HOME > Chowhound > Northern New England >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it
TELL US

Rockland lunch/dinner/lobstersuggestions?

c
cabbagehead Aug 14, 2011 02:02 PM

We'll be in Rockland, Me. Sunday evening-Wednesday afternoon, Aug 21-24. Looking for dinner and lunch suggestions. Looking for Greek, Mediterranean, Italian. We know about Primo. Also, best bet for lobster/lobster roll?

Thanks in advance.

  1. MidCoastMaineiac Aug 15, 2011 07:12 AM

    Do a search for Rockland, Rockport and Camden on the Northern New England boards, you'll get plenty of results...though you won't find much on the Greek front.

    For lobster / lobster roll...go to Waterman's Beach in S. Thomaston (short drive). Or Home Kitchen cafe for breakfast/lunch (many lobster options).

    -----
    Home Kitchen Cafe
    650 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

    1. m
      monopod Aug 15, 2011 10:48 AM

      If you're driving up from the south, Red's Eats in Wiscasset is a tourist trap with a huge line, but also a pretty amazing lobster roll - huge (over a whole lobster's worth of meat), with the mayo or butter on the side so that you can control the amount, and served on top of a well-buttered and grilled roll. There's always controversy on these and other boards about whether it's really the "best in Maine" and worth the line, but in my recent visit the quality of the lobster was excellent and I was awestruck by the size of the roll. Well worth the wait, at least to me.

      -----
      Red's Eats
      Main, Wiscasset, ME 04578

      4 Replies
      1. re: monopod
        MidCoastMaineiac Aug 15, 2011 11:43 AM

        I still don't understand the "tourist trap" comment. Tourist trap would imply that they are somehow tricking you, the one off tourist who they won't see again, into buying something overpriced and underwhelming. I don't think that's the case at Red's.

        1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
          l
          LeRique Aug 15, 2011 01:56 PM

          good point and I agree.we could start a new thread,places that really are tourist traps! A few in Portland come to mind.

          1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
            m
            monopod Aug 23, 2011 07:49 AM

            Good point, "tourist trap" probably isn't accurate. Maybe "tourist magnet"? My point was just that it's absolutely overrun with tourists at all times. I didn't really mind it; I had a nice conversation with the lady in front of me, who was visiting from Ohio (and realized, right as she got to the front of the 45-minute line, that she didn't have any cash and Red's doesn't take credit cards. If she wasn't purchasing for her entire family, I'd have bought her a roll out of sympathy.).

            1. re: monopod
              MidCoastMaineiac Aug 23, 2011 12:40 PM

              Tourist magnet for sure!

        2. c
          cabbagehead Aug 16, 2011 04:44 AM

          Thanks to MidCoast and monopod.

          1. Passadumkeg Aug 16, 2011 05:26 PM

            Sharpies at the Wind, Sail and Steam Museum on Mechanic Street has a good roll and it supports a great little nonprofit. Water view too.
            http://www.sharpadventures.com/sharpi...

            3 Replies
            1. re: Passadumkeg
              s
              Shooley Aug 17, 2011 05:01 AM

              Sadly, they are no longer running their operation at Sharpy's. But last year Jess's fish market on Rte. 73 had good lobster rolls for around $10...not sure if they're doing them this year, though.

              1. re: Shooley
                Passadumkeg Aug 17, 2011 05:18 AM

                Bummer. The fish market on lower Maine St. (Help me out w/ the name), not only has the freshest fish in the midcoast area, but makes a very good lobber roll. Take it to harbor park. Kinda sad that I have to bring a cooler to Rockland to buy fresh fish to haul back to Ellsworth. Am I talking about Jess's?

                1. re: Passadumkeg
                  s
                  Shooley Aug 18, 2011 05:33 AM

                  Yes, you are...that's what I was referring to in my post....

            2. Passadumkeg Aug 17, 2011 05:24 AM

              Conte's on lower Maine in Rockland for fresh Italian seafood and waitresses w/ brass ball. Featured on No Reservations. Quirky at it's best. Get there early.
              I'm back in New Mexico. This is killin' me.

              1. c
                crawfish Aug 23, 2011 07:26 AM

                The Keag (pronounced gig) Store in South Thomaston has great lobster and crab rolls. Take them across the street to the town landing or take a left and go to Birch Point Beach.

