Gilbert’s Chowder House is famous for its chowders made with fresh Maine seafood and homemade stock. The company has been in business for 20 years on the waterfront in Portland and has spent many of those years racking up awards and accolades. Seafood, clam and haddock chowders steal the show, but when Gilbert’s opened a restaurant at the corner of Route 302 and Route 35 in Windham, they had to reevaluate what they would be serving. It knew it couldn’t serve only seafood like in Portland.
“We are rustic, casual and family-oriented,” said manager Melissa Gilbert. “Good food, good prices.”
Windham Gilbert’s stands out because it has a full bar including happy hours and specials. It features live music on Friday nights and has a “fabulous outdoor patio.”
“It’s the largest patio in Windham,” said Gilbert.
Live music is on Fridays at 6 p.m. and is described as a loud and crazy night. Saturdays are more of a dining experience. Sunday, there is live music outside from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“This place has a lot of difference faces depending on the night,” said Gilbert.
When Gilbert’s opened in Windham in 2007, they completely renovated the building. The family was excited to take an old building and make it nice. The building was actually a house and the restaurant was at one point in history the barn.
The house is now used for private functions with no room fee. There is a unique menu for special parties and business meetings, Gilbert said. “That keeps us busy in the winter times,” she added.
Patrons to Gilbert’s Chowder House come from all over including Portland. They like the ease of parking, Gilbert said. “We have locals and tourists, working Joe’s and lawyers, old and young.”
The food is presented in fun, creative ways and runs the gamut from haddock sandwiches and lobster rolls to nacho plates and prime rib on Saturday nights in the winter.
The chefs make homemade desserts that change seasonally. Strawberry shortcake, bread pudding, apple crisp with vanilla ice cream and brownie sundaes are the big hits.
“It’s always fresh and local. Everything is made to order. We can make changes for allergies, or dietary restrictions,” Gilbert said. Don’t know how to eat a lobster? No worries, they’ll teach anyone willing to learn.
For those who have never been to Gilbert’s Chowder House, Gilbert says, “Welcome to Gilbert’s. What took you so long to get here?”
For more information about either Gilbert’s location, visit www.gilbertschowderhouse.com. Watch their outside board for live entertainment announcements.