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Dinner in Rockland

Stopped by IGC a couple weeks ago. Had an amazing BBQ Short Ribs entree. HUGE piece of beef, boneless with a nice "crust" of caramelized bbq sauce along the whole topside. Sauce was a sweet oniony tomato bbq, not overly sweet, with a nice kick to it. Came with a mashed potato cake and some squash. I was kind of disappointed with the veg, 4 pieces of summer squash/zucchini. But the star of the plate was obviously the short ribs.

Starter was marinated olives, would have gone nicely with some bread, which I wasn't offered. I suppose I could have asked, but I've been watching my carbs a bit :)

Dinner in Rockland

Lily's may be a little too "foo foo" as you call it.

Hmm. For casual dining in Rockland, there are a few other options (in no specific order):

Big Fish is good. Been there once, but have friends and family that have been numerous times. Great quality and quantity of food for the money. Service was good too.

Amalfi - Maybe a little "foo foo" for you but its a great spot to go for a lite meal (appetizers or salad) on a nice day. They're open for lunch also.

Toast of the Town - Lunch only, but great sandwiches, very casual.

The Black Bull - pub style food. Service can be spotty, and it can get loud inside sometimes. Food isn't fantastic but its consistently decent.

Waterworks Pub - I have family that go at least once a month and swear their burgers are great. The two burgers I've had there were either overdone or raw. My luck, I guess.

Sunfire Grill - Mexican food, small place. Great service, food is pretty good (not many Mexican places in Maine).

Camden/Rockland (ME) August 2008

I've been once, and had a good meal. It won't blow your mind, but its very fresh, well prepared seafood at a decent price.

My parents have been numerous times, and swear by the place.

Rockland, ME: In Bad Company

Every place has its nights. Whenever I've been I've had a good time.

Its a small place, with the bar and open kitchen right in the middle. Usually there is at least 3 or 4 staff in the bar and kitchen area, since that is where all the food and drinks are prepared. I'm just saying...you could have walked 3 steps to the bar and caught the attention of someone behind it.

Suzuki's is one of my favorites. I've been going at least twice a month. Love it.

I've heard great things about Francine's, the only caveat is that its very small. Tables very close together when its busy. Let us know what you thought about it.

Food Items from Italy

Hi
I have a relative going to Italy for a couple weeks and wanted to know if there was anything I should ask her to bring back for me.
I was thinking maybe some Bottarga. Not sure how much cheaper truffles are over there either.

Any suggestions would be great.
Thanks

Jul 31, 2008
zeph74 in Italy

Camden/Rockland (ME) August 2008

I went to the Village once. Thats all I'm saying about it.

In Good Company

I don't think they have a website. I'm pretty familiar with the place so ask away.

Camden/Rockland (ME) August 2008

I think we're getting a little off-kilter. The OP asked for recommendations for less expensive fare. They said Francine's was "too pricey" at the top of this thread.

The sushi chef at Mikado is American, yes, but trained in Japan and is a Master Sushi Chef. I am told he trained Keiko from Suzuki's. I have only had Sushi, drinks and dessert at each place, so i can't really comment on their other menu options.

Conte's....lol. I went there a few weeks ago for the first time. The place definitely has character. We had a bad bottle of wine, and when told the server about it she looked at us like we had two heads. "What do you mean its bad, you don't like it?" Haha.

Camden/Rockland (ME) August 2008

Rockland Cafe has a great breakfast. They make a great Homemade corn beef hash, and if they have them get a grilled butter rum muffin.

For a good burger, stop by Waterworks Pub in Rockland.

Hot dogs, Wasses in Rockland and Scott's in Camden.

Sushi, Suzuki in Rockland and Mikado in Camden. Both are excellent.

If you want a nice afternoon trip, stop by Toast of the Town in Rockland and pickup a few sandwiches. They have a very good selection on their normal menu, and run about 10-15 specials daily.
If its a nice day, take it to go and head out to the Breakwater.

Enjoy your stay, this time of year is one of my favorites.

Maine: Native Fish?

Thursday morning all of Rockland harbor had a horrible fishy stench floating around. Was gone by the afternoon, was probably the crabs you were talking about.

Cheap Kobe beef at Biksbee's, Ridgefield CT

Actually Kobe is the capital of Hyogo prefecture in Japan. Any "Kobe" beef outside of Japan is technically Wagyu like the prior posters stated.

The bigger issue is the Japanese beef grading scale compared to the US.

