Posts Tagged ‘Rockland’

Dine out for a doggone good cause

May 30, 2010

Dine out Thursday and help Pete and his pals, Humane Society of Knox County photo.

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
Big Fish
Blue Sky Cantina
Brass Compass
Harbor View Tavern
Home Kitchen Cafe
Prism Restaurant and Gallery
Thomaston Cafe


Amalfi on the Water
Athens Pizzeria
Badger Cafe and Pub
Big Fish
Blue Sky Cantina
Cafe Miranda
Harbor Gawker
The Haven Restaurant
In Good Company
Mc-Hales Restaurant & Pub
The Offshore Restaurant
Park Street Grille
Peter Otts
Pizza Hut
Prism Restaurant and Gallery
Rockland Cafe
Silver Lane Bistro

Golf and sail the Maine Coast

April 20, 2010

Windjammer, Penobscot Bay © Hilary Nangle

You want to sail, partner wants to golf; not a problem: The Maine Windjammer Association has you both covered with three packages that add golf to any 3- to 6-day cruise this season. Cruises on one of the 12 member vessels start at $400 per person, which includes all meals, activities, and accommodations. To that, add one of these options:

• Samoset & Sail Package: A one-night stay at Samoset Resort, with a round on its 18 hole, PGA championship course complete with cart and club rentals, for $179-$234 per person.

• Lanyards, Links, and Luxury Package: A two-night stay at historic B&B in Rockland, including gourmet breakfasts, one round of 18-hole golf, cart and club rentals, for $250 per person.

• Travel-Light Sail & Golf Trail Package: Includes map and complimentary club rentals at participating courses around the State of Maine. Free!

Victory Chimes © Hilary Nangle

Never been on a windjammer? Let me tell you what to expect. It’s a few steps above camping on the water. Expect a cozy bunk and hearty meals. A few boats have roomier and more private facilities, but for the most part, you’re living in tight quarters with like-minded individuals. Bring good books, musical instruments if they’re portable, binoculars. You’ll sail by day, then anchor usually off an island or a small seaport, given a chance to explore it before returning for the night. It’ll be quiet, and if the weather cooperates, star-gazing provides the best free light-show for miles around.

Windjamming is not for those who need to be waited on hand and foot, who demand luxurious accommodations and fancy baths (most boats have shared heads and shower, but there’s usually a sink in your cabin), fussbudgets, or who can’t survive without being connected to the electronic world. Most—but not all—boats are historic vessels, built for freight and retrofitted for human cargo.

There are no set destinations; wind and tide set the daily course. You have to be willing to roll with the weather—sunshine, clouds, fog, rain, gales—whatever Ma Nature pitches, you deal with.

For the right people, though, it’s a vacation without compare.

Two for the weekend: fish and shrimp

March 19, 2010

If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend in Maine, consider these two events: L.L. Bean’s Spring Fishing Weekend, today through Sunday March 21, and Celebrate the Shrimp, all day Saturday, March 20, in Rockland.

• Spring Fishing Weekend

If you’re angling to catch some free fishing know-how, cast your line into this event at Bean’s Freeport flagship store. It kicks off with a free fly-tying clinic tonight, and continues Saturday and Sunday with demonstrations, lessons, seminars, contests, and book signings with the “legends of fishing.” Most events are free.

• Celebrate the Shrimp

Here’s a tasty Rockland Maine Street-sponsored event. It runs from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and includes free admission to the Maine Lighthouse Museum to 1 p.m.; a shrimp walk; shrimp tales at the Rockland Library; a shrimp cook-off with chefs and foodies competing in separate categories ; shrimp picking and handling demonstration; free historic trolley tours of the city from 2-4 p.m., and a special Shrimp Art Walk between local galleries from 5-7 p.m. Of course, local restaurants will be featuring shrimp specials.

Despite Bourdain’s visit, Conte’s is closing

February 12, 2010

Rumors have swirled for a few months about the demise Conte’s, the funky (you either loved it or hated it) seafood joint on Rockland’s waterfront, but when celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain visited and taped a TV show in early January, everyone figured it was going to keep trucking. ‘Fraid not, at least according to a recent Herald Gazette story. The landmark, harbor-front restaurant is closing April 15. But wait, there’s more: From-away restaurateur Stephen Fanning is opening The Pearl in the former Black Pearl location on the pier. Stay tuned.

VOTE now, vote often for Rockland! Named a “2010 Distinctive Destination,” make it THE destination

February 3, 2010

Planning a Maine vacation? Want to have an authentic experience? Want lobster, a seaport, great museums and shops? Craving a real town, not a tourist set?

Have I got the place for you.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Rockland, Maine, to its 2010 List of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Rockland was selected for its authentic preservation of a rich history and its wide range of unique attractions, including a picturesque working waterfront that packs alluring cultural heritage with prized fresh seafood and world famous festivals.

