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“Never Fails to Impress”
Review of Back Bay Grill

Back Bay Grill
Ranked #1 of 614 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
Westbrook, Maine
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Never Fails to Impress”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

I constantly forget about holidays, so I when I called for a reservation at 5:00 on Friday evening of memorial day weekend, I was pleasantly surprised that they were able to fit my boyfriend and I at the bar only two and a half hours later. I had been to the restaurant one other time, over a year ago.
When we got there, they were just getting our seats ready at the bar, and we were seated promptly, even being a bit early for our 7:30 reservation. We ordered 2 of their specialty cocktails, a Hendrick's, St. Germaine, basil and pineapple juice and then one with prosecco and Jameson. They were both delicious and strong! After this, we were a bit concerned that our waitress had forgotten about us. We did take some time deciding on our food, but after some time with our menus cast aside, we did watch our waitress pay more attention to other guests, than we felt we received. My boyfriend and I both had experience working in fine dining restaurants, so we are a bit picky about service. I ended up flagging our waitress down, and asking if there were specials (there weren't, but this is not unusual for a restaurant in Maine on Memorial Day weekend - the first busy weekend of the summer). My boyfriend ordered the Parsnip and green apple soup and then the filet, and I ordered the foie gras, and house made papardelle with lamb confit.
The Back Bay Grill was the first place I ever had foie gras, and it was just as perfectly made as I remember. Perfectly paired with a little bit of sweet (dates) and toast, it was easily my favorite part of the meal.
After the appetizers, the waitress fully redeemed herself by being very helpful with wine selections. I explained that I usually prefer whites, but I know that lamb would usually be paired with a red, and she offered me a taste of a rose and a chardonnay, both of which were delicious, but of which I picked the chardonnay. After our neighbors food arrived, I realized that I had forgotten to order a side of the sauteed fiddleheads, and I asked that those be added to the order, which they did without a problem. The entrees and the fiddleheads arrived together, perfectly.
My boyfriend loved the filet, which was done perfectly medium, but especially enjoyed the stilton gratin that came with it. The papardelle was delicious as well, but really the star of the night was the foie gras, for me.
To end the night, we shared the creme brulee, at the suggestion of our neighbors, and I enjoyed a cappuccino.
All in all, it was a perfect evening, in a lovely environment.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank cboynton93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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542 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
74 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great first impression of Portland”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

We had a business meeting at the Back Bay Grill and the food, atmosphere and service was outstanding. Flavors, preparation, quality were top notch, fine attention to detail and service - prompt but not obtrusive... chef prepared mini-bites were a nice surprise. I had scallops with Risotto with a balsalmic-pesto reduction that was fabulous.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bisulfite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing Place”
Reviewed May 23, 2014

This was my second visit. The first was so memorable that I will probably never come to Portland, ME, without dining at the Back Bay. This time I sat at the bar and admired a very respectable bottle collection, as well as a lovely bartender who smiled and informed while whirling through drink preparation and food service. I had the agnolotti and a ginger mousse dessert. Every bite was sublime! As a solo diner, I have never felt more welcome.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Muriel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Early dinner”
Reviewed May 21, 2014 via mobile

We have been to the Back Bay Grill a number if times and it has been excellent. We ducked in as the doors were being opened at. 5 pm tonight and grabbed an early seat at the bar before the reservation crowd arrived. We were hoping for soft shell crabs and luckily they were on today's menu. They were superb! Pan seared, with light seasoning.... unbelievable!!! A side dish of sautéed fiddleheads was wonderful and our entrees of scallops and duck breast were incomparable. Great service and explanations of the food prep from our bartender server as well. We will be back again and again!

Helpful?
1 Thank JerryDuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tisvildeleje, Denmark
Level Contributor
65 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great food”
Reviewed May 19, 2014

It was a true pleasure to have an early dinner here. The wait staff was friendly and offered good advice about both food and wine. They easily accommodated splitting portions intended for one person for two people.

The lobster starter was perfect. We ordered the duck (with lavender, it said, but it was not apparent), which was cooked to perfection and "lamb two ways", which was also excellent. While the white Cotes du Rhone was OK, the glasses of red cab and merlot were fantastic, as was the muscat dessert wine, which went well with hour half portions of chocolate cheesecake.

All in all, a very nice experience.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Larry-of-Denmark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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