Place: The Frog and Turtle
Time: 6:30pm, Friday evening, 9-14-07
With: My BFF, Sabrina
Where: Westbrook, Maine
So, Sabrina calls me and says that we should totally check out the new restaurant called “The Frog and Turtle”. ‘How very British’, says I! It went in where a very hip and happening restaurant closed a few months ago – Chickeys. Remember Chickeys? It rocked. They actually served tater tots. Yummer. Moving on.
The Frog and Turtle (FaT) is owned by the folks who brought us café Uffa! (exclamation point theirs). (In fact, the receipt still said café Uffa! on it. Details, people!) And yowza, they have been busy. Gone are the Chickey’s green walls, gone is the stage that was always a little rickety, gone is the black seating. They refinished the floor to a beautiful hardwood shine. Very good job lacquering. They built a bar to the side, and made the kitchen smaller in the back (but you can still see in it).
We got there about 6:30, and had no wait for a table. Unfortunately, the table was bordering the “bar area”. And by bordering, I mean that the 24 inch circular table’s placement had my head bumping some bar-patron lady’s bottom, and sitting next to a couch. That was kinda facing me. And was packed with 4 young people. I was like: “Hi, unwashed youth sipping a beer on a couch uncomfortably close to my face! How are you?” I used my poor me look on the maitre de and he moved us to “the other end” of the restaurant.
FaT calls itself a GastroPub. They are really trying to be a high end eatery and a fun, RiRas-like bar. But, they are in a 40 foot room. With no partition. So, in effect you get expensive food while sitting in a crowded bar. Hmmm. It is not working.
The table that we were moved to was about 5 feet long. And they sat us at either end of the table. The placement of said table was against a wall on one long side, so we couldn’t move together. We were just lookin at each other from either end, like very very rich people, or like Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale in Batman (geek!). Remember that scene? Good times. Anyway – awkward.
The table was as heavily lacquered as the floors. But, not as nicely done. It was riddled with bubbles. It kinda felt like sandpaper. But, it did keep my plate from sliding off. Seriously – it was so shiny I could see myself.
We had 2 waiters. The first I shall call Tall-Pete-Wentz. He had that disaffected swoop of black hair across his face. The other I shall call Mutton Chop. As you might guess, he had massive sideburns. And really really straight teeth. Sabrina loved Tall Pete, I was crushing (in a married way) on mutton chop. Sabrina thinks Tall Pete winked at her. I’m not so sure, Sabrina.
Sabby and I ordered the 2 cheapest things on the menu (which ranges from 10 bucks to 30 dollars and up!). I had a burger with onion rings, and she had “flatbread”. We assumed it was pizza. My burger was unbelievable. It was most likely the finest tasting burger I have ever tasted. It had goat cheese and bacon on it. It was the perfect blend of tangy (cheese) and smoky (bacon). It was perfectly cooked.
My onion rings, however, were grody. I think that they were breaded in flour, and nothing else. They had very little flavor. It didn’t even taste very oniony. They came with ketchup that was served, no kidding, in a thimble. It was maybe a half teaspoon of ketchup. I’m thinking it was a nod to the high end eatery way of thinking, but in fact it was just frustrating. When I asked for more, Mutton must have sensed my angst, ’cause he brought me a bowl of the stuff. Thanks, Mutton! Work the facial hair!
Sabrina’s flatbread was pizza, as we expected. It was good and cheap. She likey. She was heavily flirting, so I’m not sure she tasted anything, anyway.
It must be said that this was day 2 of FaT being open. I know from watching reality TV that you only need 1 day to work out the kinks in a new restaurant, though (Hello, Top Chef!). However, Tall Pete said that they will be expanding their menu and trying for more dedicated spaces eventually. I will give an update if Sabby and I go back.
Overall, I would tentatively recommend. If they work on adding a little more pub fare, and put up a screen or two, this place might be worth an evening’s excursion. Of course, the wait staff is cute, so Ill probably go back.