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Bar Harbor area dining

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frk040 Jun 22, 2008 09:43 AM

Heading up to Bar Harbor mid Sept '08 and need some updates on restaurants, not having been there in 7 years. We remember Maggie’s Classic Scales and Burning Tree as most impressive. We were not bowled over by Havana despite 2 visits - it seemed they went out of their way to add as many ingredients to a dish as possible - didn't work. Also remember casual Tex-Mex place Miguel’s that was a major disappointment after previous good visits years prior. Any info on new or improved dining recommendations, especially Italian, in Bar Harbor area will be greatly appreciated.

  1. m
    morla Jun 23, 2008 04:25 AM

    Maggies and Burning Tree are still going strong. As far as Italian on the island, there is Mama Dimatteo's and Guiness and Porcelli's in Bar Harbor. Bella Mare is out past Southwest Harbor and there is a new "family" style place also near Southwest.
    I really like Red Sky ($$) in Southwest and the above mentioned Burning Tree. Eden Vegetarian in Bar Harbor is really great (even for non-vegetarians) and the Town Hill Bistro in the village of Town Hill. XYZ in Manset is good for Mexican (not your traditional Americanized Mex). Have a great trip!

    1. JenBoes Jun 23, 2008 07:32 AM

      I went to Porcelli's last summer and thought it was pretty good. Last week, we tried Havana and loved it. It is pricey for Bar Harbor but I think well worth it.

      1. mtullius Jun 23, 2008 08:12 AM

        We've always liked Mache Bistro in downtown Bar Harbor for cute, French-ish food and charming atmosphere.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mtullius
          d
          delong99 Jun 23, 2008 09:15 AM

          We had a great meal at McKay's Public House a few weeks ago. The crab cakes were delicious. Very nice atmosphere.

          http://www.mckayspublichouse.com

        2. annaschauffler Jun 23, 2008 06:51 PM

          Cafe This Way is awesome and very very good. They offer very unique and creative cuisine. Delicious to boot. A wee bit $$ but worth it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: annaschauffler
            b
            BikeToEat Jun 24, 2008 07:35 PM

            Cafe This Way does have great food, but I don't think they are very expensive, especially compared with Havana and Red Sky. Entree prices are more on par with McKay's. They also have an inexpensive wine list.

            1. re: BikeToEat
              annaschauffler Jun 25, 2008 05:58 PM

              The last time I went to Cafe This Way was when I was working as an unpaid recording studio intern. I'm sure what I thought was expensive then may be looked at as reasonable now. Didn't mean to lead you the wrong way! Sorry.

            2. re: annaschauffler
              3catsnh Jul 25, 2008 07:20 AM

              Sorry, but we think Cafe This Way has really gone down hill. It used to be our hands-down favorite. Last year we were disappointed, but this year we decided to give it another shot the other night. The "Little Bit" which used to be our favorite sampler appetizer came all mushed together in a tiny plate and my husband's tandoori shrimp had to be sent back cool and undercooked. Very disappointing.

            3. 3catsnh Jul 20, 2008 12:44 PM

              We are headed back up there next week. Our new favorite last year was Sips in Southwest Harbor--wonderful food and prices. The mussels were fabulous. Anyone been there lately? Also liked Town Hill Bistro and had fun at XYZ. We also heard there is a new Italian place at the Manset Town Dock--Bella Mare? Any reviews? Cafe This Way has been a favorite of ours for years, but we felt it had slpped a bit last year,

              3 Replies
              1. re: 3catsnh
                m
                Mainegal Jul 20, 2008 01:47 PM

                Was just in SW. Had a great meal at XYZ. Sips is still there and going strong; we just didn't get a chance to go this time. According to a good local source, Bella Mare (in XYZ's cursed former site edging the harbor) is actually a reprise; it was in the same location previously, disappeared, but now presto-chango it's back (replacing Blame it on Rio, from last season) is very good but pricey. There's also a new family Italian place in Southwest that's very popular. Also, Gilley's Head of the Harbor changed hands and is now under the same management as Thurston's, in Bernard, but with a much wider menu (steak, chix, fried food, as well as the red bugs). Also had an excellent meal outside at Seafood Catch, in Bass Harbor.

