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Need help with Mont Tremblant

First trip to Canada! We are going to MT the week between Xmas and New years. We have 5 adults, 1 picky 6 year old and a car. Budget is not a consideration, but prefer a place where we can get the picky little guy something. We will eat in 3 nights, and are planning on doing grocery/wine shopping in St. Sauveur. With that in mind, I am looking for:

Best places to eat dinner in area (anything within a 20 minute drive of ski village)
Best Fondue (within 20 minute drive of ski village)
Best places to eat lunch (close enough to get back on the mountain for skiing after)
Best places to try Poutine and Beavertail
Any other local delicacies that can't be missed.
Please let me know also if you think I should reserve ahead.

I have the following on my list of possibilities:

Lunch: Coco Pazzo, Fat Mardi's, Creperie Catherine
Dinner: L'Escalope, C'est La Vie, Le Vieux Four

Any help is appreciated. I am so excited to be going to Canada!

Dec 01, 2009
kbear in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

St. Louis - Greek Coffee at home??

Anyone have any ideas on where to buy decaf greek coffee and the necessary (from what I am reading online) cooking pot for it? In Mid-county or the city? Thanks so much for any help you can give.

Oct 15, 2009
kbear in General Midwest Archive

Camden, Maine

This is our 7th trip to Camden during the Fourth of July week. We've only been here a few days but we have done nothing but eat. The sun finally came out and the locals are so happy!

Cappy's: Exactly the same. A reliable standard for us especially the clam chowder. The lobster dinner was very good with corn and potato. The salads are crisp and fresh. Picky child's quesadilla was scarfed. Cappy's is always solid service, good food and a great place to start the scarf-fest.

Marriner's: This little luncheonette/breakfast place is just a gem. It is cozy and clean. They have huge breakfast specials for a very good price. We always get the blueberry pancake (the size of the big old plate), bacon, egg coffee and i think it's only $6.95. We have ordered eggs poached, scrambled, over-easy and sunny side up and EVERY time they are perfect. Bacon is perfectly browned and crisp, nongreasy. Yesterday I tried the hash brown pattie and it was about the size of a deck of cards, crunchy on the outside and soft inside. I don't think you can order anything you won't like here. I keep swearing to try the monte cristo sandwich. A bonus here is that if the weather is decent, you can sit outside overlooking the waterfall. We dream about this place when we get home. Service is great, too.

Paolina's Way: We were very excited to try the new kid in town. This restaurant is a bit tricky to find - it is on the lower level of the building that backs up to the main parking lot on the harbor. It opened at the end of last summer. When we found it we were charmed with what the owners had accomplished with the setting. It is a little piece of Italy. Outside there are tables with fresh flowers and a gelato cart; inside the walls are cheery and there are nice long benched tables. Full service bar and a decently priced wine list; by the glass and by the bottle. Picky child had a plain cheese pizza which was delicious. The pizzas are 14 inches, very thin and cooked at high heat. Ingredients are sprinkled sparingly. Pizzas make up half the menu but since all of us adults had eaten Flatbread in Portland 2 nights in a row immediately prior to arriving, we all opted for the nonpizza portion of the menu. Salads were exquisite - my ceaser was one of the best I've ever had - not too heavy on the dressing and very garlicky. Others enjoyed the fresh greens with a blueberry vinaigrette. We had seen the lady from the restaurant buying the greens that morning at the Farmer's Market. My spaghetti and meatballs were awesome - two golf-ball sized meatballs, perfectly cooked, with fresh, homemade pasta and a slightly sweet, but also salty red sauce. My husband and mother had mussels cooked in a wine/tomato broth, and said they were the best ever. My dad had the special - mushroom ravioli in a garlic cream sauce. He was sad he hadn't gotten something with a red sauce because mine was so good but managed to finish it and wipe it up with the great bread.

