Tag Archives: maine

Top Noms of 2012

26 Dec

2012 was an amazing year. We went to some incredibly restaurants this year, so narrowing it down to 10 will be very tough.  It was also an amazing year personally, since Mr. and Ms. Nom Nom got engaged in Maine (where we had quite a few of our Top Noms this year!)

For the Top Noms of years past, check out the posts from 2011, 2010, and 2009.

The Top Noms really comes down to the meals that we found most memorable and enjoyable when we reflect on the past year. It’s hard to compare brunch to dinner in a ranking, but I always think about this as what I would recommend to my friends when they ask me the best places we ate this year, overall.

Away we go:

#10 – Gabrielle Hamilton’s Prune was an awesome brunch.  I was dying to go after reading her book, and it lived up to all the expectations and hype (and totally worth the wait). We really need to get back there for dinner.

#9 – Gramercy Tavern was a really great experience. It is known as a top place in New York and it did not disappoint. It didn’t have a dish that really wowed me, but it was a totally solid and great meal.

#8 – Our meal at Sublime in Gladstone, NJ was incredibly surprising.  The apple crisp was out of this world.

#7 – Hugo’s in Portland, Maine was an awesome meal. The tasting menu with the wine pairings really made for a special birthday treat.

#6 – We had a great meal at Boulud Sud while trying to make our way through the Platt 101 of top restaurants in NYC. Everything was memorable, but I can’t stop thinking about the grapefruit dessert that was unlike anything else I have ever had.

#5– While we can’t remember every detail of our meal at Girl & the Goat, it made enough of an impression on us that we had to include it. That Pig Face alone was Top 10 material, maybe of all time!

#4 – Arrows in Ogunquit, Maine was an amazing dining experience. We went because we enjoyed watching the two chefs cook on Top Chef Masters and wound up thoroughly enjoying our meal.  We were impressed with the creative dishes and great flavors.

#3– Anita Lo’s Annisa was a long anticipated meal that lived up to everything we hoped it would be. The dishes tasted so rich and were made with such love, it was hard not to enjoy every single bite.

#2 – Michael White’s Ai Fiori was our first Valentine’s Day stop this year. The pasta was out of this world, and can you really top scallops and bone marrow? Two of my favorite things in one dish.

#1 – Our meal at Eleven Madison Park (Part 1 and Part 2!) was the best one we have ever had ever! It was an adventure, a journey, an experience, and one delicious meal. I can’t imagine anything better. And it got the one and only 10 out of 10 Nom Points in NYC Nom Nom history.

________________________

Special mentions go out to Cannibal for the awesome Pig’s Head, Smush for a great take on dessert, the pasta with the roast drippings (Tajarin with Sugo d’Arrosto) from Manzo, Eventide in Portland Maine for the awesome new take on the lobster roll, and the Tap Room at Colicchio and Sons for continuing to impress everyone we bring there. We also had quite an amazing time at our “secret” Chef’s Table at SD26, since we got to watch them cook while having a chef’s selected meal. I went back with coworkers a few months later, and it managed to impress the hell out of them, too.

What a year!

Advertisements

Vincent’s at The Whitehall Inn: Camden, Maine

20 Nov

With food being a focus for us when selecting our wedding venue, one of the first venues I wanted to see was The Whitehall Inn. It’s a historic inn in Camden, Maine and a place I have driven by many times but had never visited.  

We toured the facility and, sadly, decided it wasn’t quite right for our wedding (it wasn’t quite big enough and didn’t have a view of the water).  But we sat down at Vincent’s for dinner, the restaurant inside the inn.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1547

The restaurant itself was quaint and well appointed.  If we were local to the area and weren’t looking for that “Maine view” and/or had about 30-50 less guests, this place would have been magical.  (Here is a slideshow if you want to see more pictures of the inn itself, which is just beautiful).

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1548

There is a very nice courtyard outside where they do wedding ceremonies. Again, really quaint and pretty, but just a bit too small.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1549

But we were there for the food.  I had spoken to them earlier and the only special request I had was that if we were going to have the wedding there, I wanted to have pavlova.  The chef was very excited to make it, but the rest was up to us to order.

We started with these little chive biscuits. They were perfect.  Warm with a crisp outside and soft inside. 

