Camden & Rockland
August 2010 – Every month in Eat Maine the staff at Maine magazine share our knowledge, as well as information garnered from our readers and Eat Maine fans, about the many must-go places to eat in the state. In each edition we highlight a different region in Maine—this month we’re turning to Ogunquit, a concentrated downtown packed with options. When you go, take an entire day. And be sure to check out 98 Provence (p. 100), too.
With a menu that ranges from Korean to “my Italian grandmother,” Café Miranda has something for whatever mood I happen to be in at any given second. Many elements complete the experience here, from the bread baked fresh daily to the copy of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs I found in the bathroom.
15 Oak St. | Rockland | 207.594.2034
Wasses Hot Dogs
The only way I could be persuaded into competing in a hot-dog-eating contest would be if the dogs came from this place. Even though I would probably still lose, well, at least I would be happy. Grilled in peanut oil and unbelievably good, you should make a quick stop here every time you’re in Rockland.
2 North Main St. | Rockland | 207.594.7472
Home Kitchen Café
After having an amazing breakfast here that included one of the best sticky buns I’ve ever had, I promptly returned for lunch and found the burger to be equally good. At this point, I’m starting to wonder if there’s anything these guys don’t do well. It’s all so tasty, I may even be tempted to try one of their vegetarian options…. Actually, on second thought, I’ll stick with the burgers.
650 Main St. | Rockland | 207.596.2449
If you haven’t heard of Primo by now, you probably aren’t reading this column. So why did I bother to include it? Because this destination Italian restaurant located inside a restored Victorian home is essential to any list of the top midcoast restaurants.
2 South Main St. | Rockland | 207.596.0770
In Good Company
If you’re looking for the most interesting and carefully considered wine list in the area, then look no further. Somebody did their homework here, featuring bottles in all price ranges from great producers, and with a great beer selection and food menu to match. It’s unfortunate that I live two hours away; otherwise I’d probably be here every night.
415 Main St. | Rockland | 207.593.9110
With so many options for sushi available, it’s places like this that truly stand out from the rest. I would recommend sitting at the bar and watching the master at work while sipping Hitachino White Ale from Japan. But arrive early because the seats fill up fast.
419 Main St. | Rockland | 207.596.7447
This intimate, chef-owned French bistro, which serves up classics such as cassoulet and steak frites, has been developing a steady following since opening its doors in 2008. The custom glass chandelier in the shape of garlic scapes, in addition to several of Bob’s expertly prepared martinis, gives the dining room a very cool, very relaxed feel.
421 Main St. | Rockland | 207.594.4141
Lily Lupine & Fern
Not only can I pick up several bottles of wine from their extensive selection, but I can also purchase flowers to apologize to someone, who shall remain unnamed, for the last time I picked up several bottles. This sounds like the beginning of a vicious cycle to me….
44 Bayview St. | Camden | 207.236.9600
Strong and well-informed service complement chef and owner Brian Hill’s nightly menus, which revolve around what’s local and fresh that day. You should find out for yourself why many consider Francine to be one of the best restaurants in Maine. And don’t forget to give Hill’s new venture, Shepherd’s Pie in Rockport, a try as well.
55 Chestnut St. | Camden | 207.230.0083
On a recent visit, I worked my way through their enormous scotch selection while drinking Boddingtons on draft and watching Risky Business on the television—in other words, a perfect bar experience. You may be starting to question my standards at this point, but if you don’t believe me, ask any one of their large group of devoted regulars.
1 Star St. | Thomaston | 207.354.1177