Once again, Mache did everything right. Chef/owner Karl Yarborough knows how to put out excellent food and how to keep the front of the house running smoothly. Our table of six ordered two cassoulets, two salmon specials, one scallops, and one mix of appetizers (calmari salad and the lobster/crab cakes), and none of us was disappointed in any way. We each kept raving, and for the most part, refused to share. One friend, a regular at Hammersley’s in Boston’s South End, proclaimed this cassoulet better, quite an accomplishment. The only complaint at our table was the need for a bit more light (and perhaps larger print on the menu—yeah, we’re all in denial about the glasses thing). You definitely want to make reservations; this place is very small and very popular.
Visiting MDI without having lunch at Jordan Pond House is like visiting the park without touring the park loop. Four of us went, and while we each had at least one popover, or lunch choices were varied. One cranberry island salad, made with greens, dried cranberries, pecans, and apples tossed with the house vinaigrette. Two orders of the soup of the day, a golden pea with butternut squash that was rich and delicious and quite flavorful. And one order of the lobster stew, served with big pieces of lobster meat. Now all that’s quite fine, but for me, it’s the popovers that make this place sing. Call me a sucker for tradition, but I just love ’em. And here’s a hint, if you’re not offered the blueberry jam, ask for it—it’s thick and rich and tastes just like fresh-picked blueberries. So good, you might just want to skip the popover and just eat it by the spoonful.