My mother and I are very picky about corned beef and cabbage as it is one of our favorite meals. We do not like it too salty, too garlicy. In fact, both of us have slightly high blood pressure which means we avoid restaurants that use too much seasoning salt to cover up food that is not very fresh.
I researched this place before bringing my Mom here and based on the mostly-good Trip Advisor reviews, we chose to eat here on a recent visit to our beach house in Southern Maine. As usual, the majority of good reviews were spot-on! We read that someone here visited this place and they did not have the Corned Beef and Cabbage (or they ran out) and the Trip Advisor reviewer said they were told the ingredients were all fresh here and that they did not have a big freezer (or did not use a freezer...sorry...cannot remember exact words). When I read this I thought, "Sounds like MY KIND of place" but I had to make sure they had Corned Beef and Cabbage before we went. They did :-) And wow...we think it was the best we have ever had according to our palates.
In fact, our entire meal was excellent and so well seasoned. We could taste the nuances of the seasonings, herbs, etc. We started by sharing the Brie Fondue (with apricots) and fresh bread. This was perfectly melted and was the ideal blend of savory with just a touch of sweetness. Outstanding! We also shared a salad with Lemon Basil dressing and fresh fennel...some of our favorite ingredients. It was absolutely divine! The fennel, the lemon and basil could all be tasted without an overload of garlic, onion or salt. We could have made a meal out of these appetizers alone. In fact, on my next trip, I plan to do just that!
My Mom had the Corned Beef and Cabbage and we could actually taste the seasonings and food! The best way to describe it is very fresh tasting...very homemade...not "commercial" or cliche. There was no excess garlic or salt covering up the quality of any of these ingredients. I had the haddock (which they will bake instead of fry, if you like). I also asked them to sub in the champs potatoes instead of fries. This was one of the most perfectly baked haddocks I have ever had...and the portion was huge! The potatoes were also so fresh tasting as if I made them at home. Again...no cover-up seasonings. My guess is that the food is fresh and they do not have to hide the flavor.
We took the banana bread pudding to go and it was plenty to share...very rich...not sickening sweet like so many desserts tend to be.
I read on the website that this place has a Culinary Institute of America trained chef. Whoever they have in the kitchen...they know how to season well and not overdo do it! So refreshing! I will be back every time I go to this part of Maine!
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