A scallop entrée has strengths similar to the shrimp appetizer — served with a complexly herbed sauce that enhances rather than overwhelms the local seafood. The just-tender garden carrots have an intriguing flavor thanks to ginger that Lowe adds to the water. The soufflé in the roulade is incredibly creamy and delicate, folded with a crunch of spinach and creamy ricotta and topped by rich mushroom sauce. The goat curry entrée was perhaps best of all — the meat incredibly tender, with a complex curry heat that develops slowly with a crazy sort of tingle on your palate.

One could go on, for example about dessert. The crème brûlée is world-class, the berries in your blueberry crepe were raked yesterday by Alva himself, and the rhubarb pudding with strawberries is a symphony of subtle sours. The whole meal happens at a leisurely pace so you get a chance to chat up King and Lowe, both good talkers, when they drop off the courses. The pace also gives you time to look around at the striking wood sculptures around the room — made by Lowe in his studio out back. All polished curves, they are graceful and elegant. The Kitchen Garden Restaurant might be described the same way — if polish and elegance didn't also give you a sense of distance or aloofness. In fact, no restaurant in Maine seems more welcoming.

The Kitchen Garden Restaurant | 335 Village Rd, Steuben | Thurs-Sat open at 6 pm; reservations required | No credit cards, BYOB | 207.546.4269

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