I am so excited to report that I had a completely enjoyable evening at Anneke Jans in Kittery last night. I had been wanting to try the place out after having read posts about it here and finally got around to it while visiting the folks in Cape Neddick this weekend.
We had a 7:00 reservation and were seated promptly when we arrived by a super friendly hostess. In fact, let me get this part out of the way right now so I don't say it 9 million times during this post; everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE working last night seemed happy to be there. Service was friendly, unobtrusive, and knowledgeable across the board. Even the chef and cooks I said thank you to through the open service window (semi-open kitchen) seemed honestly psyched that we liked their food. The whole feeling there was warm, comfortable, and inviting. It is a fairly small space but I didn't feel particularly cramped or jostled.
And the food.... I started with the salad of grilled peach, Jamon serrano, heart song ricotta salata and arugula with 12 yr old balsamic ($10). I thought the salad was OK (I know..I just raved on and on and the first food item only gets OK). The grilled peaches were the first component on the menu and the peaches in the salad were cold, not grilled, and barely present. (I'm sure when peaches are more in season, the salad will be great with that salty/sweet combo. Plus, Im a sucker for balsamic on fruit). DC started with the baby greens with port poached cranberries, herb goat cheese, pine nuts, and cabernet vinaigrette ($9). This salad was HUGE and very good.I used half of the goats cheese on the crusty bread that was served and was a very happy girl.
For entrees, DC had the seared sea scallops with potato puree, morels, and fiddleheads($27) and I had the East coast halibut with brandade stuffed piquillos, swiss chard, pickled ramps, and a roasted yellow pepper sauce ($26)...both dishes were excellent, clean, bright flavors with just the right amount of sauce. The halibut and scallops were both cooked perfectly. I loved the piquillos; 2 came on the plate and I think 3 would have been perfect. ( :) ) My DC called the scallops "just lovely". Which pretty much summarizes our whole evening.
We opted out of dessert, but did have some delicious coffee....french press left at the table and all.
Oh, and for drinks DC had a pomegranete cocktail(I wasn't crazy about it) and I had a glass of a tasty verdejo and then we both had a glass of a nice sav blanc that I can't recall the name of. There was a very good seection of wines by the glass and bottles as well in all price ranges.
Starters range from $4 (for fried olives that I really want to try) to 13.50 (for lobster salad), entrees from $19-$33, and desserts are all $8. Not an inexpensive meal, but totally worth it, especially compared to some of the more high profile places in the Ogunquit/York area.