For the first time in the program’s history, the public can vote online for its fan favorite throughout February. Any legal resident of the U.S., 18 years of age or older, can vote as often as they like for their favorite city or town on this year’s list. The winner of the popular vote will be announced on March 1, 2010. You’ll have to register, but it’s well worth the effort. Voters are automatically entered to win a complimentary two night stay at any Historic Hotel of America.

So why vote for Rockland? Well, besides it being home of Pies on Parade, the Lobster Festival, fun shops, and cool museums and galleries and, well, I could go on and on, but I’ll let the National Trust get a few words in:

“With great pride in its maritime past and present, Rockland blends tradition with an innovative spirit,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Visitors will discover an authentic snapshot of coastal living.”

Lobster is king in Rockland – from the harbor where visitors can watch a lobsterman dock to the world-famous Maine Lobster Festival, which occurs in August every year. Locals and visitors can shop and enjoy a bounty of local cuisines in a setting one block from the harbor on Rockland’s historic Main Street. Home to art galleries and a number of major events, the town hosts visitors with the North American Blues Festival in July, which includes two days of Grammy Award-winning music on the harbor, and the Maine Boats Homes & Harbors Show in August.

Highlights from the Trust:

Maine Lighthouse Museum educates the public on the history of American lighthouses and the role of the United States Coast Guard in maritime safety

• The historic Owl’s Head, Rockland Breakwater, and Marshall Point lighthouses still stand in the Rockland area and are open for tours.

• For 63 years the Maine Lobster Festival has celebrated Maine’s maritime tradition with over 1,000 community volunteers and 20,000 pounds of lobster

Rockland Harbor provides great opportunities for sailing and kayaking just off the coast of Maine.

The Strand Theatre offers film, live music, and stage performances and has been entertaining Rockland residents and visitors since 1923.

Farnsworth Art Museum houses a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists including the work of three generations of the Wyeth family as well as the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House (made famous by Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting, Christina’s World), both listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

And they didn’t even mention the Puffin Center, the National Historic District, the easily walkable downtown, the great inns, the restaurants that are gaining national attention, and, well you know me, I could go on and on.

So, what are you waiting for? Vote now, vote often!

A peek at the Limerock Inn

January 31, 2010

During Rockland’s Pies on Parade event earlier this month, I stayed at the Limerock Inn, a wonderful B&B (and member of the Historic Inns of Rockland) just a couple of blocks from Main Street. Now I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for this inn, as it was created by friends back in Rockland’s gray days, the era when it was  better known as a rough-and-tumble fishing community, rather than the arts, dining, and shopping destination it is today.

The house is a standout, an 1890’s Queen Anne painted lady, complete with wrap-around porch, listed on the National Historic Register. The woodwork alone is exquisite. Each of the eight rooms has its own distinctive flavor, from the turret room with a lovely wedding canopy bed to the Cottage Room, a private oasis with its own door opening to the backyard gardens. Some have whirlpool tubs and/or a fireplace, and there’s Wifi throughout. Currently no inroom TVs (although flat-screens are in the future), but there’s one concealed with the living room armoire.

The furnishings  are top of the line, reflecting two of the original four owners (two couples) business; they owned a furniture store. They bought quality, but made sure it was in keeping with the period and decor, and the emphasis is on comfort. Let me tell ya, those leather chairs with ottomans in the living room invite relaxation, perhaps with a selection from the library of good reads positioned within grasp.

Frank and PJ, the current owner/innkeepers, are naturals, and Frank is the creative cook who whips up more-than-filling breakfasts. If you’re really fortunate, there might be a serving of his Key Limerock pie available—trust me, he nailed it (and his granola crust seals the deal).The self-serve pantry assures that those who crave a midnight snack will find one.

These guys love Rockland, so they’re a wonderful source of info for first-timers to the region, and the inn provides enough privacy (including individual dining tables) that it’s a good choice for newbies to the B&B experience. One night here, and you’ll be booking again and again.

New Farnsworth exhibit

January 26, 2010

“The State of Printmaking since 1940,” the third in a series of exhibitions featuring prints from the museum’s collection, opens Sat., Jan. 30, at Rockland’s Farnsworth Museum. This one highlights conceptual and technical trends in American printmaking since the beginning of World War II.

Techniques represented in the exhibit include relief, intaglio, lithography, silkscreen, photo-mechanical art, and alternative processes.

The exhibit includes works by Milton Avery, Leonard Baskin, Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, Larry Rivers, Andy Warhol, June Wayne, and others.

You might want to plan a visit in conjunction with the Curator’s Choice gallery talk on Feb. 1, given by exhibtion organizater Jane Bianco, curatorial assistant. The talk is free with admission, but seating is limited, so reservations are encouraged.

Image: Yvonne Jacquette, Motion Picture (Times Sq.), 1990, 12-color lithograph, museum purchase, 1990 © 1990 Y.J.