                Town Hall Bistro is extremely popular. You definitely need reservations. We arrived without and no go.

                Cafe This Way was very good, as were Havanna and Maggie's (the lobster crepes are divine), all in Bar Harbor. Over in Northeast, the tapas menu at Bassa Cocina de Tapas is excellent, and I think Redbird Provisions is one of the best restaurants on the island these days. It serves both lunch and dinner, very casual, very Northeast.

                1. re: Mainegal
                  b
                  BikeToEat Jul 20, 2008 04:29 PM

                  I have been wanting to try Bassa. What are the prices like?

                  Had lunch at Sips a few years ago when they opened and thought the food was very under-spiced to the point of being boring. In SWH, my favorite is Red Sky. Last month I had a double-cut pork chop wrapped in bacon with a apple cranberry chutney that was amazing.

                  I don't think that Cafe This Way has gone downhill at all. Breakfast and dinner are still terrific in my experience.

                  I haven't been to the Seafood Catch in awhile, but the view from there of sunset is particularly nice. My favorite dish there is the halibut imperial (chunks of sauteed halibut in a caper, mushroom cream sauce). Their fresh berry pies are also great when in season. I stay away from any dish with Newburg sauce, too thick and gloppy.

                  1. re: BikeToEat
                    g
                    grundoon Jul 25, 2008 12:01 PM

                    Just returned from a short stay in SW Harbor. Had an excellent meal at Red Sky, including one of the best sorbets I've ever eaten. .

              2. b
                BLSCT Jul 25, 2008 01:10 PM

                I'm not sure if they will still be open when your there but be sure to check out the Jordon Pond House inside Acadia Park. If nothing else get the fresh squeezed lemon aid & the popovers.

                4 Replies
                1. re: BLSCT
                  g
                  grundoon Jul 26, 2008 01:41 PM

                  I 2nd the recommendation for the popovers -- the one's we had were excellent, as was the lobster stew!! Avoid the seafood chowder though, very thin and watery...

                  1. re: grundoon
                    f
                    frk040 Sep 1, 2008 03:49 PM

                    A belated thanks to all for the tasty advice - Here'e the lineup for the 5 nights in BH:
                    McKay’s Public House
                    Burning Tree
                    Maggie’s Classic Scales
                    Café This Way or Havana
                    Mache Bistro or Red Sky

                    Breakfast at 2 Cats, Cafe This Way, and the local diner in town (forgot the name)

                    Lunch: Fruit Smoothies at the local Health Food Joint

                    Thanks Again!

                    1. re: frk040
                      m
                      Mrs Carroll Oct 5, 2008 01:21 PM

                      Hi - do you happen to have a follow-up report on where you went and how they were?

                      I am heading to Bar Harbor next week and plan to possibly go to all of those restaurants you listed...depending on our mood. We only have 4 nights there so we will need to narrow it down so any recent feedback you (or anyone else) could give me would be appreciated.

                      Also I was thinking about checking out XYZ Restaurant but am not sure if it will still be open, and they don't have a website. Does anyone have any idea?

                      Thanks in advance!!

                      1. re: Mrs Carroll
                        a
                        Alica Oct 5, 2008 02:10 PM

                        We were in Bar Harbor for a week a few weeks ago. Our favorite was Cafe This Way for dinner. I know XYZ is no longer near Hinkley, it moved but it is still in SW harbor. I am not sure if it is still open. We heard great things about Red Sky. A great restaurant in Ellsworth is Cleonice. There is a new very nice tea shop in Bar Harbor which I loved. They really know their tea and have a great selection. Have fun!

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