Monday, August 23, 2010

Pier 77

77 Pier Road, Cape Porpoise, ME, 207-967-8500

Pier 77

Before coming to Kennebunkport on vacation, we researched the local restaurants and Pier 77 seemed one of the more attractive casual choices. An 8 minute drive from our inn and we were on the dock at Cape Porpoise. August is high season on the coast of Maine and 6:30 on a Thursday evening already meant a nearly full parking lot.

Pier 77The dock on which Pier 77 sits is piled high with lobster cages and, even in the evening there are fishing boats heading out and men in slickers loading fresh catch onto trucks. But the restaurant itself is very pretty with an inviting casual elegance. And, despite a bustling dinner service, our waitress was friendly and efficient.

Pier 77We started with a spinach salad served with beets, goat cheese and candied walnuts. It was tasty but slightly underdressed and we would have liked a few more of the delicious walnuts. We also ordered a plate of Greek mezzos which featured salad greens and pita chips along with some excellent hummus but a watery tzatsiki that was too lemony.

Pier 77For entrees we chose a beautifully made and flavorful paella. Unfortunately it was so over-salted that we could barely finish.

Pier 77Our other choice, a pasta Bolognese, was largely flavorless and tasted as though the chef had forgotten to salt the cooking water.

Pier 77 We planned to skip dessert because we wanted to go out for ice cream cones but we mentioned our seasoning comments to the waitress when she offered the dessert menus. She returned to inform us that the owner was distressed at our unhappiness and was comping the entire meal.

Well, we weren't looking for a free meal and had eaten the food, after all. So we insisted on the check and paid it. We certainly appreciate their desire to please their customers but the owner's good attitude stood in stark contrast to an off-putting note at the bottom of the menu. It stated that the chef has carefully calibrated the flavors on the menu and would not appreciate any substitutions or alternations. Well, chef, you calibrated poorly. Keep the owner's good wishes, lose the chef's note and attitude.

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