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“Out of the Way and Worth the Trip”

The Chef & The Gardener
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Ranked #15 of 58 Restaurants in Saco
Price range: $14 - $26
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Lund road
Reviewed July 5, 2013

The Chef and The Gardener is a lovely, small (30-40 seats) restaurant that strives to provide personal service and interesting dishes. The menu was interesting and the chef was ready to make accommodation for food allergies and constraints.

The waitress has culinary school training and it was apparent in her overall service, her knowledge of the food and wines, and her tableside preparation of a Caesar salad (classic style). Her pleasant manner did a lot to make for a very enjoyable dinner.

My entrée was a rhubarb-marinated grilled chicken breast served with pickle onions. The rhubarb added a nice flavor. My only complaint was that the chicken breast was unevenly cooked. The thinner piece was a bit too-well done. However, the other piece was great.

The dessert was homemade chocolate brownies and ice cream. The brownies has a great dark-chocolate flavor and the ice cream complimented the flavor. The brownie was a little dry, but the ice cream solved that problem.

The wine list was small, but interesting. We ordered one of the few wines that was only available by the bottle and were quite pleased the wine and how it paired with the dinner.
We’ll be back the next time we visit the Portland area.

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1  Thank Brad F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 - 62 of 83 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2013

After reading the reviews here, we decided to try The Chef & The Gardener. Our hostess/waitress was charming, knowledgeable and just what we needed after a long afternoon of driving. The restaurant is slightly off the road next to a nail salon. We chose a bottle of wine that we didn't know and were told that if we didn't like it, that it wouldn't be a problem. We started with tableside Caesar salad, something that we haven't had in years. I was brought gluten free bread while my husband received anadama bread and maple butter. My main dish was scallops and leek risotto. The scallops were excellent, sweet and perfectly pan seared. The rice was okay. My husband had grilled chicken, which he said tasted great but, was unevenly cooked. For dessert I had pina colada sorbet. All food is locally sourced. If we are ever in the area again, we will definitely go back.

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2  Thank MFMaven53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

So happy to find this spot, tucked away off the beaten track. My friends and I visit the area every year, and were thrilled to find a local place that offers a selection of such well-prepared food. We enjoyed lseveral of the appetizers, including the Asian eggplant, baked fig & brie, and tomato crab soup. They even threw in some tasty asiago gougeres. The dinners were beautifully presented, a delicious combination of flavors and textures. We tried the herb gnocchi, Portuguese risotto bowl, haddock and steak, and nothing was left on our plates! They have a nice wine selection, and prices are very reasonable. The server was knowledgeable and accommodating. A great spot for a special gathering.

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1  Thank megalley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

We ate at this restaurant, which was mentioned by the hotel as a local favorite. My wife had scallops Florentine and said that it was the best dinner she had after 10 days in New England. I had the pork osso bucco, which was cooked perfectly and was more than I could eat. We actually saved the remaining pork for sandwiches to eat on the plane the next day. The prices were surprisingly reasonable, and the the service was excellent.

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1  Thank barbidrilus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013 via mobile

The waitress explained about their pride in serving local ingredients. The proof was in the tasting. My mom who usually only eats half her meal ate all of her chicken Marsala and had dessert. Very, very good.

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

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