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Has anyone been to Arrows in Maine?


Ellen Shapiro
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I was first made aware of Arrows when I was a teenager. My mother and I were on a “mother-daughter" weekend away and my mother wanted to eat at Arrows. We looked at the menu and, yes, I declined. I was, at the time, still a pseudo fish-eating vegetarian that didn’t eat shellfish and after perusing the menu determined that it was too limiting (and way too expensive) for what I’d be able to eat. In the past year my mother has been going on about how she wants to go back to Maine so she can eat at Arrows—hint, hint, I’d be the chauffer. She’s sure to remind me each time that I declined the opportunity all those years ago. So before I embark upon this re-visit of the mother-daughter extravaganza—who has eaten at Arrows and is it any good (and by what degree—5 hours in the car good? 7 hours in the car good? You get the idea).

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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You mean in Ogunquit? No I haven't eaten there but wasn't it one of Gourmet or some other food magazines top 10 restaurants of the year? Not that it means anything, but it does mean something. :wink: Or am I thinking of another place? And you can always go to the Ogunquit Lobster Pound or even better, The Maine Diner in Wells is just down the road. Or you can stop at all of those fried clam places on Cape Ann on the way up or back. I say go. Bond with mom over a lobster roll.

Edited by Steve Plotnicki (log)
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I checked out their website.

Arrow's Restaurant

Looks interesting, but has to be the most expensive restaurant in Maine. Egads. $15 apps and entrees between $37 and $41.

They also close in the winter. Makes sense. At those prices I can't see locals packing the place. Last year they started opening weekends in April and May. Gives you a bit of a reprieve.

Maybe you can cut a deal with your mother. You chauffer, she pays for the meal.

Holly Moore

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"The dining room, with its original plank floors, post and beam construction, and expansive glass windows, overlooks a panorama of dense woods, manicured lawns, and delightful flower, herb and vegetable gardens."

It's not even on the water! Considering the menu and the prices there must be some place closer to you, that doesn't entail a six or seven hour drive, with the same country ambiance and a similar menu (and prices.)

But, if your mother really wants to go..........

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I went maybe 6 years ago with my mother, great aunt, and cousin after going to the summer theatre. I cannot remember a damn thing about it, except that I wasn't impressed. And I can still remember meals I had at Dabar's etc 11 years ago. Obviously, the chef/managment could have changed since then. I do recall the lovely gardens. Still, I can't imagine it would be worth a 5 hour drive and when I saw the list in Gourmet, I was baffled.

I ate at the Maine Diner a few times over the years--but its been a while since I have been.

If you do go up to Maine, be sure to go to Kennebunk. On the side of town on Rt. 9, there is a wonderful country store/organic market; I am not sure if they operate year round, but they are really nice people. They restored this old farm that my family had been eyeing. Kennebunk seems a little more with it re food--meaning, a little less touristy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I went to Arrows years ago and it was fantastic...don't remember the meal precisely, but remember loving it. Plus, the grounds are incredibly beautiful, a lot of attention to detail. I'm from that area and it has a great reputation.

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for those i know who have been, they compare it very often to l'etoile in madison, wisconsin, but with a better interior: the food's "good," but not great. the high prices are tolerated because there's little else that good to eat in maine during the dead o' winter.

iml

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My family and I ate there this past summer. We had an excellent meal. We had the tasting menu (plus a side of excellent foie gras if my memory is right). I can't recall the food details, but the web-site menu tells the story.

I would have to say that dinner was overpriced. Again, I can't recall the specific amount, but it was very high--much higher than you would expect in Ogunquit.

I thought the atmosphere was nice, but some of the people with me felt that it was a bit formal. The setting was beautiful, and, if you go, do get there early in the light and walk around their gardens. The dining room was not overly formal at all in my opinion, but the waitstaff was quite stiff. Certainly, it was very formal for a beach location. (Not at all like Flo's in nearby Cape Neddick--that's sort of an inside joke--Flo's in an awesome hot dog hut.)

I would go back again, but not annually--too pricey for what it offers.

Last summer we also went to Fore Street in Portland (not that much further up the coast), and I much preferred that restaurant. Of course, the two are dramatically different, so that is sort of an apples and oranges comparison.

Bottom line for me. I thought it was a very good restaurant, just not good enough to go back often, given the cost. But, I would recommend it. (And I wouldn't drive 5 hours in the car to get there.)

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  • 1 month later...

