Posts Tagged ‘Camden Harbour Inn’

Take a hike

March 3, 2010

Camden Harbour Inn bar manager Tom Laslavic won Monday night’s Bartender Bash, the kick-off to Maine Restaurant Week. Laslavic’s drink, Camden Hike, was inspired by ingredients from a summer walk in Mid-coast Maine. The drink comprises a sweet and tart blend of Cold River Vodka, lemon, blueberry puree, blackberry puree, Crème de Cassis, Honey Syrup and Club Soda.

Natalie’s, the inn’s restaurant and lounge, will be serving the winning “Camden Hike” at the inn’s Ice Bar on Thursday and Friday, March 4 and 5 (and Saturday, if the weather permits); open 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. , with  DJ Owen.C will spinning.

The specialty cocktail also will be served for the duration of Restaurant Week, which ends March. 10. Pair it with a selection from the inn’s Restaurant Week menus, $20.10 in the lounge, $40.10 in the dining room.

Rather try it a Camden Hike at home? Here’s the recipe:

Camden Hike
Created by Tom Laslavic of Natalie’s Restaurant

1 1/2 oz. Cold River Vodka
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 tsp. blueberry puree
1 tsp. blackberry puree
1/4 oz. Creme de Cassis
1/2 oz. honeyClub soda
Fresh berries and thick lemon peel garnish

Mixed and shaken, pour into iced glass topped with cold club soda & garnished with fresh berries and lemon peel.

My suggestion: Enjoy it after, not before, you hike those Camden Hills.

Restaurant Week Maine lodging deals

February 19, 2010

Restaurant Week Maine is quickly approaching and this year, there are some decent lodging deals offered that complement the set-price dinners. For example, the Inn by the Sea is offering a $99 traditional room or garden suites (add $30 for a spa suite), Sun. through Thurs.; Camden’s Hartstone Inn has traditional rooms beginning at $175 including breakfast and dinner, and the Camden Harbour Inn has rates beginning at $87.50 pp including breakfast and dinner. Some Portland B&B’s are discounting rooms, other properties haven’t detailed the offerings, so you need to ask. In any case, it’s a great way to sample some fab properties at a fraction of the peak season costs.

Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn reopens, launches new menu

February 10, 2010

Natalie’s Restaurant at The Camden Harbour Inn reopened tonight, after a seasonal siesta, with a LOVE-themed party featuring tastings from its new menu. Suffice to say, one bite was nowhere near enough. Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn makes Camden a winter dining destination, a fine choice for a romantic winter escape.

But let me tell you more about the new menu.

While listening to a Beatles tribute band, I tasted a sampling of appetizers:

• house-cured salmon gravlax, poached quail eggs, white dressing, endive ($12)

• crispy veal sweetbreads, rosemary, Aleppo pepper aioli, serrano ($10)

• seared diver scallops, scallop and spinach springroll, reisling saffron limeleaf nage ($14)

and entrees:

• grilled double chop rock of lamb, stuffed piquillo peppers, coffee cumin lamb just ($32)

• seared duck breas and leg confit, red wine braised porcini mushrooms, potato souffle, sauce salmis ($30)

• slow poached Maine lobster, whipped cauliflower, bacon, black truffle ($market)

So, you probably want to know which one was best. Truth? I can’t decide. Each time I thought it couldn’t get better, it did. If I had to pick faves, hmmm, I guest the sweetbreads and the scallops appetizers, followed by the duck breast, although that lobster was damn good.

Bottom line: Lawrence Klang has turned out a fabulous seasonal menu worth a special visit to Camden.

207 winter escapes

December 16, 2009

Looking to escape the holiday craziness? Want to chill and enjoy winter’s chill? Steal away to one of these inns I recommended on the WCSH-TV show 207. Quite a few have special packages, so be sure to check the web sites.

The Crocker Pond House, Bethel: Perfect for those who might want to do some early-season skiing at Sunday River. Lovely, owner/architect designed Shingle-style home in rural woods. Skate on the pond, cross-country ski on the trail by the river, snowshoe the trails from the backyard. Family friendly. $125 two nights, $150 one night, includes full breakfast.

