Best of Maine

Bethel's 22 Broad Street An Instant Favorite

Submitted By George Smith on Sun, 10/30/2011 - 13:15

It was a big surprise. Headed to Bethel to stay at the Bethel Inn and Resort and write a preview of the town’s fall Harvest Fest, we wanted to try at least one new restaurant.

We’d read an interesting Down East magazine review of John and Amy Amann’s restaurant, 22 Broad Street, at their Gideon Hastings House inn. Down East’s Ginny Wright described the food as “down-to-earth Italian.”

Fools for all things Italian, we asked Wende Gray, a marketing consultant who was putting our Bethel trip together, to schedule us for dinner at 22 Broad Street.

Wow! We were absolutely stunned by the high quality of our meal and experience,...

Fishing for Maine Seafood at Harvest on the Harbor

Submitted By George Smith on Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:57

Mix a room full of Italian wines, savory seafood dishes, fabulous chefs, commercial fishermen and members of Maine’s growing aquaculture industry, lots of media, a good band, and the paying public, and you get a seafood stew worthy of Maine’s food and foodie capitol: Portland.


Down East is a “presenting sponsor” of Harvest on the Harbor, a major food and wine experience spread over three days, October 20 – 22, at Ocean Gateway in Portland.


I attended the opening event on Thursday, The Ultimate Seafood Splash, as a member...

Frank's Dockside Restaurant is Lubec's Best

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 10/17/2011 - 13:26

The prosperous Lubec of our childhood has vanished along with the sardine packing plants and Unobsky’s Department Store.

But an August visit encouraged us by the level of tourist activity witnessed on the town’s very busy Main Street, now dotted with good restaurants, interesting shops, and comfortable accommodations.

We’ve known for a long time that there is no prettier Maine town from a distance than Lubec. It sits on a hill, jutting into the ocean, with church steeples rising above white houses. 

Now, Lubec is pretty up close as well. Buildings are being...

The Gems of Route 26

Submitted By George Smith on Tue, 10/11/2011 - 10:31

There are too many gems. That’s the only problem with the Gems of 26, a clever collaborative promotion of food, lodging, and attractions on a 24-mile scenic stretch of Maine’s Route 26 from Gray to South Paris.

We had hoped to see all of the seven gems on a recent Saturday but fell short by three.    For the record, the gems are: Maine Wildlife Park, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, Poland Spring Resort, Poland Spring Preservation Society, Poland Spring Preservation Park, Harvest Hill Farms & Pumpkin Land, and McLaughlin Garden.

Now is the time to schedule your visit because the gems...

Rockland's Rustica Takes You All the Way To Italy

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 10/03/2011 - 09:28

Rockland continues to call us back, and not just because our daughter Rebekah, son-in-law Patrick, and grandsons Addison and Vishal, live nearby in Union (although that helps).

We like to browse in Readfield native Lacy Simon’s bookstore (Hello, Hello – yes, that’s the name of the store!). The Main Street is full of interesting art galleries and stores featuring clothes, cooking supplies, wine, toys, and more.

The Farnsworth Museum always has something of interest and we love the public walkway along the shore. This amazing coastal community is chock full of inns, B&Bs, and many of its two...

Sarah's Cafe - A Maine Gem

Submitted By George Smith on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 17:02

Sarah’s Café in Wiscasset would stop traffic even if the jam of cars in the summer didn’t. It’s a great place to get off Route One to discover a real Maine gem.

Sarah Heald opened her Wiscasset café in 1987. Ten years later she moved the café across the street to its wonderful waterfront location and added a pub. Sarah was honored in 2002 as the Maine Restaurant Association’s Restaurateur of the Year. Today her son Matt joins her in the kitchen.

Home this summer for a visit, daughter Hilary joined us at Sarah’s and offers her perspective in this column.


Great New Inn and Tavern At Brunswick Station

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 09:01

There’s something to be said for trying a brand spanking new inn or restaurant, being among the first to enjoy a meal, an experience, putting yourself at the center of what’s happening when and where it’s happening.

The new Inn and Tavern at Brunswick Station is happening, and we felt unusually ahead of the curve when we visited in August, just weeks after it opened. We tend to favor historical inns and established restaurants.

So this was a bit of a gamble. It paid off.  The Inn is stylish and only one thing really surprised us at the Tavern: the high qualify of the food.


Bethel Inn Resort and Harvest Fest

Submitted By George Smith on Sun, 09/11/2011 - 09:35

A resort should have beautiful buildings and grounds, nice rooms and suites, good eating opportunities, and lots of indoor and outdoor activities. Bethel Inn Resort fits the bill and is our go-to destination in western Maine.

Combine a visit to the Inn with Bethel’s annual Harvest Fest and you’ve got a weekend to remember.

Unable to attend the upcoming festival this year because of a family wedding on the same weekend, we visited Bethel a couple of weeks ago, staying at the Inn, enjoying two amazing dinners at 22 Broad Street and Sudbury Inn, and taking a drive on Route 113 through Evans Notch.


Harraseeket Offers Maine's Most Elegant Brunch

Submitted By George Smith on Sun, 09/04/2011 - 08:50

The dictionary defines brunch as, “a meal usually taken late in the morning that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch.”

Here’s our definition of brunch: a room full of fabulous food, with unique and diverse dishes, where gluttony is encouraged. Posted over the door would be this quote from Epictetus (55 AD – 135 AD), “Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as in a feast.”

We got this quote from the top of the brunch section of the Harraseeket Inn’s website, where we also found an excellent description of what we look for in a great brunch, written...

Cohill's Inn and Pub brings Ireland to Lubec Maine

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:40

We’ve always wanted to visit Ireland. We didn’t realize it was in Lubec, Maine.

Jack and Ellen Gearren, Irish to the core, left their law enforcement jobs in New Jersey to settle into the one place in the states that reminded them of Ireland.

 “It’s the fog, the environment, the houses, the people,” that convinced them they need not migrate all the way to Ireland to live, Ellen told us.

At the end of Lubec’s Main Street, the Gearren’s opened their inn five years ago, providing nine small rooms with big views of Quoddy Bay.

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