Inspiration Prevails at Natalie’s in Camden
I recently had the exquisite pleasure of dining at Natalie’s Restaurant, and meeting the new executive chef, Geoffroy Deconinck. Elegant and sophisticated Natalie’s has been winning awards and turning heads since 2007. Surrounded by the drama of the craggy Maine coast, the restaurant’s sizzle, style, and flair are legendary. With the arrival of this handsome and somewhat serious Belgian, award-winning Natalie’s has been refined and re-imagined – beautifully.
From Pemaquid and Gay Island oysters to sweet, delicate Roasted Maine Lobster, right on through to Crème Brulee, peach sorbet and berries, his meals are thoughtful, adventurous, and flawless. Sommelier Alex Marchesini’s wine pairings complement the menu perfectly, as does his lilting Argentine accent.
Deconinck delights in a challenging and generous vision of cooking, preparing lamb “three ways” or duck “two ways” – playful, complex, and flavorful. His hand is steady with a velvety puree of avocado or grilling a tender cut of beef. He wants diners to “smell the stable” in local lamb or “taste the farm” in Seal Cove goat cheese. His savory seaweed salt mix, created for James Beard, is a sensory surprise. More seaweed than salt, it captures the briny essence of the ocean with characteristic Deconinck flourish (laboiteaepice.com), yum. •
I found the food quite good but the presentation a bit overly precious.
Here’s my take on it: It makes ME feel precious, and valued — as a diner and as a person. The service, as I said in an earlier piece, is almost clairvoyant. I like that they take the food and the service so seriously. But thanks for your comment! Libby