Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Portland Dining Scene – Fall Foodies in Maine

copy-copy-portland-headlight.jpgCalling all Maine foodies for the Harvest on the Harbor

Fall in Portland Maine is a great time to check out new restaurants. The crunch of crisp fall leaves under your feet on the Old Port’s cobblestone streets as you search out delicious new food offerings in Portland’s best restaurants. Portland has become quite a hub for top chefs, definitely the epicenter of the Maine cuisine scene, with Kennebunkport, Camden, Ogunquit, York and Kittery raising the bar in Maine with great dining spots.

Gorde and pumpkin displayA highlight to fall in Portland is the Harvest on the Harbor, an annual event of toasting Maine’s best culinary chefs, and flaunting the best Maine beers, wines and food.

Every year, Portland‘s Harvest on the Harbor benefits local charities, food banks and provides scholarships, so it’s an eat well, feel good deal. The mission of Harvest on the Harbor is “to promote Maine as a top culinary tourism destination to food-savvy travelers from Maine and around the world, and extend the traditional tourism season while increasing the economic impact for Maine businesses.” Sounds brilliant right, we can all raise a glass and a fork to that!

Allagash Brewery freezerHarvest on the Harbor takes place Oct 18-21, and the signature event is Market on the Harbor, the Grand Finale where guests have an opportunity to taste dishes from Maine’s best restaurants and meet the chef owners while sampling and sipping local Maine beers, wines and spirits with each chef creation. Eat, Sip and shop at Portland Yacht Services. Other fun foodie events include the Pig Roast and Bloody Mary Brunch and Maine Oyster Fest on Saturday.

The Harvest of the Harbor venue is a big top tent at Portland Yacht Services, overlooking Portland harbor and the passing ships, ferries, even a view of Bug Light!

Another big draw is the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition since every Maine chef worth his or her salt wants to prepare the best lobster dish, especially in front of their peers! 2018 Avery Richter, executive chef of The Black Tie Co. won Lobster Chef of the year with her Maine Lobster seaweed salad cone!

Previous years’ Lobster Dinner Winners:
2017 Boothbay Harbor Country Club executive sous chef Nathaniel Adam was Maine Lobster Chef of the Year for his Lobster in Foliage creation.
2016 Union Chef Josh Berry won Maine Chef – Union is in the Press Hotel in Portland.
2015 Nonantum Resort of Kennebunkport won Maine Chef .
2014 Chef Stephen Richards -The World is Mine Oyster Boothbay Harbor was top Lobster Chef.
2013 Chef Chris Long, Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn won last, beating out his boss.
2012 Kerry Altiero from Café Miranda with esteemed lobster award.

Many of the Grand Tasting and Entertainment events sell out before the festival even starts. If you don’t get ticket to Harvest on the Harbor, then go enjoy dinner out at one of Portland’s amazing restaurants.

lobsterMaine top chefs participating in the Harvest on the Harbor Top Maine Lobster Chef Competitors are:

Bite Into Maine
Congress Squared
DiMillo’s on the Water
Fisherman’s Wharf Inn
Portland Lobster Company
RiRa Portland
Seadog Brewing Company
Union Kitchen
2018 Boothbay Harbor Claw Down Winner Dana Moos

Plan you Maine foodie vacation and come to the coast to sample lobster, walk the beach and enjoy “the way life should be.”

See our Maine Lodging Guide and the Maine’s Top Restaurants

Copyright 2018 VisitMaine.net

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Top 10 Things to Sea and Do In Ogunquit Maine

Ogunquit Maine actually means beautiful place by the sea in Native American, Abenaki. It is truly one of the prettiest places on the Southern Maine Coast, with sandy beaches, dramatic rocky cliffs, quaint colonial architecture and gorgeous tree canopied streets. See how Ogunquit is a great place to stay, and play, explore and tour the coast, shop, wine and dine, at one the best coastal towns in Maine!

Marginal Way is a must, walk this 3-mile shorefront pedestrian walkway that connects Ogunquit village to Perkins Cove. There are promentories, picnic benches and a lighthouse along the way, more photo opps than you can count so keep the camera/phone handy.

