Saturday, October 20, 2007

Day Six - The Culinary Finale

Sunset in Acadia

At the beginning of a vacation, nearly anything is possible. As the vacation draws to a close, you have to begin to make choices. There are a finite number hours left and suddenly you can’t do absolutely everything. It’s the same with restaurants. If there are a number of good places to eat in a town, as there are here in Bar Harbor, do you go to your old favorites or try something new? We try to get a good mix of old and new. But when it’s your last night in town, the pressure is on. You don’t want that last supper, if you will, to be “enh”.

Tonight, I’m very happy to report, our meal was nothing like “enh”. We decided to go to the Mache Bistro at the far end of Cottage Street. The chalkboard sign in the storefront window promised variety. Inside, the casually elegant decor offered cozy warmth. We were seated immediately at a copper clad table. The room was warmly lit with soft lights and lots of candles. An eclectic, wide ranging mix of music played quietly and added to the pleasant ambiance. Our server Alice (please let me have remembered your name correctly!) was friendly, charming and as the evening progressed, perfectly attentive and never intrusive. A basket of warm bread was not to be ignored. Expertly baked on the premises by the owner/baker/pastry chef Rachel. Chuck and I both ordered a salad to start. Each had a crisp and tender mix of locally grown greens. Chuck’s had goat cheese and pear, mine Maytag blue and apple. The vinaigrette was tangy, but well balanced. After much discussion with Alice, Chuck had settled on the pork loin with apple chutney and I ordered the hanger steak done with soy and ginger. Our entrees arrived beautifully plated with a golden serving of chunky mashed potatoes at the center and a mixture of crisp, braised veggies from the farmers’ market. The pork was cooked well and still juicy, the apple chutney a great foil. My hanger steak was the right pink of medium and exceptionally tender and flavorful. Each item was perfectly seasoned.

Dessert? Everything had been so yummy to this point, that it was a necessity we at least listen to the offerings. That’s the polite thing to do, right? Well, we happily succumbed. And no one-dessert-two-spoons tonight. Chuck ordered a vanilla bean and Kahlua creme brulee and I had to have the mocha brownie pudding cake. We also ordered coffee. When Alice appeared with our individual coffee presses and two sturdy white mugs, it was gilding the lily! I asked Chuck if he liked the Mache Bistro’s creme brulee better than the one the other night at McKays. He looked slightly pained and said he would prefer not to be forced to choose! The brownie/pudding confection was studded with cacao nibs, which provided contrasting texture, crunch and served to intensify the decadent chocolate experience.

My, my, my, it was all simply scrumptious. I’d score it 9 out of 10. Why not a 10 after such a glowing report? I need to save the 10 for our next visit to Mache Bistro!


Roo said...

Wow - fantastic pictures, superb write up, what an amazing vacation you had - I'm quiet jealous of you both (and especially about finding that last restaurant) ;)

dancingmorganmouse said...

What a beautiful sunset, and what a fantastic meal - you've made me hungry (just as well it's almost lunchtime).

George Geder said...


I haven't visited your blog in a couple of weeks. My loss!
I miss the East Coast Autumn.

We just came from a State NAACP conference in Alamogordo, NM and the food was awful! Awful!

We get back to Santa Fe - and there's snow flurries!

I go to your blog... and cry.

"Guided by the Ancestors"

Pink Granite said...

Hi Roo -
So glad you liked the write up and the pictures!
It was an excellent vacation and that last dinner was the perfect finishing touch!
- Lee

Hi DMM -
We spotted that sunset as we were leaving the park. It was the most dramatic of the entire week!
Hope lunch was yummy!
- Lee

Hi George -
I'm sorry my posts made you homesick. Hopefully it stirred up some happy memories as well!

We were so lucky to have great food all week. But part of that is years of experience in one area. In a new town, even with a guide, it's a roll of the dice! Sometimes we hit snake eyes - big time!

Snow flurries!!! Brrrrr! We continue to be unseasonably warm - high 70s and low 80s since we returned home! This doesn't fel like autumn!
- Lee