Posts Tagged ‘Northeast Harbor’

White Barn Inn now managing Acadia’s Asticou

May 28, 2010

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.

According to a press release, US Hotels plans to update the inn’s infrastructure and add its signature hospitality ethos and style to the Asticou while preserving the property’s classic charm.

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.”

Tiptoe through 45,000 tulips and other blooms

May 6, 2010

This Saturday, May 8, the W. P. Stewart estate in Northeast Harbor, Maine,  opens its gorgeous grounds—with 45,000 (!) flowering spring bulbs—to the public as a fund-raiser for the Camp Beech Cliff. Daffodils, tulips, anemones, hyacinths, and rare specialty bulbs are all peaking for the 2010 Spring Bulb Tour, which takes places on  landscaped grounds edging Somes Sound. It’s not only a rare sight in Maine, but a rare opportunity to visit one of Mount Desert Island’s estates. Take Mom for a day-before-Mother’s Day treat. Admission is $15; kids younger than 12 are free with paying adult.

More reasons to wail and whine

January 26, 2009

More sad news from Maine’s coast. The Oakland House, one of my faves, will not reopen this season.

Fourth-generation innkeeper Jim Littlefield, and his wife Sally, are returning the property edging Eggemoggin Reach, at the tip of the Blue Hill Peninsula, to a family compound, after having sold the Shore Oaks Seaside B&B and Boathouse Cottage into private family hands. The Rusticator Restaurant will not open this season, although they hope that someone will operate it and preserve it for future generations.

And another fire has destroyed yet another business in downtown Northeast Harbor. The Tan Turtle restaurant burned to the ground on Friday night; see this Bangor News story.

Fire in Northeast Harbor

July 29, 2008

Downtown Northeast Harbor suffered a devastating fire in the wee hours of the morning. According to the The Ellsworth American, it destroyed three downtown buildings, starting in the Coloniel’s Deli and spreading to the Wingspread Gallery and Joy building. It also damaged the Kimball Shop Boutique.

MDI Lunch Report 2: Redbird Provisions, Northeast Harbor

June 3, 2008

If you venture over to Northeast Harbor, have lunch or dinner at Redbird Provisions. I ate there twice last season, and this visit, for lunch, was just as I remembered: creative, delicious and calming. The latter is because Redbird shares space with a day spa. It’s not an inexpensive choice for lunch, but the value is high.

The menu emphasizes fresh and local foods. My foodie friend E and I shared two items, a flatbread topped with melted taleggio cheese, trumpet mushrooms and parsley and drizzled with truffle oil—comfort food with pizzazz—and a mozzarella, prosciutto, tomato and basil sandwich made on a crispy baguette that disappeared in minutes. We didn’t leave a crumb. It was so good, we were tempted to return for dinner that night.

Here’s a hint to help you justify the splurge: If you visit Northeast Harbor early in the season, shop the basement sales rooms of the clothing stores. They all but give things away, but the best deals do go quickly (Dale of Norway sweaters for $125! A full-length, fully lined, wool winter coat for $90? Unheard of, but we found them. Not gonna tell where, you’ll have to hunt and find them yourself).

News and chews: Bar Harbor and elsewhere on Mt. Desert Island, Maine

June 1, 2008

Liar, liar, pants on fire—If you have a hot-off-the-press edition of Moon Coastal Maine or Moon Maine, and you’re up on MDI, you’re probably wondering if you can trust me. Honest, I had it right when I left last fall, but there have been quite a few changes over the winter. Here’s a brief overview:

Bar Harbor:

SHOPS: Eclipse Gallery has downsized; Bark Harbor has moved closer downtown and downsized a bit, with another pet boutique replacing it as its old location. Aragone Gallery has moved to Main Street. Bar Harbor Brewing has moved to Mt. Desert Street, across from the Village Green, and offers tours and tastings most afternoons.

LIGHT FARE: Michelle’s Brown Bag also has moved a few doors closer to downtown on Main Street.

Not Quite the Corner Deli is no more. In it’s place is Downeast Deli, offering the usuals for lunch.

Café Milagro has expanded to the adjacent storefront, adding housemade gelato as well as sweet and savory crepes. I tried a scoop of the dark chocolate gelato: rich and creamy. I want to return for the smoked salmon crepes. The Spot Grill, which was next to Café Milagro has moved closer to The Criterion Theater, which is getting a new marquee any day now.

Morning Glory Bakery has sold and been remodeled. The new layout is greatly improved, and there’s indoor seating. Box lunches are no longer offered, but the menu has expanded to include quiches, soups, foccacia, small heat-and-eat pizzas and other goodies.

RESTAURANTS and BARS: The Thirsty Whale was torn down and rebuilt in the same location—looks exactly the same, but with that newish tinge. Still favored by locals for pub grub; nothing on the menu even approaches $10.

Carmen Veranda is under new ownership, but remains in same location

EPI will reopen soon–there are help-wanted signs in the window and there’s activity inside.

McKay’s Public House has a new head chef, Emily Damon, previously with Northeast Harbor’s 151 Main and House of M. NOTE: June 3 is a special Spring Wine Dinner for $75; reservations are essential.

LODGING: The Bar Harbor Hostel has a “for sale” sign in front of it.

Southwest Harbor/Northeast Harbor:

Maddy’s—the ultra-kid-friendly hot dog palace in Southwest—is gone; replaced by a not so kid-friendly bar.

Gilley’s Head of the Harbor—no, it’s not even in the book–was a rather lack-luster seafood joint hard on Route 102 just west of downtown Southwest Harbor, but with nice views over the harbor. Word from a trusted source is that the woman who’s been running Thurston’s Lobster, in Bernard, bought this and plans to make it a Southwest Harbor version of Thurston’s.

Little Notch Bakery is expanding and opening a location in Northeast Harbor.