Saturday, September 5, 2009

Havana: Not Quite What We Remembered

After an easy drive from Freeport to Bar Harbor, we checked in to our rental house, got settled, and did a little wandering through the crowds of Bar Harbor and food shopping at the unexciting but utilitarian supermarket. However, after our long 3 days of driving we felt like going out and celebrating our arrival in Acadia and so naturally our thoughts turned to Havana, certainly the most stylish place in Bar Harbor. We secured an 8:00 reservation and turned up a bit early to find several other parties also waiting in the crowded little bar.

Well, that was no problem, we never mind a pre-prandial cocktail (never mind the bottle of champagne we had consumed an hour before to celebrate our arrival). The wait did go on a bit longer than usual and seating was at a fact we and a few others were forced to stand rather uncomfortably in the small space, but I suppose that's the price of arriving on Labor Day weekend. The bartender, a real character with a long white beard, finally had time for us and mixed up a couple of caipirinhas which to our taste were rather uncomfortably sharp. Soon after, we were escorted (with appropriate apologies) to our table.

My notes on the meal seem to be incomplete but I do remember ordering seared scallops as an appetizer and duck leg confit with lentils as a main course. Michael's main course was a seafood stew. The scallops were fine. The confit was also good, but seemed a bit was, indeed, a duck leg (but only a leg) on a modest-sized bed of lentils with no other sausage or accompaniments. Michael's seafood stew was tasty, but we agreed it was a bit one-dimensional in flavor and also quite skimpy on the broth.

Somehow the idea of more wine just didn't get us excited so we opted for a couple of cocktails to go with dinner...some sort of Caribbean-themed martini which I remember as being rather tangy. Perhaps the same bartender had a bit of a heavy hand with the lime juice for both sets of cocktails.

In any case, we left Havana feeling a bit disappointed in the meal compared to our experience in 2005. On the bright side, we did manage to secure a spot at their farm dinner for two nights later, which turned out to be a highlight of our trip.

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