Brunswick is home to many cafes, coffee shops, stores and a variety of well-liked restaurants. As for upscale dining, selection has been slim—until now.
Odd Duck, which opened January 1, prides itself on filling this niche. Located on Pleasant Street, just slightly off Maine Street, the establishment contains a bar, full kitchen, ample dinner seating, a room for breakfast and daytime dining as well as an event space on the second floor.
“From the feedback that I’ve gotten from folks that have come in, Brunswick was essentially missing a newer, upscale place, somewhere they hadn’t been before,” said General Manager Richard Ferraro. “A lot of people mentioned places right outside of town and a couple of local establishments, but nowhere that was dedicated as a special occasion date-night spot casual enough to not be off-putting.”
The restaurant has been in the works for about two years. The owners of Odd Duck—who also own the Lighthouse Variety & Deli on Harpswell Road, a Bowdoin favorite—were partners of the building before they began developing the idea for a full-service restaurant.
“When [the owners] first bought into this building, it was just going to be a kind of breakfast cafe,” Ferraro said. “Then they found out how much space they had available for the kitchen and got the advice to just open a larger restaurant.”
Odd Duck’s event space sets the restaurant apart from many others in town and it’s one characteristic that originally drew Ferraro to the project. The top floor of the restaurant features a large open space which used to hold a bowling alley—a fixture put in by previous owners. The space can hold over 100 occupants and will be used to host private events, concerts and other gatherings, though a team is still renovating the space and plan to open it March 14.
Odd Duck’s large restaurant space has allowed the owners to expand its team, filling it with experienced and passionate members. Executive Chef Dirk Yeaton has been in the culinary industry for nearly 40 years, including serving time as a Food Service Specialist in the US Army. The line chefs in the kitchen are also well-versed on the ins and outs of a professional kitchen—each cook has at least five to ten years of experience.
While Odd Duck’s specialties do include duck, the restaurant is still determining what its “flagships” will be as the restaurant is new and still developing. The experience on the staff and the novelty of the restaurant allow for a heightened spirit of exploration and innovation.
“As far as our show-stopping dishes go, it changes nightly with the specials. That’s where we get a lot of excitement,” Ferraro said. “The real creativity shines through on those nightly specials.”
While the creativity and experience help the Odd Duck stand out, the sheer passion and joy that employees share is apparent from the first step into the restaurant.
“One thing that stands out, that makes us different, is we truly love doing this. We do this because we love this. And the entire team here, they’re here because they want to be,” Ferraro said. “It shines through when people talk about the exceptional food and the exceptional service.”
Odd Duck, though new to the Brunswick community, has already left a profound impression on its patrons. The zeal is evident through both the food the staff cooks up and the service the staff provides.
“The food was delicious,” one customer said, thanking Ferraro upon finishing his meal. “And the service was absolutely exceptional.”