The Prodigal Son Returns: Joe Ricchio provides his favorite spots to eat and drink around the state.
With offerings that include pan-seared, five-spiced duck breast, and grilled olive-oil-marinated rib-eye, SeaGrass has definitely raised the bar for Yarmouth dining. Of course, the food would have confused the hell out of my parents when I was growing up, most likely prompting my father to inform our waiter that we’re “McDonald’s eaters,” as he did in the now notorious “fancy Italian restaurant incident of 1994.” As a kind-of adult (arguably), I’m now able to enjoy chef and owner Stephanie Brown’s ever-changing menu on my own shame-free terms.
305 U.S. Route 1 | Yarmouth 207.846.3885
I’m not exactly sure why I ever signed up for the Royal River Ramblers cross-country running group, joining other clearly insane children who thought that running was “fun.” To safely tuck memories of these experiences into the farthest recesses of my mind, I will now self-medicate with Pop’s Loaded burrito. Any young Ramblers in training who care to join me will be delighted to discover a full range of “kid size” options as well.
438 U.S. Route 1 | Yarmouth 207.846.6330
While shoveling down a dozen of Binga’s Hot Mango and Valley Girl wings dipped in blanch sauce, I recalled one of my first pets, Herbert the Turtle. Boy, he sure could have used a pair of wings when my father decided to hurl him into the Royal River! (I guess he did bite the tip of my finger off, but I’m certain I deserved it.) To relive the pain of my loss, I will now punish myself with the hottest wing sauce known to man—Chernobyl.
907 U.S. Route 1 | Yarmouth 207.846.8736
Though I can’t say I always see eye to eye with my mother when it comes to food, we both agree that the “Ruddah” serves up some of the best fried haddock around, not mention a damn good bowl of clam chowder. My mother was always forcing me to eat my peas as a kid, but I got the last laugh when I took home my uneaten portions from the Rudder and hid them throughout the house. And people wonder why I don’t want to have children.
1335 U.S. Route 1 Yarmouth | 207.846.3082
Toots Ice Cream
Until you become a teenager and discover beer, nothing eases the pain of losing a baseball game quite like ice cream. You can enjoy your three towering scoops of Whoopie Cow Pie, made with real whoopie pies, as you ponder how hopeless and awful your Little League team is, and how unfortunate it is that you’re called “The Firemen.”
137 Walnut Hill Rd. | North Yarmouth | 207.829.3723
Personally, I never understood why they called the jeans I wore growing up “husky.” To me, dogs that pulled around sleds full of bearded men in Alaska were not enviable, and I really would have preferred something more flattering, like “zeppelin.” Of course, this situation could have been avoided altogether were it not for the many slices of delicious Romeo’s pizza devoured with ranch dressing on the side while enjoying the VHS copy of Home Alone that we rented from Play It Again Sam’s next door.
438 U.S. Route 1 | Yarmouth 207.846.1473
I’ll never forget the year Red Sox great Ted Williams was in the Clam Festival parade. That was the year I came close to spending the rest of my life in a wheelchair after nearly getting crushed by his car while trying to get an autograph. My priorities were different back then; I seemed to care more about cheap thrills than fresh produce, fine wines, and delicious fresh-baked bread. Rosemont has changed all of this for me, and for that I am eternally grateful.
96 Main St. | Yarmouth | 207.846.1234
Day’s Crabmeat + Lobster
While I now question the wisdom of riding my Huffy White Hawk through heavy Route 1 traffic, the crab cakes here were definitely worth the risk—that, and the fact that several pretty girls in my grade had part-time jobs here. No doubt they were impressed when I would throw my one-dollar bills around, order a few lobster rolls to go, and then pedal my fat ass off into the hot afternoon, glistening with sweat.
1269 U.S. Route 1 | Yarmouth 207.846.5871
While I was in high school, the best wine selection in town was at Andy’s Handy Store—or, as my father insisted on calling it, Handy Andy’s. Hidden gems in their wine selection included Richard’s Wild Irish Rose, Old Duke, and Cisco Strawberry fortified wine-based beverage. Then Clayton’s—with its appealing assortment of libations, delicious sandwiches, and gourmet delights—came along and changed everything.
447 U.S. Route 1 | Yarmouth 207.846.1117
Royal River Grillhouse
When I was a freshman in high school, this location was home to a restaurant called the Cannery, where I ate dinner with friends before my first prom-style school dance. My exploits that night are the stuff of legend, and to this day I’m still referred to in some circles as “King of the Amvets Hall.” Though the Cannery is long gone, along with my sports-themed ties and Drakkar Noir cologne, the Grillhouse carries on the tradition. Standouts here include wood-grilled meats and the best Sunday brunch in town.
106 Lafayette St. | Yarmouth 207.846.1226