Aragosta is Devin Finigan’s fine dining restaurant on Goose Cove in Deer Isle, Maine. They opened in 2012 in Stonington but bought a 22 acre waterfront resort in January 2019 to be able to offer lodging as well as dining. A team of craftsmen transformed the property and now the dining room is a large open space with painted wood walls and ceiling. They also have outdoor seating overlooking the water but it gets pretty cool in the evening for that. Lighting is lowered and music is in the background. The place is noisy with so many hard surfaces but it was made worse as we were given a large table right next to the swinging doors to the kitchen. Up one step were more tables and a lounge area near the bar, in front of the fire place. Plenty of parking is close by but the walk to the restaurant is poorly lit. They offer only a tasting menu and also offer wine pairings if you don’t want to order your own bottle. Pacing was eratic, service was an issue for us and the food was mixed so I can’t give a solid recommendation for the place.
We chose the wine pairing option which was presented as one glass for 2 courses for a total of 4 glasses. They were listed on the menu but were presented as ‘this is your first glass, second’ and on like that. No bottle, no description or anything. The tables were set with a glass of rose hip soda. It was okay.
An amuse bouche was several things. Beets and carrots with pine nut butter, melon jelly, and Japanese omelette. The omelette was very mild with little flavor, just texture. The beets and carrots were excellent- mostly due to the tasty pine nuts. The melon was good.
A scallop and oyster started the tasting. The scallop was with cucumber, cilantro and hibiscus. The scallop benefited from the tart hibiscus and the green parts. It was a burst of flavor. The oyster was in a uni butter which was a wonderfully rich pairing for it. Both of these were excellent and the high point of the meal.
Heirloom tomatoes were with corn and pepita (pumpkin seeds). The corn added a good textural element and the tomatoes had a mayo like dressing. This was a simple dish but came off very good.
A slice of Seeded-bread was served with Tallegio cheese, Italian speck, spiced pears and elderberry. The bread was dense and dry and the cheese rubbery with little flavor. The elderberries were too tart to eat but the ham was good just hard to cut without a knife. The pears were the best part.
A peach and thyme sorbet was an off the menu addition. The thyme was definitely the dominant flavor. It was smooth and cool.
Blue Lobster was with tagliatelle and beurre blanc. This is a signature dish of the chef. The pasta is house made and cooked perfectly. The buttery sauce worked well with both components, but I wanted more depth of flavor in the dish. It was very good not great which a signature should be.
Another surprise addition was rice cakes, wood fired bok choy with smoked pork belly The bok choy was quite salty and the pork belly cool in the middle (despite being brought out in a faux steamer). Some chili oil completed this dish. The rice cakes were pretty gummy – they missed the mark on this one.
By this time we were wondering what happened to our swordfish course. I mentioned it to the server who was surprised. Another one had to come back and questioned whether we’d had the swordfish. They offered to bring it after the beef if that was okay and it seemed like our only choice if we were to finish the meal. The American Wagyu beef was served with celeriac and maitake. It also had shisito peppers and the celeriac was mixed with potatoes. The nicely cooked beef was tender and the peppers were really tasty. The celeriac tasted mostly like potatoes.
The swordfish was served with tomatillo, pineapple and Charlotte potatoes made in duck fat. The fish was cooked a perfect medium rare and was nicely juicy. It was lovely with the seasonings. The potatoes had a good crisp on the exterior. It was overall a good plate.
Chocolate brownie with peach and violet was dessert. The brownie was very chocolaty and good with the small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Some peach sauce was on top. It was a very tasty combination and a good way to end the meal.
A last bit was rose hip and dark chocolate truffles. They were very good but the powdered chocolate on the exterior was deadly on clothing.