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1551

We then tried the crab dip with melted cheddar. This was very good with the cheddar just sharp enough to be flavorful without taking away from the great taste of the crab.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1554

Our waiter offered to take a picture of us, so here is a rare appearance by Mike and I on the blog:

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1561

Mike got the Vincent’s Ribeye which was served with garlic butter, Holland peperonata & fingerling potatoes. It was cooked perfectly and had a nice char on it.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1556

I went with the Maryland Crab Cakes which is an authentic Baltimore recipe using backfin and jumbo lump crab meat, served with fingerling potatoes and green beans.  It is rare that I get to eat crab cakes, because they are almost always made with peppers (which I am allergic to). These, however, were scrumptious.  

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1559

A great crisp on the outside and just barely held together with the right amount of binding.  Big, delicious pieces of crab.  One of my favorite crab cakes of all time.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1563

And then… it was time for the pavlova.  This was perfect.  A hard shell and barely soft inside.  Great flavor and perfect with the fruit and the fruit spreads that were around it.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1564

So good, in fact, that for a moment I considered cutting our guest list to be able to get married here.  But only for a moment.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1566

If I were staying in the Camden area, I would stay at the Whitehall Inn in a heartbeat.  The inn is so charming and beautiful, in a great town, and the food was really great. I’m pretty sure most stays there come with breakfast, and if our dinner was any indication, that would be a real treat!

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

Arrows: Ogunquit, Maine (Birthday Dinner… 3!)

15 Nov

As huge fans of Top Chef (especially Top Chef Masters), we were thrilled when not just one, but TWO chefs from Maine were featured last season. Chef Clark Frasier and Chef Mark Gaier are life partners and own the restaurant Arrows in Ogunquit, Maine which focuses on sustainable food. We decided we must make it a stop during our whirlwind tour of wedding venues in Maine. The fact that it was the day after my birthday (and after our amazing meals at Eventide and Hugo’s) was just icing on the cake.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1468

There are lovely gardens out back.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1470

And I just loved the inside. Exposed beams, trees, lanterns. I loved it. 

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1472

I want to find those lanterns for the wedding!

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1487

I loved the wood boxes and metal watering cans to hold the breadsticks. And the baskets to hold the bottles of water. Nice touches. All very rustic and my style.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1486

Here was the menu for that night:

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1473\

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1474

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1475

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1478

Of course, I tried the Blue Honeybee cocktail. Why “of course?” Two of my favorite things: honey and wild Maine blueberries.

This had blueberry infused vodka, fresh lime, Maine made mead and soda, and garnished with orange marinated blueberries.

Yum!

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1481

They served 3 different homemade butters. I had trouble deciding which I loved most. They were all so good.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1480

We decided to continue our tasting menu adventure by going with the “Chef’s Collection” which was a 6 course menu of oysters, prosciutto, silver striper, duck, lamb, and dessert box.

We started with 3 different types of oysters.  Fried oysters with green goddess sauce, poached in cream with chives and shallots, and chilled with green garlic and chive vinaigrette.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1482

I loved the crispy of the fried oyster with the green goddess sauce.  Great compliment.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1485

The prosciutto was slightly smoky and salty.  The greens on top were a nice counter to the rich meat. 

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1490

The silver striper was pan roasted with kohlrabi fondue, sweet garlic pickled collard greens, and shaved carrot and buttermilk cheese salad.  Great textures and flavors combining into a very nice dish.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1493

Our next dish was the duck, and it had a few different versions. The menu titled it as “Duck, strawberries, and rhubarb” and had 3 components:

1- Smoked duck breast with duck cracklings, rhubarb chips, and a microgreen salad (top left part of the picture below) served with a sparkling sake and strawberry mimosa (top right).  All components of this were well paired and tasty.

2- Duck confit “cube” with strawberry gelee and port wine sauce (bottom right). This was so rich and decadent. I LOVED this part of the dish.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1497

And 3- Duck saucisson with pickled rhubarb with rhubarb-tarragon mustard and potato pancake.  This is in a separate picture because it was the only component of the dish that had peppers, so it was on Mike’s plate and not mine. Mike enjoyed it.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1494

Next up was the lamb, which was also prepared in 3 ways:

1- Fried belly with tarragon vinegar (Umami, rich, and delicious)

2- Braised shank with fennel puree and fennel salad (I don’t love fennel, but it was the perfect foil for the shank)

3- Grilled lamb with huckleberry gastrique (My favorite! The slight sweetness from the huckleberry was great with the grilled flavors0

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1498

It was a beautiful dish,

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1500

And cooked perfectly with crispness in the right places.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1501

The entrees ended and Mike and I both noted how the meal just kept building and building on itself.  It was a solid, surprising, and delicious meal that we again said was even better than our impression leave Jean Georges just days before.

