Tidbits for September 1

Ron Chapple
Posted Aug. 31, 2010, at 5:59 p.m.

The Maine Salmon Festival, held yearly in Eastport, has been moved up a week from its usual date, and will be offered Sept. 3-5 throughout the town. The festival kicks off with a communitywide potluck pie supper, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Saturday brings out the big events, including a Paint Eastport Day for local artists, farmer’s market and craft fair, and the annual Salmon Festival Chowder and Chili lunch, from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. On Sunday is the event of the weekend, the 24th Annual Salmon Dinner, in the food tent at the fisherman’s statue. The dinner will include grilled salmon filet, fresh vegetables, homemade rolls, a wine tasting and beer on tap, and a blueberry dessert by Rockdale Blueberry Farm of Jonesport. For a full listing of all events and lots of information on all things salmon, visit eastportsalmonfestival.com.

By night, Big Pete Pearson is onstage, working crowds across the country as a blues vocalist. Born in Jamaica, raised in Texas and a resident of Arizona for most of his life, he has played with everyone from B.B. King and John Lee Hooker to unsung blues heroes from all over the world. By day, though, Pearson is a chef and barbecue master, and he is now settled down in Trenton with his wife, Kelly, to open a new restaurant, aptly called The Blues Wagon. Mt. Desert Island residents may recognize Big Pete as the man behind The Brown Bag, a takeout restaurant in Somesville in the mid-1990s. The couple has lived in Arizona for most of the past decade, but they arrived back in Maine over the summer to renovate and open The Blues Wagon, located at 1061 Bar Harbor Road. The restaurant also will focus mostly on takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will feature big sandwiches on homemade bread, using turkey and chicken roasted on site. There also will be an array of pastries and sweets, breakfast items, big salads and homemade soups and chili. The main focus is on Big Pete’s barbecue, however. A smoker in front of the place will cook up brisket, ribs, chicken and Big Pete’s special recipe homemade sausage, all made with his barbecue sauce and spice rubs. The Blues Wagon will hold a grand opening celebration this Saturday, beginning at 7 a.m. If the weather cooperates, Big Pete may even perform. For information, call 664-0843.

Over the past year, the Lucerne Inn has provided a spectacular backdrop to a monthly series of wine dinners, co-hosted by the Inn and by Bangor’s State Street Wine Cellar. The next dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, and will feature a five-course meal paired with wines specially selected by Shane McCarthy of State Street and Jessica Avis of Maine Distributors. The menu includes a social course of avocado stuffed cherry tomatoes and brie stuffed strawberries, followed by the first sit-down course of gingered sea scallop and andouille sausage in port wine reduction. Wild mushrooms on brioche, Provimi veal chop with Israeli couscous, baby bok choy and apple chutney, and a dessert of poached pear in red wine sauce round out the meal. The entire dinner, with wine, is $59.95, plus tax and gratuity. To reserve a seat, call 843-5123.

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