After 18 years at 98 Provence in Ogunquit, Chef Pierre Gignac has opened a new Mediterranean cuisine restaurant, at Cape Arundel Inn. Some of his excellent staff followed him to Ocean. The night we were there, a huge full moon rose over the sea, adding a breathtaking view to a fabulous meal. We started with the “sea scallops, apple butter meunière with chestnut gnocchi and mustard”. This dish was the hit of our evening. Its balance of flavors was just perfect. Our other appetizer was “roasted red beets, pickled gold beets, watercress, Mitica goat cheese and french walnut oil”. Roasted and pickled beet salads are all the rage in New England restaurants, this season, it seems, and the “Ocean” version was the lightest and tastiest we had, anywhere. For the main course, we both ordered the “lobster “Aumônière”, root vegetables and mushroom fondue in a red wine lobster sauce”, a very creative, fusion dish. Half of the lobster tail was left in its shell and had been seared on one side, while a large lobster “wrap” in an egg roll type of pastry, completed the dish. The red wine sauce was a truly inventive touch, here. The entire dish was delicious, the lobster moist and tasty, though we would have liked to get the second half of the lobster tail (some of which had probably ended up in the “wrap”, anyway). The restaurant's wine list is interesting but overpriced. This said, our meal and the entire experience at Ocean was one of the finest we had on this trip to the coast.
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