Time: 6:00 pm, Friday January 30, 2009
With: Hubby & Sabrina
Where: 388 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine
Sabrina, the Hubby and I had tickets to see Le Cage Aux Folles on Friday night, so, despite our misgivings about our last dinner at David’s in Portland (Remember?), we made a reservation for David’s 388 in South Portland. It is literally across the street from the theater, and I had read reviews that it was food “not for the chef, but by the chef”. Thank goodness for second chances…
388 is located on Cottage road where Barbara’s Kitchen used to be. David has updated the space nicely – bolder colors, a warmer atmosphere, taken out a wall here, erected a bar there. The dining room is nicely expanded from what it used to be. Which is not to say that this is a dancing-hall dining experience. You are sitting inches from other diners, so please remember your deodorant.
We arrived slightly late and were seated immediately by a very enchanting waitress. She was friendly and chatty and a perfect compliment to our meal. We sat in a table in the middle of the room, opposite the bar seats that give you cook-side entertainment and the plushly cushioned booths on either side of the front door, both areas I want to eventually visit.
I asked our waitress if they served the garlic knots that David’s in Portland used to do so well – no, they don’t. However, she did inform me that their bread was just as good as the knots. And although the memory of the knots (in their heyday) still dominates my tastebuds, I have to say that the bread served to us was garlicy and herby and satisfying. A close second.
Sabrina started with the Prosciutto with Figs – 4 perfect little rolls standing at attention, with apricot, arugula, and a merlot “drizzle”. She loved them. I am not a fan of prosciutto, but I might just get these as they are so beautifully prepared.
I started with a special app – a Lobster, Shrimp and Scallop sausage (with the same merlot drizzle) in a white sauce. It was excellent, slightly charred and very meaty and chunky. I had never heard of sausage this way and was not disappointed.
For dinner Hubby had the Mixed Grill, which consisted of several pieces of beef filet with skewers of shrimp and two large scallops. It was, as was everything, beautifully presented. He said that the filet was tender and cooked perfectly, while the shrimp and scallops were a nice compliment.
Sabrina and I both had the “Really Good Sirloin Steak” with hand cut Truffled French Fries. Oh, Lordy, yes. The steak was large (and in charge), cooked exactly as I wanted it and with much more taste that I can get in my steaks at home. I want to know that magical secret. The handcut french fries were wonderful, salty and drizzled with truffle oil. I asked our waitress if I could be so gauche as to ask for ketchup, but she correctly ignored me, the fries were perfect without. (When I pointed out that I no longer wanted the ketchup she was profusely sorry for her lapse, but I assured her that no feelings were hurt).
We all shared a couple desserts, something ice creamy and cheese cakey and good. We didn’t really need it, as the food that we had already stuffed into ourselves was fairly dominant at that time. Hub and I both had coffees, which were strong and thick, exactly as I like ’em.
All in all, it was a great and surprising experience. If you get a hankering for David’s excellent food in the future, you should definitely head to South Portland to scratch that itch. Make sure your wallet is full, and you’ll leave happy.
5 out of 5 stars.