Cleonice Mediteranean Bistro
Cleonice Mediteranean Bistro

Cleonice Mediteranean Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cleonice.com/
  • Phone: (207) 664-7554
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast at The Maine Grind starting at 7:30 Monday - Saturday, Lunch service begins at 11:00 and is full service until 2:30. Bite to eat in the afternoon? our cafe is open for pizza, salads, and our great coffees. Dinner starts at 5:00 and during the winter: Tuesday - Saturday.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Richard Hanson
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Cleonice Catering provides onsite catering and Pick up platters for cocktail parties, birthdays, weddings, and more. Please see our web site for sample menus www.cleonice.com.

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: On street parking available as well as a large public lot in front of city call behind the restaurant,
A word from Cleonice Mediteranean Bistro
Chef Rich Hanson named this charming bistro in downtown Ellsworth after his Italian mother, Cleonice Renzetti, who inspired his cooking career. This casually elegant restaurant sources fine local ingredients, blends them with flavors from around the Mediterranean Rim to produce spectacular Tapas and Meze as well as soul satisfying lunches and elegant dinners.
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Cleonice Mediteranean Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
11 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (9)neighborhood gem (4)kid-friendly (2)special occasion (2)notable wine list (2)great for lunch (1)great for brunch (1)hot spot (1)romantic (1)good for groups (1)Show More
  • Cleonice Remains a Gem
    pbmaritimer
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    We were recently dining at Cleonice (not a regular occurrence as we live in Canada and only get here once or twice a year). While it was after the high tourist season and quite quiet in the restaurant, it was very, very good. Nice to visit with the co-owner and to have a chance to talk with servers and see Rich working his magic in the kitchen. We enjoyed "the best spinach salad" as our appetizer and then chose from the tapas menu as we had been driving and not inclined for a large meal. Ribs were yummy, and the squash was an interesting spin on the classic baked squash as it had a Romescu sauce on it. We were very pleased with our choices and finished off with an espresso. Interestingly, one of the few places offering lemon zest.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Superb! Service absolutely outstanding. Many interesting and different menu choices. Will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • different but good
    nickname
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    This was the first time we've been to Cleonice these since they moved. We found it somewhat different, but certainly good enough that we will come back. I really do miss the booths at the old location! Somehow I felt like I was a member of a happy community when I had dinner at the old location. The new location just wasn't as nice because I felt like I was with my own group at a round table and it just didn't have the same feeling of "warmth" I like so much.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique and lovely
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Love the name, love the vibe, love the food and presentation. Servers very down to earth and easy spirited and helpful with recommendations. The cooking goes on right near you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Mediterranean flavors.
    Magik
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Once again, Cleonice's came through with great food made with fresh, local ingredients. The lobster paella was fabulous; the Trenton clam tapas were delicious. Inside is sort is Bistro style, a lot of tables close together so it can be noisy on a busy night. But, we go for the food because it is so great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 6 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 31, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service3.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 151 reviews are from the Cleonice Mediteranean Bistro reviews archive.
  • Relaxing, casual meal
    jeacVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Pleasant relaxing dining at Cleonice.we had great local oysters on the half shell, fun clam pizza with spicy red sauce and a great selection of local roasted veggies with polenta.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nothing but the Booth...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    This was our first visit to Cleonice since they moved. We had eaten at... and enjoyed many meals at their former location. The service was very good - friendly and informative. But we miss the booths! It has a real NYC - bistro ambience... we think might be fun for the twenty somethings. We had seen a menu online and although we appreciate the local offerings, the menu was limited... no rack of lamb. The next time we would go for tappas rather than entrees I think. A bit pricey for Ellsworth. Still, we had an enjoyable meal and might try them again... or recommend it to our kids who are 30-40 and like NYC restaurants.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Service
    LoveEscargo
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    I wanted to show my fiance what fine dining offerings that could be found in Maine, and was not disappointed. Granted the menu could be more clear, but the staff take very good care of you if you explain allergies or dislikes. The Paella was fantastic, as was the Chicken Masala. We will come again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • tapas
    eater
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We like the tapas menu. Especially the calamari- salad and fritters. the spanikopita was very good too, as was the white bean and rosemary tapenade. Very good desserts too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • No Beer on Tap
    likestoeat
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    On Valentines night I was looking for something great! Everything was good but nothing stood out as great. Having no beer on tap did not set a great tone for the evening.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pricey
    Richard
    Dined on 1/9/2014
    My wife and I were celebrating an anniversary and expected something with good food and ambiance. The food was OK (we had the paella, but the included chicken pieces were overdone and tough). For the price we expected something wonderful - it wasn't, good but not wonderful. The salad was good as were the deserts. Coffee was weak. Would recommend with caveats.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent!!!!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/28/2013
    The food and service were amazing. Great fresh, local ingredients. Unique menu items. Menu changes often. Great selection of drinks and tapas. The grilled pizza is delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not what once was!
