There’s something about eating by the ocean that I find particularly alluring. Who doesn’t love the scenery and feeling that it brings? Docks adorned with boats, the ocean breeze, and the subtle crash of waves continuously remind you that you’re right by a massive body of water. If you’re in Maine, you have a distinct and relatively unique opportunity to experience this on a regular basis. You even get the additional satisfaction of knowing there’s a good chance if you order seafood that it was sourced right from those very waters. One of the fine Maine locations where you can experience this is at Falmouth Sea Grill.
Falmouth Sea Grill lies right on the water a short 20 minute drive from Portland. It’s a little off the beaten path if your intention is to go out in town, but it’s worth it. When arriving there, the first thing you notice is the great view of Casco Bay. Whether you’re inside or out, the views are excellent, even at night. I’m sure they’re much more spectacular in the summer when it’s warmer and light outside later at night, but even with just a slight glare of the moon bouncing off the water, you definitely get the feeling you’re in a special place.
We went downstairs when we got there since that’s where we had been seated on our previous visit last year, but apparently there is a full bar and dining room upstairs too. Other than the bay view, the interior, which was completely remodeled in 2011, is distinguished by wood panel walls reminding me of going to camp in the summer. It’s a similar look to that of other great water view restaurants, but it definitely gives you a feeling that fits the location. The bar is sizeable and central to the floor plan with the lounge out front of it and a dining room behind. We were there a little early, but as we expected, there wasn’t too much of a crowd on the cold winter night.
Due to the lack of a crowd, our seating was immediate. The waitress provided us with waters, offered us drinks, and went over two specials that were available that evening. No drinks were ordered as we each had one prior to going. I must say that they have a great selection of alcohol if you do want it thought and they make a spectacular drink. The one I had my last time there nearly knocked me on my ass. After that cocktail, I was having a conversation with my wife while the Disney on Ice characters danced in my head.
The menu is not huge, but includes seafood, steak, and chicken. There are lunch and dinner items available all day, so you can just have a sandwich or other lunch item at night if you want. They also have a few raw bar items at the ready for people who like that sort of thing. There are a number of delicious appetizer options, but after a careful survey, we finally decided on the calamari. We also considered lobster dumplings which I will definitely be trying the next time I am there.
Our calamari arrived promptly and was superb. Fried to a perfect light crunch with a moderately salty batter, it came with a yummy roasted garlic aioli. The overall texture was very nice both inside and out. It was gone in just a few minutes and we were ready for the next course. For our entrees, we were primarily interested in seafood, but they didn’t have any haddock or scallops which was surprising. They did have plenty of other choices however, including flounder, salmon and lobster. My theory about menus is that as long as there’s one meal I think I’ll like then I’m happy. Realistically you’re only going to have one meal at a time anyway, so they had more than enough for me.
My wife ordered the teriyaki salmon which came with curry rice and carrots. I thought I would try one of the specials – seafood alfredo. I was very excited when I heard about it for a couple of reasons. It came with lobster and the absent-from-the-menu scallops which are two of my favorite types of seafood. The best part was that I always expect multiple-seafood menu items to include shrimp which I don’t like very much. When I realized it didn’t have any of the crunchy little buggers, I was happy to order it. I asked for it without the spinach it came with though as I’m not a fan of cooked leafy greens. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. I don’t look like Popeye. But who would want to? His forearms are ridiculously disproportional to the rest of his body.
When we received our meals, I was pleased with the quantity of food. Each plate looked sufficient to feed a hungry person. My wife’s meal looked delicious with a sizable piece of salmon and pile of rice topped with a few carrots sliced lengthwise. She said the salmon had a nice teriyaki flavor that wasn’t overpowering and the rice had a subtle coconut taste. My alfredo came with plenty of pasta and a strong amount of lobster and large scallops. A standard portion would be in the vicinity of 4 oz of meat and there was at least that much. The alfredo sauce was one of the best I ever had. It was very creamy and flavorful.
After we finished, there was certainly no room left for dessert. I don’t love dessert as much as “real” food anyway, so I don’t get it often when we go out. Plus, my wife makes some of the best pastries I’ve ever had, so it’s tough to judge a restaurant fairly on their dessert. When we were done, we were on the hook for about 65 bucks plus tip. The food was delicious and the atmosphere is really cool especially for water view lovers. I’d recommend you go soon, but if you’re only going to go once, you may want to wait for warmer weather to visit as it’s likely an incredible experience in the summer.
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