Earth was highly recommended by 2 people whose opinions I value, so I was very excited to celebrate my birthday there. Maybe it was just over-hyped for us so much that we just had too high expectations.
I loved the atmosphere. It was definitely very pretty. I just wish the food and service matched the surroundings. The menu sounded so good and we (4 guests) were hungry and ordered a lot of food - dozen oysters, 4 apps, 4 entrees, 3 desserts 2 rounds of drinks & coffee. We left full, but still hungry because almost all the dishes just fell short, so we were never truly satisfied.
The highlight of the night was the peanut butter sundae which was truly delicious and so simple. The key word here being simple. I think if a restaurant is trying to follow the earth to table concept the food should stay simple and down to earth. The pretentiousness of most of the dishes was a bit off-putting. Granted the restaurant is in a "luxury" resort and caters to the snooty, been there, seen it all, ate it all people, with a James Beard awarded chef, so I guess there's a certain pressure to almost be over the top. An example of this would be the carrot cake dessert which was the complete opposite side of the spectrum from the sundae. It was borderline silly. I love chef's being creative and top cheffing it out, it just could have been executed better. The deconstructed carrot cake was yummy, but I wanted more cake. 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch square, slivers of cake just didn't quite do it for me. Our other dessert was the dark chocolate fudge with sweet potato ice cream. Inedible. Just so salty, and after perusing other reviews for Earth it seems over-salting seems to be an issue.
Our entrees were average and a tad over-priced for what we got. I was disappointed with my paella. Rice was undercooked and I really had high hopes that a restaurant trying to be of such a high caliber would serve paella with that nice crunch on the bottom of the pan. I've had better paella at hole in the walls with double the seafood at just a tad cheaper price point. I liked that it was served in a pan, but taste, portion and presentation fell short for $38. We also had skirt steaks which were more medium-rare than the requested medium. It was beautifully presented though. I guess we could have returned it, but ugghhh we hate doing that, whatever just ate it. The duck was average, nothing memorable.
As for starters: oysters themselves, yummy though mignonette did not have any real flavor. I really enjoyed the tuna poke, as recommended by our server. Though small portion for $18. Crab toasts, ok, but not memorable. The meatballs were ok for $8, I just expected some more wow factor to them. The peirogies we had good, not great again. If the cabbage was more like sauerkraut it would have been great. Just needed that extra oomph.
For all the talk we got, and the reviews I read I guess my expectations were just way too high. Our bill was nearly $500 with the tip, so I really wanted to be wowed and leave satisfied. We still left a 20% tip, but service was a bit off too. Server was friendly but at times a bit inattentive. At one point my friend was going to go up to the bar to order drinks as we were with empty cocktails for a substantial time.
Overall, everything just fell short. Will I go back? Probably not. Thank goodness for good company and good conversation. I don't mind paying for food, it just really has to be on point all around.
On a side not, this really didn't bother me too much, but it perturbed my husband. When he made the reservation he was asked if dinner was for a special occasion, and he said it was a birthday dinner. He was told they would do a little something with a candle. When the restaurant called to confirm the reservation, they brought up cake and candle again. Anywho, no mention at dinner about birthday anything. I really didn't care because I don't like that extra attention anyway, but why mention doing something at all if your not going to do it.
I'm not going to tell people not to go. If you have money to blow and want to sit in a really nice place give it a whirl. But there are much better earth to table concept restaurants in Maine that are simpler, more delicious and truer to the concept. There's too much foo foo in the world.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
October 21, 2012
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Thank you for taking the time to review Earth. It is obvious that you put time and thought into your review and I thank you for bringing your comments to the attention of all. That being said, I want to extend my sincere apologies. It is disheartening to read reviews like yours, but I believe our team needs to read each review written about our restaurant so that we can move onward and get better at what we do.
Your comments will be brought to the attention of our culinary team and our wait staff. There are obviously things that occurred during your time with us that were not correct, but can be corrected.
I would like to invite you to get in touch with me here at Earth. It would be wonderful if you and your dinner guests could come back and join me for cocktails and speak about some of your specific comments. I believe our team is capable of showing you more; and I hope you give us the opportunity.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.