Maine’s best food, and the search for its best ice cream

Posted April 21, 2009, at 4:51 p.m.

Dine east

In its May issue, Down East Magazine publishes its picks for the best places to eat in Maine. Of the 53 restaurants and bars that made the list, four were from Knox County, four were from Kennebec and Androscoggin counties, and just eight were from eastern Maine. The rest were overwhelmingly from southern Maine. It’s no surprise that southern Maine has a truly remarkable selection of eateries. However, if one were to judge Maine’s dining scene solely by the recommendations made by Down East, one would be forced to conclude that, aside from a few beacons of gustatory solace, you’re pretty much out of luck once you drive north of Lewiston. The places in eastern and central Maine they did recognize — Cleonice in Ellsworth, the Islesford Dock Restaurant, Havana in Bar Harbor, Orvieto in Millinocket, among a few others — are truly wonderful, and are more than worthy of a visit. As for the apparent snub of the rest of the Maine dining scene, it appears someone did not take the time to do his or her research. Fortunately for us, we know just where to go in eastern, central and northern Maine for knock-your-socks-off seafood, pasta, pizza, coffee, ice cream, cocktails and fine dining. To read Down East’s list of the best restaurants in Maine, visit www.downeast.com.

Tell the Maven

Kristen Andresen, formerly known as BDN’s ShopGirl and the woman who used to write this column, launched her Web site, www.mainemaven.com, just a few months ago, featuring information on Maine-made art, fashion, food, and entertainment and, yes, shopping. To announce the arrival of spring and the imminent coming of summer, Maine Maven is holding a contest to name the best ice cream stand in the state. Andresen will visit the top three stands, as decided by readers, and choose two entrants at random to receive a $10 gift certificate to the ice cream stand of their choice. To cast your vote, visit www.mainemaven.com.

I pods

Patriot’s Day is not just a time to honor Revolutionary War heroes, or for amazing athletes to run marathons. As any farmer knows, you plant peas on Patriot’s Day so they’ll be ready for the Fourth of July. Little peas, the ones that come early and are as sweet as candy, are best planted right around this time of year, in time for a late June or early July harvest. What are some of your favorite recipes that feature peas? Send an e-mail to eburnham@bangordailynews.net, or write a letter to Tidbits, c/o Bangor Daily News, 491 Main St., Bangor 04401, with your favorite pea dishes, and we’ll share the best ideas with BDN readers.

Tidbits is hungry for news about local food products and events. Send your Tidbits by mail to: Bangor Daily News, attn: Tidbits, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402-1329; by fax to 941-9476; or by e-mail to tidbits@bangordailynews.net.

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