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Bar Harbor review

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I spent last week (9/22-27) in Bar Harbor, Maine. Unfortunately I was crazed with work beforehand and while I managed to "favorite" a couple threads from here about the good places, I never got a chance to read them! I was totally on my own for this trip - here's my (long) review.

Monday Dinner - Lompoc Cafe
Cute space, great prices. I had an organic sauvignon blanc that wasn't bad. Crab cakes were outstanding, trendy with the Japanese influence (wasabi sauce, seaweed salad) but perfectly executed. Burrito verde was good if a little bland. Service was a nightmare - apparently the bartender didn't realize she wasn't there solely to make out with her boyfriend and play with her iPod.

Tuesday Lunch - Fish House Grill
Totally a tourist trap right on the water, but fine enough. Lobster roll had very little mayo, but was also kinda skimpy on the lobster quantity. Clam chowder was good, not the paste I expected. When asked about the daily special of beef stew, the server grimaced and told us it was not like normal stew, the chef was experimenting and she didn't really recommend it. Great sales technique. DC ordered in any way (don't ask me why) and liked it.

Tuesday Dinner - Mama DiMatteo's
I found the space too cramped, others would find it "cozy" or "intimate." Great service. Baked artichokes wrapped in prosciutto were great; fish stew was delicious; smoked cheddar ravioli would have been perfect with less pesto on top. DC was disappointed in small portions, but I was fine. (Several hours later we grabbed nachos and fried shrimp at Rupununi's - fine as late-night snacks, not sure how good they would be 'sans booze'.)

Wednesday Lunch - Testa's
A quick lunch before a sightseeing cruise. Very nice reuben sandwich and fried haddock sandwich.

Wednesday Dinner - Portside Grill
Loved this place - great service, cute bistro-like atmosphere without touristy affectations. $16 wine specials weren't a turn-off either! Delicious fish cakes to start. Seafood crepes were more omelette-like than crepe-like; good, but as always (why can't I remember this?) the white sauce overwhelmed the lobster/shrimp/crab.

Thursday Lunch - Bar Harbor Inn (I think)
Picture-perfect scene - small tables with umbrellas on a green lawn overlooking the water, gorgeous fall day. Very nice lobster nicoise salad; lobster bisque was very thick, which I personally like. Pricey, but what can you expect?

Thursday Dinner - Mache Bistro
I was so looking forward to this - and was so disappointed. Very average menu, not creative at all, but it was well executed. Pasta with sausage and broccoli was delicious and garlicky; sirloin steak with caramelized onions (yawn) was cooked well but a little fatty.

Friday Breakfast - Cafe This Way
Super cute place, loved the art (even though it was priced insanely). The best grapefruit juice ever. Housemade corned beef hash was very good but not out of this world. One egg was poached perfectly, the other way overdone. How does that happen?

Friday Lunch - Portside Grill (again)
What can I say, I loved this place. Fried seafood platter - shrimp was obviously frozen and blah; scallops were great; clams unmemorable; haddock delicious. They do a good job with frying. Blueberry pie was delicious; cheesecake a waste of calories.

Friday Dinner - Maggie's
WOW. This place was fantastic. The 20-min wait turned into 40+ but it was sooo worth it. Brushetta had a thick layer of (local?) creamy goat cheese on top. Mussels were steamed in a wine/garlic broth - typical but amazingly done. House smoked salmon was amaaaazing, I could have ordered 10 more orders. Scallop entree with corn, bacon and roasted red peppers was perfect. This place is a gem - don't miss it!!

Saturday Lunch - Trenton Lobster Pound (?)
No idea how authentic these places are, but they're so cute. The lobster was the best I've eaten - perhaps the freshness, or the sea water it's cooked in? Lobster stew was lobster, butter and cream - no thickeners here! Clam chowder was great with huge clams.

Overall, a delicious trip, even without guidance!

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  1. I was in Bar Harbor the same time you were. We so love it there. We ate at all different restaurants, stayed at a house and cooked in often. We loved Cafe This Way!! Dinner was wonderful but your egg story made me laugh... I got an eggs Benedict there and my friend got the same thing. My eggs were cooked perfect, hers were over cooked. Oh well. All in all, a great place. What a perfect weather week we had!