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Mar 14, 2012 03:40 AM

On the Marsh - Kennbunk, ME - Is the chef really that strict?

Hi all - we will be in the area (Ogunquit) for 5 nights in May and are considering On the Marsh, as recommended on this board, for one of our dinners. It sounds great, except I am seeing posts on this board that the chef allows no changes to his menu, no substitutions at all and that the wait staff is afraid to ask him. My husband has a diary allergy and I am concerned that they will not accommodate him. We have had it happen in restaurants where they say - well you can have the salmon - and nothing is really done for him. He does not want to have to eat something he does not want to eat. We have eaten at fine restaurants - like the French Laundry - and had no such issues. Anyone have any experience with On the Marsh? Thanks!

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  1. It's a legitimate question. Why not just call and get the answer straight from the horse's mouth?

    3 Replies
    1. re: bewley

      Of course I will call - however, I have done that in the past at other restaurants and gotten one answer on the phone (of course we will accommodate him) and another when we got there (well, if you can't eat butter you've come the wrong place. How about the grilled salmon/). That is why I am asking people who go there if they have had any problems with this.

      1. re: wincountrygirl

        I fully understand. Normally, any chef worth his or her merit will accomodate within reason. Why not call with a specific menu item, such as will he leave the butter off a dish and substitute such and such for this or that? Having worked in restaurants I can see both sides of the issue. Chefs get burned with people making unreasonable requests. Recently, someone asked me if I could accommodate a person who wanted a non GMO guarantee. I told them I couldn't. If a person asked for no nuts, I could accommodate them to the best of my ability, but if it was a severe allergy, we process nuts so no. It's obviously a case by case basis.

        Some chefs, however, have big egos and are not flexible whatsoever. These are typically talented second tier chefs. A great chef loves the challenge and jumps at the opportunity to tweek a recipe (this, to avoid monotony).

        I would call and ask to speak with the chef and give a specific question for a specific menu item.

        1. re: bewley

          I will give it a try. At top restaurants we never have a problem, but not sure if this is a chef with an ego situation!!

    2. No issues when we ate there several years ago but we have no ahead.
      Make sure you dine at the White Barn Inn too..

      2 Replies
      1. re: Beach Chick

        Well, "Chef" (as the waiters call him) does not like changes made to his dishes, but the wait staff is more than willing to tell you what "Chef" will swap out. He's just very picky out how his food is presented. However, if it's due to an allergy, they are willing to go above & beyond for you. I would suggest that you call ahead (maybe a day or 2 before your vist) just to let them know.