Restaurants & Bars

Starfish Grill in Brunswick, ME

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Starfish Grill in Brunswick, ME

PollyG | Jul 19, 2005 02:15 PM

We just returned from a weekend in Maine and the best meal was unquestionably at Starfish Grill. We like our seafood fresh and dislike preparations that overwhelm it.

We opted for the mussels de jour and olive plate starters. The mussels de jour were in a Belgian style, made with Stella Artois (Belgium's best selling Pilsner, a soft Bavarian-style rendition)and very rich. The sauce was a good bit richer than we've had in Belgium itself, but the mussels were not drowning in it, and we soaked up quite a bit with our crusty baguettes.

The olives were a blend of about three types, all benefiting from an extra marinade of triple sec and with slivers of orange peel.

One member of our party is 5 years old. In addition to the standard kid menu fare, Starfish offers child-sized portions of several fresh fish, grilled or broiled without sauces. Our daughter went for the yellowfin tuna, which came with mashed potatoes and a vegetable melange. She liked the mashed potatoes a great deal and the tuna was exactly what you would expect of carefully prepared grilled tuna.

My spouse and I split the seafood paella. This is a serving for 2 at $45, including a whole lobster. They offer half servings for solo diners as well. The party of 4 seniors who pulled into the lot just ahead of us had turned back at the door, muttering something about the price of the paella being too high. I'm not sure what their standard was, but for someone used to big city prices, this was a fabulous bargain. The portions were fine for the two of us, and the dish was delicious. I know nothing about paella, so I won't vouch for authenticity. What I can vouch for is that the seafood wasn't overwhelmed by the sauce but complemented by the rich rice in its sauce of saffron and fennel bits. Slices of andouille sausage no more than an eighth of an inch thick added their own slight kick to the flavors. The squid rings were the only disappointment; they were bland in comparison to everything else. The lobster was split lengthwise and was more perfumed by the sauce than anything else. Its essential sweetness was preserved.

We were in culinary heaven. This dish would have passed muster in any high end big city restaurant at a considerably higher price point. We came darned close to coming back the next night for another dose!

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