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Jul 25, 2013 05:20 AM

Damariscotta rec

I hear oysters are good in the area. Will be there in late Aug. Any recs for casual, eat and go freshly shucked oysters? Belon type oysters (even though the waters are no where near Belon waters)
They also say there is good ice cream in the area.

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  1. Have you searched the board?

    1. Not an oyster expert but you can check this place out:

      restaurant is pretty good and I just checked - they serve pemaquid oysters

      Also you are not far from Glidden Point Oyster Farm. We've bought a dozen or so in the past and gorged on those as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Apple

        Thanks, I did a general search and found many recs fo the pub and this river grill. I was hoping to find the oyster equivalent to a lobster pound. No frills, eating outdoors, simple but fresh. Really, just a place that shucks oysters...I'd even bring my own lemon!

        1. re: itryalot

          Schooner Landing is probably your best bet - it's a restaurant on Main Street (Business U.S. Route 1) in Damariscotta that has very good Pemaquid oysters and tons of outdoor seating.

          I haven't been there in several years but recall it being a nice place to sit at the outside picnic tables with some freshly shucked raw oysters and a cold pint while taking in the views of the Damariscotta River.

          According to their website, they serve free oysters at their dockside bar every Friday at 4pm:

          I wouldn't bother with the rest of their food, which is mostly forgettable-to-just-ok, with plenty of misses on the menu and indifferent service. Not to mention, it's overpriced for what you're getting.

          As you know, the Damariscotta area is famous for the quality of its oysters. In this town alone, Schooner Landing, King Eider's Pub, and Damariscotta River Grill are three places that serve Pemaquids (not sure what other types of oysters are available). The latter two restaurants are clean, cozy spots with a dining room and a pub area, but they don't have the type of outdoor dock seating that you're looking for. Schooner Landing definitely has the most casual decor and vibe of the three, while Damariscotta River Grill is the most formal spot by default, albeit not stuffy at all. And King Eider's Pub feels like a nice, non-divey pub - a great place for oysters, crab cakes, or chowder with a pint on a bad weather day.

          In the neighboring town of Newcastle, there's Newcastle Publick House:

          I've never been there but have it on my list of places to try.

          And as mentioned by Apple, Glidden Point Oyster Sea Farm is a terrific retail oyster shop that operates out of a private house in nearby Edgecomb. The Glidden Point oysters I bought at this place were probably the best I had anywhere in Maine.

          In the past, Glidden Point customers had to shuck their oysters on their own, which I found to be a major hassle as a total newbie. But according to GP's website, they now shuck oysters for customers upon request - I'd call them in advance to verify this.

          For ice cream, the place to go in Damariscotta is Round Top Ice Cream. They should have wild blueberry ice cream very soon, which is a must order. While I like Round Top and think it's the best in the area, I do feel there's better ice cream in other parts of the state.

      2. I emailed Glidden Point Oyster Farm and they won't shuck. My husband thinks I should buy a dozen and try to shuck them myself - okee dokee....I don't think so.

        11 Replies
        1. re: itryalot

          It's too bad that Glidden Point won't shuck the oysters for you; thanks for looking into this, though.

          I guess GP should update their website, which currently reads as follows:

          "Stop in and learn how to shuck your own oysters or let us do it for you."

          Again, the Glidden Point oysters I bought at this place were almost certainly the best I've had anywhere in Maine. Shucking the oysters was such a pain for us, though - it took multiple tries to get each oyster open (a few actually took as long as 10 minutes - of course, an experienced shucker would've still been able to get the more stubborn oysters open pretty quickly), and sometimes bits of broken shell would leak into the insides. Also, you'll need to buy a shucking glove to protect your hands; otherwise, you'll surely scrape them up.

          The GP oysters tasted fantastic, but spending a good hour or so to shuck a couple dozen oysters and ending up with semi-bloody hands was not my idea of fun. Really, the self-shucking was the only reason I hadn't returned to this place in a couple of years, since I'd rather just have someone else do it for me.

