Best of Maine

Historic Camden inn includes great restaurant

Submitted By George Smith on Tue, 08/30/2016 - 16:49


                The Whitehall is one of the oldest inns in Camden located on High Street within walking distance of the downtown area. Two years ago it was refurbished by Lark Hotels. They kept all the beautiful architectural features of the building and added bright bold colors and modern furniture to update the style of this inn.

                I loved the main lobby, a sprawling open space with many sitting areas. The bright artwork and design of...

Skowhegan’s Kel-Mat Café is a real gem

Submitted By George Smith on Fri, 08/26/2016 - 13:30


                Skowhegan has a bustling cafe that is a real gem. Eleven years ago owner Kelly Rossignol opened The Kel-Mat Cafe in a smaller building on busy Madison Avenue, then moved to this charming historic house with lots of parking out back, where the entrance to the restaurant is located. I knew as soon as I entered that this was a unique sandwich shop, looking up to find a large board that covered the wall with a huge selection of menu choices. Items #1-23 were sandwiches with great variety, all priced at $6.95. Gluten free bread is available...

Creativity and commitment to community make Vittles special

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 08/15/2016 - 13:18


                 Vittles Restaurant is a family run gem in Pittsfield. Bob and Kathy Phelan, the owners, are parents of the talented and inspired chef Richard LeRose whose creative energy focuses on quality fresh ingredients.

                Dinners are served here on Friday and Saturday...

Great Mexican food in Milbridge

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 08/01/2016 - 16:41


                We’d read about a place that serves really great Mexican food in Milbridge, and set our sights on trying it last year. Unfortunately, when we arrived, they had just closed for the season.

                It is surprising to find great ethnic food in a town this small. Add in the fact that this is authentic Mexican food. You’d probably have to search hard to find many of those in our entire state.


Peaks is a great Maine island get-a-way

Submitted By George Smith on Tue, 07/26/2016 - 15:25



                There are lots of reasons I love to go to Peak's Island and right at the top is the Inn at Peak's. The suites at the inn are spacious and very comfortable. We’ve stayed in three different rooms here, and they were all nice with bright primary colors of painted furniture accenting the pale pastel walls. The high pine ceiling and full wall of windows in...

Frank’s food is as good as the scenery

Submitted By George Smith on Tue, 07/19/2016 - 06:32


                We love Frank’s Dockside in Lubec for lots of reasons including the awesome views tables inside and on the outside deck, all overlooking the ocean channel and Mullholland Lighthouse on Campobello Island. Chef Frank cooks in the smallest kitchen we’ve ever seen in a restaurant, while his wife Wanda Corey, a Lubec native, keeps things flowing smoothly.

                And if you hope to have dinner here, you need to know that...

Bintliff's is the Best!

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:10

                 Bintliff’s in Ogunquit surprised us. From the outside, the white-sided building looks fairly modest. Inside, it is stunning, with several rooms, all beautifully decorated. I felt underdressed in my shorts! Thankfully, the table cloth covered my legs. And actually, although this place is elegant, it doesn’t feel “fancy.” You can come as you are.

              Owner/Chef Norm Hebert is a very friendly guy, and he came out of the kitchen to greet us and give us a brief tour. We met Norm at the annual awards dinner of the Maine Restaurant Association, at the...

There’s no better vacation spot than West Quoddy

Submitted By George Smith on Tue, 07/05/2016 - 10:58


                My family’s history can be seen from the window of our apartment at West Quoddy Station in Lubec. Just below us, on the bay, is the house my great grandfather and grandmother, Ephraim and Ada Johnson, moved into when he retired after 32 years as the keeper at West Quoddy Head Light, which is a ten minute walk from here. I remember visiting my great grandmother at that house, before she died when I was seven years old.


A mighty fine restaurant in Waterville

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 06/27/2016 - 16:19

                 The only bad thing about writing a weekly travel column is that we seldom get to enjoy a return visit to our favorite places. It’s been 3 years since we last wrote about 18 Below in Waterville, but thankfully, it is just as good as we remembered.

                Owner/Chef Travis Lajoy’s Mom, Donna, the very personable greeter, is still up front, and Steve Comfort is still the primary server. He’s an amazing guy, who even remembered what we’d eaten here three years ago! We...

Let’s do lunch – and enjoy a great musical!

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 06/20/2016 - 16:30


                From Federal Jack’s in Kennebunk to Cafe@130 Main in Winthrop, we’ve enjoyed some great lunches lately. And we were also entertained by a terrific musical during our first visit of the summer to the Maine Summer Music Theater in Brunswick.

                Federal Jack’s is the birthplace of my favorite Shipyard beers, and its second-story restaurant offers great views of the Kennebunk River. Picture this: we’re...

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