My husband and I tried Boone's when they opened this past summer for a late lunch and it was fine, especially sitting outside by the water. Nothing that really knocked our socks off, but again, it was just lunch and we were outside, so who can complain?
We returned this weekend with some guests for dinner. We got there at 6:30 for a 6:45 reservation and were told the table wasn't ready yet but we could wait at the upstairs bar. That was fine, so we did. And we waited, and we waited, and we waited. Finally, at 7:10, I went down to the hostess station and asked if our table was ready yet. She said that it was being cleared and would be ready shortly. Maybe 10 minutes later an assistant hostess (who seemed pretty clueless) came up and directed us to a table that was right beside us in the pub area and which had been empty since we arrived at 6:30!!! No one had been sitting there at all. So, we were finally seated.
With regard to the menu, it's confused. It's almost like the restaurant has an identity crisis. There is fried food, but then there are flatbread pizzas, and then there are sandwiches, and then there are expensive entrees ($25-$29 range). And the way it was presented, on a glossy one page (almost looked like something you'd see at a local diner), was just not appealing. My husband ordered the seafood and meat pizza. He said that there was no meat on it and although it was all seafood it was "mushy". I had the scallops la plancha, which was one of the seafood specials for the night. It was okay, but only okay. I think there were 3 or 4 of the big scallops over a giant hash brown potato and spinach. The rest of our party had fish of various sorts and the person who had the swordfish said it was, in fact, very good. We had an appetizer of tuna tartare, which actually was surprisingly a lot of tuna, BUT then we were provided with 3 (yes, 3) little bread crackers with which to eat about a cup's worth of tartare. We did request more and the server brought of some additional crackers, but there should have been more in the first place for that amount of tuna. It was very good, otherwise.
Some plusses: the wood smoke smell from the open wood oven is great. Makes it feel really homey and like you are going to get some really great tasting food. The bartender was attentive and pleasant and prompt as we were waiting for our table (which was ready, apparently). This might be a good place for a casual lunch or perhaps drinks and appetizers but I wouldn't go for dinner again. Our server, on the other hand, was adequate, so no complaints there.
Negatives: the junior hostess (or whatever she was) had zero personality, and didn't seem to want to take us upstairs initially when the senior hostess asked her to - even making a face at the senior hostess when she was asked. And then I think from that point she pretty much forgot about us until I went downstairs again and reminded the senior hostess we were still waiting after almost 40 minutes. Also, the bathrooms were filthy. It's too bad, because they would have been fine if someone cleaned them once in a while. There was toilet paper in multiple spots on the floor of each bathroom, water on the toilet seat, what looked like water where someone "missed" on the floor in front of one of the toilets and they were COLD! After my first visit to the bathroom, I really didn't want to go back again, although I had to out of necessity. They are unisex so that could explain the drying urine on the floor in front of the one toilet. Pretty gross, and it wasn't like the upstairs was so busy that someone couldn't have gone in an spruced them up every so often.
I have now been to three of this chef/owner's restaurants and I'm just not impressed. It feels like he is mass-producing marginal restaurants in Portland to lure in tourists who don't know any better. The food and service at this restaurant really need work, because the building itself is pretty cool and has a great vibe. There are far better chefs in town and southern Maine who could really turn this into something great. And, of course, hire junior hostesses who actually want to do their jobs.
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