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Lobster Stew with Spring Chives and Saffron Cream

May 30, 2008
Farnam897 in Recipes

555 Portland: Slam Dunk

555, Cinque Terre, Hugos and Fore Street Grill are all serving food together at a big event in Portland. I don't know how to let everyone know without running afoul of posting etiquette, but damn it looks like good eats.

Amalfi in Rockland

Went there last night. WOW what a change! Here's what has stayed the same: the menu. What's changed: everything is five times bigger! There must be 35 tables, 10 people in the kitchen, 25 stools around the bar and 3 hostesses. It's a huge change from the quaint little Rockland eatery — they have their eyes set on big things. Knowing how hard it is to put all that together, I'd say they did a fabulous job because the place was busy and the food was OK. They still had a bit of new-restaurant-blues — the food was only OK and the waitstaff a little uneven — but the owners put a ton of effort into making this change. I'd bet they quickly settle down.

Unfortunately the menu (IMHO) isn't up to their aspirations; As I mentioned above, it's essentially the same food. They really need to kick up the menu to the level of 555, Primo or Natalie's if they're to continually fill all those seats.

Best of luck to them.

555 Portland: Slam Dunk

555 is tops. Again, too bad about Hugos... they usually are fantastic. Have you been to Cinque Terre ?

Memorial Day Road Trip- First Time to Maine (HELP!)

Seems like a culinary wasteland — you'd be better off in Portland! :-)

Memorial Day Road Trip- First Time to Maine (HELP!)

Somebody tell me a good restaurant in Hampton Beach, Salisbury, Newbury Port or West Newbury — dang, a tourist could starve to death! Some places just need local guidance.

Heading Back to Ellsworth

There's a nice article in Down East about interesting places to eat in Maine. It's not intended to be a "best" article, just interesting & good:

Michelin star restaurants north of Boston?

Does any know of a Michelin star (or better) restaurant north of Boston?

Hugo's in Portland: innovative, pricey, and still hungry

Too bad. Can I be critical of your criticism? There are very few places in Maine where you could have had a dinner like the one you describe, plus $60 pp is par for the area. To me Hugo's is less consistent then some of the other fine Portland establishments but I think that is due to the volume of business they get. That said, on any given night Hugo's can rock your world like no other fine dining establishment in the area.

New England wedding restaurant

The Camden/Rocport/Rockland Maine area has several wonderful restaurants that would fit a small to medium wedding party: Primo, Natalies, Youngtown Inn or Hartstone Inn (they are all on the web) plus you would have Penobscot Bay in the background. Some of the smaller restaurants would probably fit you in (Francine's, Amalfi's, Cafe Miranda, Ephemere).

If you are looking for the highest "top-end" restaurant, The White Barn in Kennebunkport is probably it. More suggestions are at:

Best ice cream in Maine

Dorman's is a Rockland icon!

Amalfi in Rockland

I think French Laundry charges $125 for their kobe beef burger not that I've had one, nor would I know the difference if I did [except it would be 3/4's raw]!

Rollie's in Belfast, Me

I haven't been there for years but the Twilight Cafe was great (no Tim "The Barbarian" Boestch, not to be mean).

Maine - Good, Bad, or Eh...ok?

I haven't been there for over a year (wine gives my significant-other a migraine) — now I have an excuse!

Memorial Day Road Trip- First Time to Maine (HELP!)

No, no, no — there's great food in Freeport! A favorite is Azure Cafe — plus there is always the Harraseeket Inn.

Dinner at Youngstown Inn, Lincolnville, Me

I went there about 3 months ago — still the same: very competent, quiet and reasonably priced.

Habanero Grill, Rockport (ME): Don't bother

BELAY that flame! H's is FINE and the recipes ARE authentic BUT they taste like home cooked food from mexicans in mexico! The green-pork-chili panned by other reviewers is a classic GPC except for one thing: this has huge pieces of pork. For the uninitiated, GPC is a poor-man's food usually made with leftover bits of pork chopped up quite small.

The owners & staff are mostly from mexico (just don't shout, "immigración!" or you'll get trampled.) I'm sure if you want more "heat" they will gladly give it to you, just realize most mexican food isn't very spicy.

These guys hold there own against the others in the area and they easily are the most authentic. (My favorite is Sunfire Grill in RKD because we've been going there for the longest time.) The atmosphere is family but what do you expect for a burrito dinner anyway?

favorite Maine lobster roll spots?

Red's, Red's, Red's — how can you beat it? But, if you had only one day left to eat a lobster roll in Maine.... never ever to return... Beal's Lobster Pound in Southwest would be my pick. Two Lights is great too — see the review in Down East:

one night in Camden

grant.cook's comment gave me another idea: the rocks on Beauchamp Point in Rockport.

Memorial Day Road Trip- First Time to Maine (HELP!)

I would recommend driving a stretch of Route 1 which goes right along the coast from New Hampshire all the way to Canada. The most picturesque areas are north of Portland — Falmouth, Freeport (home to LL Bean), Booth Bay, New Castle, Pemaquid Point, and Camden are the places to spend the night. I'd pick where you are going to stay then find the good eats. If your heart is set on Portland then JenBoes later suggestions are perfect (my favorite is 555). It's hard to go wrong if you head to the coast.

one night in Camden

One place many people don't think of for drinks is the porch over the water at the Camden Deli... but they only serve beer & inexpensive wine. The Waterfront has another nice patio at the water's edge. Natalie's is elegant & they do the "sophisticated" thing better than anyone in town. And JMF is right about Francine's, they do a good job, the bar in particular, just don't think about it when you get the bill.

Off-season restaurants in Camden, ME?

I'm thinking it's just renovation jitters — perhaps the extra seats & increased staff added a little disorganization, but I can't imagine Primo's isn't in top-form by now. They are too good.

Also, JMF I've read your other posts — ask Kerry at Cafe Miranda to make Beef Groche (sp?) for you — it will melt your face off but boy-o-boy, it's oh-so-good and it will make you a true believer.

"I have seen the light!!!"

Maine - Good, Bad, or Eh...ok?

In good company is serving dinner? I thought they only served Hors d'Oeuvres.

Camden/Rockport/Rockland area dining

IGC and Francine's are nice but you are plain wrong about Francine's being better than Primo's — or Hartstone, or Natalie's, or Cafe Miranda or even Ephemere for that matter. Camden has a ton of expensive restaurants but take a look at your bill after having dinner & drinks at Francine's — it's a bistro for god's sake, with good simple food, yet I've spent more on a dinner there than any of the other places... except Primo, but Primo worth it!