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“Perfection in Brunswick”
Review of Trattoria Athena - MOVED

Trattoria Athena
Price range: $15 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed April 1, 2013

This is a restaurant with a mission, and everyone from the wait staff to the kitchen has bought in, with enthusiasm. They've got a lot to be proud of: thoughtfully prepared food, fair prices, and lovely surroundings. Every step in the process is taken seriously, from selecting and purchasing what to cook, figuring out how to prepare it, and bringing it to the table. Trattoria Athena does not cut corners.

My husband and I arrived late for our reservation and had to wait about 10 minutes for a table. The staff did not stop apologizing and thanking us for our patience. Before we could even sit down, we were each handed a glass of prosecco as a consolation. How often does that happen?

The Greek Italian inspired menu was thoughtful and innovative. Servings were perfectly sized; not gargantuan but generous. No worries here about getting those miniscule portions that have overtaken many of Maine's higher end restaurants.

Finely sliced ribbons of Faroe Island cured salmon filled the plate. The curing process brought out the rich sweetness of the fish. The meat ball appetizer was substantial, homey, but light. The grilled razor clams were sizzling in their shells and very tender. Our waitress explained that the narrow, rectangular bivalves are mostly harvested during full moon tides because the water recedes far enough to reach these elusive creatures. Monkfish on a skewer was perfectly done, crisp outside, tender inside with a lovely lemony sauce, reminiscent of Greek lemon soup. Pasta with lamb and broccoli rabe in a reduced tomato-based sauce was simply delicious.

The staff was gracious and attentive, personal without pandering. Our waitress Nicolina was super charming and gave us an insider's glimpse to the Maine food universe.

Given the care devoted to each dish, this is a bargain and will be a regular stop on our trips to mid coast Maine. We're crossing our fingers that this restaurant won't rest on its laurels. Please, Trattoria Athena, don't ever change!

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1  Thank Darcy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (144)
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66 - 70 of 144 reviews

Reviewed March 23, 2013

DayD A baThis was one of our favorites. Went there on St. Patricks Day an we were very disappointed. Because the restaurant is small, you are blasted with cold air every time someone enters or leaves (despite the curtain.) There was only one special that night that was a fixed price multi course that one of our party had. He thought it was OK but not great. I had the braised goat entree and found it dry, flavorless and poorly presented with a small quantity of polenta and vegetable. Service was a little slow but i think the waiter may have been new. Overall a disappointing experience. Hopefully just a bad day because we really like this restaurant.

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1  Thank CindyMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2013

Trattoria Athena is lovely. Comfortable, understated, yet beautiful space; upbeat and helpful staff who attended quickly and cheerfully to our requests without being overbearing or fake-friendly and gave fabulous suggestions and information about wine and food; warm and pleasant atmosphere; and wonderful food, from the bread and assorted spreads to our entrees and and greek yogurt desserts. Great spot for an evening with family or good friends. It's small and cozy, so it might not work for those who want a more private setting, but it was perfect for what we wanted.

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Thank LizzieB823
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Trattoria Athena was a well kept secret at one small point in time, but no more. It is challenging to get a reservation on weekends and their move to Maine Street in April 2013 will be welcome and hopefully still evoking superlative reviews..
They continue to provide a largely locally provided menu and continue to innovate with Greek and Italian dishes. With trips to their prospective countries of passion the two chefs continue to introduce and educate the locals and the visitors.
The limited menu is a plus, in my opinion. Care is given with the dishes and their presentation. I am wary of restaurants with large menus. Hard not to have microwaved items there but rest assured, at Trattoria Athena, the kitchen creates its own smells from the craft of its chefs.

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Thank RebeccaMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

I picked this restaurant because of its 5 star rating and was totally happy there! The waiter was just perfect--friendly and warm without being a pest, and very helpful in making menu suggestions. The restaurant is cozy and appealing. When I went it was "Greek Week" because the Italian chef was in Italy getting some new inspiration, but the waiter showed me a typical menu and the Italian dishes sounded as amazing as the Greek ones that I had. I had a yummy appetizer of thinly sliced crostini with a hot feta/ sweet red pepper dip and then I had the egg-lemon soup. Both were sumptuous, as was the wine the waiter recommended, though I don't remember its name. What sticks in my memory the most was the dessert, a custard sandwiched between layers of phyllo pastry. Go here--you'll be glad you did!

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1  Thank Molly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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