Camden’s downtown that is known for its charming historic architecture and memorable ocean views. Camden is also home to a highly acclaimed culinary scene, featuring some of the best restaurants in all of New England. Below we discuss fine dining in Camden, Maine and identify the top three dining experiences the area has to offer.
Set near Camden’s famous Harbor, Francine Bistro is a bustling culinary hotspot known for its fresh, organic ingredients. Chef-owner, Brian Hill, is of the opinion that a restaurant must smell tasty and scrumptious as soon as you set foot in the establishment. Hill accomplishes this feat at Francine with the combination of the local produce, meats, cheeses and seafood of coastal Maine that become part of daily changing, innovative menu. The bread, desserts and even ice cream are all made from scratch. The organic flavor and feel of this restaurant are rooted in Hill’s days growing up on his parent’s organic, Maine vegetable and dairy farm. Francine Bistro has gathered a loyal following, from people near and far, who keep returning for Hill’s fresh and appetizing dishes.
Most Talked About Dishes: Steamed Rope Grown Mussels, Fresh Shucked Pemaquid Oysters, and Steamed Rainbow Swiss Chard.
Located in the luxurious Camden Harbour Inn, Natalie’s is Maine’s most exclusive culinary destination. Overlooking the Camden Harbor, Natalie’s offers a picturesque backdrop for a fine dining experience. Natalie’s features a menu that celebrates a fresh approach to only the finest ingredients. Executive Chefs Chris Long and Shelby Stevens source the harvest of Maine fishing boats, farms and gardens and transform these local ingredients into magical plates reflecting modern cuisine while showcasing Maine’s bounty.
Most Talked About Dishes: Thyme Butter-Poached Lobster served over Corn, Parsnips, and Mushroom and Curried Lobster Bisque.
We ventured slightly outside of Camden into Rockland for our final dining experience. Primo is certainly worth the trip. The ultimate farm to table experience, Primo is much more than a restaurant, it is about love and respect for food. Produce is grown and harvested on the property, and so are animals. Each day’s harvest includes honey, fruits, vegetables, eggs, edible flowers, fresh chicken and house-cured and smoked meats. Nothing is wasted, the kitchen savors every piece. Executive Chef and Owner, Melissa Kelly, a two-time James Beard foundation award winner, creates culinary masterpieces using traditional cooking techniques with the self-grown ingredients. The experience at Primo allows its guests to dine on food just a few feet from where it was grown. The menu is authentically seasonal, as it accommodates what comes out of the garden on a daily basis, and changes every day to ensure the freshest ingredients are being used.
Most Talked About Dishes: Octopus a la Plancha and Mezze Rigatoni, Hot Italian Sausage and Eggplant.