Last Unicorn Restaurant

The Last Unicorn Restaurant is alive and well re-launched in 2012 under the ownership of former Unicorn chef Fred Ouellette and his wife, Amy. This was the restaurant's circa 2008-2012 website. The content below is from the site's archived pages and other outside sources. To see the most up to date info on hours and menu selections for the Last Unicorn Restaurant go to their current slick website at: http://thelastunicornrestaurant.com.

2012 Press Article

Posted November 4, 2012

BY SHONNA MILLIKEN HUMPHREY

When a restaurant’s name recalls a mythical creature, fun facts and literary devices abound. Some are weirdly regional, like in 1933 when a University of Maine professor engineered a bull with a unicorn-style horn. Others offer bits of broader interest, like how in addition to Bible mentions, unicorns appear throughout both Eastern and Western history. (For instance, Japan and Africa note unicorn legends.) Some references, though, border on snark. Finding a creatively prepared higher-end meal in central Maine? As rare as stumbling upon a unicorn.

Portland’s reputation as a foodie destination shines so intensely, that it’s easy to overlook Maine’s other sparkles of food culture. Waterville may not be on a gourmand’s immediate travel list, but The Last Unicorn’s legendary menu is worth pursuing.

The original Last Unicorn opened in 1978, and while the most-recent incarnation closed earlier this year, the restaurant re-launched under the ownership of former Unicorn chef Fred Ouellette and his wife, Amy. The menu, they reassure locals, is largely the same — the same, inasmuch as the extensive list of special offerings changes each night.

The seating arrangement is a holdover from its former incarnations. With two distinct dining areas and an unusual red crescent booth near the doorway, the sense of space is awkward, but not irrevocably jarring. Front and center is the bar. Turn right, and the French blue walls, blond wood, and brightly colored paintings feel eclectic, as if moved from an artistic and quirky aunt’s kitchen. Simple bud vases decorate the bare tables, and the napkins (black, thank you) wrap nicely weighted cutlery. Wide arched windows offer natural light and a street view. It is a languishing chic motif, but a comfortable one.

While the wine menu is small, it is varied enough to offer something for almost every taste, and the affordable Hinojosa Malbec ($7 glass/$27 bottle) arrived exactly as promised — smoky with a slight vanilla note, though I found myself wishing the menu had listed the vintage.

Here is where The Last Unicorn gets interesting. The regular menu includes a long list of perfectly serviceable entrees, but the special menu (printed daily), is where the fun happens. Housemade Harvest Ravioli with Amaretto Cream and Toasted Almonds ($17.95)? North African Spice Rubbed Lamb Rack ($24.95)? Tennessee George’s Sweet Whiskey Grilled Pork Tenderloin ($19.95)?

I confess my surprise now. Central Maine-based friends suggested the restaurant would be good, but in my ignorance, I expected “good” would include a “for the area” disclaimer. Not so. The Last Unicorn’s menu is ambitious, and its unifying theme seems to be flavor. Big, distinct flavors. Ample portions. Extremely vegetarian-friendly.

While deciding on entrees, we worked our way through the Combination Snack, a longstanding menu item featuring wedges of Syrian bread, Muenster cheese, hummus, and Swedish mustard ($9.95). This house-made hummus is delicious — lemony and garlicky and ridiculously smooth. The hummus alone is worth the drive, but served in “make your own mini sandwich” form with accoutrements, and the experience felt like a casual, fun, communal snack time.

Same for the Sesame Crusted Tuna Medallions ($12.95) — four thick circles of seared rare tuna, rolled in a sesame coating and served with a tangy soy vinaigrette. A simple preparation, for sure, but satisfying.

The kitchen should feel especially proud of the Chesapeake Style Crab Cakes ($20.95). Served with a choice of sides — Thai peanut sauce, Thai garlic or Cajun mayo, the two cakes were hamburger-sized, heavy with crabmeat, bound lightly with a flavorful breading, and fried to a golden and not-even-close-to-soggy crisp.

I was most curious about the Sesame Sumac Crusted Salmon ($19.95), served over fresh spinach and topped with cucumber chutney. Although the salmon arrived a bit dry, and the heap of mashed potatoes, while tasty, seemed inelegant beside such a delicate preparation (next time, I will request the rice), the tastes fascinated me. I could not decide if the complex dish with many textures was too much competition or just plain lovely. Salmon, already so flavorful and distinct, combined with the tart and citrus-y sumac, the mellow sesame, and the bright and crunchy cucumber. The portion was large, and I encourage other diners to try it.

Also, the Thai Sizzling Catfish ($19.95). While the kitchen volleys “Thai-style” on its menu with some abandon, this item is one of particular note. Exceptionally tasty catfish is cooked with a savory, medium-spice-level heat, delicate and deliciously free of any potentially muddy taste.

