Last evening my co-workers helped me celebrate my new job by taking me out to Peaks Island for dinner at the Cockeyed Gull. It was a beautiful summer evening, and the ferry ride to Peaks was idyllic. The harbor was filled with boats and birds, and we even were lucky enough to spot a playful harbor seal enjoying his swim. When we arrived at Peaks, we had only to stroll up the hill and turn left onto the main road that circles the island, and walk a couple of blocks to arrive at the restaurant .
We had made a reservation for 5 people out on the deck which overlooks Casco Bay towards the skyline of Portland. We were greeted warmly by the restaurant staff and immediately shown to our table. The restaurant is airy, friendly, informal and rustic, but comfortable, matching the island mood.
It was a still and warm evening, and our table, the chairs and our porch were very comfortable. Our waitperson, who was friendly and attentive, took our orders for drinks and left the menus with us. The beer menu was disappointingly limited – there are so many delicious local beers brewed in Portland; I wonder why this restaurant does not offer more of them. I did find something to try, which was a little hoppy for my taste, but it sufficed.
The menu was well rounded with many offerings. Our group was definitely up for sea food. Our waitperson brought our drinks, as well as a basket of warm, crusty rolls, and took our order after telling us about the specials. There were many fish dishes on the menu in the $20 range. Our waitperson informed us about a special fish offering, not on the menu: fresh grilled blue fin tuna. She neglected to tell us the price so I assumed it was within a similar or slightly high price range as the other fish dishes. Between us we had ordered the salmon, the haddock, the tuna and scallops. Everything tasted very fresh, was well prepared , and delicious. Every one of us enjoyed our food very much – there was nothing left on our plates!
It was time for us to catch the ferry back, so we asked for the check. We were surprised at the total – it seemed higher than we expected. When we saw the price charged for the tuna, we knew why: it was $40 – twice the price of the other fresh fish dishes. I should have asked, but I also think our server had an obligation to tell us price when reading the specials given that it was so much more than any of the other dishes on the menu.
I would not hesitate to bring visitors to this restaurant for a casual, but delicious meal overlooking the Portland harbor. I would warn them that the beer menu isn’t extensive, and that there is no lobster dinner. I would also ask the server for the prices on the specials so as not to be surprised by the bill. But the short and sweet ferry ride over, with view of 3 lighthouses from Bug Light in South Portland to the picturesque Portland Light House in Cape Elizabeth, the walk from the ferry to the restaurant which captures the island feel, and delicious food while enjoying the beautiful view of Casco Bay and the Portland skyline makes the Cockeyed Gull an enjoyable destination.
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