Japanese grade beef from 1 to 12 rating.

USDA Prime is roughly 5 or 6 on the Japanese grade. So USDA top quality cut of beef is a 50% quality cut in Japan.

So in short, US "Kobe Style" beef is usually good quality beef, but in my personal opinion, its just a gimmick in most restaurants.

Maine: Native Fish?

Lobster is definitely a summertime food in Maine.

Unfortunately, the shrimp season is fairly short, the best time for fresh is from Dec. to Feb. Many chefs I've worked with have said that the "small" Maine shrimp do not have the flavor of Tiger Shrimp, or other varieties. I think the reason is that Maine shrimp is usually overcooked, due to its small size. Just barely cooked or even raw, the flavor is very sweet. Of course fresh is the best, but shrimp is also pretty good when flash frozen. Just make sure you use it the same day it thaws, otherwise it will be mushy and lose its sweetness.

Native crab season is much larger, usually from April to December. There are many names for Maine Crab, the most popular is Picket-Toe or "Peekie-Toe" as us natives call it. I think the shedding season is around June-July, where really fresh crabmeat is a little tougher to come by since it spoils quicker. Personally, I've had crabs many different ways...King Crab, Maryland Crab, Dungeness Crab...the sweetest Crab is definitely Maine Crab.

Mussels! Very good mussels in Maine. You can find them both wild and farmed. Honestly I've never been able to tell the difference, aside from the large barnacles and dirty shells on the wild mussels.

Oysters can be good, but are usually very dirty! If you get them fresh make sure to scrub the hell out of them. Pemaquid and North Haven oysters stand out for me, although I've only had them raw.

Scallops are great, if they are local. I think the season is around early spring to early summer for nice big diver scallops. I could be wrong. Most of the scallops you see other times of the year come from ME/NH/MA.

I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of Fish. Let me just rattle off a few that we see fresh regularly:
Halibut
Haddock
Monkfish
some tuna and salmon (although wild salmon is scarce and almost endangered in fresh water)

Enjoy your stay in Maine!

Best Lobster Shacks/Pounds From Rockland to Bar Barbor

There are so many, I'm only going to list a few in the Rockland area. Everyone has their favorites and not-so favorites.

Millers Lobster Co. - Close to you, in Spruce Head. Larger place which is very well known in the area. Lobster, clams, corn on the cob, home made pie, etc.

Waterman's Beach - smaller place, offers the same fare.

Although if you really want to "rough it", you can stop by Jess's Market in Rockland where you can get fresh steamed lobsters to go. Just make sure you have a few nutcrackers and a bunch of napkins :)

If you go through Owl's Head and are in the mood for Lobster Rolls, the Owls Head General Store makes some pretty good ones (and their other sandwiches are great too).

Hope you enjoy your stay!

Good Eats in the Hyannis Area?

Although it is kind of a tourist trap, I would recommend a stop for breakfast at the Egg & I in Hyannis (didn't like the one in Dennis). I haven't been in years, but they had a grilled lime muffin that was memorable. Good overall breakfast joint.

Duck Fat, Portland, ME

Thinking about planning a couple days in Portland for a culinary excursion. Duck Fat is at the top of my list, and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good place to stay (possibly with good chow for breakfast).

Thanks

Best ice cream in Maine

I would have to recommend Dorman's in Rockland and Tubby's in Wayne. Luckily I live in Rockland and have family in the Lewiston/Auburn area. Cote's in Lewiston/Auburn was the place to go when I was young, their Black Raspberry or Butter Pecan were legendary according to my grandparents (who have long since passed).

I vaguely remember going to Cote's in Lewiston (or Auburn) and getting a cone. Walking away from the counter with my cone, the ice cream completely falls off my cone, While upset (and my sister laughing at me) the girl at the counter rushes out and tells me that she'll get me another cone and not to worry about it.

These are the memories that stay. While I am closer in location to Dorman's and Tubby's now, Cote's will always have a place in my heart.

Toast of the Town

Someone mentioned this in another post. Talking shop with other chefs is one of my favorite things to do. Hopefully I'll be able to jump into a conversation, since I'm flying solo.

Mar 10, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting CIA Greystone, need help

Good to know about Bouchon, thanks. While I enjoy sports, I'm not a big sports bar fan.

Mar 10, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Whoopie Pies in Maine?

I have to agree with the Crisco film comment about Wicked Whoopies.

