So Mainefoodie has been busy with other writing projects and client hand-holding lately. But I resolved to sit here and write down some thoughts about Francine's, so here goes:
Francine's, Camden Maine
A wonderful friend and neighbor took Greg and me to Francine's the other night for dinner as payback for watching her house and watering her plants over the winter. Very nice payback if you ask me. Greg and I have stopped into Francine's on numerous occasions to see if we can get a table, but were always turned away. Its a very small place, on a back street in Camden across from where the old YMCA was. It opened about two years ago. We got there right on time for our 7:30 reservation and had to wait by the door for almost 30 mintues for our table. Since the place is small, Greg acted as the doorman because he had to stand right in front of the entrance!
The walls are painted a dark chocolate brown and are devoid of most decoration except for a few mirrors. Lots of glowing candles around and a bar with about 6 seats. The smells from the kitchen that night were a mixture of garlic and rosemary....my favorite!
We finally sat down and were left to our own devices for about 15 more mintues before our server came over with menus and asked what we wanted to drink. The menu looked great, lots of seafood (unfortunately for me) and some delectible looking turf food. I stared with the spinach soup with porchini mushrooms. The soup was incredible, being broth based instead of cream based, which one would expect. Greg and our friend shared appetizers of a whole soft shelled crab, battered and cooked, served on a bed of celery root and a special of roasted oysters, which they said was out of this world. The presentation was wonderful and raves were given all around.
Main courses were: steak frites for me which was beautiful and seasoned perfectly. The steak was butter soft and beautiful. Greg had a halibut steak and our friend had the tuna...both of which were moist and tender. I haven't had a meal this good locally in a very long time. We skipped dessert as there were other hungry looking souls waiting for our table.
My only adverse comment besides having to wait would be the decor. I like clutter, so the place felt a bit bare to me with nothing on the walls. The atmosphere was better than any of the restaurants in Belfast though.
Service: B+ (It seemed like our server's first day)