Arrows Restaurant - wildly disappointing (long) [Ogunquit, Me]
10/13 we too had a rather disappointing meal at Arrows. The meal was not bad, it was worse, uninteresting and uninspired. In a word, average. If Arrows opens a restaurant in Boston as rumors have it, keeping at the current level of food will be the end of them.
We, two of us, ordered the so-called Garden menu ($97.00), starting with cured meats which were amateurish, the kind that your neighbor makes in his back yard with a basic Home Depot bought smoker. You know that meat which taste like smoke, not like meat. (Where I come from, smoked meat is supposed to have a hint of smoke, nothing more.) Of three small samples, sausage was the simplest and the only one, in my mind, worth keeping.
Next came garden salad which was the best dish of the evening. Not too exciting, though. A bit of green salad with a good dressing.
Fish, line caught halibut, was a disappointment. A small piece was overdone and dry on one side, just right on the other. It main taste was of butter (in which it was sauteed). Meager helping of a good side dish (quail egg) made you hope that better is yet to come.
Next course, tenderloin, was indeed better then the fish, but not excellent. It was done right and served with an interesting beats sauce and warm red cabbage.
Cheese course was a joke. Two miniature pieces of cheese (one of which was a bitter brie), about ½ square inch would be embarrassment if served at home.
Desert much the same. Were it not for chocolate panna cotta, it would have been entirely forgettable.
Looking back, I ate a lot of bread waiting for small and underwhelming dishes.
They made sure that we were out before 9pm when second seating starts.
I could not help remembering another prix fixe dinner at Aki in NYC, on 4th street, ($27.00). Though not all dishes were at the same level, most were events that made us happy we were there to participate in the chef’s artistry – artistry was the ingredient notably missing from the dinner at Arrows.
We did not have any problems with waiting stuff. What was over the top for us is the discrepancy btw. price and quality of dishes. There was really nothing to justify the expense ($320 total).
Setting of the restaurant is nice but does not itself merit a visit.
Arrows’s fame is a bubble which will burst sooner or later.