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Blue: Beautiful But Food Needs Work, Eventide: The It Girl

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Grey Havens Inn

Blue, the seasonal restaurant at the historic Grey Havens Inn in Georgetown, has a seasoned chef - Esau Crosby, formerly of Solo Bistro in Bath - a gorgeous location perched high above the Sheepscot River and a spiffed-up dining room. But while the Portland Press Herald's Nancy Heiser praises the beauty of the setting, the service and the chef's attractive plating, she finds the flavors of the food uneven and sometimes out of balance. Her review awards Blue 3 1/2 stars.

We found that a mismatch characterized two of the three entrees we tried. A trio of giant scallops, pan-seared to a pleasing tenderness, were set in a chipotle aioli and mounded with a thick, spicy chimichirri and cilantro sauce ($20). Heat itself isn't a bad thing with seafood, but this treatment overwhelmed it. A second entree, lobster with pappardelle ($36), was visually exciting, the homemade broad ribbons mingling with spinach, grape tomatoes and large knuckle, claw and tail sections. Somehow, though, the Madeira cream sauce, pasta and seafood did not unify into a delectable whole.

Eventide in Portland is like the "it girl" of the summer - with a circle of fawning reviewers standing in for a pack of teenaged boys. "Eventide - A Dining Event Beyond Compare," is John Golden of DownEast's hyperbolic headline, perhaps a dig at Portland's other oyster bar, J's, which he ridicules as a place serving non-local oysters, "where gawking tourists think they should gather to soak up local color." J's confirms that they have always served Chesapeake Bay oysters; as much as they would like to offer local varieties, they go through as many as 2,500 oysters a day, and local farms can't meet that kind of demand.

Beyond oysters, Golden heaps on the praise for the rest of Eventide's menu, including a lobster roll reminiscent of dim sum, grilled squid salad and "sea bream with flecks of pineapple and coconut."

For entrees we had the roasted seaweed-wrapped branzino and the grilled Nova Scotia swordfish belly. These were two of the best seafood entrees I’ve had in Portland.
Two Portland-area sandwich shops get their due in reviews in the PPH and Eat Maine. The newspaper's "Eat and Run" review features "hidden gem" Mom's Cafe downtown, which serves basic but well-made sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. Joe Ricchio ventures to Saco and the Saco Island Deli, where the owner dubs him "Turkey Roo-Ben Man."
I will wear my undying devotion to this sandwich like a badge of honor, to the point where I will even forgive him for not offering his outrageously delicious soups during summertime.
From the blogs: From Away stops at JJ's Snack Shack in Rockport for such oddball treats as a deep fried lobster roll and awesome-sounding tater tot poutine, which is pronounced "stunningly, gleefully delicious."
It’s an attitude about food that permeates much of the menu; it doesn’t have to be serious, and it doesn’t have to be made from locally-sourced grass-fed opera-singing piglets or chanterelle mushrooms foraged from the foothills of the Camden Snow Bowl. Sometimes, a burger is just a burger, and if you’re going to be eating junk food, it might as well be as creative, carefully prepared, and well thought-out as the food being served at JJ’s Snack Shack.
Edible Obsessions also waxes eloquent about Eventide; Map & Menu visits The Good Table in Cape Elizabeth; and the Travelin' Maine(rs) stop in at Damariscotta River Grill on a trip to Damariscotta.

· For A Taste Of Gracious Dining: Blue [PPH]
· Eventide: Dining Beyond Compare [TGD]
· Eat At Mom's [PPH]
· Serving Some Of The Best Sandwiches Maine Has To Offer [EM]
· JJ's Snack Shack [FA]
· Magnificent Shuckers [EO]
· The Good Table [M&M]
· Hit The Brakes When You Reach Damariscotta [TM]

Eventide Oyster Co.

86 Middle Street, , ME 04101 (207) 774-8538 Visit Website

Grey Havens Inn

96 Seguinland Rd. Georgetown Island, ME