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Jun 6, 2013 01:07 PM

Casual dinner this Saturday in Mid-Coast Maine (between Damariscotta and Belfast)

A group of 8 of us (all guys in mid/late twenties) are looking for a good dinner on Saturday night. We'll be in the Camden and/or Belgrade areas in the day, and then back in Pemaquid/Bristol area to sleep, so anywhere in between those two places might work.

We're looking for:

- Good beer selection, ideally also a full bar
- Good food.
- Good vegetarian options
- Not "fine dining" --- more local, casual, jeans/t-shirt environment.

I'm thinking a pub-like scene might be what we're looking for, so if anyone has any particular thoughts on the following places, that would be helpful. Or anywhere similar/better:

The Narrows Tavern in Waldoboro
Park Street Grill in Rockland
Any of the various pubs in Camden or Belgrade

Somewhere else? Do any breweries have restaurants that are open late?

Any places with music or fun scene could work too...

Thanks in advance for any suggestions, and I'll be sure to report back regardless of what we decide.

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  1. I'm not local, but I had great fried whole belly clams at The Narrows over the winter - light breading, perfectly done. They have some of the usual vegetarian options, like ravioli, quesadillas that you can make vegetarian if you like, and a boatload of fish options, depending on where fish fall on one's individual vegetarian meter. Lots of locals there, staff and other customers were friendly. Very pubby, and I think they do live music on weekends - haven't done that, so can't personally comment. Next trip up, going there again for sure.

    Here's their menu, in case I shortchanged them on the vegetarian front -

    Upstairs at Primo might also fit the bill, but others can expand on that better than I. Food's great, setting is casual; the only problem might be getting in, so might be good to have a backup option.

    1. If you're coming from Camden, The Slipway in Thomaston or the Park Street Grille would be our picks, food is great at both spots. If you're coming from Belgrade, maybe the Newcastle Publick House.

      2 Replies
      1. re: HaroldandMaude

        I just realized that I meant to say Belfast, not Belgrade. Sorry about mixing up my Maine towns. But still, Newcastle Publick House might be a good option.

        1. re: Dave MP

          The King Eider in Damariscotta is another option.

          Or the Three Tides in Belfast - one of my favourite pubs in the world!

      2. Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Just spent a very nice weekend in Maine.

        On Friday, we bought seafood at a small seafood market in Damariscotta (I don't recall the name), and cooked it at home. Made some very good steamers, and also a pasta dish w/ Italian sausage and mussels. Really good, and nice to have this fresh seafood to cook at home.

        On Saturday night, we ended up eating at Newcastle Publick House. It ended up being a very good spot for us, although some food items were much better than others. For appetizers, we had both the mussels and clams, and neither was as good as what we made at home. The steamers were cooked w/ beer and bacon I think, and served w/ some nice warm baguette for dipping in the broth, but the clams were a bit tough and the broth got a bit sandy. The mussels were cooked w/ some alcohol/garlic combination, and were good but not memorable. We also had some smoked PBR chicken wings which were only OK.

        For an entree, I had the fish and chips. The batter on the fish was very thick and almost bready, and the serving was huge (3 very large pieces of haddock). The fish was a tad overcooked. Meanwhile, the fries were excellent. Thick cut, seasoned, and tasted great w/ the malt vinegar.

        People around me had a seafood-stuffed haddock (mediocre), and some burgers (which were excellent). If I were to ever go here again, I'd stick w/ a burger and fries.

        Beer selection was good, with lots of local options.

        Finally, on Sunday, on the way home, we stopped at Red's Eats in Wiscasset. I got a lobster roll w/ drawn butter. Bun was warm, lobster was cold (but there was a ton of meat for the $16.95 price), and dipping in the butter was great. One of the best lobster rolls I've ever had, and definitely worth a stop.

        Thanks again all for the suggestions!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Dave MP

          Photos of fish and chips, stuffed haddock, and burger/fries

          1. re: Dave MP

            It sounds like your home cooked meal and Red's redeemed the food scene, although that burger really does look good! What kind of roll? Brioche?

            1. re: Pat Hammond

              I only had a bite of the burger, so I can't quite remember the roll. It does look like brioche in the picture....though I don't remember it being anything that different than a standard bun.

              But yeah, getting local seafood to cook ourselves was definitely a highlight food-wise. Some of the best steamers I've ever had, nice and big and sweet tasting.