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Raw Oysters in Maine, Early June...?

FishTales Feb 27, 2010 01:20 PM

I've poked around online but can't seem to figure out if we'll be able to find raw oysters during the first 2 weeks in June. If so, does anyone have any favorite places for them between Portland & Lubec? Thanks.


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    anestes RE: FishTales Feb 27, 2010 02:12 PM

    You should be able to find raw oysters year round. In Portland I'd recommend Harbor Fish Market if you want to buy some to bring home and Old Port Sea Grill's raw bar as a good place to get them served.

    1 Reply
    1. re: anestes
      FishTales RE: anestes Feb 27, 2010 03:31 PM

      I should have been clearer, sorry. Home for us is about 3,000 miles from Portland so we're looking for a place that serves them. Hadn't know about Old Port Sea Grill, so thanks for that.


    2. Passadumkeg RE: FishTales Feb 27, 2010 03:46 PM

      Down east, Cleonise on Thurs. nights and The Arbor Vine has local Baggaduce oysters.
      Damariscotta has an oyster festival each summer.
      Gay Island oysters are grown in the midcoast area.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Passadumkeg
        FishTales RE: Passadumkeg Feb 28, 2010 07:28 AM

        Cleonise was already on our short list, in part I think from your mention of it in other threads. Thanks for suggesting the Thursday night oysters, hadn't known about that. This's shaping into a good trip.


        1. re: FishTales
          Passadumkeg RE: FishTales Mar 1, 2010 07:52 AM

          The owners of Cleonise also run The Table in Blue Hill, 13 mi away and Arbor Vine in BH always has them. Also try Crocker House in Hancock.

      2. h
        hicow RE: FishTales Feb 27, 2010 04:28 PM

        King Eider Pub in Damariscotta serves local oysters. I've also had them in a restaurant across the street form King Eider but sorry I can't remember the name.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hicow
          HDinCentralME RE: hicow Feb 27, 2010 04:55 PM

          That is Damariscotta River Grill.

          1. re: HDinCentralME
            FishTales RE: HDinCentralME Feb 28, 2010 07:29 AM

            Hhmmm, how to pick which one...?

            Seems obvious: we'll have to try them both. Thanks.


            1. re: FishTales
              sophie fox RE: FishTales Mar 6, 2010 12:32 PM

              Damariscotta River Grill has great oysters, from right in the river. Even the sauces are excellent, and I don't go for sauce on my oysters so much. Lovely restaurant. King Eider Pub has GREAT drinks, but no oysters when I had lunch there recently.

          2. re: hicow
            CFByrne RE: hicow Apr 14, 2010 10:16 PM

            Also in Damariscotta, very nice place is Newcastle Public House - excellent oysters served at least 3 ways...


          3. m
            mainemal RE: FishTales Mar 1, 2010 04:03 AM

            As you should gather from the suggestions, you should find fresh oysters all over the coast, since the farmed fishery centers in Damariscotta, and make their products widely available. Enjoy!

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              FishTales RE: FishTales Mar 6, 2010 02:49 PM

              We've gone from not even being sure they'd be in season to knowing good places where they're served, in about a week's time. This is an amazing place. Thanks to everyone.


              1. Tango22 RE: FishTales Mar 9, 2010 05:55 PM

                You won't have any problem finding places in Maine that serve oysters, even in June (Yes, oysters are available and quite tasty, even in months with no "r" -- that's an old "wive's tale".
                Your bigger problem will be trying to decide which oysters to sample! Here's a link to "Your Maine Oyster Guide", a good summary from "Down East Magazine":
                If you're in Rockland, and want four-star food, beverage, and service, as well as excellent oysters, go to "Primo":
                Or try "The Boat House Restaurant & Raw Bar", also in Rockland, jutting out into Rockland Harbor.
                And if you're in Damariscotta, check out the "Glidden Point Oyster Sea Farm":
                http://www.oysterfarm.com/ It's not a restaurant, but they'll be glad to pack and overnight-ship oysters back to your home or wherever. Nice folks, nice operation.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Tango22
                  Passadumkeg RE: Tango22 Mar 9, 2010 09:30 PM

                  Tango, nice post, welcome to Chowhound.
                  FishTales, during the first 2 weeks in June, prepare for another Mine treat, black flies.
                  Once you get downeast of Ellsworth, oysters will be hard to find, the water is to cold to raise them.

