If you’re ever on your way to or from Bar Harbor, Maine or Acadia National Park and you want to feel grown up, stop in at Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro in Ellsworth and have yourself a bite to eat.
The Grillmaster and I visited Cleonice on our Thanksgiving trip to Maine for a late lunch. We could order from either their Tapas & Meze Menu or their regular Lunch Menu. I couldn’t resist the Htipiti – a whipped feta and roasted hot cherry pepper dip served with fresh, hot, homemade pita triangles. The Grillmaster moaned over a Grilled Middle Eastern-Spiced Maine-Raised Lamb Burger served in pita bread with feta and tzatziki. I enjoyed Grilled Chicken Souvlaki served with tahini and tzatziki.
Cleonice prides itself on using local ingredients with international flavors. Each month they seem to feature a special dinner. In November, they had a Game Wine Dinner. Here’s what was on the menu:
- First course: House Smoked Quail and Poached Quail Egg with Beet Leather, Frisee and Mead Vinegar Vinaigrette
- Second course: Native Rabbit Terrine with Black Olive Caviar and Parsnip Crisps
- Third course: Wild Boar Ragu with Housemade Black Trumpet Mushroom Pasta
- Fourth course: Slow Roasted Breakneck Ridge Farm Bison with a Wine Glaze and a Cowgirl Blue & Four Season Farm Spinach Terrine
- Fifth course: Sardinian Roast Pork with Greens
- Sixth course: House-Made Venison Mincemeat
We were kind of sorry we missed it! In December Cleonice is featuring The Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is an Italian Christmas tradition where each fish represents a pilgrimage. I love this idea and will share it with some chefs at home when I get back. What a great way this would be to highlight some of the Outer Banks’ fresh catch during the holidays.
Cleonice is very amenable to accommodating special diets and there were many choices on their regular menu that appeared to be diabetic-friendly including several vegetarian options. To drink, Cleonice offered unsweetened fresh-brewed iced green tea spiked with whole leaf mint that was seriously refreshing.
If you’re ever in the Ellsworth, Maine area, I highly recommend a stop at Cleonice.
Note: I apologize for not having any photos of the food, but the lighting was more conducive to a romantic lunch and my photos were terrible.