OH, NO! Tidal Falls in Hancock, ME
Oh, woe. The Frenchman's Bay Conservancy has announced that there will no longer be a restaurant at Tidal Falls. They tried to keep it going after they purchased the place (remember the fabulous Frenchwoman), but it's lost money 7 out of 8 summers. Will still have the picnic tables. If the people running The Galley on the Sullivan side of the bridge can hold on, could be a boon for them. Pick up Lobster Rolls, go around to Tidal Falls, crack open the wine and savor the beauty. STILL!!!! So sad.
The "fabulous French lady" who ran the Tidal Falls restaurant from 1984 to 2000 was my mom, Christiane Hodgkins. She passed away yesterday, January 12, 2010. My sister and I have always been so proud of what mom had accomplished with the restaurant, and we are happy to find this web site and people who appreciated her accomplishment, too.
I appreciate your passing along the sad news. Rest assured that, even though the restaurant itself has closed, your mother's legacy lives on in the beautiful spot by the tidal falls. Come warm weather as my wife and I picnic at the tables there, we will lift a glass of wine to her memory.
A colleague of mine is heading to Mt. Desert Island this holiday weekend (Memorial Day 2012) and was interested in suggestions for lobster. I was going to refer her to Tidal Falls.
However, just read of your mother's passing in January 2010 -- our belated condolences.
My wife and I have not been up to Northeast Harbor and Tidal Falls since 2008, I believe. The setting was still great and the lobsters were good but nowhere like when you mother owned the pound. In the past, we have been to the area in the summer on numerous occasions and always made a point of having lobster at least 2 or 3 times at Tidal Falls. We really enjoyed the lobster --the best in the area in our opinion -- and the blueberry tarts or pie -- not sure of the name but they were incredible. Your mother was a great person and really made you feel like you were making a connection to that part of North America. She will be missed but always in our hearts.
Raphael and Leah
It is so heartwarming to hear such kind words of reminisence! Having worked many summers there with my mom (at the boiler!), I'm sure I would recognise some of you.
The secret was to boil the lobsters in ocean water - with a special steamer so that the boiler wouldn't lose too much of its steam when more lobsters orders were added. Also, we cooked "hardshells" for less time than most people traditionally did (not so for softshells, though). The melted butter was always a special blend of sweet and salted butter, so as not to be too bland or too salty. And yes, Mom's blueberry tarts were legendary! So many fond memories, so many stories...
I wish I could recommend a place for your friends, but it has been a couple of years now since I've been to the area myself.
Tidal Falls remains opened to the public as a park, and there are picnic tables for bringing your own meals.
All the best, and thanks again!