Bar Harbor’s Havana worth the splurge

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Friday night, we moseyed up to Havana, this time joined by a friend. The spring menu—which will be changed shortly—is worth making a special trip to enjoy. We started with a roasted bell pepper salad and mushroom spring rolls, the latter a menu fixture, and with good reason. The former should be, too. Delicious, was the report from my friend.

Next course: one Argentinean-style skirt steak, with smoked sea salt seasoning and a papaya chimichurri and Peruvian potato salad topped with thinly slice onions ($28)–very good, not outstanding; one lobster paella with chicken and chorizo, made with dark meat chicken and smoky Spanish chorizo stewed with saffron risotto and topped with Maine shrimp, mussels and lobster ($36)—really fabulous, with a smoky flavor and kicked by the chorizo, I’d order it again; and one orange soy-glazed black cod, pan-seared Alaskan sable fish glazed with an orange soy reduction and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and fire-roasted corn salsa over a seasoned long grain rice ($28)—my friend said she’d return again and again for this fabulous dish.

Presentation on all was, as usual, excellent; service was outstanding. For dessert, we split one dish of Mexican chocolate ice cream (made by Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream–more on that in a later post), served paired with fresh pineapple, which helped cool the heat. My ultra-foodie friend and I agreed that Havana retains its status as one of the island’s top restaurants, although prices are certainly creeping higher and higher. So far, it’s worth the splurge.