Paroxysms of Bliss at Esidore’s Bistro@Night
~ Restaurant Review
Jan 28, 2018
My wife, Kimmy Sophia, and I went out on Saturday to celebrate her birthday. We first went to see a movie at the Falmouth Regal Cinemas, which is a fantastic experience if you like the huge reclining leather seats (we did).
It was dinner time after the movie, so we drove across the parking lot to a restaurant that had opened in July: Esidore’s Bistro@Night, located in the same venue as Bernie’s Breakfast and Lunch. It’s Bernie’s by day and Esidore’s by night, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday .
The interior is simple, with booths, tables, and counter stools. The menu isn’t large, but the items looked very tasty, with items like an organic burger and chicken tikka masala. The food is influenced by flavors from Maine, Asia, India, Britain, and Mexico.
We decided to order two of the specials that night, and share them between us, which we often do.
After a short wait, we picked up our forks and had a bite of each—and melted into bliss. Well, we didn’t really melt, but my, oh my were we fully and entirely delighted! My artist mother was a gourmet cook, and my brother is trained as a gourmet chef, which means, as you might imagine, that I adore gourmet, five-star food. We’ve been to quite a variety of restaurants in Portland (my home town) and were pleased with many of them.
However, we’ve recently said to each other that we need to find a restaurant that we can absolutely go back to, time and time again. After Kimmy and I had about three bites of each dish, we knew that Esidore’s made the top of that list. And yes, Kimmy was just as meltingly thrilled as I was at the food. My brother the chef would have been in Nirvana.
So… what produced our paroxysms of delight? These were the dishes, with descriptions and photos from the restaurant’s Facebook pages. Click on the images to see larger versions:
Achiote Haddock: Achiote spiced fresh haddock served with a roasted cauliflower purée topped with pickled onions and a mixed green salad accompaniment! As always, gluten free! [The sauce is not hummus—it’s the cauliflower purée and is a delight.]
Since I am not a chef, my technical descriptions of the quality of the meal fall short of what an expert would say. Still, my layman’s taste buds were zipping from one moment of ecstasy to another, and my brain was in dream-land. I’ve had a lot of haddock and a lot of chicken, but these two dishes were incomparably wonderful.
I must mention that the owner and chef, Chef Jay Harris, could have charged a great deal more than $16 for each entrée. But I’m grateful that he didn’t, because that helps put his restaurant on that lovely “return list.” I can appreciate the magnificence of a well-designed entrée, but I don’t really want to spend $35 or more just because (and only get a tiny portion on top of that). Chef Jay’s portions were generous, and by the time we were finished, we were full.
So, we had chocolate cheesecake in spite of that, because, you know, it was Kimmy’s birthday celebration!
We waxed poetic with our server, a very nice, young man named Jon, and the manager, Christy Stenger, and then Chef Jay came out to say hello. He’s a Mainer with a global vision of good food, and I, for one, am very, very glad that he’s opened Esidore’s in his family’s venue.
I want him to wildly succeed—not just because the quality of his food is so good and thus he deserves to succeed—but because I want to be able to keep going to his restaurant and melting in foodie bliss!
Well done, Chef Jay!
Everyone must go there immediately, and then tell all of their friends. :-)
And… if you’re traveling through Maine, or here for the summer, you must try this restaurant!
It’s a ten-minute drive from downtown Portland, located in Falmouth.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”
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