Sorry to report that All Fired Up, that rainy day godsend for craft-minded folks and families, has closed i’s doors. Replacing it, according to Jeff Anderholm, innkeeper at the lovely Bass Cottage Inn, is Simply Natural: “a high end clothing and accessories shop featuring fine woolens, alpaca and sheepskin items.” Jeff says his wife, Teri (one of the inn’s culinary wiz’s) was impressed. Me thinks I definitely need to investigate this shop.
Archive for the ‘Maine’ Category
Have you heard of MOOMilk? When H.P. Hood stopped buying organic milk from 10 Maine family dairy farms, those farms formed a cooperative, Maine’s Own Organic Milk Company, and began producing MOOMilk.
MOO has been struggling, due to a higher price point in relationship to out-of-state brands. In mid May, Hannaford (my favorite supermarket chain for this and many other reasons) came to the rescue. It lowered the price by 30-cents to $3.99 per half gallon, keeping it in line with other organic milks from out of state.
If you’re an organic milk drinker, choose MOO; if you’re not, at least give it a try. Yes, I recognize it might be a budget stretch, but by doing so, even only once in a while, you’re helping keep Maine’s organic family dairy farms in biz.
If you’re in the Greater Camden/Rockland region on Thursday, June 3, consider dining out at a participating Dine Out for Pete’s Sake restaurant (see participating restaurants, below) to help the Humane Society of Knox County.
This is a great organization that not only places local strays and unwanteds, but also takes dogs in from overcrowded shelters around the country. Its policy: Animals are not euthanized unless severe physical or behavior problems exist that cannont be resolved, they’re never euthanized for time or space.
It’s success in its mission, so successful that it takes in dogs from more challenged shelters. Recently, 13 chihuahuas arrived from Los Angeles Animal Services, which receives over 300 chihuahuas a month but it doesn’t have enough homes for them all. (Adoption fee for these special dogs is $325. See more on the website.)
To help support these and other animals being cared for by the shelter, have lunch, dinner, or both at one of these participating restaurants (There are some excellent choices). FYI: My guys, Bernie and Dooley, give this event four paws up.
Amalfi on the Water
Badger Cafe and Pub
Blue Sky Cantina
The Haven Restaurant
In Good Company
Mc-Hales Restaurant & Pub
The Offshore Restaurant
Park Street Grille
Prism Restaurant and Gallery
Silver Lane Bistro
Big news for Acadia fans: US Hotels Group, owner of the haute, haute, haute White Barn Inn, in Kennebunkport, and the Windham Hill Inn, in Vermont, is now managing Northeast Harbor’s chi chi Asticou Inn. When I last spoke with White Barn Inn Executive Chef Jonathan Cartwright, he told me US Hotels was in an acquisition mode, and this management deal is testament to that. This should also help breath new life into a somewhat tired property that catered to the newly wed and nearly dead.
The oceanfront inn, designed by prominent 19th-century architect Fred L. Savage, has been an area landmark since 1883, when the island became a seasonal retreat for wealthy vacationers, sailing enthusiasts, and summer residents from major urban centers.The inn overlooks well protected yacht-filled Northeast Harbor, which remains a tony summer destination (lots of Lilly Pulitzer, Docksiders, Chinos, and sherbet colors here). It is adjacent to the magnificent azalea gardens of the same name (which, by the way, are in bloom now).
Cartwright is overseeing the rejuvenation of the inn’s dining room’s menu. “Our plans include implementing an extended season for casual lunch service as well as the creation of new menus in the scenic cocktail lounge, which affords the perfect setting for enjoying harbor sunsets.”
US Hotels is a member of the Libra Group, which is privately owned by the Logothetis family and has hospitality interests in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It manages eight New England properties, of which it owns seven, divided into Signature and Elite Properties. Signature Properties represent the ‘best of breed’ across a number of service categories from an informal Italian bistro to a range of hotels, spas and banqueting facilities. Elite Properties represent exclusive hotels providing world class accommodation, cuisine, and service (think White Barn Inn and Windham Hill Inn).
“US Hotels is proud to add the Asticou Inn to our collection,” says Paul Hanley, group CEO. “As with our other New England properties, it offers guests traditional values in a historic setting and offers the same culinary excellence that has won our group numerous plaudits. We plan to wrap ourselves in the heritage of this special property. We believe the property will benefit from the rich experience of its new General Manager, Nicholas Squire, who was trained at our own White Barn Inn and other world class hotels. Furthermore the partnership with this hotel exemplifies the type of growth one can expect from US Hotels in the coming months with expansion planned both through management arrangements, like the Asticou, as well as acquisitions.”
