by Rock ‘n Roll Ghost
Acadia has been open for a little more than a month and the restaurant is getting a good deal of buzz from critics and diners. I had the opportunity to sample some of the food recently and found it to be quite good (more on that later). The restaurant just opened up its bar menu and now they’ve announced a special Valentine’s Day menu (see below).
Valentine’s Day 2012
Coconut Curry Lobster Velouté
Winter Beets, Arugula, Citrus, Cured Scottish Salmon,
Smoked Steelhead Roe
Wagyu Short Rib, Celeriac, Truffle, Marshmallow
Cardamom Spice Cake, Carrot Sorbet,
White Chocolate Cream Cheese, Currents, Roasted Pineapple
$85 per person, exclusive of tax & gratuity
Wine pairings available for $50
Separate a la carte menu available
5p – 10p
Back to my thoughts on my visit to Acadia. I will mention here that my meal that evening was provided complimentary/free/gratis – and I thank the staff at Acadia for this.
Ryan McCaskey‘s new restaurant is very refined, leaning a bit on the side of austere, with certain things (plating, service) a tad bit too fussed over, but very good nonetheless. I’ll be honest that I’m not sure how comfortable I was personally about the formality of the space (though it is quite beautiful inside, and the kitchen specifically is magnificent looking) and would like a little more of the personality that’s found in the bar with Michael Simon‘s excellent cocktail program (personality is bursting out of Simon it would seem, a very big plus in Acadia‘s favor) to find its way into the food (just a bit more pizazz). Again, the food is very good, I just would like to see a little more whimsy myself.
I had the charcuterie (wild boar terrine- mosto cotto, duck ham- kumquat shallot confiture, chicken liver mousse- whole grain, cornichon) and fell in love with that chicken liver mousse – which came damn close to being as heavenly as the foie gras I sampled from another diner’s plate; chicken presse (gypsy bacon, truffle bread pudding, chestnut, parsnip, celery, porcini) that was pleasant, but lacked a wow factor and, at $25 comes off as too expensive for what the customer receives, especially considering the Stonington lobster pie (I sampled a bit of a lobster knuckle and was swooning) is only $7 more.
I had the chance, as I said, to sample some of my diners’ dishes. I had a bit of bass (which took the place of the black cod that is traditionally on the menu) and that bite was amazing. Smooth flesh, crispy top, just excellent – sort of wish I had ordered that. The “risotto”, riced potatoes with a mix of herbs, leek, winter truffle and green apple veil, was pleasant. All in all, a very good meal. It just seems that the bar area, where guests can order such dishes as Allagash steamed blue hill mussels (shallots, aromatics, grilled foccacia, saffron aioli), which I got a whiff of from the woman that sat next to me at the bar before my meal which smelled out of this world good; Acadia burger (chistou cheese, onion bacon jam, dijonaise, butter pickles); and Deer Isle lobster roll (buttered bun, paprika, chives, salt and vinegar chips) might be more my speed for future visits. That way I can sit at the bar or grab one of the tables with a companion, enjoy the food and Simon’s drinks and be more comfortable. Again, these critiques likely say more about me as a diner than they do about what’s going on at Acadia and shouldn’t be taken as a knock against them. I’m a guy who grew up poor on the south side of Chicago, so I think that, save winning the lottery and taking a refinement course, I’m always going to feel out of place in any restaurant that’s more refined than I am.