Pies and poutine

January 23, 2010

First, Pies on Parade, tomorrow, in Rockland is sold out, so don’t make a special trip. Just ink it on your calendar for next year and purchase tix in advance.

Now about that poutine. I think I’ve found some that rivals Duckfat’s. Yessirree, folks, the poutine served at Lily Bistro, on Rockland’s Restaurant Row, is divine. Rich, full of flavor, and made with homemade gravy. Oh my, damn, it’s delish. Ordered it as my appetizer, and barely had room for the lamb shank, another tasty dish. Excellent meal. My friends began with the onion soup (classic, traditional, and superb), then one had the steak and frites (not a morsel left on his plate) and the other the night’s special, pan-seared salmon with butter-poached Maine shrimp (she’s a food writer, and the grin on her face said everything you need to know).

Now must put in a few laps before Pies on Parade, tomorrow.

207: Pies on Parade

January 13, 2010

Frank makes pie at the Limerock Inn.

I’ve blogged previously about the upcoming Pies on Parade, but since it airs on 207 tonight, I thought I’d put all the necessary info in one place:

WHAT: Pies on Parade, Rockland, Maine

Pie sampling at more than a dozen venues–at last count 16 and growing–including the four inns, as well as restaurants and even a day spa. See list below. You can walk site to site or take a trolley.

WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 24, 1-5 pm

Rain, snow, ice, sleet, nothing stops this event from happening: Hundreds of pies have been baked

SPONSOR: Historic Inns of Rockland

Four fine inns in downtown Rockland—The Berry Manor, Captain Lindsey, Granite Inn, and Limerock Inn, all built between 1835 and 1898. These aren’t home-stay B&BS, all are historic homes turned into boutique inns, complete with all the whistles and bells: private rooms, private baths, common areas, Wifi, abundant breakfasts. Some have fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. One is especially kid and pet friendly

TIX: $25 adult, $10 children.

Yes. Tickets for the tour alone sell out quickly; $25 adults, $10 kid 10 and younger. To order tickets in advance, call 1-877-ROC-INNS (877-762-4667).

BENEFITS: Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry.

More than $20,000 has been raised to date.

Capt. Ken Barnes, pie-maker extraordinaire, shows a creation at the Capt. Lindsey House.

LODGING PACKAGES: at the Historic Inns or Rockland

Granite Inn, Berry Manor, Limerock Inn, Captain Lindsay. Packages  include:

  • Two guaranteed tickets to the usually sold-out Pies on Parade
  • Two “personal” pies upon check-in
  • A copy of INNdulgences, the Historic Inns of Rockland cookbook,
  • Commemorative Pies on Parade poster
  • $50 in Midcoast Money plus two dessert vouchers
  • Exclusive tour of Audubon’s Project Puffin Center featuring “Puff (ed) Pastry Pies”
  • Exclusive tour of Maine Lighthouse Museum featuring “Lite Pies”
  • Invitation to a “Wine and Pie” tasting at the Wine Seller

Two-Night Package prices range from $315 to $605 single or double occupancy.


• Berry Manor Inn:  Raspberry pie; Blueberry Pie; Savory pies

• Captain Lindsey House: Seafood Pie

• LimeRock Inn:  Key LimeRock Pie; Pizza Rustica (Italian Meat) Pie

• Granite Inn:  Cheesy Breakfast Pie and Cranberry Apple Pie

• Pastry Garden: Lemon Meringue Tartlets and Spinach Ricotta Pie

• Amalfi on the Water: Seafood Pie; White Chocolate Mousse Pie

• Café Miranda: Signature Mojo Pizza Pie

• Lily’s Bistro:  Potato & Bacon; Peach Tart Tatan

• Bricks:  Pizza Pie

• Rheal Day Spa: (Healthy pies) Not-too-Sweet Potato Pie (gluten free); Lavender, Honey & Yogurt Pie (no refined sugar)

• Waterworks Restaurant:  Shepherds Pie

• Rustica:  Sweet and Savory Italian Gallettes

• Rockland Café: Mini Whoopie Pies

• Brown Bag: TBA

• Park Street Grille: Tex Mex Take On Pie

• Thorndike Creamery: Ice cream surprise

Film for thought

January 10, 2010

On four Thursdays in January and February, The Farnsworth Museum will screen the PBS-produced film series Art:21 at 6 p.m. in its auditorium. The series focuses exclusively on American contemporary visual art and artists, providing intimate, behind-the scenes views of artists as the hey transform inspiration into art and grapple with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their artistic vision.

The Evening Out film series begins this Thursday, Jan. 14, with a segment that focuses on place and features artists Richard Serra, Sally Mann, Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, and Pepón Osori, among others. Admission is $5 for Farnsworth memers, $8 for nonmembers.

The second program in the series, which is themed spirituality, is slated for Jan. 28.