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Jul 18, 2002 05:11 PM

Bar Harbor Best!!!

  • c

Hi. I'm heading up to Bar Harbor in mid-august, and I want to take my girlfriend to THE best meal that money can buy in the Bar Harbor area....looking for the total package, but of course, food comes first.

I've read some of the past threads and realize that Bar Harbor restaurants is a common topic, but really looking for what people think are THE best places....Cost is not an issue! All types of food are welcome! Thanks.

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  1. Try George's downtown I believe it is off Main St. down an alleyway. Great everything!! Hope it is still there, I was there about 4 years ago.

    4 Replies
    1. re: David

      George's Restaurant is still there (my last visit was 11 months ago, but the wdbsite is still active, so I can only assume it's still going strong).

      However, a year or so ago, George sold it. The ambiance is the same and the menu retains some of George's classics, and by my experience last year, every bit as good.

      I think it's a fine location for the "big" dinner you want. George had incredible standards of food and service (must have been the old high school teacher in him), and the food standards of the new ownership seem as high as his, although the service, while still impeccable, is just a smidgen less perfect.

      By all means, make a reservation and enjoy your meal at George's.

      One possibility for a truly memorable day: Hike the trails emanating from Jordan Pond, then finish with tea and popovers about 3 p.m. at Jordan Pond House. Have a late supper at George's.

      PS: Avoid the Burning Tree in Otter Creek. Not bad, just highly overrated.


      1. re: Bob Libkind

        Then go to Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium on Main St for homemade ice cream and chocolate for dessert!

        1. re: xalanoir

          De more time. Ben&Bill's, to me, was an incredible rip off. More than $4 for a cone is an outrage to start unless you get a pint of ice cream in it. And the increase for ordering a waffle cone, plain, not chocolate dipped, was just nasty. What's worse, the ice cream wasn't even very flavorful. There's a good little ice cream shed behind the shops and next to the parking lot in Northeast Harbor and another super one on Route 1 north at the top of the hill in Ellsworth.

          1. re: M-L.

            Ben 'n Bills is good for some things (they make a pretty fair American-style fruit jell), but not ice cream. And by all means, avoid the lobsta' flavor -- yecch!

            For ice cream, I recommend any place that sells Giffords. While not up on the first tier with my beloved Bassetts (especially their Raspberry Truffle), it's firmly ensconsed near the top of the second tier.

            Giffords can be obtained at the Ocean Drive Dairy Bar, just south of town at the triangle formed by Rt. 3 and Schooner Head Road. If you're on the "back side" of the island, head to SW Harbor; there's an ice cream parlor in the center of the village that sells Giffords.

    2. I disagree about The Burning Tree. Almost everything I've had there has been terrific. It would be my top pick for a great meal.

      I do agree about The Jordan Pond House. Positively the best place to have lunch. Sit outside on the lawn and ponder the view. The popovers are great, and they make a mean crabmeat roll.

      If you'd like you can search for my post from last summer about my eating experiences on MDI.

      1. For a real lobster feast, go 180 degrees from Bar Harbor to West Tremont and Thurston's Lobster Pound. On the water, classic lobster boil on a screened in porch. You won't get better food in New England--and it's the side of Mt. Desert Is. here the year round residents live. We had a wonderful baked bean supper in Soames' Sound at the Unitarian church, look for local suppers like this--it's the real deal.

        3 Replies
        1. re: berkleybabe

          Thurston's is my favorite lobster pound in the entire state of Maine---and I *live* here year-round!

          Another delicious restaurant in Bar Harbor is the Porcupine Grill at 123 Cottage Street; we liked it much better than the Burning Tree.

          And don't miss popovers and strawberry jam at the Jordan Pond House!

          1. re: Robo

            Believe Porcupine Grill is now Thrumcap Cafe & Wine Bar - Same owner, address and phone number; different concept......Enjoy.

            1. re: SBCochran

              I always enjoyed Porcupine (not as much as George's, but it was still very good). What's the different "concept" at Thrumcap?

        2. George's, Thrumpcap, & Burning Tree, Havana, Cafe This Way are all good.
          Also, my favorite's:
          Fiddler's Green in Southwest(great food/wine list)
          Mache Bistro in Bar Harbor(9 tables casual/upscale)
          151 Maine Street in Northeast (casual/fun)
          The last 3 are all under 3yrs old and opened by younger, ambitious chef/owners. Really into locally grown produce,etc.
          Check out

          3 Replies
          1. re: orla

            Havana has gone downhill in my opinion, great meals in the past, but had a few weak meals and when paying 100+ dollars its not worth it. FIDDLERS GREEN! best restaurant on the island by far in my opinion. Mache also a great place, had a friend who was chef/sous-chef there don't know how its been recently.

            1. re: BeerNCheese

              I agree with you on Havana. We had one great meal there but the next was not good at all. I also heard great things about Fiddlers Green, have not been yet, it is on the list!

              1. re: BeerNCheese

                I ate at Havana twice this fall (October - see my post about it), and loved it. Both the food and service were top was hands down the best dining experience of our vacation.

            2. I see this is an old post that has some recent activity.

              George's was great but is now gone.
              Thurston's was great but had a change of ownership in 2006, I think, and I no longer care for it.

              Fiddler's Green gets my recommendation, it was excellent.

              Also you can't go wrong with the Jordan Pond House for lunch. With those views, the food doesn't even need to be good. Just be sure to book in advance.

              For lobster I now most like the Gateway Lobster Pound in Trenton. The decor is more of a greasy spoon than a date place, but it's well worth a visit.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrgeocool

                Try going off the island, to avoid the crowds, to Hancock for LeDomaine, The Crocker House (both also have lodging, so no need to drive afterward; a romantic meal and up ze rrrrooom!
                Tidal falls lobster pound (BYOB) is hard to beat as well.