And then the dessert came out. To be honest, I have no idea what any of this was. We were in such blissful fullness and this wasn’t written on the menu I photographed, so I will say that everything was good but I don’t remember anything specifically standing out. I remember thinking that I was glad for the smaller portion sizes because it allowed me to sample without feeling like I was wasting food.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1503

And they were lovely enough to bring me out a birthday treat. 

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1507

Which consisted of donuts in all different forms and a smoothie of sorts. Again, I remember it being good but not outstanding.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1508

Though you cant beat a whole cherry in a fried pastry!

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1510

And then there was still a tower of cookies to come! I really enjoyed these last little nibbles as we headed out.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1511

Overall, we were really impressed with Arrrows. Sure, they relied on the trios and some food magic that has become in some ways “cliche” in fine dining lately. But I’m sorry, I love the cliche. I love when a chef can make my food taste great and look artistic. I love being able to sample small bites and I enjoy tasting menus like this. In fact, I would say I’m pretty much a sucker for it.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

PS- I cannot believe I got to go to Jean George’s, Eventide, Hugo’s, and Arrows within 4 days of each other, surrounding my birthday. Have I mentioned how gosh darn fortunate I am?  I am thankful every day for this life I get to live. It is fantastic!

Hugo’s: Portland, ME (AKA Birthday Dinner Take 2)

13 Nov

I was very fortunate to be able to spend my actual birthday weekend in Maine.  We were there to find a wedding venue (more on that at this blog) but we managed to squeeze in some really great meals.  On my actual birthday, we went to Hugo’s, one of the restaurants that put Portland, Maine on the map of foodie towns. Hugo’s is actually owned by the same people as Eventide, where we went the day before, and set the stage quite well for this meal (and happens to be right next door).

This restaurant is decorated very simply but elegantly, without being too fancy. 

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1363

I especially enjoyed the single stem rose on the table with the pinch bowl for salt.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1372

We started with some signature cocktails, which were insanely good.  Mike got the PDT’s, which was a Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioned with bacon infused bourbon, maple, orange, and Fee Bros. old fashioned bitters. I got the Marmalade Sour which was with tequila, burnt orange, and lime.  Original and delicious.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1374

They placed these homemade biscuits with garlic and potato flour on the table and they just smelled great. It was served with hand churned butter and everything had perfect texture. 

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1376

A delish bite.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1377

We went with the tasting menu and sprung for the wine pairings.

Our first course was pickle herring with mustard seed and potato crisp paired with a Spanish sparkling wine. I thought it was very fresh and not the mustard seeds were not overpowering (I’m not a mustard person and find that it distracts me from flavors usually).

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1380

And the wine was perfect with it.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1382

Course two was fluke mousse medallions with cauliflower purée and quinoa arugula broth. This tasted very “green” and was served cold. It wasn’t so much mousse as it was pâté.  I really loved it, but Mike wasn’t a huge fan.  

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1385

Course 3 was a lobster beet salad with orange purée, baby kale, and pecorino. The dish was light and flavorful. The acid of the vinaigrette cut the greenness of the beets and the wine went exceptionally well. There was a bit of a lemon candy flavor that complimented everything very well.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1386

Course 4 was grilled yellow fin tuna from Massachusetts.  It was delicious tuna tartar with maitkai mushroom purée, hajji, and chili oil… As the server went to put this down in front of me, he immediately noticed the chili oil in mine and took it back to the kitchen.  It was very quickly replaced. This dish was pretty damn awesome.  The waitress told us that she was actually a bit excited that the kitchen screwed mine up so she could try it.  And the wine pairing? Perfection. 

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1392

Our last savory course was a duo of chicken. The red wine that was paired with this was absolutely awesome.  We found that the souvied dark meat was much better than the breast. The sauce reminded us of kasha and was very nice with it.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1400

For dessert, we were served a moscato which was an absolutely great glass of wine.

Out came a lime sorbet with watermelon gele, mint melon balls, and prosciutto.  It was a very good palette cleanser and everything went incredibly well together.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1404

By this time, we had been drinking enough that I forgot to take a picture of the corn gelato with tomato sweet jam basil and popcorn. We think… the notes got blurry here as well.

