We have tried this place a few times. A recently rennovated storefront, the owner has preserved the historic feel. A space that is airy, comfy, homey, old-world and modern all at the same time. Seating is either table, booth or bar. We prefer the bar as we can usually scope a place out better. Our first visit in early summer shortly after opening was a pleasant experience. Our bartender was new, but with minimum instruction from a coworker was able to construct our cocktails quite well.
The menu is a litle bit of everything, from fish to pasta to steak, but not overwhelmingly so. The bread was italian, hot and served with a saucer of their signature seasoned olive oil, which was a nice parting from the standard wrapped butter pats. We ordered the mussel appetizer which we split. The best mussels we've had in this state, perfectly cooked and still tasting of the sea. We were told they had arrived only within the hour, and we could believe that. Salad was fresh baby greens with cherry tomato and house dressing, which was very tasty.
Hub had the ravioli, which was stuffed with fresh mushroom in a cream sauce, and it was scrumptious. The pasta was fresh and perfectly cooked, and the combo was light yet rich. An eggpant parm with fresh pasta was my choice and it was again cooked superbly, and the marinara sauce tasted freshly made.
On another visit we consumed calamari appetizer. The calamari were delicately breaded and perfectly cooked and served with peppers and marinara. Really good. Spaghettii and meatballs were excellent. The marinara sauce is something gramma would make. Service is very good, the waitstaff may not be used to the quality of the food, but they have obviously tasted many of the dishes and are knowledgeable of the contents.
Reservations would be recommended, especially in season and weekends. Not really a place for kids. Prices are average. There is a wine list and a good selection of wines by the glass. Drink prices are a little high. Casual dress. The lunch menu is smaller portions of the dinner menu, with a few sandwich additions. Specials are available for both lunch and dinner, and the chef and owner obviously know what they are doing in coming up with the recipes. Have not tried the deserts yet, but hope to be not so stuffed to the gills next time to sample them.
Try this place. They deserve your business, and we are grateful they are making this attempt to bring a new flavor to Belfast. This is not your standard Maine fare of fried everything (although they offer the more familiar) so be prepared for a treat to your taste buds.
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