Our journey to Charlamagne's began when the musical duo called "Acoustic Chi" (Tina Charest and Jeff Noel) performed at another pub we frequent. They were belting out yesterdays forgotten hits in a big way! In subsequent weekends we went looking for where else they might be playing, and through the Acoustic Chi Facebook page soon learned that Tina owned and operated Charlamagne's!
So this Valentine's Day - Acoustic Chi was slated to be playing at Charlamagne's - we thus thought it might be nice to take the 45 minute drive between Maine snowstorms and pay Charlamagne's a visit and see Acoustic Chi playing "on their home field"... so to speak. Really how many places can claim that the owner is also the entertainment?
We were not disappointed.
Prior to our visit I had e-mailed Tina to see if reservations were needed or recommended for Valentine's Day. She emailed back promptly and advised they don't typically take reservations, and of course couldn't predict what kind of Valentine's night turnout there would be. She said that she would have her staff be on the lookout for us, and try and hold a nice spot. I answered her and said that if no reservations was the policy that we would be content to take our place in any queue that forms like anyone else.
We arrived a little early than planned (6:15 p.m.) and the place was about 3/4 full, and were immediately greeted at the door by the smiling Ashley. She somehow picked us out immediately as being the couple that had communicated with Tina by email, and she lead us to a table off to the side with a cute hand made "Reserved" sign on it! (Probably the first one ever issued?) We were so humbled!
The experience just got better from there.
The menu is limited, but we like seeing that as it is usually a sign of excellence. Ashley answered all our questions about the drinks and menu without flinching, explained how all items were made in house, and went on to describe the Soup of the Day which was something they created in house called "Cheeseburger Soup" for that evening, which I dearly wanted to try, but feared it would ruin dinner! We opted to split an order of Stuffed Mushrooms Caps, my wife wanted them with no cheese, and I wanted them as advertised. So a short time later the smiling cook emerges and presents the mushroom cap order in two separate hot crocks, one with no cheese and the other as the menu described. Loved it!
For dinner my wife had the Buffalo Chicken Caesar Salad which she loved and I had a Sausage, Mushroom & Tomato Pizza. Both were thoroughly enjoyed. If you walk into this place and see one of their pizzas, it becomes quite difficult to not order one!
Acoustic Chi was scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. and they started right on time. We appreciated that as we're not Late Night people, and with the drive and all got to see them play for an hour or so anyway. They did not disappoint.
The drinks were excellent. We each had a Vodka & Tonic, and a Specialty Drink they called a "Survivor".
The staff is very attentive. We never had to crane our necks looking for a waitperson and were checked on frequently.
The place is CLEAN - Restrooms spotless (almost elegant!) The kitchen is partially viewable and also looked well maintained and clean.
Pay attention to the big "C" engraved on the ground as you enter. Then visit their web site http://charlamagnes.com/ and read what's under the "Welcome" tab. After that you'll have no doubts that this is a one of kind, owner cares, local establishment!
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