diamond days in midcoast maine
well, we didn’t wander too much…and it was actually 4 days….but wednesday was a really great day on our midcoast maine meander. our very very peaceful ‘ever-so-mini-vacation’…..
we set out monday morning – making a quintessential stop at snug harbor farm – a place that makes me very happy
onward to portland (we had a delivery to make) + a quick stop at longfellow books to ‘stock up’ for our vacation! by monday afternoon we were happily ensconced with our books + bubbly on the camden waterfront.
note my natural linen backpack given to me by our friends at verellen – best summer book backpack ever!….that’s a little dennis lehane mystery to start the reading…
our 1st delightful ‘discovery’ – 18 central oyster bar + grill in rockport maine. rockport is one of my favorite villages in maine – it’s ‘cool quaint’ with an amazing dining scene (given the size). the staff is delightful, the vibe is welcoming, casual yet very professional (a unique balance – right?)…and the food was fabulous! did i mention a wonderful menu – not huge, but full of variety – and OPEN ON MONDAYS ! recommendations: roasted mussels (the carmelized fennel with the pastis made this dish REMARKABLE in every way), scallops + pork belly, oysters (of course – professional shuck, super chill, super fresh)….and the rhubarb crumble (oh my!) i would highly recommend reservations – this spot is hot!
home for 3 awesome evenings! the whitehall inn is perfect – a bright, happy upscale camp style with sophisticated service. a lark hotel with decor + design by rachel reider interiors – it’s a happy, livable spot – 5 minute walk from camden harbor.
outdoor patios + fires – made lounging + staring up at the great trees a relaxing end-of-day must!
and PORCHING…this is what vacation in maine is all about (okay, besides the hiking, beaches, food, long drives of discovery, beautiful towns…and the coastline)
a beach with a view – pemaquid beach feels like a secret beach – and we hope it stays that way. a small cresent beach at the mouth of the damariscotta river – quiet, fluffy white sand + oh so well maintained…truly relaxing.
can’t go to bristol without a visit to pemaquid lighthouse
latte…on the 4th and everyday from ZOOTS! absolutely my favorite coffee shop on the midcoast – enjoyed it at this glorious park at the head of camden harbor.
how did we celebrate the 4th? lattes, morning at the beach (pemaquid of course), the damariscotta river cruise + lobster rolls al fresco (and byob….could it be any better). check out our day on the river 2016 for an idea of why you MUST check this cruise out!…a really great addition in 2017 – olga’s charming young son + 3 sparkling roses!
about midway through the cruise the oyster farmers of norumbega oysters pulled along side with a delivery! talk about fresh. plans were then to hustle back to camden for a few harborside cocktails + fireworks….but instead, we took a meander….lucky we did – a new discovery – McLoon’s Lobster Shack on Spruce Head Island!
can’t beat the view OR the lobster rolls at McLoon’s – picnic table service – what i would say is a very well executed, rather ‘sophisticated’ menu for a lobster shack – clam dip – yes please! the lobster rolls – old school perfection. no extra ‘stuff’ – just sweet maine lobster, a hint of mayo, s+p stuffed in a roll. next time we check out other items on the menu….everything looked good. and the best part – byob!
wednesday…wow, another glorious day at the beach…(a little tired)
and then on to the amazing PRIMO – i had never been, dying to go for YEARS! worth the wait!
a few suggestions…if you like a ‘quiet table’ – make reservations…otherwise, we suggest getting in line for the 5:00pm opening (no reservations) space in the lounge – either at the bar or at the counter! it’s a wonderful mix of locals + not so locals – extremely vibrant – lots to see, hear and share. we loved it! the menu changes daily but we can tell you, everything was amazing! dish of the evening? hard to say…but the local blue fin tuna with curried cauliflower was perfection.
no matter whether driving to-or-fro, always cut through the back roads to see the belted galloways at aldermere farm. these are a few loverlies at sunset.
just driving around….getting around midcoast means a lot of driving up and down the peninsulas…so much to enjoy. blueberry season is coming!
back to reality…almost! we spent our last evening in portland at the wonderful press hotel. our treat – a visit to hugo’s...and the 9 course tasting menu. worth every crazy penny we spent. service, food, wine – perfect in every way!
let me tell you, the 9 course blind tasting – well, you just need to go! started with a mini-quenelle ‘tuna nicoise’ – blue fin tuna, nicoise olives, tomato gelee; next up scallop crudo with snap peas, black sesame puree, cilantro + scallion threads – here’s sam preparing the dish
tinned fish is all the rage….and i have truly been wondering why – my experiences have not been great…but the tinned oysters at hugo’s (a very special treat from co-owner, and expediter for the evening, mike wiley) were EXTRAORDINARY! (btw, this is the 1st time in the last 3 years that i went to portland without visiting eventide…the lines were too too long on monday – but we did manage ‘a wave to’ our favorite bartender – ryan!)…did you know eventide is opening in boston…just waiting for permits!!!
patrick serving up a madiera tasting
friday, it was back to the shop…but here are a few other colorful sitings from our “4 day wandering in midcoast maine”