Travelin’ Maine(rs): Restaurant Reviews

Maine restaurant reviews form the Travelin’ Maine(rs).

Belfast has great art, shops, an awesome co-op, nice lodging and wonderful food

City or Town: 
Belfast
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                On a sunny (practically balmy) day in February, we strolled the main street of Belfast popping in to a variety of businesses. The previous night’s snow was melting into slushy goop on the corners of the intersections. I found myself taking special pleasure in tromping right through the messiness, which brought back satisfying memories of those same spring delights when I was a kid.

        You could see it on people’s faces... we are going to make it through this interminably long winter. In the same vein, visiting two of my favorite places in Belfast made me even happier.

        I fell in love with the Belfast Co-op on my first visit here last winter. This charming co-op is the largest and one of the oldest in Maine, with a strong commitment to Maine products. They sold $1,670,660 worth of Maine products last year.

45 North is the crown jewel of dining spots at Sugarloaf

City or Town: 
Carrabassett Valley
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 Linda

About a year and a half ago Boyne Resorts took over the food operations at Sugarloaf which had previously been run by a concession company. Chef Rob Keen and his staff at this mountain resort complex have been working hard to change the percentage of purchased product versus food made from scratch. Where once 80% of the resort-wide food was purchased, now 80% is made from scratch.

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Delicious Dining at Darby's

City or Town: 
Belfast
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You might call this review historic, given that Darby’s is in a Belfast building that has housed a restaurant for 140 years. Jerry and Gail Savits are relatively new at this, given the history here.

They purchased and restored Darby’s in 1985. So I guess you can say they’ve covered 20 percent of the restaurant’s history!

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For beauty, hospitality, and food, the Waterford Inn is hard to beat

City or Town: 
Waterford
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Linda

I love traveling to Western Maine during any season, but the rolling hills covered in snow make a particularly impressive sight. I wasn’t sure where the town of Waterford was, but it turns out to be only about 15 minutes west of Norway.

        We turned onto Chadbourne Road and started the climb up the steep hill until we reached the Waterford Inn’s breathtakingly beautiful property. This 1800’s farmhouse which stayed in the Chadbourne family for generations has been lovingly turned into a Registry Select Inn by Barbara Vanderzanden.

Old farm house transformed into spectacular dining spot

City or Town: 
Stratton
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The Coplin Dinner House in Stratton is just the kind of place we hoped to find when we started this column three years ago.

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Don't Ski? No Worries!

City or Town: 
Carrabassett Valley
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 It turns out you don’t have to ski to enjoy a winter visit to Sugarloaf.

 George

 

                Watching the cars full of skiers pile into the parking lots on Saturday morning, I was very happy we’d arrived at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel on Friday afternoon for a weekend of fun. Our car was parked, we’d already enjoyed a great evening at the Shipyard Brew Haus, and we had a day planned that included snowshoeing, a tour of the mountain’s shops, and relaxation in the hotel’s amazing and huge outdoor hot tub, plus dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, 45 North.

 

One Stanley Avenue offers an elegant step back in time

City or Town: 
Kingfield
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Linda

I still remember a very special dining experience we had at One Stanley Avenue fifteen or twenty years ago. Chef and owner Dan Davis, who lives with his wife Susan upstairs at One Stanley, has poured his life into this historic building that includes his impressive collection of stained glass in the windows and walls.

                For dinner, our server Tammy seated us in "the Arch" in the first of two intimate dining rooms. Tammy owns a preschool center in Phillips so she and I had a lot to talk about. The tin ceilings in this room are very intricate. Bathed in rose pink, the rooms are romantically lit with candles on the tables and quiet music in the background. One look around and you know you are in for a special meal here.

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