At Damariscotta River Grill in Damariscotta, you’ll have no trouble indulging in an all-out dinner of uncomplicated, upscale food. Let the fresh local oysters slide right down. Follow with duck confit risotto or baby-back ribs.

The menu features many seafood and American choices, but you’ll find some retro, ethnic and fusion dishes thrown in the mix.

What if you want to go light? Stick around. The restaurant makes that easy, too. You don’t see offers like this on menus very often (but should): “All entrees available as small plates. Deduct $4.”

Located on charming Main Street, the restaurant is an anchor in Damariscotta’s village center. On a Thursday night in May, two weeks before Memorial Day weekend, the place was jammed.

Fifty diners took over the upstairs dining room and bar for the restaurant’s Wine Club dinner held nine times a year. It’s part of the reason this eatery has earned a Wine Spectator Award since 2008. The two cozy downstairs dining rooms — the front one with exposed brick and original art on the walls, and a more spare back room that overlooks the water (you walk through the kitchen to get to it) — were also full.

We prepared ourselves to be patient, but we needn’t have worried. Our cheerful and competent server only strayed upstairs after he suggested we try the wine being poured at that moment, a 2010 Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc, at $1 per ounce. How clever and appealing, that offer. Of course we caved, and he returned with three tasting glasses set in a tiered holder. We ordered more glasses after that.

Everything was well-timed: order taking, courses, table clearing, check delivery. A trainee joined our waiter on his table visits, which signaled that this establishment makes service a priority.

At the same time, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The menu is sprinkled with touches of down-home wit. For instance, underneath the artichoke fondue appetizer listing is this: “You won’t want to share, so order the grande so you don’t have to slap his hand.”

Oysters are a specialty at Damariscotta River Grill, as they should be in this shellfish-rich region that exports the bivalve to restaurants all over the world. Local Pemaquids were fresh and delicious (five to the plate for $11.72), and slid down easily when paired with one of three sauces: a mignonette, a hot/sweet jalapeno salsa and horseradish. You can even view the farming operation from the rear dining room.

We ordered two salads from among six choices. A delicious pan-fried quinoa cake, crusty and substantial, came atop spinach leaves dotted with marinated tomatoes and pine nuts ($8.98), and dressed with a roasted garlic Parmesan dressing. It’s an excellent choice for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Blah Caesars seem to appear more often than not these days, and the one here ($7.94) joined that club with its milky, lackluster dressing.

Spinach and crab crepes ($7.92), with fontina cheese and ladled with roasted red pepper coulis, were a nice flavor meld, but the crepes were a little burned at the edges. Perhaps the wine-dinner excitement was to blame. Tempting appetizers that we didn’t have an opportunity to try included Maine shrimp bruschetta, artichoke fondue, mussels and latkes with smoked salmon. (“Oy veh” reads the menu under that last one.)

In two out of three instances, we ordered small entree portions, yet found the helpings generous nonetheless. The night’s special — scallops ($15.93 for the small), coated in shaved, confetti-like butternut squash — were gently cooked, crispy brown outside, and good. A simple side of sauteed summer squash accompanied.

Thai fish stew ($19.88 for a full order), our server’s suggestion, was loaded with fish, shrimp, scallops and mussels, the red curry broth with rice noodles tinged with spice but not fiery. The dish was delicious — more comforting than authentic. My companion would have preferred the heat notched up.

A “steak and cakes” entree, a riff on surf and turf, came with a 4-ounce tenderloin medallion and a lobster cake. This small plate was $20.73; the regular order has two cakes. The beef was average, but that lobster cake was a winner. Lobster lumps, crumbs and herbs patted into a cake, sauteed to an exterior crisp and served over sweet corn sauce? Hard to beat when it’s done well, and this was excellent.

And it’s hard to find better homemade desserts than the two we tried. One was a thick slice of warm pear, cranberry and amaretto bread pudding with bourbon butterscotch sauce, whipped cream and roasted almonds, the dish a soft and caramely meld of booze and bread. An individual mocha cheesecake was deeply flavored, rich and creamy — perfect. Nothing gimmicky or arty here.

The second-best part? We could order small versions of desserts, which we did. To our eyes, they were normal-sized, despite prices of $2.90 and $3.40, respectively. Now that’s a steal. At Damariscotta River Grill, you can go big or go small and go home happy.

Nancy Heiser is a freelance writer and editor who lives near Portland. Her work has appeared in national and regional publications.