Restaurant Review: Timber in Bangor

Rating: B+

While much of the nicer dining in Bangor can be found downtown, it’s strange to find a quality restaurant in the shadow of the Cross Insurance Center just down the road, though Timber Bar and Grill is just that.

Timber itself is a lovely restaurant. The attention to detail inside speaks for itself, from the glass-encased wine vault behind the bar to the comfortable chairs and couches that, somehow, don’t seem out of place. The wrap-around bar is a nice touch, with stools that are spaced out evenly enough for some elbow room, as opposed to being squeezed together to accommodate more customers.

Televisions at the bar displayed an odd mix of shows: college football and “Jeopardy.” The televisions themselves took away from the fine dining, as they could be seen from the regular tables, but are necessary for the bar. That being said, showing “Jeopardy” with no subtitles, leaving viewers to see the question without having the answer was the real tragedy.

Outdoor seating is a nice touch, with comfortable seating and glass-encased fires, though the view isn’t exactly to die for. A beautiful vista comprised of Hollywood Slots and Main Street doesn’t quite allow the seating to live up to its potential.

A cabin feel dominates the restaurant, without taking away from the experience and feeling of being in a “fancier” place. It is a difficult line to toe, as too far toward the cabin end and the perception has it quality is lost, but too fancy and the authenticity of the cabin feel is invalid. Timber manages to toe the line well, without straying too far one way or the other. Flannel jackets and a glass deer head fit in nicely among the restaurant’s various outdoorsy decorations.

The menu, aptly titled “Food, Drink, Provisions,” covers a wide variety of foods, highlighted by seafood, pasta, steak and chicken. There really is something for everybody, with prices to match. The cheaper options are between $12 to $14, while the salmon and more expensive items run upward of $30.

The drink menu, oftentimes just as important as the food menu, is extensive to say the least. Creative mixed drinks and a long list of beers with helpful descriptions provide more possibilities than your wallet, or your liver will be able to handle. The Patron Silver cloud margarita, a pomegranate-dominated drink, was smooth — dangerously so — but delicious all the same.

A “Timber Burger” with parmesan fries did not take long to come out, which is impressive for a rather busy Saturday night. The burger, smeared with bourbon bacon jam and topped with caramelized onions was fantastic — for a minute. It loses its luster when the juices and sauces seep through the bottom bun of the brioche bread, so much so that it’s impossible to eat normally and must be held upside down. So eat fast, or you’ll likely end up with a soggy bun that takes away from a perfectly cooked and prepared burger. The parmesan garlic fries weren’t necessarily cold, but they certainly weren’t hot. Just enough to notice, not enough to complain.

If you don’t get your fill of alcohol at dinner, there’s plenty more waiting at dessert. A section titled “Drink your Dessert” features various coffee and alcohol combinations, as well as s’mores martinis. The s’mores martini was wonderfully presented, adorned with two small roasted marshmallows, and had a smooth chocolaty taste. If a pick-me-up is in order, the coffee and Jameson Irish Whiskey is predictably good, though a cream surface gave it a smoother taste than your average whiskey-and-coffee.

The price is reasonable and food is good, though unspectacular at times. The variety of options and at-home cabin feel make Timber Bar and Grill well worth it.

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