    Mislead
    Dined on 10/31/2013
    Not the Cleonice of the past! Oct. 31 was the first visit to Cleonice after the move from the old spot to their new home at the Maine Grind. Lets start with the food! Food quality has drasticlly dropped off, menu has slightly less to offer, especially in the Tapas selections. An old tradition of the Raw Bar on Thursdays through Sunday's is not part of the normal offering now. Food was not piping hot when it arrived at the table, one meal a flank steak was not cooked to order and the other meal a pasta dish was luke warm and poorly seasoned. Service! Service once considered best in the area is now somthing I would consider fair. Servers of fine establishments really enjoy making their guests evening something special.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never disappointing
    Vacationer
    Dined on 10/31/2013
    My wife and I have eaten at Cleonice many times and have yet to be disappointed with the food or the service. I find it especially enjoyable because you can watch your meal being prepared as the kitchen is open to the dining room. We enjoyed a Greek wine that evening which you almost never see on a wine list which also complimented the Mediterranean dishes. The paella is particularly delicious by the way but you will have to decide that for yourself…enjoy.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our first visit to the new location
    pbmaritimer
    Dined on 10/22/2013
    We live in Nova Scotia and so do not get to Cleonice often - once or twice a year at most. This was our first visit since they moved "up the street". While we can report that the food is still as good as ever and it is intereting to watch Rich in the kitchen, we did not find the atmosphere nearly as interesting as the old location. We also missed Eric preparing tapas at the bar... We'll go back but we remain somewhat nostalgic about the "old Cleonice". Still the best spinach salad ever!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not our favorite
    Disappointed
    Dined on 10/8/2013
    The open room is not conducive to expensive fine dining. Too rustic for our taste.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Still to the Tapas and dessert
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/17/2013
    The tapas here are always wonderful; had the calamari salad that was nicely dressed and the calamari nice and tender. The artichoke pesto bruschetta was so yummy but the pesto was a bit too cold on the perfectly toasted bread. Because I was hungry, I opted for a dinner entree although tasty, it was disappointing. It was a faro risotto that featured fresh local vegetables and lobster mushrooms, but the vegetables were not the feature; it was a big plate of the farrotto with some vegetables mixed in. Flavors were nothing special. The desserts were delicious, I had a vanilla flan that was creamy and melt in your mouth. As this is a tapas place just stick what they do best!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food but
    nextlink
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    the food is always good, the service is hit or miss. they do try hard, but at times the drinks take a long time to arrive, when we wanted to pay the bill, we must have waited 15mins for the waitress to stop by. room is hot at times...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not to be missed!
    JimandMarge
    Dined on 8/31/2013
    Fantastic food. Slightly pricie but still an outstanding value.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great time with friends!
    thequeen
    Dined on 8/29/2013
    We met friends who were vacationing in Bar Harbor for dinner at Cleonice as it was half-way for each of us. We ended up closing the place! Our server was fun, attentive and knowledgeable about the wine list and menu. Our food was fantastic and we would definitely recommend dining at Cleonice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thanks for a great night!
    ogtontheroad
    Dined on 8/28/2013
    Highly recommend the lamb entree, they nailed it on the minted pistachio pesto (and I usually skip anything minted). Great flavor profiles on the scallop dish with summer veggies.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyable!
    HappyME
    Dined on 8/26/2013
    Had a lovely dinner, though pricey! The steak was large, and cooked to perfection. The beet/gorganzola salad is always a favorite of ours.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Chef, Hostess and Food
    Jpep
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    Great Chef using locally sourced organic ingredients. Tapas, seafood, organic meat and vegetarian dishes prepared in an open kitchen. Many unique drinks and dishes - my razor clam tapas was delicious as was the locally raised beef used in the 16 oz ribeye, cooked to perfection. My friends had tomatoes with Burrata, vegetarian risotto, fresh grilled salmon and enjoyed every morsel on the plates. For desert we shared a decadent flour less chocolate cake and locally roasted Costa Rican coffee.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mussel Chowder
    foodie1
    Dined on 8/20/2013
    I love treating myself to Cleonice once a month when I'm in Maine! It really never fails me. I always start with an assortment of olives and the artichoke bruschetta, both excellent! This week I went for a bowl of the mussel chowder that was an evening special. It was absolutely delicious! I think it should be a summer staple on the menu. Fresh mussels accompanied by a white wine chowder....yum!
    Special Features:
    romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, new place not so much
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/15/2013
    The food, as always, was excellent with unique specials such as braised pork belly and halibut ceviche . The new location feels more like a cafeteria than a fine restaurant. The old location with the high back booths and beautiful bar made the overall dining experience much more intimate. Regardless, the food is what will keep me coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed and over priced
    Brian
    Dined on 8/4/2013
    The owner greeted us warmly and the experience went down from there. Food was bland and expensive. Service was so so.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic food, but...