I tried the original a couple weeks ago, and it reminded me of a hostess cupcake.

Last night I tried the Oatmeal, since I used to love the Little Debbie oatmeal&creme sandwiches as a kid. Again it was a bit sickly sweet, with the crisco mouth-feel.

Overall I'd say my aunt Lana makes the best Whoopie Pies in Maine. I may be able to arrange something if the price is right :)

Mar 09, 2008
zeph74 in Northern New England

Toast of the Town

Well part of my trip is not only for the learning experience, but also for networking. Float the name of the inn I work at around, meet some other chefs in the industry, in a nutshell meet some new people. Being a single guy in Maine who lived in Boston for 6 years isn't a cakewalk. I have some social frustration to let out :)

Mar 09, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting CIA Greystone, need help

I emailed the French Laundry 4 days ago, no reply.

Mar 09, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Toast of the Town

I just ran into this while surfing. Any Chowhounders planning on attending this? Have any of you been before and care to share your comments?

---------
A spectacular evening of music, food and wine. Raise your glass and join us for a star-studded celebration of the finest wines the world has to offer. Taste over 500 wines and spirits from internationally acclaimed wineries. Savor the most celebrated culinary creations from 30 of San Francisco's top-rated restaurants.

Thursday, March 27, 2008
War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street
5:00 - 7:00 PM VIP Tasting
7:00 - 10:00 PM Grand Tasting
-----------

I'll be in St.Helena, and while its a bit of a drive for one night, it definitely sounds tempting. I'm thinking of doing just the Grand Tasting, for $95.

Mar 09, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting CIA Greystone, need help

Wow sounds cool! The place is called "Ad Hoc"?

Sorry Chowhound Team, I'll stick to the topic of Chow. Was just looking for some friendly suggestions.

Mar 09, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting CIA Greystone, need help

Yea, that was it, Terra. He said it was a number of years ago though and didn't know if it was still there.

Any other suggestions? The trip is not only a learning experience, but a vacation, so any other activities or nightlife spot recommendations would be appreciated greatly.

Mar 08, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting CIA Greystone, need help

My boss told me not to miss Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. He mentioned another place in Napa...short name, began with a T...i think.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions everyone. Anyone have any more? Possibly some foodie related activities in the area?

Mar 07, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting CIA Greystone, need help

Thanks for the replies.

I forgot to mention, that I am on a budget of sorts. While I'm not afraid to spend money for something totally worth it, I am also a big fan of local favorites, hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, whatever you want to call them.

Mar 06, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting CIA Greystone, need help

Hi
I'm a chef in Maine and plan on attending a 5 day course at CIA Greystone at the end of this month.

Its a bit sudden, I know. Since the courses end in the afternoon, I should have some evening time to enjoy the area.

I would really like to visit the French Laundry, but the tasting menu is a bit pricey. I may just end up going for the heck of it, just to visit and the possibility of getting a book signed by Thomas Keller.

Is there anything else, even non-food related that I should not miss out on while I am in the Napa area?

Also if I'm not asking too much...is there a cheaper place to stay in the St. Helena area other than on campus or El Bonita, both were roughly $600-700 for 5-6 days. My courses start at 7AM, so I wouldn't want anything extremely far...I'm definitely not a morning person.

Thanks in advance

Mar 06, 2008
zeph74 in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Hot Dogs in Maine?

Many people in the midcoast maine area like Wasses Hot Dogs.

You can find them at three locations:

2 North Main St.
Rockland, ME
2075947472

P.O. Box 364
Belfast, ME
207-338-8380

1586 Appleton Ridge Rd
Appleton, ME
207-338-6431

Mar 02, 2008
zeph74 in Northern New England

Anything new in Midcoast Maine?

The new French Bistro on Main St. in Rockland is news to me.

French Quarter "can't miss" spots

Hi
I have an aunt who will be staying at the Mariott in the French Quarter during the week of Mardi Gras. While letting her know how jealous I was, she mentioned that her and her co-workers/friends have no idea where to go for food.

I can't speak for my aunt's co-workers or friends, but I know she really enjoys going out to eat at restaurants. She is fairly open to new things, aside from raw fish or the like.

Could any of you native N'orleans-ers reccomend some of your favorite spots? From fancy expensive to extremely casual local "dives" with great food.

Also since Mardi Gras week is crazy to say the least, could you point out which places she should make reservations at asap.

Thanks in advance

Jan 24, 2008
zeph74 in New Orleans