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Jul 19, 2007 08:47 AM

When Primo's and Francine are out...then what?

Looking for a yummy foodie place to eat in Camden area. I had mentally crossed off Primo's because we have a 15 month old and I figured it might be too reserved a dining location for a child of this age. I thought Francine might be perfect...the reviews I read said the food was super, and the complaints were all about the noise, how it was too casual for people's tastes, the crowded, "funky" atmosphere and such. It sounded like the right way for us to err with a little one on our hands. And then I realized that they're closed the two days we have available, Sunday and Monday! Argh! We could possibly squeeze in a dinner late on Saturday but I'm doubtful. We're driving up Saturday so we'll have spent all day in the car, we have to check in at our hotel and we have to get some grocery shopping done that night. I'd hate to ruin a great dinner opportunity by picking a bad time for us. What else should we consider? I am heartbroken to give Francine up...I thought it would be perfect but, I'd still love to have a great dining out experience one day. I heard some good things about Tavern on the Falls and people seem split on Natalie's. Any advice? I'm not sure where to go from here.

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  1. Hey Carlie,
    If you can you really should try to make it for Francine on Saturday night, it is really the best place around I think. But if you can't I can definitely recommend Tavern, we really like our meal there and the atmoshere is much nicer than the allwhite frigid Natalie's that was there previously.As far as the new Natalie's at the new location, I do know that the old owner Abby is done and the chef they had quit as well and check out mainefoodie's blog review. So far, I have not heard anything great except for one poster here and with all the upheaval in staff and ownership maybe wait a bit, just my opinion.

    The Edge in Lincolnville is gorgeous and the food is excellent also, maybe even a better place for the little one, less hectic and crowded than Tavern or Natalie's would be. They have a great goirmet pizza night on Sundays, the servers come into the dining room every 10 minutes or so with fresh gourmet pizzas so you can enjoy many kinds, have some great starters and a nice bottle of wine, coudl be fun. Last recommedation would be maybe Atlantica, they have a nice menu, not sure if open those days but I think so. Good luck !

    4 Replies
    1. re: aynne35

      Thank you so much! You were very helpful. I think we'll shift around and try to make it work on Saturday...sounds like it will be worth it. I'm excited!

      1. re: Carlie_eats

        It's Saturday, did you decide yet? I am sure out of all the places you wanted to try you'll have a great dinner. Let me know. We are going to dinner tonight at The Hartston Inn in Camden for my husband's b-day, I have never been there, I have heard great things about it though. Let's trade stories after the weekend, I am curious to hear what you did. Have fun!

        1. re: aynne35

          Update: Stayed at Hartstone last night, amazing. The room, the inn, the dinner, all top notch. I am definitely signing up for one of his cooking class weekends. It was delicious.

          1. re: aynne35

            I was hoping you'd update!
            I had heard lots of good reports about The Hartstone, but that was a while ago. It's good to know they're still highly recommended.

    2. As much as i love Francine, I could not imagine taking a 15 month old there unless you sat outside. The Waterfront has good food and would be(or have been)a good place for you. I LOVE their goat cheese/dried cherry salad--really good!

      1. I read through the responses and have to chime in. Re. The Edge, I hear very mixed reviews on the food, including my own. I like their Sunday all you can eat pizza night, though, which might be a good option with a child, but for regular fine dining, aside from the spectacular setting and the ambience, I'd spend my money elsewhere. I would also not recommend the Waterfront as it's not in the same league as the other places posters are discussing here. However, it would be a good kid-friendly place. For other suggestions, try In Good Company on Main Street in Rockland: terrific food (CIA-trained chef was in same class as Melissa Kelly who owns Primo) and great wine list, and open Sundays. Another option would be to try Amalfi, also on Main Street in Rockland: great Mediterranean menu from another CIA-trained chef, and a very nice wine list, especially for value-priced, interesting wines. Don't know what their hours are, though. If you can go to Francine on Saturday, that's also terrific. Try the butterscotch pudding made with duck eggs. Yumm.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shooley

          Thanks everybody for your input. We still haven't gone....our vacation isn't till September. I think we're going to shoot for Francine's and see how it flies. I'll try update and let you all know what we thought.