We just returned from our week in Bangor, and much appreciate the advice we were given before we left. We ate at several of the recommended restaurants - in order of preference, they were:
New Moon. Superb meal, wonderful wine list. The only, very minor, quibble is that it didn’t really say "Maine" - this restaurant would have excelled anywhere. We planned to go back on our last night, but learned to our dismay that they had closed for two weeks vacation. 2 of us had mixed grills (my husband was ready to lick his plate), and I had haddock, my new favorite fish. Salads and desserts were delightful, and the waitress was friendly and professional.
Ichiban. 3 of us sat at the sushi bar. Our non-sushi eating friend had mussles and tempura and loved them both, Steve and I had assorted sushi including hamachi, uni and scallop. All were terrific, and the rice was delicious. A little expensive, but outstanding.
Muddy Rudder. A lovely setting, but the meal was just okay - not bad,but generic. I have a hunch they have cooks, not chefs. However, we were there very early - all jet-lagged and groggy, and just wanted to eat something and go to bed - so we stumbled onto their early bird meals. What a deal- $10 for a full dinner. I had haddock for the first time, and found it delicious. Steve ordered a steak and thought it was tasteless - I told him it served him right for ordering a steak in what's obviously a seafood place.
Lucerne Inn. Again, a gorgeous setting and fascinating history. We'd been up at 3:30 that morning to head for Bar Harbor for a pelagic birding trip, so weren't very scintillating - nobody ordered a main course, we just did soup/salads and appetizers. Food was okay, nothing special, and seemed expensive for what we had. Of course I know we were paying for the setting.
Thistles. I know a couple of you recommended this place, but we weren’t thrilled with it. It’s a strange ambiance – they seem like they want to do “fine dining” but don’t quite have it down. Our waiter was a nice young man, but completely inept – twice he brought the next course before clearing the previous one, so he was stuck trying to remove empty dishes with one hand while juggling the new course with the other. You’d think he’d have figured it out after the first time. We shared an order of empanadas which were excellent, and the salads were very tasty. Main dishes, however, were just okay. My cioppino had very good fish and scallops in it, but the sauce was more of a thinned-out pasta sauce than a tomato broth – very strange texture, and too thick and filling. Steve’s steak was tasty, but far from steak house quality.
Sea Dog Brewery. This one probably belongs higher up the list. We chatted with a staff person, who shall remain nameless, and warned us what dishes to avoid. We had clam chowder and fish and chips, and liked them all, also loved the beer selection. Noise level on the patio was unpleasant.
We also hit a couple of lobster places – Claudias’s on Hwy 178, and the one just south of Bangor – McLaughlin’s? What a treat – if we lived in the area, that would be a once-a week meal. Hope you all appreciate what you’ve got.