I printed out the menu and gave it to my mother. It was selected for Gourmet's top whatever (it's listed on the Arrow's Web site) award and other accolades but it just seems so pretentious to me. Something about it rubbed me the wrong way all those years ago (I still remember this 15 years later) and looking at those prices (and I won't even be paying) and knowing the location and the market it just seems out of bounds to me. A few of you have said you've had a good meal there but no one seems to be saying it ranks with the best you've ever had and while I expect my mother and I will be doing some sort of field trip--destination XXX restaurant--and while I really love Maine, it just seems like, well, it seems like highway robbery to me. Seeing as we'll be driving from New Haven or New York (depending upon the direction we're planning to drive) does anyone have any other suggestions of where we might have a very good or great meal--including, perhaps, somewhere else in Maine (Portland?), or somewhere in Vermont or maybe Philly?

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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Isn't that "Fore Street" place in Portland supposed to be great?

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Corby Kummer is a fan of Fore Street :

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/ArticleDispl...play.php?id=130

I've had dinner there about four times, and each time I was successively less impressed - not that the quality of ingredients or preparation had suffered, but that by the time we were seated they had run out of half the things on the menu.

Fewer and fewer things to pick from.

Kind of tough when you don't like game or seafood, but then, that's my problem, isn't it! :wacko:

But, they never failed to have wonderful bread.

I would say, take your mother where she wants to go. She may have lots of reasons other than food.

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I would say, take your mother where she wants to go. She may have lots of reasons other than food.

That is indeed very sage advice. I do plan to take my mother wherever she wants to go. And while I think she was a bit put off by the menu (prices) at Arrows we may still end up there. Fore Street certainly sounds promising though I'm not sure, based upon everyone's comments, that I (personally, were I going alone) would make a trip up to Portland just to eat there. Then again, I've driven to Maine for far less inspired reasons and I've never regretted a single trip. So, assuming I were to shift gears to Fore Street, does anyone have any additional suggestions for eating--any good breakfast spots in and around Portland? I'm guessing we'll go for one overnight, maybe two.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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hmmm...breakfast...I'm never awake in time for it.

However, those less nocturnally inclined seem to like Becky's, a diner on Commercial St.

I've been there for lunch (great chicken salad sandwich) and the staff was lovely.

We did stop at a bar called Russki's last week - apparently they serve breakfast all day.

We'd never been there before, but we are regular visitors at Rosie's, their sister bar in the Old Port section. Mr. Beachcove had a very nice bowl of black bean soup, and we saw some nice mimosas and steak-and-egg plates being delivered.

Has anyone eaten breakfast at Russki's? Or anything else?

Edited by beachcove (log)
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Not sure what you are looking for. I have spent most summers is York Harbor, Maine for the last 33 years. York is south of Portland, just over the NH state line. Rick's All-Seasons restaurant is a cool little restaurant in town. Not at all fancy. Basic breakfast fare. Locals and tourists. It opens VERY early in the morning. I really like it, but, again, it is not at all a fancy chic brunch sort of place. But, it has tons of character, and the food is good.

If you are making a couple nights of it, the York Harbor Inn has nice rooms and also serves an excellent dinner. Upscale.

Another great and unique place to eat is in nearby Cape Neddick--I think it is called Lobsters in the Rough. Sit outside at picnic tables next to the river. Order lobsters, chowder, shelllfish. Bring your own beverages and side dishes.

Fore Street was a really neat place with great food, in my opinion. I have only been once--last summer--but we had a diverse (at least in the sense of palate) dinner group, and all were impressed.

You could drive to York; stay at the York Harbor Inn; eat dinner there; eat breakfast at Rick's the next am; then take the short not quite an hour drive to Portland for dinner at Fore Street. Plenty to see and do in both towns.

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If you want someplace a little more upscale for breakfast, go to Bintliff's on Portland St, across from the main post office.

I don't eat breakfast in bars, and the only time I went to Becky's, it was, eh.

The Bayou Kitchen at Woodford's Corner off Forest Avenue is a funky place that does a tasty breakfast, but it's so small, it's hard to get into on weekends.

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Zeb A--thanks. Sounds like my mother will love Lobsters in the Rough. The MO is not about fancy (it just happened that she's been dying to go to Arrows since we first drove by it back in the 80s)--it's about good food. And Lobster in Maine--well, what more is there to say?

As for breakfast--I like the whole range from down and dirty to a bit more upscale. I'm not one for frou frou breakfasts though my mother is sometimes impressed by that sort of thing. Sounds like we should go to Rick's at the crack of dawn (to humor me) and then to Bayou Kitchen--assuming we can get in.

Looks like a plan is starting to take shape. Thanks for the suggestions.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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