Ephemere: We love this place. The owner is so kind and welcoming. We always have a glass of Pomelo at the bar, which gets to be a hoppin' place later in the evening but is something out of Hemingway early. We try to sit upstairs for dinner here, to keep an eye on the action. We had balsamic-glazed salad with little pine nuts and chevre. We had sashimi tuna, barely cooked and served cold with an Asian slaw. We had tomato-gorgonzola bisque. We had duck croquettes with dijon mustard. We had the cheese plate with a variety of cheeses and meats. We had the lobster special, which was lobster in a butter sauce with veggies and breadcrumbs. The best was the lobster appetizer - tender pieces of lobster served on a rich sweet corn risotto. To die for. I think this is a great place to go and eat but also a great place to sit on the outdoor patio and have a glass of wine and snacks.

All of our dinners so far have been followed by ice cream from Camden Cone - a venerable institution here.

The Farmer's Market is awesome here - - there is a mushroom guy, a pasta guy, a chicken lady, a goatcheese lady, tons of flowers, a lamb guy and many vegetable purveyors. It is a wonderful way to put together a gourmet lunch. Dogs are allowed. Again, tricky to find, signage is better this year, but it is behind Knox Mill.

Jul 06, 2009
kbear in All New England Archive

STL - Run, do not walk, to Eau

Went to Eau in the Chase with picky husband Friday night for a quick bite before a movie. We decided to go to the casual side (on the right when you walk in the front door). We have been here many times over the years with varied results. We decided to sit outside. It was so glamorous. The Chase is looking really good - palm trees, pool, attractive diners. It was like 4 Seasons in Vegas. But in St. Louis, in September, for god's sake! Food was AMAZING. We both had the carpaccio, which looked disappointing when served, but it was phenomenal. Little rolls of beef, browned ever so slightly on the edges, with heirloom tomato and basil inside. Some reduction sauce drizzled on the plate. A huge parmesean frico in an equally large bowl of grainy aioli. Then hubby had the mussels which were in a broth unlike any other we'd had - mushroomy? beefy? I don't know, but it also had little pieces of (normally repugnant) eggplant which I am not sure why, but seemed like genius. Y'know how you can never sop up all the broth since you would die from eating all that bread? Eggplant solves it. I had the scallops - 2, very dry, with a little cup of some funky good rice and bits of cucumber. Also the wine list is short but creative and the service was more than adequate. Go here before the weather turns. It is expensive but so worth it. I hear Brian Hale (spelling?) is the chef - he gets all kudos. Menu has some old faves but the new is better than ever.

Sep 28, 2008
kbear in General Midwest Archive

Spending a week in Portland, Maine.

We just went thru Portland on our way to Midcoast. Had a great dinner at Flatbread Pizza (don't miss the salads) and breakfast at O'Natural, both of which are in the waterfront area. O'natural has these flatbread breakfast paninis - egg, cheddar, bacon - something different for breakfast. Also great oatmeal with walnuts and raisins. Oh, and we went to Peaks Island on the ferry, which is a short trip but very pleasant and had a divine lobster salad lunch at the Inn on an old-fashioned big porch overlooking the water. Also enjoyed Gilberts on waterfront for chowder. Next time we will do Duckfat, can't wait.

Jul 01, 2008
kbear in All New England Archive

Portland,ME recs for dinner & lunch with 5 year old

Thank you everyone for wonderful and appetizing suggestions. Will report upon return, not that any of you chowhounds need it! Really looking forward to being there!

kbear

Jun 17, 2008
kbear in All New England Archive

Portland,ME recs for dinner & lunch with 5 year old

Coming next week for our much-anticipated yearly trip thru Portland on the way up north. We always eat at Flatbread pizza, but since we have 2 nights this year, I am in need of suggestions for another place that wouldn't be crushingly boring for a 5 year old and would have something different and tasty, if not outright exciting and gourmet for us older people. Thanks in advance. Also, is there still a place called Norm's near Art Museum? Would you pick that or Duckfat or something else close to museum for lunch?

Thanks again for any assistance.

Kbear

Jun 11, 2008
kbear in All New England Archive

Las Vegas - short reviews

Right On! about 4 Seasons poolside.

The idea of going to a buffet is usually repugnant to me only because I tend to eat all bad-for-me food and walk away groaning with self-disgust. The atmosphere at the Wynn buffet was very pleasant, although impersonal. So, I guess a comment on both.