          1. re: italianices

            Glidden Point is a working oyster farm so it doesn't surprise me that they can't drop everything and shuck some oysters for the occasional person who shows up in their driveway. Usually when we go there is no one at the little shop at all save the dog and there's just an honor box to put your money in. So I agree they should take that off their site.
            Oysters are more popular outside of Maine so there isn't the local demand needed to support an oyster on the dock kind of place, most places serving oysters are higher end. As someone else mentioned Muscongus Bay is your best choice and it's a beautiful spot. We always make a day of Pemaquid Light, Pemaquid beach, Muscongus Bay lobster and oysters, followed by ice cream and candy store at the Granite Hall Store.
            Leaving for Maine on Friday, can you tell I'm looking forward to it?!

            1. re: italianices

              It's too bad you had such a poor experience your first time shucking. Did you let them know you never schucked oysters before and did they offer to teach you?

              The first time I picked up oysters at Glidden Point I also bought a great quality oyster shucking knife and gloves from them, for a reasonable price. And they gave me a quick lesson on how to shuck. It was very easy and when we got home I shucked five dozen oysters very quickly, and it was fun. It actually made me enjoy the oysters even more.

              1. re: JMF

                Yes, at the time of purchase, I recall letting them know that we were oyster shucking newbies, and the lady just sort of shrugged and mumbled that they had oyster shucking knives and gloves for sale. So we bought a knife and a single glove (should've bought two of them) and asked her how to shuck, and the lady dismissively replied, "It's easy, you'll pick it up quick."

                I then said something to the extent of, "So, something like this?" while mimicking what I thought was a shucking motion. And she said, "Yeah, yeah, it's easy, you'll figure it out." She didn't seem particularly friendly and was obviously quite disinterested in giving us a quick shucking lesson, so we didn't press the issue any further. Besides, we figured, how hard could it be?

                As it turned out, shucking did not come naturally to us. So maybe we should have pressed her for something resembling a shucking lesson. But the oysters sure were fantastic.

                1. re: italianices

                  That's a shame. I had two young guys there showing me and my friends exactly how to hold the oyster, the knife, where and how to insert it, etc.

                  1. re: JMF

                    Cool, glad it worked out well for you. :) Unfortunately, my friends and I are not very mechanically inclined, so a simple task turned out to be a real chore. :(

                    I think I'm going to have to watch some youtube videos on oyster shucking before my upcoming trip to Maine. It's been a few years since I've had the Glidden Point oysters and I really don't want to miss out this time around.

                    1. re: italianices

                      Why not pick up some from a local fish monger and practice after you watch those videos? Once you get the hang of it you'll be able to relax and enjoy those Glidden Point's.

                      1. re: JMF

                        I think I'm going to do exactly that, thanks. :)

                        1. re: JMF

                          Last year we tried to shuck our GP oysters. This year I saw in Bon Appetit a method where you put them on the BBQ for a couple of minutes, they pop open - warmed and full of liquor. Different experience. Still tasty

                          1. re: Apple

                            I guess I can sniff at those who haven't had the opportunity to shuck and learn. I was a newbie once too. My parents didn't even teach me to eat oysters --- I had to lean about oysters on my own when I was in my mid-20's. My parents should be ashamed, but I still love them. They just didn't know any better as they were from the 3rd World (San Francisco).

                            After oystering in Great Bay NH, and opening a few thousand oysters, the key for me is a towel --- not a glove. When I first stared shucking I used a rubber or "glass" glove. It seemed to make sense, but with practice you learn that if doesn't.

                            If you want to open the briny delights, use a dish towel to hold them in place against the kitchen counter (or the floor of your car). Obviously an oyster "knife" is best... but not necessary..... hell, a regular screwdriver will work. Or a car key.

                            1. re: Dave B

                              A few thousand oysters would do it! For those of us who only shuck a few dozen a year, it isn't like riding a bike!