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“A bit pretentious, without cause.”

Nautilus Seafood & Grill
Ranked #4 of 61 Restaurants in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $29
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Steakhouse, Grill
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Steaks, seafood and kicked up comfort food on Belfast Harbor. Sit outside on our deck steps from the harbor in season or inside in our cozy dining room year round. Daily specials, local seafood and produce, local beer on tap or in a bottle, wines by the glass or bottle and specialty cocktails.
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A bit pretentious, without cause.”
Reviewed May 21, 2012

My sister and I ate here on a Saturday night in mid-May. A local shopkeeper recommended it, and raved about the food. We even saw her there that night, but we found the food disappointing. We started with house salads--nothing more than a bag of spring mix with some red onions and cherry tomatoes. When I asked for oil and vinegar on the side, they came in plastic squeeze bottles marked with sharpie straight from the kitchen. That didn't go with the fine-dining attitude of the wait staff. I also ordered the white sangria and was assured that it was a very special drink that night. It tasted to me (and looked like) canned peaches in wine. The waiter, rather offended that I didn't like it, told me it was mango, not peaches, but did remove it from the bill. My sister had the grilled pork chop, large but nothing special. I had the lobster mac and cheese. Could have used more lobster and more cheese. If you want to try it, against my advice, go soon; I doubt it will be there next year. It's a shame because the setting is beautiful.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank cvbr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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382 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Central Mass
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A very good meal (x4)”
Reviewed May 13, 2012

I recently dined there and all of us in the party were very happy with both the food and decor.

The blue on the wall had a warm and welcoming, calm feel to it.

We began our order with the flat bread of the night: smoked shrimp with pesto, which we all enjoyed.

One in our party had the lobster macaroni and cheese. The lobster was not frozen and plentiful, the macaroni saucy and cheesy.

Another in our party had the rib eye, which was cooked to his specifications, seasoned perfectly, the garlic mashed potatoes and the vegetable of the day: steamed asparagus.
2 others in our party had the vegetable of the day as well.

A 3rd diner had the baked stuffed haddock, with the garlic mashed and she commented on their creamy texture and that they were obviously "real".

It was my last night in Maine and I chose this to be the night of the lobster.
It arrived hot, with clarified butter.
It was fresh and it was a very full lobster for it's size.
I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I chose the herbed white rice.
They were fresh herbs.

Although nearly full we were all tempted by dessert:
2 had the limoncello cake accompanied by blueberry ice cream, one had the rich chocolate mouse cake and one had the cheesecake.
We all enjoyed them very much.
The limoncello cake did taste of it's name sake and had a pleasing crumb.

The service was excellent.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank CentralMassJen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamden
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Frozen lobster & no good beer selection.”
Reviewed April 28, 2012

The old stand by beer and they have frozen lobster-why? It is Maine after all! Just your run of the mill food. $29.00 for a steak and it comes with 2 sides. 4 choices are potato ? - squash- rice. If you want blue cheese or mushrooms extra $2.00. Go to PRIMO'S in Rockland, it is worth the ride and so much more! Good luck Nauty Nautilis. We will not be back.

Local people - oh well another one bites the dust!

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Tom_JHamden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jenifer O, Owner at Nautilus Seafood & Grill, responded to this review, May 29, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to visit our restaurant and submit a review. We want you to know we hear your concerns and are in fact addressing them. When this review was written we had only been open a week. Due to an availablility issue with our supplier we were using frozen lobster for a short time. It was not our intention to mislead our customers, in fact we instructed our servers at that time to inform people about our lobster rolls. We are at this time using fresh lobster in our rolls. Although we are flattered that you used our name in the same sentence as Primo, we did not at anytime claim to be functioning at that level. Primo has their own greenhouse and five times the staff. Our goal is to offer a causal dining experience, with excellent food and service for locals and tourists.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monroe, Maine
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Once again disappointed”
Reviewed April 23, 2012

I usually don't write a review until we have tried a place twice, but my fingers were itching and I just can't help myself.

This is a place with brand new ownership, located at a place that was previously Amores, and before that several others. It changes hands just about every year, and we never could understand why no one can make it work. It is on the Route 1 corridor just north of downtown Belfast, a road that not only tourists make their own in season, but a thorofare for commuters. They view of the bay is lovely, and their is an outside deck open in clement weather. Perfect opportunity for SOMEONE, ANYONE to do something that screams quality.

When you see a restaurant named "Nautilis" what comes to mind? Seafood, of course, with maybe a sea-shorey atmosphere. Not so much here. The building is attractive, we have been in here previoulsy. Upon entering, alone, while waiting for a prescription, at 3:00 PM, the place was all but empty. Was greeted by the hostess as soon as I opened the door, and let her know I just wanted to sit at the bar and have a nibble. She handed me the menu with a smile. First impression of the decor was dark and bare and cold. The carpets throughout are black, a poor choice for any restaurant or bar. I just know there are hardwood floors under that carpet, and if there isn't, it would have warmed up the place considerably.

