* Click here for rating key
The Black Birch Restaurant Review: The Black Birch has been a hot-spot in the small Kittery Foreside neighborhood since it opened. Locals line up to get seats at the reclaimed wood bar, where they can choose an eclectic brew from one of the 25 taps, or to sit in the rustically appointed dining room complete with a common table, heated wooden benches and the sound of vinyl spinning on a turntable. As Buffalo Springfield and other oldies but goodies are played, you're in for a trip down memory lane. Owners Gavin Beaudry and Ben Lord left their bartending gigs nearby and brought in chef Jake Smith from his stints at Lydia Shire's restaurants to offer primarily small-plate cuisine with rich textures and comfort food sensibilities. Affordable bar snacks range from three deviled eggs (each prepared a different way) to a changing selection of pickled vegetables and fruits. Start anywhere, but do get the duck confit poutine with locally made cheese curds and duck gravy over thin fries. Other shareable highlights include potato pancakes with house-cured salmon and a dill horseradish crème fraîche, or the lamb-stuffed grape leaves. The haddock used in Black Birch fish ‘n’ chips is beer-battered in Allagash White, a Portland, Maine-brewed favorite. Local craft beers change regularly and are a draw. We like Rising Tide Gose brewed with seawater. Check the blackboard for desserts. Crème brûlée, when available, is killer.