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“Over the Top” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Back Bay Grill

Back Bay Grill
Ranked #1 of 601 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Over the Top”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2013

We have been vacationing in the Sebago Lake area for 32 years. Each year we make a pilgrimage to Portland to try out the excellent restaurants. Our recent dinner at Back Bay Grill was one of, and possibly the best of those visits. My pappardelle with shredded roast pork was both innovative and excellent. My wife's lamb two ways was equally excellent. The highlight however was two minor touches. Back Bay served a cheese gougeres as an amuse-bouche. When it was mentioned that my wife was lactose intolerant, it was almost instantaneously replaced with a fig with balsamic.(I grabbed the offending gougeres. It was excellent. Later our waitress noted that all of the menu's dessert offerings had dairy. She offered to have a mix of fresh fruit and (non-dairy) sorbet prepared. My wife excepted her offer, and once again it was excellent. We try to go to different restaurants on our annual trips, but we will definitely be back to the Back Bay Grill.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank DaKing350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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527 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    451
    56
    15
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Oh My GOd!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2013

Cut to the chase.....Yes, this is one of the best dining experiences ever! What fun!
My husband, wonderful friend Caitlin, and myself ate here on Friday. It was our first trip to Portland, and I was looking forward to eating here based on the reviews, but I must say, it surpassed my expectations, and that is really hard to do.

It is a small venue, and as one reviewer put it, it IS like walking into a Paris bistro..... but without the attitude. I was a little hesitant when we sat down and looked at the menu because my friend is a vegetarian, and I don't eat meat, but I do eat chicken. My fears, however, proved to be no problem since the kitchen is only interested in pleasing the customer.

First, we were served an amuse bouche, which most restaurants do not serve anymore. My husband was served a serrano ham & provolone dish in a little Chinese serving spoon. He loved it. Knowing that my friend and I did not eat meat Jesse (our wonderful waiter) took the liberty of serving us a perfect mission fig in a balsamic reduction.......=love.

Then we all shared the mussels. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say I think they were the best mussels I've ever had (which includes Paris, although Paris was very good). The mussels were only to be bolstered by the wonderful homemade bread....YUM! My husband had a salad, which was served with caramelized walnuts, and a stilton cheese, which was terrific.

There was only 1 chicken dish, which was stuffed with sausage so I did not order that. My friend and I ended up ordering a dish that was not on the menu per say, it was truffle risotto with many different fresh, fresh vegetables........most delicious! My husband had the sirloin steak, which looked beautiful, and he said was delicious.

But, the piet de resistence was, of course, the desserts. My friend had the creme brulee, which was wonderful; I had a ginger mousse with a lemon cream brushed on the plate, with a few Maine blueberries....light, airy, outstanding; finally my husband had the homemade ice cream with bourbon carmel cream, and a homemade crispy cookie on top.....honestly, what can you say to that, but simply awesome! Then, something I've experienced 1 other time, an after dinner bite. A small plate of lemon custard, mixed with more Maine blueberries......we were in heaven (and my husband generally hates custards as a rule).

Finally, this review would be completely remiss if I did not mention our wonderful waiter Jesse, who was definitely the captain of our wonderful dining voyage. He could not have been more attentive, or more knowledgeable. He made sure we were happy. He totally knew his scotches, and he ended our evening with a brief history of the restaurant and the mural on the wall. He could not have been a better waiter, or a nicer person.

We dine a lot, and it takes a lot to make a good dining experience awesome. Back Bay Grill certainly rose to the occasion. We cannot wait to go back!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank DHammer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
104 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“A fantastic restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2013

The food was excellent. By that I mean that my wife actually talked to the chef about his excellent cooking of asparagus.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank salligator34238
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maine
Level Contributor
50 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Professional and perfect restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2013

Consistently perfect in food presentation and service. The seasonal menu has very interesting pairings of fresh local Maine food with satisfying portions. The service is professional and friendly. Even if the small seating area is filled the bar meal is just as good with the added bonus of a floor show,if you want to watch, of the kitchen grill and bar mixing scene.
We were given a complimentary silver basket of truffle scented popcorn as we were at the bar.
I wouldn't go here for a romantic dinner but I would go here for a delicious dinner which will leave you feeling full and worth the price

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank alice b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bequia
Level Contributor
140 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Best steak I have ever had.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2013

The food here was excellent, the location is not but do not miss it. My wife and I walked there (about 15 mins) from downtown Portland, with hindsight I would have taken a taxi. Reservations are a must as this place is very popular and gets busy.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank CO0KIE_M0NSTER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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