To celebrate our third anniversary last week, Brian and I ventured to a restaurant in Maine that we’d never tried before. We decided, based on an extremely brief look at the menu and TripAdvisor to try out Clementine, a “casual fine dining restaurant” in Brunswick. They offer a 3 Course Prix-Fixe menu for $27. The options include most of the choices from the regular menu, apparently in smaller portions even though it that didn’t really seem to be the case.
I don’t think I can do an appropriate job of describing how good this food was. I think it’s easy for me to forget how quality excellent restaurant food can really be. Hopefully the photos, menu descriptions and my brief commentary do it justice
Lobster Tortellini – White Wine Butter Sauce, Wasabi Tobiko
This was one of my favorite dishes of the meal. The pasta on the tortellini was paper thin and the filling seemed to be almost entirely lobster. I loved the flavor and crunch the wasabi tobiko added as well.
Country Chicken Paté – Pistachios, Dijon Cream, Cornichons, Crostini
Brian’s appetizer, certainly something beyond our normal diet, was even better than he expected.
Salmon in Bric Pastry – Stewed Cannelini Beans, Fennel-Black Olive Salad, Basil
Brian’s main dish was exactly as he’d hoped-crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The fish was rarer than I usually serve it, but excellent nevertheless (and probably cooked more properly).
Spice-rubbed Pork Loin – Beluga Lentils, Broccolini, Radish Salad, Curried Vinaigrette
I loved this entrée; the pork was much more spiced than I expected and had really excellent flavor. I wouldn’t have thought to put curry on pork like this, but it worked perfectly. The lentils and broccolini were also excellent.
Chocolate Mousse – Chocolate Puffs, Candied Orange Zest, Mango Coulis
For dessert, Brian ordered this very rich mousse. The placement of “condiments” next to the food rather than on top was different than our usual fare, but certainly didn’t take away any of the enjoyment.
Saffron Poached Pear – Cardamom-Mint Mousse, Cashew Brittle
I ordered this dessert because it sounded like nothing I’d ever had before. I don’t think I’d ever had anything with saffron previously and the flavor was much more intense than I expected. The pears were absolutely saturated with the flavor and though they were strong, I loved them. Obviously, another excellent presentation.
After finishing our courses, our waitress arrived with the bill and an adorable and completely unexpected conclusion to our meal:
I can’t remember exactly what was in those little pastries, but they were delicious, especially after being dipped in the chocolate and cream. We’d only casually mentioned to the hostess that it was our anniversary, so we were really impressed with this gesture.
We don’t often get the opportunity to celebrate special occasions in Maine at restaurants, but next time we do, Clementine will be high on my list of places I’d like to eat.