November 25, 2012

Dine Out Maine: Gather succeeds in building community around local food

The new Yarmouth restaurant succeeds in providing good, locally-sourced fare at reasonable prices.

By NANCY HEISER

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Gather, a new restaurant in Yarmouth, is housed in a former 1860s Masonic hall. A communal table for 18 sits central in the space. “It’s a twist that mostly works,”owner Matt Chappell said, as does the well-prepared food at reasonable prices.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

DINING REVIEW

GATHER, 189 Main St., Yarmouth. 847-3250; gathermaine.com

★★★1/2

HOURS: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

CREDIT CARDS: All major

PRICE RANGE: Appetizers, $5 to $8; 12-inch pizzas, $9 to $14; burgers and main dishes, $11 to $24

VEGETARIAN: Yes

GLUTEN-FREE: Yes; including options for a gluten-free burger bun

KIDS: Welcome. A separate menu offers popular items upgraded: House-ground hamburger, house-made fish sticks or mac 'n' cheese, with a side of carrot sticks.

RESERVATIONS: Accepted for parties of six or more

BAR: Beer and wine. Four of six beer taps are dedicated to local craft brews. The bar also dispenses two wines from an airtight draft system, which reduces waste. The bottle list, $22 to $46, is more creative than the usual supermarket fare.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

BOTTOM LINE: Surround yourself with warmth, energy, company and very good food at Gather, whose purpose is to offer healthy, locally sourced and deliciously prepared food so that people of all ages and many incomes can partake. The restaurant succeeds admirably. You may not gush, but you'll certainly enjoy.

Ratings follow this scale and take into consideration food, atmosphere, service and value:

★ Poor  ★★ Fair  ★★★ Good ★★★★ Excellent  ★★★★★ Extraordinary.

The short rib entree was very good overall, despite the fact the meat didn't quite reach that fall-off-the-bone texture. It was served over a delicious fried celeriac patty – think latke with character – and a tasty mass of smoke-tinged lentils ($24).

A pizza that combined braised chicken, mozzarella, red onion and basil pesto over a thin crust with a puffy edge could have used a little more browning and moister chicken ($14).

Servers clad in casual black hustled about the floor, bounding up the steps to or down from the staging area. Our waitress served us efficiently, and she knew the wine list inside out. She also patted me on the shoulder several times, a gesture that I found a little odd.

At 6:30 on a Thursday night, four of us waited about 20 minutes for a table. Parties of six or more can reserve a table. Otherwise, it's first come, first served.

The mission of Gather has struck a chord, and the restaurant's well-prepared, locally sourced food at reasonable prices is gaining a reputation. Log off those social networks, people, and find real community on Main Street.

Nancy Heiser is a freelance writer and editor. She can be reached at:

nancyheiser.com

 

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