You usually don’t expect to find an amazing culinary surprise in a small touristy town, but there seems to be more and more towns in Maine that are locales of some really innovative restaurants. In Bar Harbor, that must dine place would be Mache Bistro. If you are a Foodie, Mache is the best restaurant in Bar Harbor. Chef/owner Kyle Yarborough is the brainchild, creating menu items with unique and sometimes surprising blends of ingredients from local Maine farmers. The menu can change from day to day depending on what’s available so be flexible in your expectations.
We have been to Mache twice, both times for our anniversary. In October 2013, it was at its original Cottage Street location – a small cottage, the place packed with diners, yet intimate and cozy. It felt very special to dine there. We watched a lot of people being turned away so reservations are a MUST! Our second visit in October 2014 was at its current (321) Main Street location – the new building has two stories and an outdoor dining deck for much needed space.
On our first visit, our server Irina was helpful with the wine by the glass selection since my husband and I have different tastes. Recommendations was right on target.
While I opted for a Mache salad to start, my husband got whipped brie infused with truffle oil with micro greens and crostini, I took a taste and it was pure heaven! I couldn’t keep my hands off this stuff! Alas, it was not available on our second visit. If it is on the menu when you dine, order it. You won’t be disappointed.
Entrees on our first visit were Roast Pheasant on Polenta and Duck Confit. My husband was pleased that they had Calvados (an apple brandy produced in the Normandy region of France) on the menu.
On our second visit, we had two house made salami apps – Black truffle salami with goat cheese and blue corn and Barolo cured salami with triple cream Brilliant cheese and olive oil and 18 year old balsamic vinegar. Not usually a salami fan, the great blend of flavors made me glad to try something new.
Entrees were 1) almond dusted grilled scallops on creamy polenta with smoked tomato gravy and 2) duck confit, smoked duck and duck ragu with smoked mushrooms. More great blend of flavors.
Dessert was a huge hunk of grilled Pumpkin pound cake brushed with blood orange liqueur. It originally came with bourbon whipped cream, but I had them substitute salted caramel ice cream. (The ice cream is made fresh daily at the Mount Desert Ice Cream Company located next door.) I took what was left of such a generous serving of the cake back to my hotel and ate the rest of it a couple days later and it was still moist and delicious.
Some might find Mache Bistro pricey, but considering the quality of the food, its right in line. If you like great tasting and unique food, don’t miss this one! Check out their website at machebistro.com .
(NOTE: We did not see children either time we dined at Mache. I think this restaurant may be a bit too ambitious to expect children to eat there.)