                The Slipway in Thomaston (just south of Rockland) has wonderfully lightly fried seafood.

                In Good Company on Main St. in Rockland is always great.

                I've had it with Conte's. Loved him for years but it's over, John.

                -----
                In Good Company
                415 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

                13 Replies
                1. re: crawfish
                  Passadumkeg Aug 23, 2011 09:53 AM

                  What happened w/ Conte's?

                  1. re: crawfish
                    MidCoastMaineiac Aug 23, 2011 12:44 PM

                    Yup, the Keag has a good roll. Right on about the Slipway, went there for the first time last weekend and they do the fried seafood right...very light on the "fry" and heavy on the seafood. So many places get it wrong...including the Sea Basket in Wiscasset...had some of the worst fried seafood of the season there. Not sure if they've gone downhill and it used to be good...but the haddock was overdone and overfried. I'm not kidding, one of the worst fried seafood experiences I've had in Maine.

                    What happened with Contes? One too many dishes with an overabundance of red sauce and garlic?? =)

                    -----
                    Sea Basket
                    303 Bath Rd, Wiscasset, ME

                    1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                      c
                      crawfish Aug 25, 2011 06:20 PM

                      We've been going to Conte's since it opened and we have some truly lovely memories. But I am tired of the abundance of whole raw garlic and olive oil slopping over the side of the plate. This past visit the squid and mussels were over cooked to an unforgiveable point. My son's sirloin tips were like stew beef. Even his sausage was over cooked. It's just not well prepared food. And the atmosphere at the new location just isn't the same, I miss the old shack. I want to preserve the good memories so I will not be going back.

                      1. re: crawfish
                        MidCoastMaineiac Aug 26, 2011 07:32 AM

                        Agree on the food, but I definitely think Rockland is a better place with John Conte in it. FYI, I read that he's trying to move down to the old Sharpie's Shack down on Mechanic Street...hopefully he can better re-create the old "charm" in that spot.

                        -----
                        Sharpie's Shack
                        51 Mechanic St, Rockland, ME 04841

                        1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                          Passadumkeg Aug 26, 2011 08:07 AM

                          A year ago, John Conte, when he heard that we were moving to New Mexico, allowed my wife and I into his closed restaurant, (too early) and cooked us a special wedding anniversary meal. He remembers me as the guy that used to bring his high school soccer team there to eat. He has a special place in our hearts.

                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                            c
                            crawfish Aug 26, 2011 03:03 PM

                            He has a special place in our hearts, too. I will always remember eating at the old place in the winter. The big old wood stove was cherry red it was so hot.

                            1. re: crawfish
                              d
                              dwdunn Aug 27, 2011 10:18 AM

                              and the hole in floor, covered (temporarily) with a scrap of plywood.

                              1. re: dwdunn
                                c
                                crawfish Aug 28, 2011 09:52 AM

                                And the big dog asleep by the fire.

                          2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                            MidCoastMaineiac Sep 13, 2011 02:41 PM

                            FYI from today's VillageSoup:

                            The council gave final approval 3-2 (Councilors Dickerson and Pritchett opposed) to a lease of the former Sea Scouts building at Snow Marine Park to John Conte of Conte's 1894 Restaurant.

                            The lease would run for a year for $6,000 a year. The tenant will pay for utilities.

                            http://knox.villagesoup.com/news/stor...

                            1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                              Passadumkeg Sep 13, 2011 05:38 PM

                              Like.

                        2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                          c
                          crawfish Aug 25, 2011 06:23 PM

                          Pass, the Keag Store has fish hash for breakfast if you can tear yourself away from Rockland Cafe.

                          1. re: crawfish
                            Passadumkeg Aug 25, 2011 06:27 PM

                            Yes!

                          2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                            m
                            mjoyous Sep 14, 2011 10:49 AM

                            Anyone else have a similar experience recently at Sea Basket? I last ate there in the spring, and was really disappointed with my fried belly clams. Didn't know if the clams were under-par, or exactly what. Too bad, as it's really a convenient stop for me on my way to Camden.

                        3. f
                          FishTales Aug 25, 2011 06:26 AM

                          I'm not sure if this is the place mentioned above that's now closed... sure hope not as they had the best lobster rolls in 5 hours of coastline driving last spring: Sharpie’s Lobstah Shack Cafe,. in Rockland.