Perkins Cove is about as cute a fishing village as you will find. Complete with a manually operated drawbridge, delightful little seaside shops, restaurants and ocean views, this a perfect place to spend the day. Ocean lovers can board a scenic boat tour from Perkins Cove too. Stroll the Marginal Way from here, then shop for locally made jewelry and crafts, before catching lunch at one of the waterfront bistros for a bowl of chowder or lobster roll.

Hit the Beach – Ogunquit has two long beautiful sand beaches including its namesake Ogunquit Beach, and Footbridge Beach. Ogunquit Beach is three miles long, with the Ogunquit River creating a peninsula, and the parking area off Beach Street as a social hub of this broad sandy beach. Footbridge Beach is a beautiful quieter stretch of sand, connected by a namesake “footbridge” or you can walk here continuing north east beyond the main part of Ogunquit Beach. Whether you like to stroll, sun bath, swim or surf, you will find your beach here.

Ogunquit Art! Ogunquit originated as a shipbuilding colony in 1641, and later flourished for its artistic community. The beautiful seaside setting inspires all mediums of art, and you can visit many studios and galleries. Ogunquit Museum of Art is small gallery with a fantastic oceanfront setting, founded in 1951, this art collection on Shore Road showcases over 3,000 paintings, ceramics and sculptures.

Stay at Ogunquit Resort Motel for affordable lodging near the heart of Ogunquit Village, and a half mile to the beach. Ogunquit Resort Motel is family friendly, clean and neat, and the price is right with free Continental breakfast included daily. Did we mention the giant outdoor pool and hot tub, and distant ocean views from their balcony suites?

Soak in The Cliff House Resort – This spectacular property is worth a visit for a seaside cocktail, or a spa treatment. Perched high on Bald Head Cliff, this incredible resort has fantastic views out to sea towards Boone Island Light and Nubble Light. The two story glass walled lounge is a lovely spot for a drink, or hit the heavenly 9,000 square foot spa for a massage and a dip in the ocean view oversized outdoor hot tub. For luxury lodging, stay at Cliff House in a chic ocean view room.

Shop Ogunquit’s unique boutiques along Main Street in the historic village center. Browsing is both art and amusement in this great town full of fun shops like Sea Glass Jewelry Studio, Abacus and Whistling Oyster.

Taste Ogunquit with craft cocktails at cool bars like That Place and Beachfire! Enjoy fresh Maine seafood – lobster, oysters, clams, crab, at classic spots like Barnacle Billy’s, Lobster Shack and Bintliff’s. Ogunquit has many great restaurants, see our southern Maine dining reviews.

Take in a Play at Ogunquit Playhouses – one of the last, original authentic off Broadway summer theaters. Ogunquit’s Playhouse offers fantastic summer stock entertainment, top shelf entertainers, Broadway productions and musical theatre in a delightful 1933 barn.

Piano bar! The most happening place for nightlife in Ogunquit is The Front Porch. Go here, go upstairs and join in the live music as locals and folks from away gather around the grand piano bar for singalongs with Ogunquit’s best singers and entertainers, it’s a gay old time.

See our Ogunquit Maine lodging guide for where to stay, play and explore for your Maine vacation!

Copyright & Photos 2018 VisitMaine.net

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Portland Maine’s Best Happy Hours

Portland Maine has an amazing culinary scene, recently named a top foodie spot, and home to the best restaurants by Bon Appetit among others. But aside from sophisticated entrees and accomplished Chefs, there is also a fantastic happy hour scene in Portland. From the Old Port to the waterfront, and Portland’s best hotels, there is a lot to be happy about – especially midweek in Maine’s biggest city with drink deals and even $1.50 oysters and  free apps!

Here are some of Portland Maine’s best Happy Hours:

David’s in Monument Square has Happy Hour 3-6pm Monday-Friday $5 wines, and sangria, beers, and appetizer specials. We love David’s food and the city center setting is ideal for meeting friends.

DiMillo’s – this floating restaurant is a landmark on Portland’s waterfront, a bit touristy, but has Happy Hour with a view  Monday through Friday 4-7pm – appetizer and drinks specials. Parking is free – validated when you dine here.

