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Aug 31, 2009 12:16 PM

Acadia and Downeast Maine in September

Hi folks. I will be hiking in Acadia for two days and will spend one day traveling down to Schoodic and probably wandering a bit further downeast. From reading the boards I've come up with a few thoughts on Acadia and I wanted to vet them with you all. As for Schoodic and downeast, I'm a little lost and I'm looking for suggestions.

I am usually focused on fresh, local ingredients and professional service. Value is a consideration, but I'm already splurging on this trip, so why not go all-the-way. :)

Acadia/Bar Harbor:

Mache Bistro (new ownership?)
Burning Tree
Red Sky
Two Cats (breakfast)
Cafe Blue Fish (for the strudel)
Lompoc for a beer


Chester Pike's
Fisherman's Warf
Country Charm
Tandoor Downeast
Tall Barneys (for pie)
Wildfour Bakery

Any help in narrowing down and/or recommending a must-visit is greatly appreciated. I'd like to make a reservation soon for the dinners, hence the cry in the wilderness.

Thanks, and cheers!

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  1. Thoughts on Schoodic/Downeast:

    Chester Pike's for sure, but they only do breakfast and lunch. Closed Mondays.
    Haven't been to Tall Barney's in awhile, but they certainly used to have great haddock burgers and fried clams. It is, though, in Jonesport which is way up the coast from Schoodic.
    Also haven't been to Country Charm in awhile, but it's just one of those great places that wouldn't dare change.
    Tandoor Downeast is takeout only, I believe.
    Wildflour Bakery, I think, is only open a few hours on the weekend.
    Fisherman's Wharf is the only place left for dinner in Winter Harbor. Could use some competition, if you catch my drift.
    I'd suggest to do your splurging in Bar Harbor, then go the lobster roll, etc. route over here

    1. Acadia/Bar Harbor:

      Mache Bistro (new ownership?): Yes, and fabulous
      Burning Tree: I've yet to be disappointed. EMPhasis is fresh and local, so it fits your requirements
      Red Sky: Over in Southwest, upscale, haven't been in a couple of years, but has always been good
      Two Cats (breakfast): Just there a few weeks ago, and yes, very good.
      Cafe Blue Fish (for the strudel): So they say. I've never been a fan of places that post ancient reviews in their windows.
      Maggie's: Oh yes, the lobster crepes,divine.
      Lompoc for a beer
      ADD: Redbird Provisions in Northeast Harbor, closes early in September though. Go for lunch, and you'll want to return for dinner.
      If you're an ice cream fan, seek out MDI ICe Cream. YEs, every place in town sells ice cream, but MDI outdoes them all.
      I'm also a fan of Eat-a-Pita/Cafe 2, in Southwest. Far more casual than Red Sky, but the food is very good. Primarily soups, salads, sandwiches by day, then full menu at night.
      Also the Claremont Hotel, Southwest. Current chef is excellent, and you can't beat the setting.


      Chester Pike's: Order dessert first so you're not disappointed. B&L daily, Friday night fish fry, Sat. night prime rib.
      Chase's: It's a diner, with a few bright spots. As always in this region, you don't survive unless you fry fish well, and it does.
      Fisherman's Warf: You mean Fisherman's Inn. Pricey, cause it's the only nicer place around. It is good, and the fish is excellent. Once when I was there, the guy at the table next to mine was credited with catching my dinner. That's fresh.
      Country Charm: Love this place. Recent death in the family though.
      Tandoor Downeast: Take out Indian fare.
      Tall Barneys (for pie): Tall Barney's isn't what it was. Go to Chester Pike's if you want pie.
      Wildfour Bakery: Open Saturday mornings and perhaps Fridays.
      ADD: Chipper's, in Hancock (crab cakes! chowder!). And The Mexican REstaurant in Hancock. Both are on Route 1.

      1. Fishermans' Inn, WH, is good - nice fresh fish. Too bad that we've lost both Mama's Boy Bistro (guess he wasn't Mama's Boy after all) and Bunkers Wharf.
        I like Bluebird Ranch in Machias - some disagree.
        Don't miss Joshy's for lobster and crab rolls in Milbridge.

        I'd just add Michelles at the Ivy Manor Inn for Bar Harbor. I just went for the first time, after watching "Julie and Julia" at the Criterion (don't miss that, either!). Lovely oysters, lobster thermidor, perfect creme brulee, fine wine list, excellent service. Very attractive, very friendly.

        1. Delete Cafe Blue fish, go to Maggie's for lobster crepe instead.
          Thirsty Whale for locals
          Tracey's in Sullivan for cheapest lobster dinner ($7.95) and lobster rolls (2 for $12), plus BYOB
          Galley at the Bridge (Tracey's too), Sullivan, for take out lobster or big lobster or crab rolls. Take down to Tidal Falls which no longer serves lobster, but is open to the public.
          I saw a sign today the advertised a lobster feed at Tidal Falls this Friday.
          Take Joshy's rolls to McClellan Park, magnificant scenery.

