Riverview, New Brunswick
March 28, 2006
It is an attractive room on two levels. On the lower level there is a row of tables at the windows and further in, a series of banquettes. The seating of the latter is plush and in pleasant off-red. The upper level boasts colonial chandeliers, oil paintings and wood beams. All in all, the room is very tasteful with subdued lighting and the notes of a well-played piano in the background. The staff is formally dressed and in keeping with the general aura of high standards, men are requested to wear jackets.
An exploration of the menu, which is available on-line at Samoset dining, offers up an interesting array of appetizers and main courses and relative to other restaurants in the area which can’t hold a candle to Marcel’s, the prices are quite reasonable. Some of the entrees include a half duckling ($22), filet mignon ($35), salmon filet ($20), pork tenderloin ($21), and beef Wellington ($38), but these are only examples. We chose to have a Caesar salad, followed by a small bowl of clam chowder (which, at $5, was absolutely world-class.), and the Dijonaise rack of lamb for two ($62).
The lamb is one of three dishes, the others being Chateaubriand for two ($70) and Steak Diane ($35), which are prepared, at least partially, at the table. I’m not fond of flaming dishes in my proximity in restaurants, but the girl who did it was typical of all the other staff… unobtrusive, friendly, and efficient. As I looked through the extensive wine list, I found that I was totally at sea as many of the labels were not familiar. I was rescued by the wine steward who suggested that a Chateauneuf du Pape (Telegraphie) ($49) would complement the lamb, and it did… extremely well.
The entire evening was a pleasure: excellent service, marvelous food, and a wonderful ambiance. There are a number of good restaurants in the northern New England states, but you’ll be hard pressed to outdo Marcel’s.
From journal Winter Break: Mid-Coast Maine