Apr 10, 2008
kbear in Southwest

Las Vegas - short reviews

Just got back from Vegas (heaven!) and thought I'd jot as follows:

L'Atelier (MGM) - I loved this place - very small, very intense experience with a very nice tasting menu. Service was expert, watching the chefs was so much fun and the food was great. My husband was put off by having to sit sushi-bar style around the bar, but perhaps that was my fault for not warning him. The bathroom here is existential. I would not recommend this restaurant for anyone who doesn't enjoy the work of preparing food.

Craftsteak (MGM) - Hands down the best dining service of the trip. I called to check the time and they told me they had lost my reservation, but they made another and we had an excellent, spacious table in the back. Our server, Patricia, spent more than her allotment of time on us - assuring my husband about the steaks and his choices. Another server kept coming by and informing everyone of the score of the KU-Memphis game in a very in(un?)obtrusive manner. At one point, I questioned whether the greens in my cuke salad were actually the advertised watercress and the kitchen took the time to send a bunch of it out in its original wrapping with a detailed explanation of why it was so tasty and so sizeable. Food was perfection. Other than the cuke salad, we had jerusalem artichokes, a creamy gratin of potatos & leeks and, of course, steaks. I got the australian waygu (sp?) which was definitely worth every penny over the regular steak, although the regular steak was quite good as well. Also my husband commented on the excellent pricing of some of the wines and the sommelier came over to discuss and was charming. In my book, Craftsteak only trails Peter Lugars in Brooklyn (I love it nostalgically). Atmosphere is Grand Steakhouse with low lights and leather but open and huge. Next time I will get the fois gras and the japanese super-steak.

We also had dinner at Jasmine at Bellagio and, other than the dancing fountains (fun the first 10 times) and the excellent lady sommelier, it was regrettable. Food was overpriced even by Vegas standards, portions smallish and it actually tasted like they used La Choy soy sauce to cook everything. Would not go back.

What looked like a scary foray into Buffetville was actually fairly decent at the Wynn. Sorry, I don't have the name. Lots of variety, fresh fruits and veggies.

Breakfast and lunch at Four Seasons poolside was faultless. Not extraordinary, but the level of service and the surroundings made it great.

Can't wait to go back and try more!

Apr 09, 2008
kbear in Southwest

STL: trip report (long)

Glad to hear you had a decent dining time. We have a 4 year old who loooooves Pasta House in the CWE. It is very kid-friendly if you tire of sns. There is another one on Delmar, in UCity.

Mar 10, 2008
kbear in General Midwest Archive

STL...Off the Vine, Hampton Ave.

The sauce. Are you kidding? I WISH I could find that kind of steak here.

Mar 03, 2008
kbear in General Midwest Archive

STL...Off the Vine, Hampton Ave.

I went a few weeks ago and Loved It. Had the steak that comes with their homemade steak sauce and it was very similar to Peter Luger's in Brooklyn. Mmmmm. I have sent probably 10 people there and the ones who do NOT like it are not really "into" food as much as the others who looooved it so I am thinking either you love or hate it depending on how flexible you are with interpretations of standards. I am told to avoid the Ceasar salad. Beet salad rocks though. I also enjoyed the dark, cozy atmosphere - I thought it was sort of romantic and comfortable but still got you looking foward to whatever was ordered. We had great service, too.

Feb 28, 2008
kbear in General Midwest Archive

Anything new in Midcoast Maine?

I am planning our yearly trip to Midcoast (Camden) for this summer. Is it too early to ask if anyone knows of any new restaurants/farmers markets/other food necessaries in the area? Thanks for any help.

I'll wait patiently if you tell me it is too early to ask. . .just pining away here in Midwest and looking forward to the trip, greatly.

Feb 21, 2008
kbear in All New England Archive

Firefly Grill in Effingham IL

Now that link made my mouth water. 2 questions. Is it worth a special trip to go there and turn around and drive back to STL? Should we wait until summer so we can eat outside - their site says they have a big deck, does it look like more fun than inside (especially b/c of noise)?

Thanks!

Jan 25, 2008
kbear in General Midwest Archive

St. Louis breakfast

I am surprised no one mentioned Kopperman's on Euclid in the CWE. Excellent potato pancakes, lox specialties, omelets with a Jewish deli feel. I love the service there. They also have lunch-y type things if you're not in the mood for breakfast.