This was served with DuPont cider.  The best way I could think to describe it was that it tasted like hay… in a REALLY good way. The sweet corn gelato was absolutely awesome. I also really liked the corn cake and tomato but Mike thought it tasted like home made corn pops (he didn’t mention whether this was a good thing or a bad thing).  When I got a little bite of everything together it was absolute bliss.  I actually wrote down that it was one of my favorite bites… ever.   

We then had some little treats, but we were just too stuffed (okay… and drunk) to write it down or remember what it was. Whoops. Note how blurry the picture is as well.  Whoops x2.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1406

I absolutely LOVED our meal at Hugo’s. I was incredibly impressed and felt this could rival many meals we have had in the past in NYC.  It also made us realize that we enjoyed this meal (especially some of the innovative touches) even more than Jean George’s. I highly, highly recommend a visit if you’re in Portland, Maine.

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10

Eventide in Portland, Maine

8 Nov

Right before embarking on our whirlwind tour of venues in Maine, we spent a night in Portland, Maine with a new friend, the photographer and husband of the editor for Eater Maine (whose last name happens to be the same as mine, though surprisingly, no relation). 

He recommended we visit a favorite of Eater Maine, Eventide Oyster Co.  Eventide  is the sister restaurant of Maine staple, Hugo’s (where we ate for my birthday the day after, more on that later!)

They specialize in, you guessed it, oysters.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1346

They have many varieties and part of the bar itself is made up of the oysters on ice, with a shucker going to town behind the bar.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1348

They also have a great selection of local brews, and we were finally able to try Oxbow.  This quickly became one of our favorite beers and we drank a lot of it on this road trip!

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1349

We went with half a dozen Winter Points and half a dozen Basket Island oysters (both local to Maine).  These were fantastic, though I really loved the Winter Points.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1351

We then tried the Eventide Lobster Roll and the Fried Oyster Bun.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1356

They were served in more of a steamed bun (like a Chinese pork bun consistency) and everything was flavored so insanely well.  This was not your classic lobster roll, but it was nice to have a new spin on an old classic.  Mike and I weren’t very hungry, so we split both of them, but boy oh boy did I regret not having my own.  They were so damn good.  

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1357

And even the bathrooms stayed on theme.

Sept 30 2012 Camera Card 1362

I was really impressed by Eventide.  They are doing new things with good food and everyone there is excited to be doing what they are doing.  The vibe is great and the food far surpasses expectations.  I can’t wait to go back.

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10

Maine Cubed: Boothbay Harbor- Mine Oyster

12 Jul

After our lovely whale watch and an incredible visit to Pemaquid Point (where we got engaged!), we decided to celebrate at The World is Mine Oyster, which received a write-up in the brand new Eater Maine. It was a Monday night and pre-season, but the sign said there was live music and we loves ourselves some oysters!

DSCF9961

We were celebrating, so we ordered 2 of every oyster they had (they were out of many, unfortunately).

DSCF9958

We made our way around the delicious tray and wound up especially liking the Glidden Point oysters (which came in 3 sizes!) from the Damariscotta River. And they weren’t lying about the “Jumbo” size! Check out these beauties.

DSCF9957

We were still a little hungry, so we got a basket of fried shrimp. We were expecting big shrimp, but these tiny morsels were fantastic. 

DSCF9960

They came with waffle fries, which Mike created quite the amazing concoction with fried shrimp on top of the waffle fries with some tarter and cocktail sauces.

Genius.

DSCF9966

Mine Oyster was a nice stop and a good celebration with all those oysters.  The menu is heavy on fried seafood, but everything we had was very good. It’s tough to judge a place based on raw food and fried shrimp, but I would say it’s a good choice if you’re in the area, but not necessarily a destination to pursue if you’re not close.

Maine Cubed: Wiscasset- Red’s Eats

5 Jul

There are few places in Maine as “famous” as Red’s Eats.  It is a small stand on Rt. 1 in Wiscasset that serves lobster rolls known far and wide. I have seen lines that are over an hour long.

We were looking for lunch on our way up the highway and noticed that the line was only half a block long (very good by Red’s standards). So we found some parking and hopped on.

DSCF9617

Their lobster roll is known for having an entire lobster’s worth of meat inside and made the “authentic” Maine way with lobs of meat on a toasted hotdog bun. It comes with butter or mayo on the side to dip in.  The “authentic” lobster roll is a point of contention, with some people saying it needs 1 leaf of lettuce and/or some mayo mixed in, but Red’s is really all about the meat.