    AfterWork
    Dined on 8/2/2013
    We have been going to Cleonice for years. Every time we are in Ellsworth, we make a point to go there. We have loved Cleonice and tell all of our friends it's the one of our all time favorite restaurants. The food is, hands down, amazing. Always fresh, cooked perfectly, beautifully arranged, awesome. We thought the food this time was outstanding. Everybody loved their tapas and entrees. We were disappointed with the new environment, however. It was noisy, too casual for a $300+ bill, distracting, and while our waitress was wonderful, the service felt slow. We were sad to not have had the same overall experience we had come to expect. It's still a great place, but we have to change our expectations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food, still outstanding with
    Puffin
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    Food, still outstanding with imaginative menu. Service, very knowledgeable and attentive. Atmosphere, sadly lacking when compared to the original location.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Cleonice food is wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/12/2013
    The Cleonice food is wonderful and again was enjoyed however the new location does not have the same ambiance and was less of a quiet relaxed special dinner and more of a regular in and out quickly restaurant a little disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/8/2013
    I have had Cleonice on my 'wish list' for quite a while, but since we live in Portland, Ellsworth is too far for a night out. So I was happy that we had decided to visit the area, and I made sure to make a reservation for Cleonice since I had read so many good things about it. I was certainly disappointed. The food was tasty (but not outstanding) but the service was very poor. The servers seemed unorganized and distracted. I will not return, and I would not recommend it to others.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed with ''new' Cleonice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/19/2013
    Cleonice used to be a cozy place down the street with intimate booths, exceptional food and top-notch waitstaff. Now, it's in a building with an open layout and noisy open kitchen. There also seems to be no air conditioning (we were there on a moderate 75-degree day in mid-June and were glad to be seated by an open window). The waitress, though nice, experienced and fun, seemed harried. We sat a long time between appetizer and entree. No apology or explanation was given. The food was good but not exceptional. The only highlight was the TAPAS. They were delicious and fun to share. What was to be a special birthday celebration became a disappointing dining experience. I am sure Cleonice moved for good reason, but it seems a poor choice.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bad experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 6/13/2013
    I went to this restaurant with high expectations but was sorely disappointed. My food was not very good with the vegetables being slightly hard. My DC's steak was room temperature and tough which is unacceptable with the price being over $20. Also, asked for medium rare but the steak was medium. The ambience is a little odd with a closed off section for a coffee shop. Overall, I would not waste my money at this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Poor service left a bad taste
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/12/2013
    The coffee-shop atmosphere didn't jibe with the more up-scale menu and prices. The wine selection was meager. We ordered from the tapas menu, and the food was good. Yet, the service fell far below expectation. The waitress chided us for placing our tapas orders separately, put our order in wrong, and never came back to check on us. Nobody from the staff ever refilled our water. After dinner, we waited a good 40 minutes for our check, even after asking. Finally, the hostess brought our check--done incorrectly. Having been a server, I don't tend to criticize service. But sitting in a half-full restaurant, being blatantly ignored really rankled. Maybe it was because I wanted to like the place. In the end, Cleonice left a bad taste.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • disappointed
    murph
    Dined on 6/11/2013
    I have been coming to Cleonice for years. The new space is disappointing. Zero ambience. The noise was deafening. The tables too close. I knew as soon as our server approached the table that she was completely in the weeds. She was not present, and looked terrified. Brought my husband the wrong beer - forgot my wine - had to be reminded twice. There should be more than 2 servers in that space. The food was okay, not the usual great. When our bill arrived - the bar tab was missing. We had to tell her to add the bar tab. That was almost $40.00. She must have apologized a dozen times during the meal. I felt badly for her - but that becomes annoying after the 3rd time. I hope you get it together, because Cleonice has always been a gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall good
    Parkranger61
    Dined on 5/26/2013
    Nice local restaurant. Really good ambience to the room. Would recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceeded expectations
    zebster43
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    We were thrilled with the quality and creativity of the food, and the service was wonderful. Our waitress was always around, incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. She made us feel welcomed and part of the family. We like to try new things and were not disappointed with the menu and flavors at Cleonice. And their tapas menu makes it easy to try new things and leave satisfied.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New location detracts from the food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Cleonice has been my choice for Mother's Day for the last several years. No more. They've relocated in the past 6 months and this was our first visit since the move. We were highly disappointed. The new atmosphere is akin to a pizza parlor. The tables at the new location are very small. My husband and son both ordered a $28 seafood entree - the fish in the center of the plate could not have weighed more than 2 oz. I'll allow that they both said it was delicious. However, they both were starving even with the appetizer and salad which preceded the entree. I felt sorry for them and doled out half of my pasta entree to them. Sorry to say that it's unlikely that we'll be back, because Cleonice was previously one of our favorite restaurants.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food and our waitress
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/27/2013
    Excellent food and our waitress was outstanding. We started with a couple of unusual cocktails, both good. We had the paella - delicious, and our waitress steered us toward an unusual appetizer special - a kind of beet mousse, which was unexpectedly delicate and refreshing. We also ordered the chicken spiedini. No complaints and would happily dine there again. Oh, and I had been looking for an Ellsworth restaurant I'd luinched in before and was disappointed it had disappeared (The Daily Grind?) and was delighed to find out it is also operated by the Cleonice owners, now operating out of the same space, presumably at others times of day.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great new space! Same great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    Great new space! Same great food. Looking forwards to many more great meals and wine dinners in the future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food is still excellent,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    The food is still excellent, but the new location is awful. Very noisy, tables crowded together and no intimacy such as we enjoyed in the previous location. A great disappointment. Cleonice will no longer be our go-to restaurant for special occasions and guests.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic