Monday, August 28, 2017

Maine Eats: Camden

This week will be all about my recent trip to Maine with Mr. H. We are the type to always want to try something new and unfamiliar, seeking new experiences. That's basically how this blog was born! But, there's something about Maine that has drawn us back in for the last three summers. We head to the same area, but always do new activities and try new food...for the most part. Some favorites might make a reappearance!

So today I'll be talking about some of the eats we had in and around Camden, ME. First, a wonderful dinner at Francine Bistro (James Beard finalist eight times) on Chestnut Street.
We started with some Oysters with Agua Chile and Smoked Trout Crema ($18 for 6). Mr. H deemed these the best oyster dish he'd ever had. He then had a roasted lobster, and I enjoyed a beautiful piece of halibut with a spring pea puree and salmon roe.
Each plate was gorgeous, they had an impressive craft cocktail list, and this French bistro was lively and comfortable. The menu changes frequently, as the chef practices "extreme seasonability."

The next night, we dined at the 70th Annual Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland. The real reason we've structured our Maine trips around the same week each year. You can sit there and just crack open the soft-shelled lobster with your bare hands. It's a lobster-lover's delight!
For our last dinner in Camden, we headed to Natalie's Restaurant at the Camden Harbour Inn on Bayview Street. The fine dining restaurant offers a four-course prix fixe ($89), five-course lobster tasting menu (Market Price), or a seven-course Chef's Tasting ($115). We were all in for the Chef's Tasting (which was actually 10 courses with all the extras they tag on).

The dishes were stunning, and showed a lot of technique. There wasn't a bad plate of food in the bunch, and service and the wine pairings matched the quality of the food. The setting was also perfection on this summer evening, perched on a wide outdoor deck with sunset and harbor views in the distance.

From start... finish, the food was beautiful and this meal was a memory-maker.
As we departed Camden the next day to head to Portland for the remainder of our trip, we had to catch Mine Oyster Restaurant & Raw Bar in Boothbay on the way.
We had the opportunity to tour Glidden Pt. Oyster Farm the day before (more on that later this week), and the farmer called the owner of Mine Oyster an "oyster nut" because of his large menu of oysters. It was true, and fun, because you got to just write in how many of the types you wanted on a checklist menu.

Our oyster and lobster roll lunch included a great deck on the harbor with classic Maine views and the sea breeze.
I was looking forward to Portland for the rest of the trip, but I'm always sad to leave the Camden area. There's still a lot left to explore and we'd love to keep going North, so needless to say...the Homers will be back.

Stay tuned this week to hear about some of our favorite Maine activities, and our dining experiences in Portland, ME!

Francine Bistro
55 Chestnut Street
Camden, ME

Natalie's Restaurant
83 Bayview Street
Camden, Maine, 04843
(866) 520-2603

Mine Oyster Restaurant & Raw Bar
16 Wharf Street
Pier 1
Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04538


TribeChic said...

I am going to have to put the Lobster Fest on a wish list. My husbands LOVES lobster and this area sounds like somewhere we would love to go!