          1. What about Pectic Seafood, Fish House Grill, McKays Public House (restaurant),
            Geddy's Pub (Quarterdeck),
            The Chart Room (Hull's Cove) and "Mexican Restaurant", in Hancock(a passable place according to Passadumkeg)? Mex: Is Rupununi and Miguel's not worth eating at?
            Jordan Pond House and Cafe This Way (seasonal restaurants)? Are some seasonal, other than these two?

            Check out the map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&...

            18 Replies
            1. re: Scargod

              Pectic, meh; fish house, tourist rip off; Mckays, too pricey a pub for us peons;, Geddy's, ok; Chart room ok; The Mexican Restaurant? The Los Texmaniacs (4 Hispanics, 2 from Cal, 1 from New Mex and 1 from San Antonio) loved it when I tooke them there after the American Folk Festival in Bangor where they performed. The beans are wanting though, Tex. Rupunini" is touristy and Miguel's save for your worst enemy. Jordan Pound house ids cutsey for popovers and Cafe This Way is good grub. Don't for get the Burning Tree and Red Sky.The Crocker House and Le Domaine in Hancock are both worthy of your Garmen. Really!
              Want authentic, but pricey food from the south of Mexico? Check out XYZ in Southwest Hbr.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                We are coming in a few weeks to BH, where is the best place to buy seafood, aside from Pectic? Thanks for all of your great advice!!

                1. re: Alica

                  Unless you know a lobsterman, nowhere else except Price's on Mt. Desert in Bh.

                2. re: Passadumkeg

                  The name XYZ derives from Xalapa, Yucat√°n, and Zacatecas. The menu reflects foods from these places and others in Mexico. "rustic cuisine", something you'd find out on a ranch in the countryside, says one of the owners, Bob Hoyt.
                  What I am wondering about is the reviews on TripAdvisor that say that the manager, who I assume is the other owner, Janet Strong, can be very rude.
                  Also the authenticity (and suggested blandness), seems to be a bone of contention for some. Perhaps they were expecting Tex-Mex? I'm curious about the restaurant; whether it's hip or not, whether the food is good, overpriced, etc. I sure won't go without a reservation!
                  I hear there was a Brazillian restaurant in their old location then it changed back to the Italian restaurant it used to be: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4257.... Anyone eaten there recently? I don't see it mentioned.

                  1. re: Scargod

                    Yes, there is or was an Italian restaurant by the Manset town landing last month; haven't been, but hear some good things.
                    XYZ has mixed reviews. Downeast magazine had it listed as one of 50 favorites by Maine's top chefs; but one must ask oneself, what do Maine chefs know about cooking from the south of Mexico? On the other hand, they fired my first wife, so they can't be all bad.

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      you know, keg, i did have a mixed review of xyz myself , but don't fail us by taking the easy punch about 'what do maine chefs know.....'. That kind of remark ignores talented chefs who learn from excellent cookbooks and /or mentors and their own talented cooking intuitions. Gifted chefs who read Rick Bayless' and Diana Kennedy's works- can put out some mighty authentic and delicious Mexican food. Ditto for equivalents in the other cuisines of the world.

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        It was an honest, sincere question. I don't really know what the Portland chef who chose XYZ in Downeast really knows about southern Mexican cuisine. I like XYZ, and its milieu, but it is too pricey for the Dumkegs.
                        I didn't mean to slight Maine chefs. Portland and Rockland/Camden/MDI have a plethora of wonderful dining.

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          keg, i wasn't suggesting that you were slighting Me. chefs; sorry if it sounded that way. Rather, i thought you were voicing a left-handed opinion, not asking a question. Misunderstandings aside, always glad to read your posts.

                    1. re: Scargod

                      Although a detour from BH, Blue Hill has the Arborvine and The Table; put that in your Garmen and smoke it, Tex Car Go.

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        39 miles and yet one hour and fourteen minutes away? Can you get there any faster than that? By kayak (using Garmin, of course)?
                        http://www.arborvine.com/ They say it's good!
                        The Table? Can't find it. Damn Garmin

                        1. re: Scargod

                          Try The Forge, it's new this summer, run by the owners of Cleonise. Remember I live in Ellsworth and everything is only 1/2 hr away: Bangor, Blue Hill, Bar Harbor, Belfast and our camp.

                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                            I got ot now! It is now "Table". http://www.farmkitchentable.com/
                            It looks promising. Nice menu, good wine list, etc. Only a few months old!

                            1. re: Scargod

                              Did you check out The Crocker House and Le Domaine too?
                              Are you getting to fight frostbite and bears to dine in rural downeast Maine? Wear your Beane boots, flannel shirt and red plaid wool hat for formal dining, please.

                                1. re: philbkr

                                  That review's no longer pertinent. The Wescott Forge closed last year and has been replaced by the Farm Kitchen Table. I went the first week it was open, and staff had some issues to work out. I've heard from others since that it's quite good.