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Thursday September 21, 2017
Posted: Aug 26, 2015

Discovering new restaurants in Bar Harbor

Travel Talk

Linda and I love discovering new restaurants and two of our discoveries, both in Bar Harbor, were especially good.

On our annual trip to Mount Desert Island last year, we enjoyed a dinner at Lompoc Café, recommended to us by readers of our weekly Travelin’ Maine(rs) column in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel.

While the outdoor seating looked intriguing, all the tables were taken. Kids were playing bocci while their parents enjoyed a beverage at one table. So we sat inside at a table overlooking the busy street, a great place to people watch. And boy, there are lots of people in Bar Harbor! We saw the Tide Mill Organic Farm truck parked outside, a good sign that the restaurant is committed to fresh locally-produced produce. Tide Mill is one of our favorite places and farms.

The food here is very creative and tasty, with a lengthy menu featuring everything from lobster to pizza and daily specials. For starters, I had the Spicy Dijon Mussels, steamed Maine mussels with a Dijon cream sauce and grilled bread.

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They were fantastic and plentiful. I could have made a meal out of the crispy bread and the tasty broth. When all the mussels were gone, I said to our server, as she prepared to take the dish, “Wait until I drink this broth.” You can guess Linda’s response: “No, you are not drinking it. You are aware that it is heavy cream?” Good that she’s looking out for my health.

Linda had the Sunny Salad (perhaps because she’d seen the Tide Mill Organic Farm truck on the street outside). It included Fennel, corn and house spiced sunflower seeds, with shallot vinaigrette. “Yum,” she exclaimed, more than once.

Linda then opted for a sandwich, the Bang Bang, featuring all-natural chicken, fried, with housemade aioli and spicy slaw. She said the spicy Korean-BBQ slaw made the sandwich really special. I stuck with the seafood theme (after all, we were just a minute’s walk from the sea), with the Seared Scallops. We both loved the Korean barbecue sauce, and Linda wished she knew more about Korean spices. The French fries here are especially good, too.

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They offer a very good list of beers, including one of my favorites, Coal Porter, made by Atlantic Brewing Company right here on Mount Desert Island. Linda enjoyed a glass of an Italian Chianti.

Our server, Autumn, attended the College of the Atlantic with Jim Pike, the café owner and chef. She has four kids and her husband suggested, three years ago, that she get out of the house occasionally, so she decided to work here. Good advice from her hubby!

This is a casual place with very reasonable prices, especially for the quality of the food. The cafe gets lots of students from the nearby College of the Atlantic. With good music in the background and lots of conversations all around us, the café was friendly and comfortable, and we lingered at our table before walking back to our room at the Blue Nose Inn.

In early August this year, we spent three days on Mount Desert Island, staying at the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor, while our son Joshua, daughter-in-law Kelly, and 16-month-old granddaughter Ada, vacationed at the Blue Nose Inn in Bar Harbor.

We spent a good part of one day with Ada while Josh and Kelly kayaked, toured the island, and enjoyed lunch at Blaze in Bar Harbor. We’d heard of the Bangor Blaze, and actually have had it on our list for a travel column visit, but after Josh and Kelly raved about their lunch, we went to Bar Harbor’s Blaze for dinner that night.

Thank goodness we’d called for a reservation because the place was packed and people were being turned away at the door when we arrived. From the outstanding selection of beer to the amazing menu of wood-fired appetizers and entrees, we were very impressed.

I can tell you our meals were amazing and when we got home, we immediately contacted Blaze in Bangor and scheduled a travel column visit.

 

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