EAT MAINE-November/December 2011
By Joe Ricchio | Illustration by Kathryn Thomas


Each month Joe Ricchio gives local insight into his favorite places to eat and drink. He recommends that you pace yourself as you Eat Maine.

Azure Cafe
The best way to celebrate the purchase of an outrageously decadent pair of crocodile loafers from Cole Haan is to exhibit equally decadent behavior while having lunch alone shortly thereafter. I suggest ordering a bottle of Ornellaia, a prestige wine from Tuscany, and drinking the whole thing while consuming a garlic-meatball sandwich. Now that you’ve broken in those loafers, it’s time for some impulse shopping at Cool As a Moose.
123 Main St. | Freeport | 207.865.1237

While working during the holidays in the Freeport Village Station, nothing brightens a dark, snowy day like the “Toasty” sandwich from Derosier’s. All of the soul-crushing—I mean holiday-spirit enlivening—Christmas carols in the world won’t prevent you from enjoying this warm-toasted miracle: your choice of meat covered in melted cheese, mayo, tomato, and a “secret” blend of herbs and spices.
120 Main St. | Freeport | 207.865.6290


Freeport Cheese + Wine
After banishing the kids and mother-in-law to the Chocolate Factory at the other end of the parking lot, you will be able to enjoy one of Freeport’s best selections of wine in a quiet, unhurried manner. This is everything you’ve ever wanted, isn’t it? Just you, all alone with a room full of wine, cheese, beer, and Stonewall Kitchen products? After a while, you may begin to rethink your entire life path. Maybe the gang over at the Chocolate Factory can find an alternative ride home…
178 Lower Main St. | Freeport | 207.869.4048

Bow Street Market
If you haven’t been to Bow Street market for a few months, you may notice that it has now been expanded to eight times the size of the original location. In this situation, it’s very important to act as if you’ve been here before, as you wouldn’t want to be perceived as “out of the loop.” Casually commandeer a shopping cart, fill it with the usual—carrots, coffee beans, ground beef, potato chips, and several bottles of Bethenny Frankel’s Skinny Girl Margarita cocktail—and then proceed to the checkout, where you calmly ask the cashier, “New location working out okay?”
79 Bow St. | Freeport | 207.865.6631

Petrillo’s Italian Cafe
After a long and absurd day spent adventuring across the L.L.Bean Flagship Campus, you will likely be in no mood to head off to the actual wilderness and put any of your newly acquired gear to the test. You are much more likely to want a satisfying pasta dinner or a large pizza, both of which Petrillo’s executes exceedingly well. If you plan on pulling an all-nighter tying flies, you should also consider taking a bowl of delicious chowder to go.
15 Depot St. | Freeport | 207.865.6055

Provisions Wine + Cheese
After relocating from Brunswick to South Freeport, Provisions has settled in quite comfortably. The specialty shop still offers the same high-quality prepared foods, cheese, ice cream, beer, and wine. But now, all of the nice children attending the neighboring L’Ecole Française du Maine can load up their satchels with local delicacies, in preparation for a relaxing afternoon spent watching old episodes of Muzzy.
97 South Freeport Rd. | South Freeport | 207.865.4230

Edna + Lucy’s
There are few more exhilarating sensations than the high you get from buying a new pair of Nike Dri-FIT Elite Basketball Crew Socks from the outlet store, putting them on your feet, and marching all the way to Pownal Center. Upon arrival, you will find Edna and Lucy’s, which not only offers superlative, freshly made doughnuts, soups, and sandwiches but also a selection of wines and other rehydrating beverages. Although lunch will be tremendously satisfying, be warned that the trudge back to your car in Freeport will leave much to be desired.
407 Hallowell Rd. | Pownal | 207.688.3029

Broad Arrow Tavern
The Real Maine Meal, a cup of creamy lobster stew, an upgraded “jumbo” lobster roll, and a beer is a perfect way to introduce a guest from out of town to the way we do lunch in Maine. This will ease the progression into the way we do other things, such as mixing Allen’s coffee brandy with milk, refusing to yield when getting onto the highway, and eating “real Italian” sandwiches at least once a week.
162 Main St. | Freeport |  207.865.9377

Gritty McDuff’s Freeport Restaurant + Brew Pub
In 1995, shortly after turning 16 years old, I obtained my first job as part of the opening staff at Gritty McDuff’s. Largely due to having the appearance, and facial hair, of a 29-year-old, I was initially hired to be a bartender. Unfortunately, after bragging about my new position to everyone in my 10th-grade class, I was exposed as a fraud on my first day of “bar training,” after which I was offered a considerably less cool job bussing tables. I still enjoy the comforting, pub-style fare to this day, and I have to admit it’s much better when you can wash down your burger and Gritty Chips with Black Fly Stout in a more law-abiding fashion.
187 Lower Main St. | Freeport | 207.865.4321

Conundrum Wine Bistro
After spending several hours admiring the splendor of the big wooden Indian on Route 1, the patio at Conundrum is a perfect place to thoughtfully reflect on the experience over a few bottles of stimulating, modestly priced wine. If the alcohol begins to muddle my reflections, I shall then retire to the small but cozy dining room for several tapas-style appetizers and, of course, more wine. I will then go back outside and observe the Indian once more, in my altered state, this time bearing an offering of delightful crab cakes.
117 U.S. Route 1 | Freeport | 207.865.0303

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