Maine is the third most bike-friendly state in the nation, according to the The League of American Bicyclists. Good recognition for the efforts the state’s made to be more welcoming to cyclists.
Planning a cycling trip? Check the resources of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. It’s one-stop shopping for events, trails, rides, recommended routes, advocacy, and more. Another good resource is the Maine Department of Transportation’s Explore site, with detailed routes by region, complete with maps. Also here are details on the Maine sections of the East Coast Greenway.
Good bets for cyclists of all abilities include the Carriage Roads of Acadia National Park, Acadia’s Park Loop Road (before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. to avoid the heavy duty tourist crowds), the Schoodic Loop, and on Maine’s offshore islands, especially Vinalhaven and North Haven. Inland, the Maine Huts and Trails network is great for mountain biking, with full-service huts spaced at 10-12 mile intervals–so far, just two, but construction of the third was just approved.
Ben Walter, co-owner of Oceanside Meadows, a lovely inn in Prospect Harbor, just called me with a tip: Bohemian Mama’s Bakery. “The croissants are so good, you’ll ask yourself: Am I really in America?”
That coming from the well-traveled Ben got my attention. Tell me more, I replied. Here’s the scoop, along with photos Ben took on his iPhone.
Bohemian Mama’s Bakery had its roots in Milbridge, but moved to Addison late last summer. It’s hidden gem, tucked one mile off Route 1 on Ridge Road. Inside, Linda Clouser, her daughter Desiree and son Adrian, bake exquisite breads (whole grain, country white, Anadama, etc.), fruit pies, eclairs, cream puffs, fruit and cheese buns, French cruellers, biscotti, gourmet cupcakes, personal pies, and those amazing croissants, to name a few items.
“We just installed a wood-fired oven, and we’re making pizza, strombelli, and subs, too,” Adrian told me over the phone. Don’t let the Clouser name fool you. “We come from long line of cooking Sicilians,” Adrian says. “My mom was in the wedding cake business before moving to Maine from Reading, Penn., last year. This place is her creation, and she’s done a great job.”
“We haven’t really advertised it, we want to let the place work its magic, ” Adrian says. Judging from Ben’s excitement on the phone, it already is.
Birders and art fans are invited to Deer Isle for the fourth annual Wings, Waves, & Woods, May 21-23. The festival, timed to coincide with early migration, is sponsored by the Island Heritage Trust, and a brochure detailing the event can be downloaded from its website.
Bob Duchesne, founder of the Maine Birding Trail, author of Maine Birding Trail, and a Maine Audubon trip leader for more than 20 years, is this year’s special guest.
The festival opens with a reception Friday evening at the Pearson Legacy Gallery showcasing bird-related artwork by more than 40 artists.
On Saturday and Sunday, experts will lead walks (free, donations appreciated), guide boat trips (fee), and give presentations and demonstrations. Here’s a sampling:
• Warbler Walk, Settlement Quarry Preserve
• Scotts Landing Bird Walk
• Birding by Kayak, kayaks provided, $60
• Nesting Eagles and Their Neighbors, Causeway Beach
• Introduction to Birding
• Puffins & Pelagics, cruise to Seal Island with Bob Duschesne, $60
• Create Birdbaths & Planters, $35
• Birdhouse Building for Kids, $5 includes materials and snack
• Studio Demo & Tour (with the mega-talented Missy Greene and Eric Ziner)
• Birding Identification Made Easy, Bob Duschesne
• Lily Pond Walk
• Found Objects Sculptures, demonstration, with Peter Beerits at Nervous Nellie’s Jams & Jellies (one of my all-time favorite places)
A Local Foods Chowder Supper will be available on Saturday night (seating limited; $12).
Where to stay: There are some wonderful accommodations available on Deer Isle. My favorite is the aptly named Inn on the Harbor, in Stonington. Both the Pilgrim’s Inn and The Inn at Ferry Landing are lovely B&Bs in Deer Isle. To really get in the spirit of the birding weekend, book a cabin at the oceanfront Goose Cove Resort, in Sunset, which borders the Barred Island Preserve. On a budget? Boyce’s Motel, in downtown Stonington, has clean rooms, some with kitchenettes. For dirt cheap accommodations, book a bunk at the rustic-bordering-on-primitive Deer Isle Hostel.