Porthole – also right on the water – is casual but fun for Happy Hour deals Monday- Friday 3-6, and  Saturday –Sunday 1-4.

Old Port Sea Grill is  divey, but has daily Happy Hour 3 – 6pm with $5 Cosmos and Manhattans, $6 wines, $3 drafts, and $2.50 oysters. All day happy hour on Sunday means $5 Mimosas and Bloody Marys.

Portland Lobster Company by the water has Happy Hour Monday – Thursday 4- 7pm

Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room on the waterfront has 4-6pm daily happy hour with
Oyster specials, $5 cocktails, $3  house wine, $2  beers and $5 food items like wings, nachos, Brussels sprouts and calamari.

The Corner Room has 4-6pm Happy Hour Monday-Friday with complimentary antipasto offered with drinks, $3 house  wines and prosecco, $3 draft beers.

The Grill Room has 4-6pm Happy Hour daily with draft beers, wines by the glass and bar snacks for $3.

Monhegan Island MaineBrian Boru – the Irish Pub has 4-7 Happy Hour Monday – Friday with $4 well drinks, house wine and Geary’s Pale Ale drafts.

Little Tap House has Happy Hour 4-7 Monday – Friday – called Bar & Barrel – a petite appetizer paired with a local beer $5, plus $5 wines.

Bonfire Country Bar has “Bacon Happier Hour” with Free bacon, $1 tacos and whiskey, $2 beer & freis, $3 wien and burgers, 407 7 days a week!

Bull Feeney gets happy Sunday-Friday from 4-7pm with $4 draft beers and 20% off singe all malts, free snacks, plus other weekly treats.

Sur Lie has Happy Hour 4-6pm with $2 off drafts, $7 wines, and culinary $5 apps.

Northpoint has Happy Hour Monday-Friday 4-6pm with $5 Drafts, $6 Wines and a $7 Cocktail, and light bites for just $6 each! Sunday happy hour is 6-10.

C2 – Congress Square’d by the Westin, offers happy hour daily 4 – 7pm. Beer specials are $4, a daily wine is $5, and a select cocktail is $7, plus half off their app menu.

Top of The East at the Westin has Happy Hour Sunday – Thursday 2-5pm with drinks specials, $6 wines, $4 beer, and an amazing rooftop view.

Grace, in an 1856 church, has Happy Hour Wednesday 5-6:30pm with $5 wine and cocktail specials, and small plate deals.

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorDock Fore isn’t fancy but it gets happy every day from 3 -7pm, draft beers $2, wine are $1 off, free appetizer display.

MJ’s Wine Bar has a great outdoor patio, and Monday – Friday 4 – 6pm Happy Hour with $5 select wines and $4.50 20oz. drafts

Vignola Cinque Terre Happy Hour is just an hour, Monday to Friday 5- 6pm with $4 select wines, half-off beer, and $3.50-$9.50 appetizers.

Maine Lighthouse

Portland Hunt + Alpine Club has happy hour with select craft cocktails for $6 Monday to Friday 4 -6pm with popcorn

Inkwell Bar and Lounge at Union, Press Hotel has “off the record “ happy hour with $5 house wine favorites, $5 well drinks, and $5 16oz local drafts Sunday- Thursday 4- 6pm.

Rosie’s has happy specials all the time – $1.50 Miller, $4 mixed well drinks, and Saturdays & Sundays $ 5Mimosas & Bloody Mary’s.

Taco Escobar offers happy hour 4-7pm Monday-Friday featuring $5 house margaritas, $3.50 select drafts, with free chips and salsa. Olé

Tomasos Canteen has 7 hours of happiness, 11-6 daily, with all kinds of drink and food deals from $2.50 beers to $6 sausage, plus nightly specials.

Bayside Bowl, on the Back Bay, has happy hour 4-6pm Monday-Thursday in summer on the rooftop deck, with half-price frozen cocktails, $2 Moosehead tall boy, and more.

Petite Jacqueline hosts
”apero” happy hour 5-6:30pm Monday-Friday at the bar and patio, with
$5 aperitifs, $4 draft beers, and $3 wine, plus $1.50 oysters, $5 small plates and $46 crepes. Mais oui!

