I’m a sucker for the Blue Hill/Deer Isle peninsula, and one of the things I love about the area is the commitment to locally sourced foods. In a good news/bad news email, innkeeper Sarah Pebworth, of the Blue Hill Inn, gave me some updates from the region.
For starters, Chef Devin is not returning to the inn this season, and at this point, the inn doesn’t plan to continue offering dinner, although Pebworth is flirting with the idea of a weekly jazz club. On the plus side, Chef Devin is opening a new restaurant in Stonington in the location of the former Seasons, smack downtown on the waterfront. Tentative plans for the restaurant, Aragosta, to be open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, beginning June 3, 2013. (Personally, praying she offers her fabulous lobster ravioli–I live on tasting memories of that dish).
As previously noted, the folks who ran Seasons have relocated and opened The Factory Tavern (longtimers will know the location, the former Bayside Restaurant overlooking the Isle au Haut ferry dock). A sampling of menu specials this week include: country tomato and basil soup, haddock tempura with Nam Prik dipping sauce; classic Caeser salad with chilled lemon herb roasted chicken breast; Maine shrimp risotto with asparagus, mushroom, sherry and parmesan; and grilled applewood smoked ham steak, mash potato, green beans and creamy mushroom parsley sauce. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?
If you’ve been mourning the closure of Lily’s, in Stonington, chef/owner Kyra Alex is back, although not with a full fledged restaurant, in the renovated space. Alex is offering cooking and other classes and plans to offer a weekly fixed-price farmhouse lunch on Thursdays. For more, see Emily Burnham’s story in the Bangor News or follow Kyra’s blog.
Back in Blue Hill, a Dunkin Donuts is slated to open across from the Tradewinds Market. Good news or bad news depends upon your point of view. Also rumored is a new coffee shop in an art gallery location downtown.
Over in Castine, MarKel’s Bakehouse, which occupies the former Bah’s Bakehouse, is not only continuing the tradition of truly awesome sandwiches, soups, and baked goods, but has been experimenting with Watering Hole Wednesdays in the former Stella’s — live music and heartier dinner fare.
And here are some of my other favorite food haunts on the peninsula and island: Tinder Hearth Bakery–worth the detour to the outer reaches of West Brooksville for the pizza (Tues. & Fri., 5-8 p.m.), if you can’t make it to the bakery, you can find their breads in local markets; Sargentville’s El El Frijoles–that’s L.L. Beans to you gringos–one of the state’s best Maine-meets-Mexico restaurants; and Sandy’s Provisions (previously The Cave) in Brooklin, just try to get out without purchasing something, mmmm; and the Pentagoet Inn, in Castine, a finer dining immersion in an elegant setting with food to match.