Travelin’ Maine(rs): Restaurant Reviews

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

Best Restaurants of 2014

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Unique, creative, and tasty food, plus superb service, made these 12 restaurants our favorites for 2014. You’ll want to dine here in 2015 – and so will we!

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Fondly remembering our favorite inns of 2014

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Charming hosts, comfortable rooms, and fantastic food made 2014 a memorable year for the Travelin Maine(rs). This week we’ll tell you about our best experiences of the year at seven outstanding inns. Next week, we’ll give you an accounting of the restaurants that made our year special.

These are places you’ll want to put on your travel list for 2015.

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Great food and a beautiful restaurant within sight of LL Bean!

City or Town: 
Freeport
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 George

                Going to LL Bean to shop for Christmas? Don’t drive by the Tuscan Brick Oven Bistro just north of and across the street from Bean! This restaurant is charming and beautiful and the food is bountiful and delicious. This is a real find.

                We enjoyed one of our best meals of the year here two weeks ago. The restaurant was surprisingly packed for a Sunday night, yet no one hurried us and we lingered with our friends Ed and Cate Pineau of Vassalboro, who recommended the Tuscan.

Winthrop's Full Court Deli will surprise you

City or Town: 
Winthrop
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                 Winthrop’s Full Court Deli is much more than a place that serves creative and delicious food. It’s a community gathering place, where local folks hang out, visit, laugh, and enjoy life. Of course the great food makes that all the better.

                Owner and chef Rick Lough (he will cringe at the word chef, but the man can cook!) has created an exceptionally good menu, and equally important, a restaurant that features the endorsement of my Dad, Ezra Smith.

Let's go to the hospital - to eat!

City or Town: 
Augusta
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 George

                When Nona Boyink suggested we write a travel column about Maine General Hospital’s cafeteria, I was incredulous. “People don’t go to the hospital to dine, do they?” I asked. “Yes they do!” Nona exclaimed.

                And she was right. In the last two months, I’ve had occasion to eat breakfast at the hospital twice. The first time I had a wonderful omelet with bacon and cheese, a bagel with cream cheese, and coffee, for $5.02. Yup. Just $5.02.

                So now you know why the hospital has become my breakfast place! I’m cheap, and so’s the food here. But cheap isn’t enough to draw a crowd, and I have to say, I’ve been very surprised by the quality of the food served here.

Fabulous Food in Farmington

City or Town: 
Farmington
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 Linda

                The Greenwood Dining Room at the Stone Hearth Cafe is Farmington’s newest eatery. Even though the Dining Room has only been open for two months, things are running smoothly and the food is creative and inviting.  Chef Doug Winslow has been in Maine’s restaurant business for decades and his expertise certainly shines through in his food.

                As you peruse the menu you can see that they offer variety - there’s something for everyone. They take advantage of fresh produce, are sure to include vegetarian and gluten free offerings, and also have a nice selection of meat and seafood entrees. You can even order their wood-fired pizza from the Stone Hearth in the same building, and it will come with a small salad. The Greenwood and the Stone Hearth share the same kitchen.

Lewiston's Forage Market will surprise you

City or Town: 
Lewiston
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 Linda

                Downtown Lewiston now boasts many great eateries and shops and the newest one we’ve discovered is Forage Market. We popped in for a quick look several months ago after a friend recommend it. We were impressed with their focus on locally farmed produce and dairy, not to mention the wood fired bagels and breads, (I counted 12 varieties on their website), made there. So on a recent Sunday we headed there for lunch before a visit to The Public Theater.

        One step inside told us the market has a strong following. It attracts Bates College students and patrons who look for great, freshly made food. A long line of customers were ready to place orders and all the tables were full when we arrived. They all seemed to know how to go about it. We did not, and needed to head up to the menu board to get a grasp of what was being offered that day.

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