El Rayo Taquiero gets happy 4-6 pm Monday-Friday with $5 house margaritas and sangria, $2 Sol Pacfico or Tecate.

Note: these happy hour offers are subject to change, this is just a compellation of current specials. If prices have changed or deals have been discounted – please let us know at sales@visitmaine.net, and please – don’t worry, be happy (every hour). See more Maine dining recommendations:

Portland’s Best Restaurants
Best Waterfront Dining
Top 10 Maine Restaurants

Three Dories and a scarecrow in Kennebunkport, ME

Fall for Maine Food

Fall in Maine means beautiful foliage and harvest of this humble state’s best. Orchards are ripe with fresh apples, farm pastures are loaded with pumpkin and squash that brightly dot the fields, awaiting picking for someone’s table or jack o’lantern carving.

Fall in Maine delivers farmers markets and fairs, like the Fryeburg Fair, where farmers show off their summer’s worth of work, their pride in produce, meat and cheese. Yes Please! Read on about Maine’s best produce and prize harvests, and few recipes from from Vacationland. Fall is a wonderful time to vacation, in Vacationland, a Maine foodie tour with bonus foliage!

Maine is famed for the following food:

Apple Picking in MaineApples
Maine’s apples are best picked from late August through early October. Maine is home to 84 apples orchards farms, responsible for producing about one million bushels of apples each year on 2000 acres. Most common varieties of Maine apples grown are McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun and now Honeycrisp Two lesser-known varieties, Black Oxford and Brock.

Maine has an “apple day”. Great Maine Apple Day is a festival October 14, 2018 in Unity Maine that celebrates the apple harvest with cider making, apple pie contests, showcasing the many tasty apple varieties grown in Maine’s orchards.

Maine’s best apple recipes include Apple Crisp, Apple Pie, Apple Chutney, Apple Cider, and Apple Sauce.

Broccoli is abundant in Maine. Despite Kennebunkport’s favorite former-president’s disdain for the bright green veggie (President George H W Bush said he hates broccoli), Maine is a top producer of this cruciferous green vegetable in “The County” – with 6,500 acres in Aroostook county. Broccoli is a powerful antioxidant with numerous health benefits, a big source of vitamins K and C, folate (folic acid), also high in potassium and fiber. Besides,  its fun to  dip broccoli in ranch or cheese – and pretend their little trees and you’re the Jolly Green Giant.

Potatoes
Maine’s Aroostook county has potatoes aplenty. Maine is a top producer of spuds, not as much as Idaho, but still – over 70,000 acres of land in northern Maine is proliferated with potato farms. 25 percent of Maine’s potato production supplies the East coast, 45 percent is used for frozen French fries- like McCain, 20 percent for (my personal favorite) potato chips – Humpty Dumpty, Frito-Lays, Utz, and 10 percent go to fresh market for Maine’s best restaurants and local consumption. Maine Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield in July is a 70+ year tradition to celebrate the spud! The Maine Potato Board, yes that’s a  thing, has pages of potato recipes from mashed to home fries to Shepard’s pie! Oh, and Cold River Vodka is made from Maine potatoes- gluten free!

Pumpkins
Gorde and pumpkin displayWith all eyes on pie and Halloween jack o’lanterns, Maine’s pumpkin patches are prolific. A fun family activity is to go to a Maine pumpkin patch and PYOP: pick your own pumpkin. Pumpkins are a fun, feel good, do good squash plant, most popular from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Traditions aside, Pumpkins have high nutritional value: high in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin packs an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. Even pumpkin seeds carry nutrition, like protein, potassium, magnesium and fiber. So pick your own Maine pumpkin, carve your trick-or-treat face, keep the inside for pie, and roast the seeds with Maine sea-salt for a powerful tasty treat.

Kennebunk River MaineMore on Maine Lobster, Maine’s wineries and Maine’s best beer & micro-breweries.

See our Maine lodging guide for where to stay, play and explore fall in Maine!

Copyright & Photos 2018 VisitMaine.net

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