Natalie’s Restaurant at the Camden Harbor Inn continues to amass accolades, this time from one of the most-coveted symbols of excellence in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Both the restaurant and the Inn have received Four Diamonds from AAA, ranking it among the top establishments in the state. Executive chef Lawrence Klang, who has cooked in fine restaurants around the world and was named the People’s Choice winner in the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2008 competition, will host a special holiday dinner at Natalie’s beginning Monday, Dec. 15, and running through the end of the month. “A Maine Noel” opens with one of Natalie’s specialty cocktails, Victoria’s Secret, and several hors d’oeuvres, including Maine Damariscotta River oyster with apple cider gelee. Other courses on the menu include cappuccino of wild mushrooms topped with Madeira foam and essence of nutmeg; spiced leg of wild boar served with savoy cabbage Anson Mills galette, and preserved Maine blueberry and banyuls jus and roasted breast of wild partridge. Before “A Maine Noel” makes its debut at Natalie’s, Klang will offer the repast at the James Beard House in New York City, an honor reserved for the finest culinary artists in the nation, such as Wolfgang Puck, Cat Cora and Bobby Flay. The dinner at Natalie’s is $89; call 236-4200 for reservations.
Happy new beer
Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Co. has launched a new anniversary beer, in celebration of 21 years of brewing beer. The 21 IPA is a mix of American hops with English malt, brewed as an India pale ale. It’s brewed in small batches, and has an alcohol content of 6.8 percent. The 21 IPA will be available in early 2009 throughout New England; for more, visit www.grittys.com. In other Maine brew news, Shipyard Brewing Co.’s Pumpkinhead Ale took home a silver award at the 2008 European Beer Star competition in Nuremberg, Germany, where 65 international beer judges tasted a total of 688 beers from 32 countries. Shipyard Brewing Co. was one of only 16 U.S. breweries to be honored with an award. For more, visit www.european-beer.star.com</a>.
All in Hood fun
Attention, competitive cookers: Dairy product manufacturer HP Hood has announced that it is accepting entries for the 4th annual Hood Holiday Recipe Contest. The only requirement is that each recipe MUST include one or more of the following Hood holiday products: Hood Egg Nog (all varieties), Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, Cream, Country Creamer or Instant Whipped Cream (must be used in conjunction with another product). All recipes — sweet or savory; dessert, breakfast or dinner — will be accepted as long as they contain at least one of the above-mentioned products. One grand prize winner will receive a chef-prepared dinner party for 10 at his or her home. Three winners of honorable mentions will each receive a $200 gift card. Interested participants can submit their favorite original recipes online at www.hood.com.
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