Dessert brought a choice of Vanilla Panicotta with Wild Blueberry Sauce, Coffee Toffee Pie, and Almond Cheesecake with Cherry Sauce. The Coffee Toffee Pie had a chocolate crumb crust that, I’d wager, was pressed into the pan by the kitchen staff that morning, a layer of toffee caramel, and at least 2 inches of thick and creamy coffee filling. Magnificent, decadent and food dream-worthy, this pie is good, and I urge all diners to save room if it appears on the dessert menu.

The space was clean, the decor inviting, and the service was pleasant. The menu is interesting enough to merit a special trip, and given the alternative bland chain options in the vicinity, I hope locals continue to embrace this lovely downtown gem.

Shonna Milliken Humphrey is a Maine freelance writer and author of the novel “Show Me Good Land.”

 

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Circa 2008-2012

Menus

 

Sample Brunch Menu
Saturday & Sunday 
11:00 –2:30 

Sample of Specials Menu

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Eggs Florentine
  • Eggs Champignon
  • Eggs Chesapeake
  • Eggs Everything
  • 3 Item Omelet with Choice of:  Ham, Bacon, Spinach, Mushrooms, Onion, Peppers, Tomato, Artichoke Hearts, Gouda, Cheddar, Swiss, or Muenster
  • Scrambled Egg Breakfast with Home Fries, Bacon, & Toast
  • Cinnamon French Toast with Fresh Fruit Salad & Real Maple Syrup
  • Apple, Bacon, & Brie Quiche

 

Lunch Entrées

  • Half Rack Hickory BBQ Ribs
  • Beef Tips with Portabellas, Onions, and Merchand de Vin
  • Grilled Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Caper Sauce
  • Beef Tips with Merchand De Vin & Portabello Mushrooms
  • Hunan Vegetable Linguini
  • Crispy Thai Sizzling Catfish
  • Breaded Lemon Haddock with Roasted Red Peppers, Artichoke Hearts, & Gouda
  • Sweet Chili Shrimp over Rice
  • Sautéed Scallops with Horseradish Cream Sauce
  • Scallops over Farfalle with Sherry Garlic Tomato Sauce & Asiago
  • Crab Rellanos with Ranchero Sauce
  • Chesapeake Crab Cake with Thai Peanut, Thai Garlic Or Cajun Mayo
  • Broiled Salmon with Thai peanut, Thai Garlic, or Cajun Style

Sandwiches and Salads

  • Turkey Rachel on Toasted Pumpernickel
  • Turkey, Bacon, Muenster Wrap (Green Goddess, Sprouts, Lettuce, & Tomato)
  • Orange Chipotle BBQ Pulled Pork Sub with Cheddar
  • Pastrami Club Sandwich
  • The Boss Sub
  • Unicorn Steak Bomb
  • Cajun Chicken over Mexican Salad

Sandwiches

Served on your choice of Light Rye, Whole Wheat, Bulky Roll, Pita Bread, Pumpernickel, or Borealis Bread

Roast Beef
Top Round cooked in house and served with our savory Boursin spread

Ham & Swiss
Smoked ham and imported Swiss sliced thinly and served with our own Swedish Mustard.

Chicken Dagwood 
Chilled poached breast of chicken in pita bread with lettuce, tomato and sprouts, served with Hunan multiple spice dressing or your own choice. 

Cajun Chicken Pocket 
Half a chicken breast, cooked in the Cajun style served with lettuce and tomato and Cajun mayonnaise in Syrian bread. Hot and Spicy! 

Hummus
Our own hummus spread in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, and alfalfa sprouts. 

Vegetarian Dagwood 
Swiss cheese, mushrooms, water chestnuts, tomato, lettuce and alfalfa sprouts, served in pita bread with a choice of dressing or spread. 

Smoked chicken
Smoked chicken breast with lettuce, tomato and spicy Dijon mustard on whole wheat bread. 

Unicorn Powerhouse 
Avocado, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, muenster cheese and our own green goddess dressing. On whole wheat.

Cheeseburger 
Have it your way! 9 oz. of fresh broiled meat with sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato and red onion 

 

Standard Menu
 

Appetizers
Duck Trap Smoked Salmon 
Eastern salmon smoked in Maine in the Scottish tradition, sliced thinly and served with dark bread, onions, capers and cream cheese. Truly outstanding! 

Fruit Plate 
A medley of fresh melon, apples and other available fresh fruits. 

Hummus Snack 
A MidEastern specialty made with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, tamari and garlic. Served as a spread with Syrian bread. 

Combination Snack 
Hummus and our own Swedish Mustard. Served with Syrian bread and muenster cheese- an old favorite. 

Boursin and Chips 
Our own Boursin served with potato chips - A favorite of all age groups. 
 