Jan 25, 2008
kbear in General Midwest Archive

Firefly Grill in Effingham IL

Anyone been? I saw it was named #2 in Bon Appetit for Eco Restaurants. #1 is one of my favorite restaurants in the whole wide world, so I was thinking about getting people together for the roadtrip from St. Louis. The menu looks pretty good but I am wondering if it is worth the drive from here?

Thanks.

Jan 22, 2008
kbear in General Midwest Archive

Cookbook Library? Cookbook Store?

My mother says for her 60th birthday, she wants to go to the best cookbook library in the US. Any ideas where this might be? Lacking that, anyone have recommendations on great cookbook stores?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Jan 14, 2008
kbear in Food Media & News

STL - The Crossing

We went to the Crossing the other night for dinner. We were happy to be able to get a reservation less than 24 hours ahead, at a convenient time. I hadn't been here in a few years but heard they made some changes to the menu and wanted to investigate. I am SOO glad we did.

The atmosphere has the same vibe, with different chairs and wall color - very inviting and comfortable. We started with that killer hot blue cheese in a ramekin. We had to order another one. I silently thanked myself for cutting out the recipe last time it ran in Sauce. I had the beet salad - scrumptious as always. My main course was a white fish with a beurreblanc sauce and truffle oil? Perfect combination. My dad, who is a light eater, ordered the pasta with a cream sauce. It was very small, just right for a first course, kinda like what you might find in Italy. There was fair warning that it would be small. Of course, then he ate my fish too! We had a great wine, plenty of selection there. We also had the warm chocolate torte - very good. Espresso was perfect. They were pushing the fact that they had a black truffle stash for grating (at a price), but it was very seasonal and fun.

Our server, Augustus, was extremely courteous and somehow made the evening even better. Valet parking is available and overall, the price wasn't too heinous. I can't imagine it will be so easy to get a reservation in the future, as the Crossing is better than ever.

Nov 12, 2007
kbear in General Midwest Archive

Need rec.s for Top-Notch St. Louis Dining

Our dinner, which was 2 appetizers, 2 salads, 2 main courses, one dessert, one tray of nifty yummies after dessert, coffee and an $80 bottle of wine was $245. Worth every penny.

Oct 23, 2007
kbear in General Midwest Archive

Need rec.s for Top-Notch St. Louis Dining

Ok, so we ended up going to An American Place and it was amazing! We had a charcuterie platter with sausage, country pate and something that my hubby scarfed too quickly for me to try, salads, steak, beef cheeks and a massive creme brulee. Service was exceptional and I thought the price was appropriate given the large amounts of food and the perfect timing of everything. The room IS fantastic - dark and elegant, but not pretentious. The chef came out and the end and he was delightful to speak with. I cannot wait to go back. I love the emphasis on local products - it will be interesting to eat here in the dead of winter, with all the root veggies. All of the food was pretty imaginative and unusual, which was exactly what I wanted. Thanks guys for pointing me here. There isn't anything else like it in STL.

Oct 22, 2007
kbear in General Midwest Archive

Need rec.s for Top-Notch St. Louis Dining

Our Anniversary is quickly on its way and i need to find a special place to celebrate. No list includes: Tony's, Niche, anything in Central West End (our regular haunt) or anything west of 170. Husband digs steak, I like to try new things. I haven't been to An American Place yet - has anyone been there in last 30 days? Anywhere else I am missing out on that would be a really special, romantic place that one wouldn't go on a monthly basis due to cost?

Oct 10, 2007
kbear in General Midwest Archive

Rise, Balthazar, Le Bernadin, Gotham, Peter Lugar

Ate our way silly through NYC last weekend.

Rise Bar is the best tourist bar EVER. Had cocktails on the extremely windy bar overlooking the Statue of Liberty then moved inside to eat almost everything on the bar menu (we had a fun group). Of particular note were the Kobe Beef kebabs and the Italian meat appetizer tray. Very pricey but the scene was worth it - great music and a really good buzz in the crowd.

Balthazar for brunch was perfect. We had reservations at 10 and were happy to have had them. Excellent people watching. My stepson had a steak with frites - perfectly cooked and with a yummy herbed butter. My friend had the chicken on risotto which was unique and she assured me, very tasty. I had the wild mushroom and asparagus with scrambled eggs in a puff pastry shell. I loved everything but the shell. The atmosphere is really happening - a true New Yorky feel. Even down to the bathroom attendant. You could probably find something to satisfy anyone here.

