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Jun 10, 2010 07:43 AM

Need northern Maine help

We will be in the Houlton, Maine area the week of July 4th and would appreciate any recommendations for restaurants ----- including Woodstock, NB and Presque Isle. We no longer have family in the area so the day of home cooked meals with fresh from the garden produce are long gone. Thanks.

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  1. I went to the Castle Inn, in Perth-Andover, NB last week. Given its remote location, there were a lot of plus points. Chris, the chef, is a genial Scot and has a pretty decent menu. The location itself is wonderful, well worth a visit.

    The sous-vide lamb was a tiny bit oversalted, but truly delicious. My duck wasn't bad, though it was rather tough and I had a bit of trouble hacking at it with a regular knife. Sides were great - the braised cabbage with the duck was a great combination of savory and sweet; tender but with a little bite left.

    There are a few things that slightly let the show down, which I would expect come from the remote location and what could be pretty slow trade, by the look of things (I was there early on a Sunday evening, but I'm told that even at peak times there's still only a few tables full). THings like the tapenade that's served with the bread basket being made from canned olives. No Champagne or sparkling wine by the glass.

    However, the local cheese plate (all goat) I had for my dessert course was perfectly sourced - and if you ask very nicely, Chris will put some cinder toffee on the plate for you. Trust me: Ask for it.

    I really thought they were doing a great job, and would be so delighted for someone to try it out on my recommendation, I don't expect there's much else in the vicinity that'd come close in terms of fine dining. It's a tough area!

    1. Fort Fairfield, right on the NB border: you'll need to reserve well in advance to land a table at Canterbury Royale, a private fine-dining experience: