Annual Lobster Ride & Roll kicks off Saturday in Rockland

Posted July 20, 2010, at 6:50 p.m.

Ride your bike for a good cause, and then reward yourself with a delectable Maine treat. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s ninth annual Lobster Ride & Roll will be held the morning of Saturday, July 24, with a starting point at Rockland High School. Four levels of rides are set, ranging from 16 to 100 miles, and all end with a delicious lobster roll dinner back at the high school. Ocean views, fresh ocean air, maps, support services, rest stops with food and water and more are planned for the annual event, which benefits the BCM’s education and advocacy work for better bicycling in Maine. Participants receive a custom pair of lobster ride bike socks as a thank-you for participating. The cost to register is $75 for BCM members, $95 for nonmembers, which includes a trial BCM membership. Riders ages 12-17 can register for $25, and under 11 ride for free. For information, visit www.bikemaine.org.

The Obama family’s visit to Mount Desert Island last weekend included many culinary highlights. Friday night, the family dined at Stewman’s Downtown, where both the president and first lady dined on traditional Maine lobster, while daughters Sasha and Malia shared a shrimp basket. Waiter Mark Currier, in his first week on the job, waited on the family. Lunch on Saturday was at the Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor, followed by a stop at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream on Main Street. According to owner Linda Parker, the president had coconut, Mrs. Obama had chocolate, Malia had cookies and cream, and Sasha had candy shop, a flavor containing many different kinds of candy. Dinner that evening for the first couple’s much anticipated date night was at acclaimed Bar Harbor restaurant Havana. The president had paella and Mrs. Obama had lobster thermidor, according to owner Michael Boland. Both had martini cocktails and, for dessert, the president had tres leches, a traditional Latin-style cake, and the first lady had flan. Video of the first family’s outings to MDI Ice Cream and to Havana can be found on both establishments’ Facebook pages, and the Bangor Daily News has a video interview with Parker. We here at Tidbits think a re-creation of the presidential visit’s dining stops would be a very fine vacation indeed.

Primo, the darn near legendary restaurant in Rockland, opened its new antipasti bar the first week of July. Every day but Tuesday, one of Primo’s chefs will be behind the counter preparing dishes in front of you. Head chef Melissa Kelly, author of “Mediterranean Women Stay Slim, Too” and subject of an Anthony Bourdain interview on “No Reservations,” will take over the bar Monday evenings. Patrons can order specialized meats and cheeses, Primo’s wood-fired pizzas, various vegetable and antipasti plates, dessert dishes and a special dish of the day — as well as regular Primo menu items. Additionally, Primo has opened a new outside seating area. Reservations are always a good idea. For information, visit www.primorestaurant.com.

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