Travelin’ Maine(rs): Restaurant Reviews

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

Summer Dreaming 2014

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 We’ve scheduled some terrific trips this summer. How about you?

A birding adventure on Monhegan Island. Followed later in the summer by a Puffin Cruise with Monhegan Boat Line. Two visits to Lubec, giving us a healthy dose of fresh ocean air in the most beautiful place on earth. A weekend in Eastport.

A stay at a favorite Maine sporting camp with a tour of the spectacular Fly Fishing Museum in Oquossic. We’ll enjoy a presentation of the Joshua Chamberlain musical at the Maine Music Theater, with dinner at one of Brunswick’s fine restaurants.

And we’re excited about our first visit to Deer Isle, where the Pilgrim’s Inn and Whale’s Rib Tavern await. We’ll be doing that trip with our friends Rusty and Sue Atwood. An island adventure on Vinalhaven and our annual trip to the beautiful Blue Nose Inn in Bar Harbor will certainly highlight our summer.

Fuel Restaurant: Anchoring Lewiston's resurgent Lisbon Street

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Lewiston
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                Have you visited Lewiston lately? Lisbon Street has a new look and energy with great restaurants and shops up and down the street.

Eric Agren, owner of Fuel Restaurant, was the spark that lit the way seven years ago. He had a vision for downtown Lewiston, taking a leap of faith in buying an old building constructed in 1871. It was once a 1000 seat theater. Eric housed the restaurant on the ground floor and renovated the top two floors renovated into condos.

        Fuel has met with wide acclaim and rightly so. The urban decor is stunning, with the modern bar area at the front of the restaurant and white linens topping the remaining tables that fill the open room. The food here has been described as French comfort food.

 

Mainely Brews and the Waterville Opera House - a great Irish celebration!

City or Town: 
Waterville
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We are not Irish but some Saint Patrick Day celebrations are too good to pass up. I associate holidays with food so it’s a given that I will crave corned beef and cabbage by mid-March. When we found out that the Waterville Opera House was featuring an instrumental group from Ireland on March 14th, we figured out a very special way to celebrate Saint Patrick Day this year: dinner at Mainely Brews followed by a performance by Lunosa at the Opera House.

The restaurant had already embraced the upcoming holiday with a menu featuring several Irish dishes. Corned Beef and Cabbage, Bangers and Mash, the Duclin Burger and a Reuben were front and center. We decided to start with an appetizer, giving me more time to decide on entrees.

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Rockland culinary tour started at the Samoset

City or Town: 
Rockland
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Five restaurants in 41 hours - my kind of weekend! While the Samoset Resort's spectacular ice bar drew us to the Rockland area in mid-January, our culinary tour of the area added flavor to the weekend.

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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

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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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