DownEast doesn't review restaurants - the stories are more like descriptive profiles - leaving actual criticism to the magazine's blogger, John Golden, on The Golden Dish. He tip-toes in to his review of David's, acknowledging owner David Turin's stellar reputation (Maine Restaurant Association Chef of the Year 2012) and trying hard to find something to like.
Turin’s tag line of “creative cuisine,” however, might have been so 20 years ago when dishes like tuna tartare that fill his menu were de rigeur. The cooking is safe and reliable, middle of the road, done well with culinary twists and turns that impress the tourists and placate others.Golden likes his duck breast, finding it "nicely done and tender," but describes the restaurant space - which was full when he visited - "downright dull, a classic time warp very frayed around the edges."
It's not clear why The Portland Press Herald chose to review Rooster's Roadhouse in Bethel except that Nancy Heiser needed a place to stop on her way back from a trip.
It was the first restaurant of any size as we approached Bethel from the north, en route home from Montreal. What might we find for food here? We were encouraged by several vehicles parked in the lot despite the early hour -- 3 p.m. Too soon for dinner, but time enough for a late lunch.Three in the afternoon? Not exactly a normal review hour. Heiser says she checked out the menu online before her visit, so was looking forward to comfort food - meatloaf, chicken pot pie, etc., but finds much of it tasting of manufactured ingredients, sugar and salt. Heiser gives the place 2 stars, and points out that in ski season, Rooster's is packed, thanks to nearby Sunday River. So why she visited in May is a mystery.
In it's weekly Eat and Run column, PPH gives 4 stars to Foodworks, an "under the radar" Portland sandwich shop with a small menu and daily specials, such as "pulled pork roll-up, Thai-smoked tofu with sesame peanut sauce, a Greek roll-up, a soy veggie burger."
· David's Restaurant: In The Eye Of The Beholder [The Golden Dish]
· Dine Out Maine: Rooster's Roadhouse [PPH]
· Eat and Run: Foodworks, Portland [PPH]