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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Coplin Dinner House in Stratton is just the kind of place we hoped to find when we started this column three years ago.
It turns out you don’t have to ski to enjoy a winter visit to Sugarloaf.
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.