Slow day at work, thought I might throw out some recent thoughts/observations related to the Midcoast dining scene (primarily Rockland, Rockport, & Camden).
1. Lily Bistro in Rockland ME Closes
Still reeling from this one. One of my go to spots for good food cheap. In my opinion it was the only "true" bistro in the area...rustic French food at a good price. I drove by yesterday and noticed that there's a sign in the window that says, and I quote, "Lobsterman's Restaurant Coming SOON". I certainly wish them the best, but this area really doesn't need another mediocre, seasonal, seafood restaurant. And if by chance the owners are reading this, please consider ANY name other than that one. How about "Lobbers"? Or "Mudbugs"? Or just "The Lobsterman"?
2. New Sandwich Bar Coming to Rockland ME
Mostly overheard at the post office by the guy working on the re-design of the old Pastry Chef space (next to Rustica). Same owner as Rustica is opening it up...heard it will be a sort of sandwich/burger bar. A solid late night sandwich/burger spot is a great idea...hope it's as good as it's being billed in my mind.
3. James Beard Awards
Great representation on the MidCoast. The Chase's from Chases Daily in Belfast, Brian Hill from Francine (& Shepherds Pie) in Camden (Rockport), are all up for Best Chef Northeast...and Melissa Kelly from Primo in Rockland is up for Outstanding Chef (i.e. Best in Show). I had almost thought that Bas Nakjaroen from Long Grain might get a nod for something...but not this year. He was a semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast when he had a Thai place down in Florida a few years ago. Long Grain is a real gem.
4. Rock City Cafe - Rockland ME
I've talked about it in other threads, but the new, young Chef at Rock City Cafe (Nick Krunkkala) is doing some pretty amazing food there. He took over in October, and most people still equate Rock City with a coffee shop...but man there's some good food going on there. If you're in the area, check it out for sure.
5. Linda Bean's Perfect Lobster in Rockland, ME
Doesn't look like it's coming back to that little stand next to the Farnsworth. No big surprise, there were rarely people there last summer. It has a for rent sign. My plea again...PLEASE can somebody open up a decent Mexican stand there? It's a great, high traffic spot....nice shaded trees...views of Robert Indiana's EAT sign...etc etc. Maybe I should write that in Spanish to appeal to the demographic I'm trying to hit...
6. Off The Radar
Not heavily advertised but In Good Company (Rockland, ME) has been doing special event meals on Thursdays (can't remember if it's every other Thurs, once a month, ??). Went to the last Greek Night a couple weeks ago...really good. Further down Main Street, Julia at Sweets and Meats market has been doing Sunday Night Supper Clubs twice a month...next one this Sunday. Theme is "Mardi Gras" (yes, a little late!). Among the highlights...fried alligator! I've been to a few now...definitely worth checking out...
Ok, thats it for now. Go eat something. Preferably not at Applebees.