While we were in Freeport, ME, we decided to hit up one really nice seafood restaurant, which ended up being Azure Café. The restaurant looked like it had at one time been a home, and that they had later turned it into the restaurant. The bar area was downstairs, along with about half of their seating capacity. The balance was located upstairs, where we noted oddly that there was a large portion of the room without tables. Perhaps because it’s not yet tourist season? Anyhow, that’s likely the reason we found ourselves with an hour wait that evening (thankfully, they’re conveniently close to the endless spread of LL Bean stores, should you find yourself similarly needing to entertain yourself to pass the time). They do take reservations, so my recommendation would be to make one in advance.
To begin, I had already decided that was going to be the day I would finally try New England clam chowder. I’m not usually a fan of heavier soups nor am I particularly a fan of clams, but I didn’t want to leave having missed any of the local “must-haves”. I was pleasantly surprised. It was not overly heavy and the clams were not overwhelming, but rather just added a touch of protein to the dish. The portion size was enough to enjoy, but not so big that it got old.
For my main course, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to order lobster again. I saw they did not have a lobster roll on the menu (my preference) so I instead opted to try their steamed Maine lobster. I don’t think I realized that like all-you-can-eat crab, this was going to entail cracking open my own lobster. In a bib. In the middle of a fancy restaurant. The lobster was served accompanied by grilled asparagus, lemon, and drawn butter. Not a bad deal for $22.95. When the food came out, I was confused. I knew I needed to crack open the lobster, but I had a puzzled look on my face as my eyes kept dodging between my fork and knife. Finally the server came over and apologized for having neglected one key element, and whipped out full spread – crackers, lobster forks, and the all-important bib and wet naps. The bibs meant dressing for battle (see picture).
The lobster itself was quite good. The meat was very tender and flavorful. I was pleased to see it was served along with steamed asparagus as I find most restaurants send it out solo (well, along with the butter of course). The menu stated “steamed” but it appeared to have been grilled, having pronounced grill marks running along the length of the asparagus. I believe I’ll still stick to my lobster roll going forward, but Azure definitely helped to accomplish my desire for lobster at least once in a really nice restaurant.
Other items to recommend include the Wild Maine Blueberry Barbeque Salmon, which was grilled farm raised Atlantic salmon prepared with a wild Maine blueberry barbeque sauce. Definitely something which we did not see offered in any other restaurant. It’s served with grilled asparagus and roasted garlic smashed potatoes. I can’t speak to the dessert selections as we returned to the hotel and broke open our first selections from Wicked Whoopies (see yesterday’s post). Definitely a nice spot for a special occasion dinner.
Azure Cafe – 123 Main Street – Freeport, Maine 04032 – 207.865.1237