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Trip to Maine Oct '10 need restaurant tips for Bar Harbor, Camden & Portland areas

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I have always visited Chowhound when travelling and have just signed up officially so that I can participate in the conversations.

We are planning a "reconnaisance mission" to Maine in the first half of October. We have reserved for 3 nights in Bar Harbor, 3 nights in the Camden /Lincolnville area and 3 nights in the Portland area (Scarborough). We love to eat and travel and we are interested in knowing about the "must trys" in these 3 areas. We will pay the big bucks for a great dining experience - alternatively, we love the dives also. Dinner is our most important meal as we will be driving hither and yon during the day trying to sight see and identify a community in which to possibly rent a home for next summer.......we would like to know about great restaurants, food markets, and farmers markets. We will drive some distance for a great meal.

We had hoped to visit in September but surprisingly had trouble bookings rooms - evidently September is a great month there but many hotels/inns could not accomodate us. So,October it is.

If any of you can weigh in on this, we would appreciate it. There is a lot to research but I will certainly review any previous discussions on this topic that are recent (2010)........

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  1. Glad you're coming to check out great Maine food. You might get more of a response from the local 'hounds if you review, as you suggested, the many recent posts on your three locations, and then put up a possible list for comment.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mainemal

      Thanks for that - I am new to this so I am probably not doing it just right.....can't wait for Maine!

    2. Here's a good list of options in Ellsworth:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/714154

      We were there last weekend and had a great breakfast at Martha's. I had the crab benedict - near perfect, the english muffin could have used a bit more toasting. Uncle had Spinach & Feta "quiche" and DH had crabmeat "quiche" I put that in quotes because it's more like a bake - HUGE thick square pieces. Many blackboard specials. I just wish their coffee was stronger. Service is Downeast friendly, sort of like you are going to a relative's house.

      2 Replies
      1. re: delong99

        Thanks - that all sounds good - where exactly is Ellsworth?

        1. re: 2mel

          You have to drive through Ellsworth to get to Bar Harbor. Depending on traffic, it's a 20-25 minute drive.

      2. Havana and Stewman's are both great places to dine for good local seafood and steaks in Bar Harbor. The Front Room in Portland is oustanding for dinner.

        Havana @ 318 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME 207 - 288 - 2822.
        http://www.havanamaine.com/
        Stewman's Lobster Pound @ 123 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME 207 - 288 - 9723.
        http://www.stewmanslobsterpound.com/

        The Front Room Restaurant and Bar @ 73 Congress St., Portland, ME 207 - 773 - 3366.
        http://www.thefrontroomrestaurant.com/

        9 Replies
        1. re: Littleman

          For Bar Harbor, if you are visiting the Bass Harbor lighthouse (great sunset view, by the way), then I would recommend heading to Thurston's lobster pound for dinner after. We tried both Thurston's and Trenton's Lobster Pound and preferred Thurston's -- the meat seemed sweeter. Not sure when in Oct you are visiting but you should call or find out when they shut down for the season.

          Also, if you are taking Rt. 1 on your way from Portland to Camden, definitely stop by Red's in Wiscasset for their lobster rolls. We tried several on our trip (Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery, Sea Basket in Wiscasset) and thought Red's was best by far. A ton of meat (they claim more than one lobster in each roll). The wait can be a bit much sometimes but hopefully it'll slow down in Oct.

          1. re: juicymango

            Also on Rt 1 a few towns past Wiscasset in Waldonboro is Moody's diner. Stop in for pie -- the 4-berry and the strawberry rhubarb are some of the best I've ever had. If you do go through Wiscasset, plan on lots of traffic -- that stretch over the bridge is one of New England's worst choke points. I think Yankee magazine even wrote an article on it recently.

            1. re: bpjacks

              I have heard about Moody's and it is on our list - we love strawberry rhubarb pie. The warning about the traffic is great - I have to buy an atlas to map out our route and have some alternatives lined up for traffic.....evidently there is a really good atlas that everyone uses in Maine but I can't recall what the name of it is.....

              1. re: 2mel

                This has nothing to do with food...well maybe helping you find it...but the map is called Maine Atlas and Gazetteer. It's available in many local bookstores and online via DeLorme map publishers.

                1. re: 2mel

                  The coconut cream pie is also amazing if you have room!

              2. re: juicymango

                Funny you should mention Bob's - I was watching Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives just a few nights ago and he featured Bob's on the show.......I will definitely call and check on when these places close for the season - thanks for all of the info.

                1. re: juicymango

                  i second Red's... but he closes in Sept for the season. :/ which makes me MUCHO sad because i'm headed up to maine this weekend. :/
                  i also second Moody's for pie - YUMMM!
                  Don't forget Sarah's in wiscasset... best haddock chowdah around!

                  1. re: ldylara

                    Red's was still open Monday when I drived by on my way home.

                2. re: Littleman

                  Thanks so much - really have very little on Bar Harbor so this is most helpful and local seafood is very appealing - we are not big meat eaters.

                3. The original comment has been removed
                  1. Burning Tree just outside of Bar Harbor in Otter Creek is wonderful. They use veggies from their gardens around the restaurant and their menu is eclectic and lots of fun. Perfect if you are looking to move beyond lobster and clam chowder. We also ate at Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound; it was OK. On the way home we stopped at Larson's Lunch Box in Damariscotta was a fun stop with yummy stuffed lobster rolls.
                    If you are looking for picnic food then stop in the Pine Tree Market in Northeast Harbor. They have a great selection of cheese, breads, salads etc. Full Belli Deli in Northeast Harbor makes a great pizza. Cafe This Way in Bar Harbor for breakfast or dinner. Check out Southwest Harbor also. There is a great wine and cheese store there. Have Fun.

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                    Cafe This Way
                    14 Mount Desert St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

                    Burning Tree Restaurant
                    69 Otter Creek Dr, Mount Desert, ME 04660

                    Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound
                    1237 Bar Harbor Rd, Trenton, ME 04605

                    Larson's Lunch Box
                    430 Main St, Damariscotta, ME 04543

                    Full Belli Deli
                    5 Sea St, Castine, ME 04421

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: freshveggie

                      Thanks so much for the info - the Bar Harbor area is our first stop!

                      1. re: freshveggie

                        I think I saw a recent very positive review of Burning Tree, which indicated that they would be closing by this coming weekend, so do check to see if they're open. I second any and all recommendations of Mache Bistro in BH.

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                        Burning Tree Restaurant
                        69 Otter Creek Dr, Mount Desert, ME 04660

                        1. re: mainemal

                          Sadly, the Burning Tree will be closed - thanks for the heads up on that . We are booked at Mache Bistro and looking forward to it.

                          -----
                          Burning Tree Restaurant
                          69 Otter Creek Dr, Mount Desert, ME 04660