Sitting Pretty on Perkins Cove
Last week, however, with the idea of combining a Sunday drive with a brunch destination I thought of Ogunquit, which I generally avoid during tourist season.
I was surprised that the village streets all the way to picturesque Perkins Cove, were still busy with wobble-walkers — those tourists who have mastered the art of perambulating across every inch of sidewalk oblivious to others who might want to join the parade at a livelier pace.
Not surprisingly, all the clam joints and fried food haunts were crowded. But I had already made up my mind to go to MC Perkins Cove, the more casual and less rarefied sister of the renowned Arrows. Be advised: reserve a table; otherwise walk-ins wait a long time.
Ever since the bistro opened in 2006 it’s been one of the most popular eateries in southern Maine. Its oceanfront setting is gorgeous, and it affords the opportunity to sample the inimitable bistro fare of Arrows chefs and co-propietors Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier who make no less a culinary statement at MC Perkins.
They took over the old Hurricane Restaurant space and redid the interiors optimizing the space to best advantage overlooking the ocean. If you’re there at high tide it's like being out to sea.
The best tables are those in front of the big picture windows, but every seat in the house gets a good view.
The usual brunch menu of eggs Benedict ad infinitum doesn't thankfully show up here, but there are other worthwhile options.
We started off with excellent Bloody Mary’s, well spiced but not overdone. To nibble on with our drinks the whitefish salad was perfect to spread on crostini, and the beignets over a local butternut squash puree sweetened with maple syrup were luxuriously delicious.
For a main course I chose lobster in a spicy tomato sauce draped over a creamy bed of grits. These were not the grits of granny’s porridge wholesomeness but rather displayed an opulent creaminess that’s not all the easy to achieve. I’ve been making grits at home to serve as a side dish. I like it as well if not better than polenta, and acquiring the knack to achieve the right texture requires practice. MC Perkins' version was flawless.
My brunch mate ordered the crabmeat hash topped with an egg. The hash was prepared with a perfect dice of potatoes and spices; I think it could have used a bit more crabmeat in the mix but it was delicious nonetheless. The toasted sour dough bread was perfect to sop up a beautifully prepared poached egg.
We lingered over coffee but passed on dessert, which were very tempting, but I think it’s just too much to eat for the midday meal. Besides, everything else was greatly satisfying, and we left well enough alone.
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