Le Bernadin was sublime. Very upscale, very special. We had the chef's tasting menu - course after course of divine seafood for most of us, non-shellfish for one of us. Everyone had a favorite dish. I was partial to the thin little cracker with foie gras, completely sheathed in a fine layer of salmon, a bit of lemon juice and olive oil and chives. Utterly decadent. I don't think there is a better place to eat in the world. Also the sommelier was very kind and picked out excellent wines. I usually drink decent stuff, but after the white burgundy, I thought, "what have I been doing all this time?"

Had a brunch ($20) buffet at Ulysses on Stone Street in the financial district which i thought was an excellent value - omelet station, salads, bacon, oysters, bloody mary. The dessert selection was unbelievably good - had a little mousse cake with a fabulous ganache. The setting is unusual to me - a little serpentine cobbled street with lots of small restaurants and bars. Not crowded.

Went to Gotham that night. Man oh man is the food good here too. Not quite as much as an event as Le B. but beautifully decorated space, great service and a more american menu. Had a wonderful gazpacho and a pasta with wild mushrooms. Others at our table had meats. Once again, no one had anything to grouch about. I would have thought this place would have been busier, with attitude, but it was a wonderful surprise to have it to ourselves at the end of the night.

Then there's Peter Lugar. Probably not spelling it right. It is in Brooklyn, not a big trip. Yup, it is casual and yup it is brightly lit and Bavarian brewhouse-like. But oh boy those steaks. We all found the appetizers and the salads to be more than adequate unlike some of the reviews I've read. But the steak! If you like steak at all, stay away from here unless you can get here once a week to satisfy the crave. I am not a big steak eater and even I was a convert - ate so much that it has been 2 days since I felt like eating anything else.

New York is truly the best and we are so grateful that we got to try so much. Everytime we go, though, we swear we'll stay longer and eat more.

Sep 13, 2007
kbear in Manhattan

More Camden Me dinners

I am positively groaning at the bad puns above! I really don't like flounder. But I find even the most dreaded dish is magic at Primo, so i thought I'd check it out again. Worth every bite. I feel it is important to expand my culinary horizons whenever possible.

We went back to Ephemere (sorry about the spelling - can't pronounce it either!) again and it was even better the second night. My mom had a to-die-for lobster spring roll and my dad had the lobster ravioli. I MUST ask for their gazpacho recipe. Mmmmmmmmm. Also went back to the Edge for a non-pizza night meal - we all had the rock-roasted lobster (so sweet, so tender, like a fragile minuet) and the oysters from Cushing, which were stellar in form but the sauce was not as good as Francine's.

Am now back home and brought with me a lobster roll - around my middle! Maine, not so good for the weight. My scale says "error"!!!

The only thing I didn't get to try that I was really wanting to was 3 Tides - wish they were open for lunch - hard to get to during the evening hours with a little tyke in tow.

Jul 16, 2007
kbear in All New England Archive

More Camden Me dinners

Ok, so we have really hit the town now, stopping eating only to sleep. I love Maine!!! So many surprises here.

4th night- Francine in Camden. This is a very small, intimate restaurant with some credible ambiance and the best bathroom in town. Service was casual and friendly. We had the BEST OYSTERS EVER by table acclaim - on the half-shell with a migionette/cuke/lovage topping. So fresh, so exciting. I had the steak frites, which were huge and everyone else had haddock with freshly shelled peas. Yum! Wine was reasonably priced and a nice selection.

5th night - Ephereme, the wine bar. We kept going here for pre-dinner cocktails over the past week and were happy to discover that there was dinner available because we all loved the space and the art and the servers. For appetizers we had already stopped at Peter Ott's for a little snack of bacon-wrapped scallops and wings which were very tasty. The salads at the wine bar were very fresh and well but not over-dressed. I had the Lobster with gingerbread, which sounds bizarre but was just phenomenal - can't explain how on earth gingerbread, of which I am not fond, and lobster meld to be the most tastiest thing that exists, but it is. Mmm. Salivating thinking of it. One of us got the Thermidor, which disappeared quickly, and another the Lobster Ravioli (NO offers to share that) and the other had the crown lamb, which she professed to be a great thing. For dessert we had a wine-cooked pear. This restaurant was one of the big surprises - really really really good food.

