During my trip to Boston, my friend insisted that we do something wholesome, which meant shopping. I’m generally not opposed, but upon getting to Kittery, ME I was a bit confused. Where was the mall? If you were unaware, the shops at Kittery, are a sporadic outcropping of malls tucked into this tiny ME town. You have to drive to each separate outcropping, and you have to know what you’re looking for to get to each one because you have to coordinate via map. Being a good sport, I played along; and ended up having a great time and spending way to much money. Highlights included going to the beach and seeing the lighthouse with the waves crashing against the rocks. It was an amazing day.
Our plan was to eat lobster, I had never had a whole one to my self to work through, but we ended up in Portsmith, ME attempting to navigate (by map – this was another thing that confused me, but when in ME). While attempting to navigate (by map) I happened to glance up once and see this massive brick mansion with a sign reading – Library Restaurant. I had to stop, these were two of my absolute favorite things: books and food, under one roof. I’ll go ahead and spoil the surprise and say that the gamble paid off; I loved it.
As usual I wanted to order the entire menu, but luckily my companion showed a bit of restraint. We had the carpaccio as an appetizer. I had never had it, so this was a new experience for me. The slices of beef were thinner than paper, served with grilled bread, and scattered with capers like confetti. I have no idea how they got so much flavor out of something so simple, but surrounded by fire light and literary masterpieces the dish was a grand experience.
After a glass of wine (or two) and a bit of bartering we came to agreements on dishes for dinner. My friend would only let me order one side, so we went with the potatoes Au Gratin. I’m not sure if it was the butter or the cheese or a combination of the two, but these were hands down the best potatoes I have ever had. They were unequivocal creamy, cheesy, buttery goodness that melted in my mouth and on parts of my face much to my embarrassment.
As a main course to go with the potatoes, I had the rack of lamb. The presentation was gorgeous, the lamb was tender and cooked to perfection. The flavor was both savory and sweet at the same time, putting me exactly where I needed to be.
My friend was less than 100% pleased with her Filet Mignon. I believe that the temperature was somewhat cooler in the center than what she had experienced in the past. I prefer medium rare because of the warm red center. I tasted it. I probably wouldn’t have ordered my own steak rare, but in my inexperience with rare steak I thought the flavor and the texture were very pleasing.
All in all, a wonderful day, a beautiful evening, the best company, delightful conversation, and food that was a delight to all of my senses. Should you ever find yourself in Portsmith, ME during the fall take the time to stop by the Library Restaurant; have a glass of wine by the fire and unwind from your travels.