I am “not from around here” and have never lived in a place before where establishments close for the winter. I understand it intellectually, but just haven’t gotten into the mind-set to know that my favorite places to eat in the summer and early fall will be closed for the winter and won’t open until spring. Last summer and fall we went to the Pine Point Grille several times and truly loved the food, particularly their pork entree, so we were very excited to learn that they were opening on March 19th. We couldn’t get there the first couple of weekends they were open but were able to go a couple weeks later.
We arrived shortly after opening and they were already fairly busy. Maybe about half the tables were already taken. In the summer they seat many people in their outside area, but March in Maine – everyone was inside and trying to be as far away from the door as possible. The Pine Point Grill is a nice upscale restaurant. It is probably one of the nicest places I know of that doesn’t have cloth tablecloths. That is okay, the tables are nice and in good repair.
|Fish & Chips|
Pine Point Grille
(Sorry, the photo is slightly out of focus)
I almost ordered a burger. I’ve had it before and it was very good. With my waitresses’ reminder that I “can get a burger any time,” I decided on the Fish and Chips. A nice piece of haddock, batter dipped in a tempura batter. They make their own tartar sauce that has a dusting of yuzu powder. Yuzu is Chinese fruit with lots of citrus flavor. I suspected that the powder would concentrate the citrus taste to make a freshness not often found.
My wife decided on the Grilled Skirt Steak. It comes on a bed of Swiss chard topped with a blue cheese mousse. Along with it is a side of potato gratin.
The food took a little longer than I expected, but not too bad. They were really busy and by the time our order arrived there were people waiting for tables. Busy-Busy. However, while we waited we received a bit of their bread sticks. Very good and they kept us at bay while we waited for the main courses.
The presentation of the fish & chips was very nice – a nice big piece of fish on a bed of fries. The lemon tarter in a nice little triangular bowl along side the fries. The fish tasted was excellent. The tempura batter was very good and the fish was cooked perfectly. The fries were a bit greasier than I expected; they were good though. The tarter sauce with the Yuzu was awesome. Probably the best tarter sauce I’ve ever had. Really good.
|Skirt Steak with Potato Gratin & Blue Cheese Mousse|
Pine Point Grille
My wife’s skirt steak also looked awesome. On the rare side of medium rare, just as she asked for. The skirt steak was a very good cut. She had no bits of gristle or fat that couldn’t be eaten. In a little taste she gave me, I thought it was a little tough. I realize it was skirt steak and not filet mignon but I thought it could have been better. My wife didn't agree with me. The Swiss chard was a bit bland; a spark of lemon or zest would have touched it up and brightened the flavors. It did hold the meat up nicely making the food taller. The gratin was amazing. Every slice of potato was perfect. The taste was subtle and the overall presentation was finely put together. It was much better than the ham-fisted efforts my wife has with the same dish at home.
We didn’t have dessert this trip. However, from past visits we know they have little bite-sized mini desserts that are extremely good. Just a couple bites, but really good.
Ambiance: 4 (Clean and open, good for conversations.)
Food: 4 (Every item was cooked perfectly.)
Service: 5 (Server was friendly and attentive.)
Price: 3 (Dinners were about $22.50 each, not including drinks)
Value: 4 (I don’t know of any places nicer or more civilized in the Scarborough – Pine Point area.)
Yes, we’ll be back whenever we are wanting an extremely good meal in the local area.
The Pine Point Grille is located at 240 Pine Point Road, in Scarborough, which is next to the Blue Point Congregational Church. Because their hours vary though the year be sure to check out their website or their Facebook page to confirm they are open when you want to go.