6th day - went to Young's Lobster pound just up from Belfast. Really cool to see the lobsters in their captivity. Big, cavernous feel to the restaurant. Lobster rolls were on hamburger buns instead of hotdog buns, but no problem. Good, but I prefer the Lincolnville lobster rolls and atmosphere. Fun driving thru Northport.

For dinner we had PRIMO, which I consider to be one of the best restaurants in North America. Great to be able to see the gardens so you know from whence your food came. There were six of us for dinner and NO ONE was disappointed by anything we ordered! i think that is unheardof in this group. Appetizers were preceded by a lobster beignet and lobster bisque, which was the amuse bouche for the evening. Then we had oysters 5 ways (too long to explain here), duck sausage and carmelized onion pizza and a chicken ravioli for the table. We each had a salad - one of them was fried green tomato salad with greens and a buttermilk dressing, another was a chopped salad from the gardens with manchego, it just went on and on.

Entrees were complex and engendered total contemplative silence by the table. I had the flounder, which I would never order anywhere but here and which was served with Maine shrimp and a heavenly beurre blanc sauce. Others had the tuna, which was sliced off a 135 lb beast from Monhegan. There was steak, there was more fish. My wonderful stepson, who had never been to Maine before, had the lamb and has now pronounced himself a Primo fanatic. Then we all had dessert, which was probably not the best idea, since we were all stuffed. But that sealed the deal. I ordered the chocolate tartlet, with a thick pure chocolate crust, gooey carmel on the inside and topped with glazed bananas. One of us had hot chocolate in a bowl the size of Texas, another had the espresso icecream, another had the creme brulee -unbelievable. The thing about primo is that you can go, choose what YOU want to eat and you won't be disappointed by it. Everything is safely delicious!! This was our 5th year here and it just keeps getting better.

Sunday we went to the Edge for pizza night. Great fun! Every 5 minutes, the pizza boy comes out with a new pizza and you can elect to have it or not - things like lox and capers on a marscapone cheese, proscuitto and pineapple, mushroom and pesto, and my favorite, the broccoli, ham cheese on mashed potato. All come on these fabulous wood-grilled crusts. MMMMMM. We don't have anything like this at home but if we did, I sure would go there every week.

After dinner we went to Camden Cone on the way home for a little ice cream. Ha ha. This place really serves it up great and everyone just eats on the street. Waaay fun.

We have also been pleased with the grocery selection in making our own meals. There are great stores here from the ultra-foo foo delicacies to the most basic orange juice.

Tonight we return to Ephereme. Can't wait.

Jul 10, 2007
kbear in All New England Archive

Camden Me dinners thus far

We have been here for only three days and have already been hugely disappointed and hugely elevated by the incredible selection available.

1st night: Cappy's - Old standard. Had a great soft shelled lobster (called shedders here), with a piquant potato salad and great refreshing house salad. Just the thing to get started here. Husband's clam chowder was predictably good.

Also had a great lunch from Market Basket - totally gourmet sandwiches, etc. We love their potato and pasta salads. /this is on route 1 as you are getting to camden.

2nd night: Natalie's - Went to old location in the Knox Mill last year and was totally impressed and overwhelmed by excellent food. This year, not so much. Very funky new environment was welcomed - they are at Camden Harbor Inn on Bayview. The old greeter, Abby, was no where to be found. New greeter was very pleasant and we were anticipating a great meal. The menu was prix fixe, with either 4 courses for $45 or 5 for $55. No real choices, but we were ok with that. The squash soup was utterly tasteless, even with a teaspoon of salt. The salad that was supposed to have a smoked tomato was teeeeeeeeny and also utterly without taste. I absolutely despise honeydew melon, so guess what the sorbet was? Yech. That one was all me. Entree was either steak or halibut. I chose steak, medium rare, and it was served medium and was just really ok. Halibut smelled a little fishy and I am so glad I did not eat it. Only one of us had the chocolate mousse for dessert and I am happy it wasn't me. I am told the tomato couilis was just tomato paste. We were happy to leave. Normally I'd give the chef some more time to perfect the menu, but there were major serving issues also. This will not be on our list next year.

