September 2, 2012

Dine Out Maine: The Well has fresh, simple food outdoors at its source

By NANCY HEISER

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Dine at picnic tables or in the screened gazebos at The Well at Jordan’s Farm.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

DINING REVIEW

THE WELL AT JORDAN'S FARM, 21 Wells Road, Cape Elizabeth. 831-9350; jordansfarm.wix.com/thewell

***1/2

HOURS: After Labor Day, hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. Closes for season Oct. 1.

CREDIT CARDS: No; cash only

PRICE RANGE: Appetizers, $7; entrees, $18 to $25

VEGETARIAN: Yes

GLUTEN-FREE: Yes

KIDS: Yes

RESERVATIONS: Tables are first come, first served, but call or email ahead for parties of six or more

BAR: No; BYOB. Water and fresh brewed iced tea are available.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

BOTTOM LINE: The setting is special and the food is a locavore's delight, almost all of it sourced from Jordan's Farm or nearby. This freshly harvested flavor translates to splendid entrees and sides that are prepared simply to let the ingredients shine, which they do. Seasonal, memorable al fresco dining -- the kind of spot we are lucky to have in our rural state.

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

*Poor  **Fair  ***Good  ****Excellent  *****Extraordinary.

The Maine Sunday Telegram visits an establishment twice if the first dining experience was unsatisfactory. The reviewer dines anonymously.

But that's a quibble, and nothing to deter you from a visit to this special spot. The focus here is on fresh and simple farm-to-fork cuisine served outdoors at the source. It's the rural aesthetic taken to its end point.

Entrees aren't budget-friendly, but components are carefully chosen -- 90 percent of the chef's ingredients come from within 20 miles of the farm -- and very well executed. Casually clad servers take your order at a counter and bring food to your table, served with real silverware and plates. Napkins are disposable.

And wrap your mind around this idiosyncrasy: Prices at The Well are suggested, not firm.

Our order of two appetizers and three entrees came to a suggested $80. We dropped four folded twenties into a locked wooden bin on the counter.

No one counted our bills or even gave them much of a look. Our tip and dessert cash went in the same box later, when we wandered back from our table to settle up.

"Jason's philosophy is that everyone deserves to eat well," said general manager Jen Mowers. "He really believes in what he's doing. The food is going to speak for itself.

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

nancyheiser.com

 

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