Salads

All dressings are made here!
Green Goddess, Tamari, Vinaigrette, Hunan Multiple Spice, Sweet and Sour French, Blue Cheese, Greek Lemon and California Hot Sauce.

Side Salad 3.00

Tossed Salad 
Fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and red onion, topped with alfalfa sprouts and black olives with your choice of dressing.

Avocado Salad 
One whole avocado with our own California hot sauce. Melts in your mouth. Try it! 

Spinach Salad
Spinach, sliced mushrooms, water chestnuts, toasted sesame seeds, served with Tamari dressing or your choice. 

Chef Salad 
A tasty combination of chicken, ham and Muenster cheese on crisp lettuce with tomato wedges, sliced cucumbers, garnished with hard boiled egg and alfalfa sprouts. 

Vegetarian Chef
Muenster cheese, mushrooms, water chestnuts, black olives, cucumbers, tomato wedges and alfalfa sprouts on lettuce. 

Mexican Salad 
By Demand! A bed of lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, Muenster cheese, sliced peppers, green chilies and black olives topped with alfalfa sprouts served with vinaigrette or your choice.

Greek Salad 
A bed of lettuce topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced peppers, Greek olives and feta cheese. Try our own Greek lemon dressing or your own choice. 
 

Sandwiches

Served on your choice of Light Rye, Whole Wheat, Bulky Roll, Pita Bread, Pumpernickel, or Borealis Bread

Roast Beef
Top Round cooked in house and served with our savory Boursin spread

Ham & Swiss
Smoked ham and imported Swiss sliced thinly and served with our own Swedish Mustard.

Chicken Dagwood 
Chilled poached breast of chicken in pita bread with lettuce, tomato and sprouts, served with Hunan multiple spice dressing or your own choice. 

Cajun Chicken Pocket 
Half a chicken breast, cooked in the Cajun style served with lettuce and tomato and Cajun mayonnaise in Syrian bread. Hot and Spicy! 

Hummus
Our own hummus spread in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, and alfalfa sprouts. 

Vegetarian Dagwood 
Swiss cheese, mushrooms, water chestnuts, tomato, lettuce and alfalfa sprouts, served in pita bread with a choice of dressing or spread. 

Smoked chicken
Smoked chicken breast with lettuce, tomato and spicy Dijon mustard on whole wheat bread. 

Unicorn Powerhouse 
Avocado, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, muenster cheese and our own green goddess dressing. On whole wheat.

Cheeseburger 
Have it your way! 9 oz. of fresh broiled meat with sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato and red onion 

Beverages

Juice 
Sodas 
Izze 
San Pelligrino 
Bottled Root Beer 
Coffee & Assorted Black & Herb Teas
Hot Chocolate 
Strawberry Smoothie

Desserts

We feature three desserts at all times. 
Each is made here using the finest ingredients ranging from the light to the sinfully rich!

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Beverages

Wines

Whites

Frogs Leap Sauvignon Blanc, CA

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Naia, Verdejo, Spain

Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, CA

Bella Italia, Pinot Grigio, Italy

Sonoma Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, CA

Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Riesling, Washington

Reds

St Francis Cabernet Sauvignon, CA

Mark West Pinot Noir, CA

Wingnut Zin, CA

Layer Cake Malbec, Argentina

Route 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile

Big Fat Llama Merlot, Chile

Shoofly Shiraz, Australia

Poggiotondo, Chianti Superiore, Italy

 

Beer Selections

Imports

Corona, Heineken, Amstel Light, Guiness

Domestic

Coors Light, Miller Lite, Bud Light

On Tap

Blue Moon, Gearys, Shipyard,Bass, Shock Top or Stella

Organic

Peaks Maple Oat Ale

Non Alcoholic

Clausthauler

  

Our Famous Margaritas

Silver

Sauza Silver, lime juice, triple sec

Gold

Sauza Gold, lime juice, Cointreau

1800 Gold

1800 Gold, lime juice, Cointreau

Frozen Raspberry

Chambord, Sauza Silver, triple sec, lime juice

Grand Marnier

Sauza Gold, Grand Marnier, lime juice

Martinis

French

Ketal One,Chambord and Pineapple

Cosmopolitan

Cranberry, Absolut, lime juice, Cointreau

Cool Blue

Stoli, Blue Curacao

Envy

Grey Goose, Midori, lime

Unicorn Favorites

Unicorn Bloody

( Made to order )

Island Rum Punch

Appleton Rum, Tequila, triple sec

and 3 fruit juices

Pina Colada

Rum, Pineapple, Crème de Cocoa

Reggae Drink

Cranberry, Orange, 3 dark rums

Calypso Daquiri

Rum Crème de Cocoa and Kahlua

 

 

LastUnicornRestaurant.com