3rd day: Went to lobster pound outside lunch place in Lincolnville. Great lobster rolls as usual but saw some other food there that also looked great. This is a great place to get your feet wet with local food and enjoy the out of doors. Also, pretty decent house salads.

Dinner: Tavern on the Falls 207-236-4431. This is what took over where Natalie's used to be.
Oh, before we went here we had a drink at Ephemere(207 236 4451) the wine bar which was fabulous. Met some interesting locals and had a delish sav blanc. We will return here to have dinner. I had no idea they served food here in addition to being a wine bar - light and airy, attractive servers.

so, back to Tavern. It is painted really dark and intimate now. Our server, who did not give a name, was truly welcoming and concerned about our well-being. We started with oysters on the half-shell, which were the freshest and most delicious ever. Served with 3 kinds of sauce and lots of natural liquor. We also had the Ducktrap salmon appetizer - yum. then a really strong ceasar salad. Then main dishes. I had the scallops which were perfectly carmelized and served with a pea risotto - I don't even like risotto and this was really really good. My dad and husband had the seafood linguine, which was also great. Mother scored with the duck confit appetizer - absolutely unimagineable even for those of us who eat confit often. The wine list was very conservative price-wise and this will be our new standard for fine dining in Camden. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More later on our other food destinations.

Jul 03, 2007
kbear in All New England Archive

Recent Return from Mid-Coast Maine

Before I tell you what I ate, please know that I am sickly addicted to Maine. I just love everything about it. I look forward to going all year long, saving articles, reading books and planning food. Sometimes it works out the way I plan, and sometimes it doesn't, but I always want more.

Wiscasset:
We always stop at Sea Basket for a bowl of rich Lobster Chowder on the way in. If you like lobster and cream, look no further. Big huge pieces of lobster in a succulent cream broth.

BTW, I also like Red's lobster rolls, but not enough to stand in the lines with a three-year old, who might turn 4 before I get my first lobster roll of the year.

Also ate a fine lunch of lobster roll and really yummy potato salad at Le Garage.

Rockland:
Primo - we make an annual pilgramage here for our birthdays. Primo is an old house surrounded by edible gardens and even cute little pigs that I am sure make fine pork products later. The place is unlike any other I have ever been, and the food is superb. Their fish dishes are spectacular, but everything I have ever had here has been incredible. This year I tried a mint/basil martini that knocked my socks off. Even my picky, white-bread husband loves Primo.

Camden:
Cappy's - this is the standard place to go for clam chowder. It is delicious. This year I tried a lobster dinner here (very good, although sides of potato and corn were waaaay overcooked) and ceasar salad (not great, but not horrible). This is a very kid-friendly place with extremely pleasant staff. They can accommodate a single up through larger groups. It is an excellent place to meet your party for lunch or a snack,as it is right in the middle of Camden. The bar is crusty and I like it.

Bayview - this has a great view of the harbor and there is no place better for people-watching. We used to eat here at least three times a week. This year, I was absolutely crushed that the place now sucks. The wait was supposed to be 20 minutes - we waited almost 2 hours. The server was so witless that one person in our group never did get a drink, ordered when we were seated. The food was well below average. I was served my lobster bib with the bill, looong after finishing the lobster. We were given no napkins. When we gently pointed out the problems, the server whined, but we are busy! Don't bother going here.

Mariner's - this was the first year I went to Mariner's, and only because my father decided he'd like to try the blueberry pancakes for breakfast. I don't really like pancakes or blueberries. But sitting on the back deck with the most awesome view of the dam and the harbor, I discovered that I now like blueberry pancakes. They were perfectly cooked in butter. The only problem was that the syrup they served was from (gasp!) Vermont, not Maine. Service is excellent and all the other food we ordered here on four mornings was grrreat.

The Waterfront - I have never really liked the Waterfront - it smells like a frat house the day after a party, for one thing. But the locals I meet in Camden always tell me they like it, so I went back this year. I had a halibut in mustard sauce that was a bland as airline food used to be. Gazpacho was ok. Service was fairly responsive. It was like eating at your parents' country club in the 50's.