DSCF9622

You step up to a window and suddenly notice that there are about a million people inside this little shack

DSCF9621

We ordered the fried clams along with our lobster roll.

DSCF9626

The clams were quite delicious. Juicy and flavorful with a decent crisp on the fry. Some were a little soggy, but overall it was a good dish of food.

DSCF9624

And then the lobster roll. You can even see the bun under there through all the lobster meat! And you will notice that there is a tail on either side.  Very good on the lobster meat, but I just always prefer a steamed lobster I crack myself to a roll.

DSCF9629

I’m glad we stopped at Red’s, but I can’t say I’m itching to go back. I can’t say it was the best lobster roll I’ve ever had, but it was very good.

Maine Cubed: Lincolnville- Cellardoor Winery

3 Jul

We stumbled on Cellardoor Winery by accident on our trip 2 years ago and really enjoyed it. Upon posting about returning to Maine on the NYCNomNom Facebook page (Are you a fan? You should be!), one of Mike’s (AKA Mr. Nom Nom) friends mentioned that she had recently moved up there and was working at this very winery.  Small world!

1DSCF9713

Since we visited 2 years ago, they have started producing their own wines and have expanded their tasting room and added a few facilities.  But the original beautiful structure remains.

DSCF9694

As do my favorite stools.

DSCF9696

We decided to do 2 separate tastings since they had a special going on for Father’s Day to do a wine and chocolate tasting. We started with the general tasting and enjoyed some wines off their list.  We especially liked the Serendipity, which is a dessert wine made with Maple Syrup, and Triology, a really nice red.

DSCF9697

They have a little market space in the middle, where we picked up some artichoke pesto (which was sensational on pasta when we got home).

DSCF9698

They have some great looking (and tasting) cheeses.

DSCF9699

The new room features some local art.

DSCF9703

And a large tasting bar.

DSCF9705

And tasting room.

DSCF9707

With a nice kitchen setup to offer grub.

DSCF9708

Their chocolate pairing partner for the day was Sweet Marguerites.  We tried a number of delectable bites with delectable wine. We tried their malted bacon chocolate, which was superb.

DSCF9709

Green Tea and Ginger. Good flavor and went well with the wine.

DSCF9710

Force Noir. A very well balanced dark chocolate.

DSCF9712

And Fleur del Sel caramels that came with big pieces of macadamia nut. Another awesome bite.

DSCF9714

We really enjoyed our entire experience at Cellardoor, and it’s a great place to stop if you’re in the area (Midcoast Maine: Lincolnville). They also are one of the very few wineries that offer free tastings, which made me more inclined to try more, and therefore buy more.

Maine Cubed: The NYCNomNom Guide to Eating Steamers and Lobster

3 Jul

Eating Lobster and Steamers is an art form, but an easily mastered art form. I have been eating this fantastic meal since I was a kid, and I have taught many a friend how to get the most out of their meal. So without further ado, here is the NYCNomNom Guide to Eating Steamers and Lobster.

Step 1:

Go to Maine.


(this is the spot we got engaged: Pemaquid Point Lighthouse)

Step 2:

Find yourself a lobster “shack” in the middle of nowhere, preferably on a beautiful body of water.  Waterman’s Beach Lobster in Spruce Head is a fine choice. (I also like Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast and Beal’s Lobster Pier in Southwest Harbor, but there are plenty of options all along the coast)

photo (1)

Step 3:

Choose lobster and steamers from the menu.  A 1 1/4 pound lobster and 1/2 pound of steamers is usually the perfect amount for 1 person. The typical “dinner” comes with some form of potato chips and butter, and depending on your location, a piece of corn or a roll. (Steamers are another name for Steamed Clams)

DSCF9720

Step 4:

Choose a picnic table and soak up the sea breeze while you wait. (Tip: Bring a jacket. Even in mid-summer, being on the water in Maine is a chilly enterprise).

DSCF9724

Step 4:

View your clams, but not for long, that sea breeze will cool them off quickly.

DSCF9726

Step 5:

Choose your clam and remove it from the shell (sometimes it requires a little tug to remove it from the “foot,” which is the bit of clam left in the shell when you yank it out).

DSCF9729

Step 6:

Identify the “sock” which is the uglier portion of the clam (yes it’s all ugly, but the sock is the ugliest) on the stem-like portion of the clam and remove it.  It will roll off the tip of the clam (it is impossible to avoid this sounding like a condom reference, so just accept that you are taking an ugly condom off a clam and move on).