                          Cheers!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: FishTales
                            Passadumkeg Aug 25, 2011 07:10 AM

                            Gone, but not forgotten.

                          2. d
                            dwdunn Aug 25, 2011 08:41 AM

                            Wasse's Hot dogs, two with the works, fried onions, sweet relish and yellow mustard NO catsup you heretic!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: dwdunn
                              Passadumkeg Aug 25, 2011 08:54 AM

                              I was just going to suggest Wasse's. Take the dog and walk acrossm the street and wander around the North Haven/Vinalhaven ferry dock for a wee taste of Maine island life.

                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                d
                                dwdunn Aug 25, 2011 02:04 PM

                                very good choice Mr. P'keg!

                                1. re: dwdunn
                                  Passadumkeg Aug 25, 2011 05:29 PM

                                  I used to be a North Havener!

                              2. re: dwdunn
                                l
                                lifeasbinge Sep 13, 2011 04:21 PM

                                pretty great sauerkraut dogs, too, with fried onion and a smidge of mustard

                              3. b
                                bewley Sep 13, 2011 05:51 PM

                                Well, all of you "locals" can rave about sloppy American Italian food and hot-dogs (I happen to like Wasses, but come on), but I just had a nice meal at Lily Bistro this afternoon. Great beer selection, competent waitstaff, decent menu . . why not help take Rockland up a notch?

                                -----
                                Lily Bistro
                                421 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: bewley
                                  Passadumkeg Sep 14, 2011 05:13 AM

                                  Rockland has Primo and you want to take it "up a notch"? Lots of great dining, but the OP, was pretty specific.

                                  1. re: bewley
                                    MidCoastMaineiac Sep 14, 2011 05:46 AM

                                    Rockland/Rockport/Camden has, arguably, the 2nd best dining scene in the state...not sure where your comment came from?

                                    This thread, using the OP's critieria, has gone down the path of non-Primo Italian, Greek, and Mediterranean...with suggestions for good lobster rolls. My initial comment above was to search for other threads on the topic (we seem to rehash the same stuff over and over). If this thread is intended to become "where is the best place to eat in Rockland" period, then I'd be happy to oblige...

                                  2. b
                                    bewley Sep 14, 2011 08:33 AM

                                    You guys are absolutely correct, I should have focused more on the OP. Primo, I consider an oddity for the town. I do think a place like Lily Bistro does deserve mention however. Rockland has a lot of low-end and Primo on the other end of the spectrum with not a lot in-between. Suzukis also, but they're only open for dinner. How is the brewpub?

                                    -----
                                    Lily Bistro
                                    421 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bewley
                                      MidCoastMaineiac Sep 14, 2011 08:58 AM

                                      Primo would be an oddity in most towns...I personally think it's the best restaurant I've been to in New England...but I always wax poetic about Primo on these boards...so I won't do it again.

                                      I think Rockland (specifically) has a fair number of quality "in between" places:

                                      1. Lily
                                      2. In Good Company
                                      3. Suzuki's
                                      4. Cafe Miranda (can sometimes be higher end of "in-between", but falls in the category I think)
                                      5. Rustica (very underrated IMHO)
                                      6. Amalfi (can be hit or miss sometimes...but definitely quality options).
                                      7. Home Kitchen Cafe (maybe that's one of the "low end" places you're thinking of?)

                                      And other places that I either haven't been or don't necessarily recommend but definitely fall in the "in between" category:

                                      8. Big Fish Cafe
                                      9. Archer's on the Pier
                                      10. Sunfire Grill
                                      11. Park Street Grille

                                      I believe you're referring to the new brewery at Amalfi (Shag Rock). I've only had the Golden Ale and thought it was certainly drinkable, but not outstanding. They have some new brews that I mean to try...just haven't yet.

                                      -----
                                      Cafe Miranda
                                      15 Oak St, Rockland, ME 04841

                                      In Good Company
                                      415 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

                                      Rustica
                                      315 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

                                      Park Street Grille
                                      279 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

                                      Home Kitchen Cafe
                                      650 Main St, Rockland, ME 04841

                                    Show Hidden Posts