There was obviously a fairly large and loud kitchen staff prepping for dinner service, and other than one table of diners, there was a couple at the bar. I took a seat so I could enjoy that wonderful view of the bay and outer islands through the long, long windows. Beautiful. The bartendress gave me a hi and then walked away. The couple at the bar were talking to each other behind their hands, and I felt a little uncomfortable. It was several minutes before the bartender took my drink order, and the drink was fine.

I perused the menu, small, with the typical fare, nothing special. I appreciated that it was small, a restaurant just starting out should feel their way, and make sure that what they are serving is super fresh and really, really good. After several more minutes, the bartender took my order, and when I inquired about specials, she said "everything's special!" to which the two seated to my left nodded and gave her a positive look, then continued to whisper behind their hands. I ordered the calamari appetizer, with marinara instead of tomato chutney offered, and a fresh haddock sandwich for my sick hubby at home.

Whilst my order was being prepared I took a good look around. This is why you should never, ever have black carpet EVERYTHING shows. Specks of food and paper were quite obvioous. A hardwood floor, although a little more maintenance, hides a multitude of sins. All along the floor of the bar front were fried food crumbs. The bar top was covered with hand and fingerprints, obviosuly there from not wiping down properly or not at all. The equipment behind the bar could have used a good wipe down as well, drips and drops and spills were evident. They were apparently too busy to notice.

The couple beside me were asked if they needed anything from Bangor, and it was then I realized they must be owners or managers. I always think it is not appropriate for these folks to sit at the bar during open hours and consume their own profits. This is a reason the people before them failed, they would sit around the bar with their "posse" amd drink and eat their way through open hours, instead of greeting customers and checking on food quality.

In any case, my calamari arrived, a small handful plopped on a small white plate with a side of marinara and nothing else. Unattractive at best, unappetizing at most. The calamari was fried fine, not too well done, but did not test fresh, and why, oh why, does everyone coat their calamari with panko??? Calamari is too delicate to withstand this heavy breading. There was absolutely no seasoning and I had to load up with salt and pepper (which was not offered, I had to swipe it from a nearby table) to make it taste like SOMETHING. The marinara tasted okay, but it was watery, and did not taste homemade.

My hub's sandwich arrived after my second bite, boxed up and ready to go. A "let me know when you want them to drop that haddock" would have been nice. Maybe I wanted to sit there for an hour. I was there all of 15 minutes and asked for the check, and opened the box to check the sandwich. No tartar sauce. "We don't have containers for that yet" I was told, but they could put some right on the sandwich for me. I'll do that myself, if that's ok, which I did.

Paid the $25 (!!!!) check, tipped and left, yet again disappointed that this lovely location just can't get it right.

The menu consists of seafood, broiled and fried, lobster, the usual, steaks and angel hair pasta with assorted sauces. The appetizer menu is again, the usual, The food prices are about average, the drink prices are a little high. My cocktail cost me $8.50 for a simple Stoly martini, the calamari was $7.00 (less $1.75 for happy hour, which I was not informed of, would have changed my order) and the haddock sandwich served on a commercial hamburger bun with fries and a pickle, was $10.00.

Upon arriving home I opened the box with hub's sandwich and the fishy odor almost gagged me. I took a small piece off anyway and tried it, spit it out. Tasted very stale and very frozen, with a strange consistency, and I threw the whole lot away. With the abundance of haddock in Maine, there is no excuse for this. I can only assume from this that all of their seafood, especially the fried stuff, is the same, and will not return to this place.

I can only hope that it is the newness, they have only been open three days, but then everything should be fresh, fresh, fresh in that case. I have seen their kitcen previously, it is quite small and surely hard to work, but they should have maybe invested into expanding that a bit and losing a few otherwise empty seats. A happy cook puts out happy food. And please, reconsider sitting at the bar and whispering when there is only one patron at the bar. It was very uncomfortable, and if they were owners or managers, being so new, they should engage every patron and make them want to return to a friendly place. The bartendress was nice enough, but she seemed to be overwhelmed with some duty or other in the back. Someone from the kitchen did come out to get something or other from the bar, and he asked how my food was. "Okay" "oh, good!"

Can only beg you to please, please do something nice for this place, you have a potential goldmine. Why is it that every place with a view just sits on its haunches and waits for the tourists to arrive, who probably don't know a haddock from a flounder anyway. Locals could support these places during the long off season, but only if you make it worth their while. If the food is fresh and good, and the ambiance is there, they will come. This local will not be back, and unfortunately will not recommend it.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
13 Thank hopeful04951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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