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Arrows, Ogunquit, ME

There is no doubt that R and I love food and restaurants. A couple of years ago, we were going on a cruise that departed from Miami.  We decided to fly in to Tampa instead, just so that we could go to Bern’s, a steakhouse that Jeffrey Steingarten went on and on about in his book, “The man who ate everything,” (an excellent read, BTW). We ate at Bern’s, spent the night and then drove a rental car the four hours to Miami to catch our boat. How was the meal? It was a big disappointment, a big expensive disappointment.

 

Arrows is a highly acclaimed restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine. Its list of accolades is so long that they have a separate webpage for them. R and I have talked about going there for ages, but the 90-minute drive had deterred us. The opportunity to go finally presented itself this summer. We were going to spend a long weekend at Isle au Haut and hit Arrows on the way home, but then we both got sick and cancelled the trip. R was most disappointed about missing Arrows, so I decided to make a weekend of it. I found a B&B, and booked a new reservation.

 

We ordered the 10 course “indulgence” tasting menu ($138 per person)

Amuse bouche – a fresh spring roll the size of a Combo (do you remember those? I used to love the pizza flavored ones!)

1.      Raw oysters with a lemongrass granite and lemon relish.

Now, people who love raw oysters, really passionately love them. I’m not one of those people. The oyster was fresh and briny, but not something I would ever order myself.

2.      Fried soft shell crab with a curry sauce and pickled rhubarb and chilled calamari tossed with hot sauce. Again, another unfortunate ingredient for me. I liked the calamari, although it was a bit too spicy.

3.      Parsnip “crème burlee” with garden greens. Probably the most interesting dish of the night. The parsnip was completely disguised as dessert.   

4.      Diver scallop with pancetta, potato and foie gras. It was my favorite course of the night. The scallop was big and tender and if you got all the components of the dish on to one bite it was a perfect harmonious mix of flavors.

5.      Pan fried cod with a fava bean and corn succotash. The fish was boring, I liked the fava beans, all three of them.  

6.      Duck breast with black beans and cucumber. Completely forgettable. Literally, I couldn’t recall this course and had to call up R, who took 4 minutes to remember it.

7.      Beef tenderloin with baby garden veggies. Beef tartare on the side. My steak was so rare, I had to send to back. For $138, they should be getting medium rare right!

8.      Cheese course, a small slice of a cow and goat’s milk semi-soft cheese. I really liked the cheese, but for the life of me I don’t remember the name of it.

9.      Pear and blueberry sorbet, a miniature Madeline, a postage stamp sized bit of shortcake. The sorbet was refreshing, everything else was okay.

10.  Flourless chocolate cake – mine is better, enough said.

 

The breads were nice; an unusual grape focaccia and a sesame seed speckled brioche. Arrows offers a butter tasting for $6. It came with a Vermont sea salt, a French cream and a Canadian Goat’s milk butter. R loved the goat butter; he felt that it was really robust and flavorful. I wonder where I can get some locally.

 

The service was good, albeit extremely speedy. The courses were flying out of the kitchen. We were served our 4th course when the table next to us got their appetizers. We finished out meal in less than 2 hours. Compare this to Blue Ginger’s 5 course tasting, which took 2 ½ hours.

 

The bill came to $350 (and that doesn’t include the B&B, nor the gas), making it the most expensive meal we’ve had to date (Per Se, watch out, we’re coming for you!). How was the meal? It was a big disappointment, a big expensive disappointment.

 

http://www.arrowsrestaurant.com/index.cfm

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