Camden Deli - neat bar with good view, terrible food.

Natalie's - This place is not to be missed. The greeting from the maitre d' was charming and gracious. The bartendress made a wicked drink. The cocktail menu was unusually creative and refreshing. The waiter was extremely competent and interesting. Food was out of this world, one of the best meals I have ever had. Servings were generous. The atmosphere is like eating in a very nice art gallery. Prices were commensurate with all the above. I loved this place and can't wait to go back. It is NOT kid friendly, but I understand you can eat outside on the porch with a bar menu, which I wish I would have had time to do. Top of the list for next year!

I wish I had eaten at Francine's - also on the list for next year.

We also like Market Basket, just before Camden in Rockport, for gourmet sandwiches and interesting salads. Also, Megunticook Market is a fine little grocery store. There are so many wonderful places to stop and picnic in Camden, like the ampitheatre and the beach. New but untried by me this year are a wine bar with a smoothie cart out front.

Lincolnville

Edge: Phenomenal. You park your car and they take you to dinner on a golf cart, or you can hoof it down the path, which is splendid. The decor is unusual and very pulled-together. The view is unbelievable. We had a marvelous dinner. I had the tomato salad and the lobster cooked in salt. My husband wondered why the poor thing didn't just wander off the salt bed, out of the wood oven. I will have to ask next year. It was, hands down, the BEST lobster I have ever eaten. I think it came from Monhegan - so sweet and the consistency was perfect. Unfortunately, there was no bib served, and it was a little messy. Note to self - bring bib. Crab cakes were average but the green salad was great. I hear their short ribs are good. Also, the server told me that they have pizza night on Sunday, with all kinds of pizza and delish wine, for a fixed, low price. I'd do it if I could get that salt lobster again. After dinner we went down to the bar and got a drink and sat down by the ocean. As with every Maine meal, I wished I had had my bug spray. They are killer here. However, outside was even better than in. Man, this is a great place.

Lobster Pound: I really like the lobster pound. Yes, food is fairly average - IF YOU LIVE IN MAINE!!! I had an absolutely superb lobster roll there this year. It was served without mayo or butter, allowing me to control the amount I put on (yeah, like THAT's going to help my waistline!). Who cares about service here? You order at a counter and then pick it up when they call your number. The very best thing about the Pound is the scenery outside. You can see the ferry, the beach, the ocean, the gulls. They have very nice tables and grass. In contrast, I don't care for the Lobster Pound Restaurant, a bit further north, across the beach. It is like a cafeteria. Totally uninspired.

Whale's Tooth Pub: I had high hopes for this place, as the server seemed really cantakerous and salty, y'know, full of character. He was the only good thing there. There were 7 of us and everyone's food was horrible. Steak, pasta, crab cakes, salad, wine, dessert. . .And overpriced! Even Natalie's was less than this place. What a rip off!

Belfast
Sadly, the only place I wanted to go in Belfast is not open for lunch and it was too far for night driving. Next year I can't wait to make time for Three Tides. It looks soooo cool and I love reading about the adventures of mainefoodieblog, who goes there.

We also had a great sandwich and blueberry pie at the little cafe next to the dock on Monhegan.

And a very nice lobster roll at Anderson's in Boothbar Harbor.

Can't wait for next year!

Jul 20, 2006
kbear in All New England Archive

Just returned from Portland, ME

Quick post to highly recommend the two places we ate with our picky 3 year old:

Flatbread Pizza - GREAT location, GREAT atmosphere and really really good salads and pizza. I wish they would open one here in the Midwest. It is organic and local and close to the Ferry terminal, which means there is lots to do with cranky little ones while you wait for a table. Yum!

O'Naturals - again, GREAT location, Great atmosphere and I love their breakfast sandwiches. We had a flatbready kind of crust with egg, bacon, cheddar (just a sprinkle) and tomato. There is a nice place for the kids to play there - very safe and entertaining train table/dollhouse/books galore. It is just up the hill from all the great little shops in the Old Port area.

Sorry I can't give addresses, but in Portland, you go until you find it. What a great town.

Jul 17, 2006
kbear in All New England Archive