yet.

                  i actually thought the food was very good, but the service was poor. Not a matter of a weak wait staff person having a bad night. It was clear that she hadn't had the type of training any diner should expect at a top flight restaurant.

                  service was slow, we frequently went unattended, and the wait person missed a dish that was ordered.

                  she was incapable of walking us through the menu (explaining how it was organized and what some of the highlights were). Even descriptions of individual items were hard to follow.

                  perhaps most irritating, she had zero wine knowledge. how can you charge $100/person and not have wait staff that know the basics of your wine?

                  we asked about one bottle; the wait person disappeared for 10 minutes to repeat a few words from the wine expert - which weren't especially helpful.

                  i don't get how the owner can expect people ot make a long drive and spend a good deal of money and then not provide basic service.