Belfast Bay Inn & Suites, Belfast: Smack downtown, so it’s well situated for browsing Belfast’s boutiques and galleries and for strolling around to admire holiday decorations. Suites are elegantly furnished, and most have near-full kitchens that are well equipped. The owners have thought of everything; they even deliver a full, hot breakfast to your suite in the morning. $158-228

Inn on the Harbor, Stonington: Talk about away from it all! The inn is built over the island-dotted harbor, providing a front-row seat on any boating activity. Wonderful preserves for winter walking, artisans’s studios to visit. In winter, meals are available. $65-$110, $135 for a two-bedroom apartment with full kitchen; includes light breakfast.

West Quoddy Station, Lubec: It might not be the end of the world, but you can see it from here. A once-abandoned Coast Guard Lifesaving Station on West Quoddy Head that’s been renovated into efficiencies and a rental house. Walk the trails, stock up on Monica’s chocolates and Quoddy Mist sea salt. Studios and one-bedroom units: $80-95; four-bedroom house with full kitchen, $200.

Camden Harbour Inn, Camden: A hip, contemporary, luxurious oasis in Camden. Victorian on the outside, chic inside, without a hint of Victorian frou frou. Short stroll to downtown shops and restaurants. $175–$375, including a full champagne breakfast and all-day snacks.

Speaking of wine

September 24, 2009

You can host your own winemaker dinner, but first you have to make the wine. To learn—and enjoy top notch meals and luxurious lodging and fun activities—tap into the annual Wine Camp, a joint venture of Cellardoor Winery and the Camden Harbour Inn, slated Oct. 12-16.

Here’s what’s included:
•    Four nights at the Camden Harbour Inn, including turndown service with handmade Belgian chocolates every night; coffee, tea and bottled water in all rooms, as well as complimentary DownEast coffee, Mighty Leaf tea, pastries and snacks all day in the lounge; Wine Camp welcome reception at the Inn with Prosecco and special hors d’oeuvres

•    All meals during the four-day trip, including an a la carte Champagne breakfast every morning at Natalie’s, ta at the Camden Harbour Inn;  a luncheon at Prism Glass & Gallery Café in Rocklan; a dinner at The Edge at The Inn at Ocean’s Edge in Lincolnville; and a Natalie’s farewell five-course tasting dinner including wine pairings selected by French wine connoisseur and owner of Belfast’s Easterly Wines, Jack Scully.

•    Transportation to Wine Camp activities

•    Wine classes and educational programs at Cellardoor Winery and Vineyard

•    Winemaking kit

•    A cooking class with Natalie’s Executive Chef Lawrence Klang

•    Special outings and activities including a Maine winery tour, kayaking tour, and a sailing trip on the Schooner Olad (weather permitting, rain programs available).

The Wine Camp package starts at $1,650 plus tax per person based on double occupancy and includes gratuity.

Win an overnight at the Camden Harbour Inn

August 24, 2009

Not only that, you’ll have the opportunity to cook with Fore Street’s Sam Hayward or Jeff Landry, from the Farmer’s Table. And you’ll receive tickets to the Maine Fare foodie event Sept. 11-13 in Camden. To qualify, submit your best recipe using Maine ingredients here.

Speaking of the Camden Harbour Inn, here’s another event worth considering. Perfume expert, author, and New York Times critic Chandler Burr is hosting a master class in “les parfums gourmands” at the inn’s restaurant, Natalie’s, on Saturday, Sept. 12. It’s a multi-sensory two-feast extravaganza: one invisible and olfactory, created by Chandler Burr; the other edible and gustatory, created by Executive Chef Lawrence Klang. Reserve a seat—you better be sitting for this—$289.