DSCF9730

Step 7:

Hold clam by the stem-like portion and dip it into the briny water (if supplied). This helps remove any sand that may be remaining on the clam.

DSCF9731

Step 8:

Continue your stem holding and dip it in the melted butter then shove the whole thing in your mouth and chew. Yes, they are an acquired taste.  A taste worth acquiring. Keep eating.

DSCF9732

Step 9:

Turn sites to lobster. Break off the smaller legs on the underside of the lobster and suck lobster meat out like they are straws. Also remove meat from the claws (shoulders up) and the tail (twist it off the rest of the body).  You can eat everything except the body and head (and advanced lobster folks know that there are even some hidden pockets of meat in there!) If you have trouble getting into anything, use the nut cracker and poky stick to achieve lobster greatness.

DSCF9735

Bonus Step:

Once you have mastered the art of removing your lobster from its shell, challenge yourself to lobster greatness by trying to remove the claws of the lobster in full.

DSCF9736

Super Secret Bonus Step:

Do not tell anyone I told you this. I will deny that I do this to my grave so keep your lobster eating trap shut. But there is nothing quite like ending your lobster meal by dipping your potato chips in the now lobster infused butter.  Thank me later.

DSCF9737

And in the end, you will be a mess. You will be sticky (they usually provide you wet naps) possibly sliced up from sharp pieces of shell (you will heal) and thinking to yourself that you have never worked so hard for a meal that someone else prepared. It is worth it.

DSCF9739

I hope you have enjoyed your tutorial.  Now have you booked your trip to Maine yet?

Maine Cubed: Camden- Grand Harbor Inn

28 Jun

I did a lot of searching for hotels in Camden and really wanted to stay at the Grand Harbor Inn since we saw it being built on our kayak tour 2 years ago and it looks beautiful. But rooms were just out of our price range for a weekend getaway.  So I booked a night at the Lord Camden Inn, a very recognizable inn on Main Street with blue awnings, that happens to be the sister property of the Grand Harbor Inn. We checked in and headed up to our room… only to find that it was still occupied.  Luckily, the person wasn’t IN the room at the time, but I walked in and thought it just wasn’t cleaned, only to turn around and find car keys and credit cards on the shelf (scary).  

We went downstairs to the front desk, told them what we found, and without missing a beat the woman at the desk made a phone call and confirmed that “Room #11 was open.”  She apologized and very professionally told us that we were being upgraded to their sister property, the Grand Harbor Inn.  How on earth my luck came in at this moment, I have no idea, but it was some fantastic luck.

We went down the street and checked in. The woman at the desk gave us a personal tour of the room and pointed out some lovely features.

DSCF9633

We also had a large flat screen TV and a fireplace (which we turned on, even though it was warm).

DSCF9634

The bathroom was something else. Beautifully designed with a great jacuzzi tub…

DSCF9632

… and this… this pièce de résistance… the shower.  

DSCF9630

8 streams and all of them movable. I put this on very hot and basically had a back massage from the shower.  This was freakin’ heaven.

The hotel is on the harbor and just a short walk away is my favorite view.

DSCF9635

It’s a narrow harbor with beautiful boats in it. It always looks like a postcard.

DSCF9639

And as we sat there and took in the view, a loon (my favorite bird) made an appearance right in front of us.  

DSCF9653

Heading back to the hotel that night, after eating at The Pearl, we found our bed beautifully turned down.

The bed was probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. I thought the bed at Pomegranate was comfy, and I thought Westin Heavenly Beds are comfy, but they didn’t hold a candle to this cloud.

DSCF9678

This hotel doesn’t have a breakfast facility, so you fill out a card the night before and they bring room service up to you. It’s included in the room price.  We had a lovely breakfast of fresh fruit with yogurt and croissants.  Fresh coffee and juice.

DSCF9680

And we had “the worst view” in the hotel, with only a partial harbor view from the balcony, but it was still absolutely gorgeous.

DSCF9681

We had a phenomenal stay and that strange accident that brought us here was just kismet.It was easily the best hotel I have ever stayed at, and I’ve been fortunate enough to stay at some lovely places while traveling on business.

Our stay made a fan out of me and next time I’m in Camden, I know it will be worth the extra money to stay here again.   And hey… we might just be in the area to get married next year. I’m sure it would make for a lovely honeymoon suite!