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“Great food marred by unwilling host”

Frankie & Johnny's Natural
Ranked #5 of 15 Restaurants in Cape Neddick
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed August 2, 2012

On our way back to Boston from a day at the beach, I used the TripAdvisor app on my phone to find a great place to eat. As the reviews here were stellar, we were really looking forward to a treat. Quirky and small, with dinosaurs on the table and amazingly fresh food? A mecca in the midst of clam shacks!

However, the way we were greeted was utterly tactless. Our host/owner asked if we had been there before, and when I said "no", she brusquely handed us menus and told us to look over them to make sure we really wanted to eat there before sitting down. She explained that she did not want to go through the night seating people who were expecting to eat hamburgers.

I was deeply offended, and I would have left immediately if it didn't mean dragging my 86-year-old mother back out into the rain. Did the fact that we are an "ethnic" family make us look like we had come for hamburgers? Seen in the best possible light, she was trying to save herself time and was being over-forward at the expense of good manners. Too bad, because the food was excellent, and if we'd been greeted with respect, we'd have come back again with food-critic friends.

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4  Thank zoezoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (145)
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115 - 119 of 145 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2012

While wandering through the east coast on an intrepid road trip we landed upon York Maine looking for dinner. Fortunately we found Frankie and Johnny's and were lucky enough to get last minute reservations. We had the first table from the kitchen which was the front seat to a theater of amazing dishes. One after another gorgeous plate caused "order torture". My husband and I started to negotiate our decisions in order to make sure each of us would be able to share and extend our own choices.
Frankie shared the story of this restaurant and her family dynamics with such great boisterous enthusiasm that we just knew that this family joy and intensity would transfer into the an unforgettable dinner.
Lobster pockets were the most divine appetizer. Dinner salad was a colorful melange of greens, fruit, veggies,candied nuts and blueberry vinaigrette dressing. The best salad we've ever had. I think I had haddock with grilled vegetables and my husband had pork medallions with a citrus sauce and roasted pear.
Sauces were delicate, flavorful and absolutely fresh. Dessert was chocolate coconut ice cream that had the lightest touch and texture but still amazingly flavorful. 7 days later just describing this adventure has made me famished.
Unfortunately, nothing I eat for dinner tonight will measure up.

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2  Thank rellots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

If you want to dine where care, and effort, and talent combine to create a superb dining experience, you want to try this place. Thea and John are amazing. And their enthusiasm flows through their entire wonderful staff. We have been back now three times, each time, each dinner has been presented, and prepared perfectly.
You will love it.

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2  Thank Geoff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

So our friends suggested going to this place, and described it as like eating in someones house, and that the food was "usually" OK. Not quite high praise.
Boy was I in for a surprise. The place doesnt look great from the road, but once inside it is neat and pleasant. I understand that the interior got a facelift. We had a large group and all of us got different meals. All were delicious and ample. Salads were huge. Pork chops were the thickest I have ever seen. A little pricey, but as there is no alcohol (you can bring your own), it ends up being a reasonable night out. The lobster bisque was quite bland, but other than that we all loved the food. I wouldnt go in the heat of the summer, we were there in May and it was kind of stuffy. Not sure if their AC is adequate, and the windows have no screens so they dont open them (bugs).

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2  Thank randd64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

There are a variety of restaurants in The Yorks/Ogunquit/Wells that are thought of as "destination dining", certainly including 98 Provence, Clay Hill Farm, Joshua's and Arrows. But, in an annual holiday weekend trip (Memorial Day) with our pack of hard core foodies seeking the best of the best 3 nights in a row for 8 consecutive years, those who have never been or have driven by without slowing down year after year may be surprised to hear that my top pick is FRANKIE & JOHNNIE'S.

When I first started going there some 12 years ago, it felt more like an organic, somewhat "crunchy granola" restaurant favored by vegans. They were doing a house salad, soups, and a killer tofu dish a decade ago that would put a smile on the faces of the hoards of recent converts to farm-to-table eating and sustainable food enthusiasts, as though the place just opened. But now, F&J's is so much more than that, and more than qualifies as fine dining.

Entrees come with a choice of several soups or a salad that is a meal in itself (and fantastic). This time around, several of us went with the tasty lobster bisque with a strong cognac note, while one at the table reported being very much pleased with their minted pea soup.

Their sushi grade tuna and salmon are both plate art, as well as delicious and bold. Steak lovers in our party were equally pleased, as was one in our party who anguished over his inability to deviate from the pumpkin ravioli in almond gorgonzola cream sauce he enjoyed the previous year, and raved just as much this time around.

A decadent, luxurious app that must be tried is the "lobster purses", three packets of fresh, tasty lobster with marscarpone cheese in wonton wrappers, elevated by truffle oil.

The list of desserts, as recited by the chef/owner's daughter was seemingly endless, and the descriptions alone elicited ooh's and aah's, as did an almond mocha semifreddo that we all dug in for a bite of.

At a considerably higher price tag, our dinner the next night at 98 Provence paled, in spite of their impeccable service and nuanced, wildly professional french cooking. Frankie & Johnny's Chef/Owner John Shaw's flavors, huge portions, consistency year after year, attractive plating, large exciting menu and focus on absolute freshness make it my top restaurant pick in the region.

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Thank BARRYfromBOSTON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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