Splurgeworthy: Camden Harbour Inn

August 13, 2009

IMG_1918Once a classic summer hotel, over the years, the  Camden Harbour Inn had morphed into a B&B, sprouting wings and adding private baths, and gone Victorian to the hilt, with ruffles, and flowers, and layers of clutter. Not anymore.

Partners Oscar Verest and Raymond Brunyanszki have infused this genteel lady with light, opened walls and windows, and brought it fully into the 21st century with vibrant color, comfy furnishings, and all the whistles and bells that a four-aiming-for-five diamond property requires. It is most unVictorian inside and yet, there are faint echoes of that era. Those echoes, however, are dulled by the purples, silvers, and reds of the upholstery, the minimalist gas fireplace, and the Asian and African accents. I know, I know, it doesn’t sound soothing, but it is, and it works.


IMG_1962Now add a fabulous restaurant, Natalie‘s, decorated to evoke a Parisien brasserie on the Seine in the 1930s—think stop red chairs and fringed lighting—again, it works.  Better yet, Chef Lawrence Klang is turning out fabulous food that’s gaining attention far beyond Maine’s borders.  He offers not only a la carte (entrees $28-44), but also a six-course tasting menu and a four-course lobster-sampling menu.

Settle in for a leisurely meal, with well-trained servers who are friendly, but not gushy, in a setting that invites relaxation and is not the least bit  stuffy. Dine inside or on the porch, with views of Camden Harbor from many tables. Dining here is  splurge-worthy, but if your budget isn’t flush, consider  the lounge menu, $8-14, instead. It offers a world of flavors, and Damariscotta oysters are $1 each.


IMG_1804Every guestroom has a water view and a stocked mini-bar. Beds are comfy clouds of down; chocolates and a quote note, along with slippers, are provided at turndown. Some rooms have fireplaces or whirlpool tubs, some have balconies, a few are suites with separate sitting areas. All refrain the inn’s decorating theme: White walls offset by reds, silvers, and purples and accented with worldy art and antiques.


Now this is where the inn really adds value. Guests are welcomed with a glass of Prosecco. Snacks and treats are always available. Breakfast includes not only a European-style buffet with fruits, cereals, baked goods, meats, cheese, even smoked salmon, but also a choice-of-menu entree, and those choices include lobster benedict (oh so good!).


The inn also is now offering lifestyle packages, with fanciful extras from chauffeur service to dining tours to lifestyle coaching.

Camden Harbour Inn culinary tour of Thailand

July 17, 2009

I wanna go, I wanna go!

The Camden Harbor Inn is launching a series of luxury culinary tours with  Thailand in January 2008. The 14-day tour includes accommodations at high-end hotels and resorts, daily breakfast, cooking classes, visits to restaurants, local markets, historic sites and temples, even elephant rides. (Hey, I’ve ridden an ostrich, an elephant must be easier than that). Tour prices begin at $3,790 per person, (based on double occupancy and a minimum of 16 guests), not including airfare to Thailand.

New take on the classic lobster roll

March 19, 2009

Let’s be honest here, anything more than lobster kissed with either mayo or butter and presented in a hot dog roll isn’t really a Maine lobster roll. That said, The Camden Harbour Inn has debuted its new lounge menu, and one of the highlights is a Thai lobster roll with peanut sauce. Truthfully, it bears no resemblance to the icon. This one is a spring roll comprising fresh vegetables and lobster accompanied by a Thai peanut sauce.

The new and expanded menu includes a number of the most requested items from the inn’s themed nights—$1 Oyster Night, Asian Soup Night, Swiss Cheese Fondue Night, Spanish Tapas Night.

Salivate over these other possibilities, which reflect chef Lawrence Klang’s taste for world flavors: lobster mac ‘n cheese, gourmet burger with truffle frites, Asian noodle soup, house-made falafel with homemade pita and a garlic yogurt, house-made Merguez Sausage with cous cous and harissa, grilled Berbere marinated lamb with house pita, cucumber, and pepper confit; Vietnemese sandwich,  and lobster and yellow curry lentil soup with preserved lemon. Prices range $7-$15.