                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                    FishTales RE: Passadumkeg Mar 10, 2010 07:23 AM

                    We've enjoyed oysters plain & with lime, lemon, horseradish, cocktail sauce, champagne mignonette, & hot sauce, but never with black flies. Must be a regional treat, eh?

                    But yes, thanks for the warning. We knew about them, but not (yet) firsthand. & if we can't find oysters I guess a lobster roll or two will have to do...


                  2. re: Tango22
                    FishTales RE: Tango22 Mar 10, 2010 07:40 AM

                    Thanks very much for including the links, they're quite useful. We lived on the Texas coast for a few years & the oysters were definitely seasonal. & muddy-tasting too, even at their supposed peak. Cold water critters are much much better.

                    Primo has been mentioned on this board a lot, though it wasn't til only a few days ago that I found out about their specially-priced oysters. Hope they'll continue that when they re-open for the season.

                    Rowan Jacobsen, author of that 'Down East' article, wrote a whole book about oysters. His website's here:


                    The book's really good. If anything there's -too- much information, if such a thing's possible. There was more than I needed to know about each variety. I was sort of surprised he didn't mention Bagaduce oysters in the article. I'd thought they were a distinct breed, but maybe that's only a place name, like Damariscotta.

                    We're really looking forward to Maine, black flies & all.


                    1. re: FishTales
                      Passadumkeg RE: FishTales Mar 10, 2010 08:26 AM

                      Bagaduce (Brooksville) and Taunton Bay (Franklin/Sullivan) are both in Hancock Counties, about as far north as oysters are grown.

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                    mollydingle RE: FishTales Mar 12, 2010 08:42 AM

                    I can't remember the name of the restaurant, but in Ellsworth there was a place on the Union River just outside of downtown that had excellent oysters. It's a relatively new place- good basic seafood, decor is lodgish and prices not too bad.
                    I'm a big fan fan of Malpeques, but had some delicious local Taunton Bay oysters.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: mollydingle
                      Passadumkeg RE: mollydingle Mar 12, 2010 09:14 AM

                      The Union River Lobster Pot

                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                        FishTales RE: Passadumkeg Mar 12, 2010 04:05 PM

                        Union River Lobster Pot has been mentioned in threads here before & was already on our short list (behind Cleonise!), but I wasn't aware that they had oysters, so thanks to both of you for mentioning the place.

                        Cleonise looks way too good to pass by, but we generally try to find more down-home kinds of places when we travel. Good/great food can be had worldwide, but lobster rolls? Local Maine oysters? Ah yes indeedy, please point the way. This trip gets better & better.


                        1. re: FishTales
                          Passadumkeg RE: FishTales Mar 13, 2010 04:57 AM

                          If you want cheap lobster, "just up the rud" from Ellsworth in Sullivan is Tracy's. A roadside ice cream/burger joint they also have crab rolls 2 for 10 bucks and lobster rolls 2 for 12. The $7.95 lobster dinner (all are last season's prices). It is also byob. Ruth & Whimpies, on 1 in Hancock, has lobster 18 ways (or some such number) and killer desserts.

                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                            LeRique RE: Passadumkeg Apr 15, 2010 03:52 AM

                            Muscongus Bay Lobster in Round Pond has oysters along with all sorts of Lobsters and a view that can't be beat. About thirty minutes from Damariscotta.Definitely on my top ten list of Lobster joints,maybe top five

                            Muscongus Bay Lobster
                            28 Landing Rd, Round Pond, ME 04564

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