Maine is the ideal summer destination and playground for individuals, couples, and families alike. The beaches, lakes and mountains aside, Maine has a sizzling food scene up and down the coast as well as an array of micro-breweries and wineries. If you’re planning your Maine summer getaway and wondering where the must stop and eat restaurants are, we’ve provided a list the hottest restaurants for you to try.
Spat Oyster Cellar – Kennebunk
From Chef Rebecca Charles, Owner of the famous Pearl Oyster Bar in NY, Spat Oyster Cellar is an homage to NYC oyster saloons and cellars of the 1800’s. Spat, which is the name of a baby oyster, features a menu that includes a selection of chilled seafood; small plates including fried oysters, buckets of steamers, chowder, smoked Atlantic salmon, mussels, lobster rolls, and the must try “Carpetbagger Steak Sandwich” (baguette filled with roast beef and fried oysters).
27 Western Ave. – 207-204-0860
Hours: 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m Tuesday through Sunday
Tempo Dulu – Portland
Tempo Dulu, Indonesian for “good old days”, features the cuisine of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Using mostly locally sourced ingredients, meals are served in the West End’s timeless setting, the Danforth Inn. Chef Lawrence Klang, who came to Tempo Dulu from acclaimed Natalie’s, has been wowing patrons with exotic ingredients. Tempo Dulu features delicate steamed banana leaf halibut, smoky wok-charred squid, deeply spiced and sweet Beef Rendang Padang, and medallions of Sumatra lamb in a curry, and more deliciously special selections.
163 Danforth St. – 207-879-8755
Hours: 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
Big Fin Poke – Westbrook
Poke, if you’re not familiar, is best described as deconstructed sushi. It’s a Hawaiian seafood salad composed of raw fish, seaweed, onions, and seasonings like ponzu, soy, or sesame oil. Big Fin Poke is a casual restaurant with large windows and high ceilings, owned by Jimmy and Samantha Liang. Poke is served in customizable rice bowls and Pokirittos, which are like large sushi rolls. Can’t make it to Hawaii? Big Fin Poke’ is the next best thing.
855 Main St. – 207-591-0171
Hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday
Nina June – Rockport
Nina June is a Mediterranean style trattoria overlooking the beautiful Rockport Harbor on the shores of the Penobscot Bay. The restaurant is a homecoming for New York Chef Sara Jenkins, who was born in neighboring Camden. Nina June, whose name comes from Jenkins childhood nickname, offers the finest Maine has to offer with a fresh Mediterranean twist. Featuring a cuisine of local ingredients focused on seafood, vegetables, grains and greens, olive oil and a small amount of meat.
24 Central St. – 207-236-8880
Hours: 5:30 p.m. – 9::30 pm Wednesday through Saturday
Natalie’s – Camden
Natalie’s restaurant, located in the elegant and charming Camden Harbour Inn, is one of the most highly acclaimed dining spots in the entire state. Natalie’s offers fine dining with a signature Maine flair. Choose from two prix-fixe menus which feature local lamb with root veggies and cabbage-wrapped Maine monkfish. There’s also a five-course lobster tasting menu, featuring lobster with peaches and wasabi cream, or Maine lobster salad with sunchoke, caviar, and foie gras. Phenomenal service, white cloth dining and a relaxing, casual atmosphere.
83 Bayview St. – 207-236-7008
Hours: 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. (last reservation) Monday through Saturday