Every month, the Bangor Metro Obsessions: Food column features what we can’t get enough of. From restaurant dishes to drinks, cooking products to desserts, we love to share a wide variety of foods.
Linguine con le Cozze
Massimo’s Cucina Italiana in Bangor
Bangor’s blessed with several beautiful, higher-end restaurants perfect for a date night or special occasion. But my all-time favorite is Massimo’s Cucina Italiana on Hammond Street, and I’m going to be honest — there’s only one meal I’ve ever ordered. Some dishes are just so good you can’t bring yourself to try anything else on the menu. The Linguine con le Cozze is that meal for me. My husband’s been more adventurous, so I’ve gotten to try bites off his plate and everything is delicious — there’s really no wrong way to go — but the mussels in a garlic and tomato sauce with linguine… oh man. The sauce is just a little spicy and the mussels are a treat I can’t resist.
The atmosphere in Massimo’s is upscale and sophisticated, but friendly enough that you can bring the kids for an extra special occasion. We did just that for my birthday last year and Chef Massimo Ranni came over to the table to convince my “plain noodles with butter” children to try something a little more fun. They did and they weren’t disappointed. And they couldn’t get enough of the homemade artisanal bread and the herbed olive oil. With my birthday coming up this month, I know what I’ll be asking for again this year.
— Amy Allen
The Harbor House in Blue Hill
Is there a happier food on earth than a cupcake?
Not as far as I’m concerned.
Consider, in a world where it is considered impolite, if not completely gluttonous, to scarf down an entire cake by yourself, a cupcake is a delightful, single serving cake. No sharing required or even expected.
I’ve rarely met a cupcake I have not enjoyed, but a recent discovery of the chocolate cupcakes at The Harbor House in Blue Hill had just raised the bar.
Moist, chocolatey cake covered in a swirl of rich chocolate buttercream all made by hand by Harbor House chef-owner Kathy Eaton.
Correction, made with love by Kathy Eaton.
Eaton creates a variety of pastries daily at her waterfront restaurant and for some it may be hard to choose among the cannolis, croissants, turnovers, pies or cookies in the display case.
But for me, it’s a no brainer and next time I’m in Blue Hill my first stop will be for one of Eaton’s cupcakes. Or perhaps two. Because not only is it perfectly fine to enjoy an entire one by oneself, it is completely acceptable to have seconds.
The Harbor House; 27 Water St., Blue Hill, ME
— Julia Bayly
Butter-flavored olive oil from Tavolo
Bangor Wine and Cheese
One of my favorite workday breaks is walking up to the Bangor Wine and Cheese Shop on Hammond Street and sampling the various Tavolo olive oils and vinegars they have available. During one of my mid-afternoon taste-tests, my tastebuds and I stumbled up the “You’ll swear it is butter” flavor of olive oil.
Frankly, it rocked my world.
Imagine a fresh tub of movie theater popcorn, or a warm buttery dip for freshly-cracked lobster — but in the form of a light, sweet olive oil. I can’t wait to use it to scramble eggs, dip crusty bread or maybe even make my favorite orange olive oil cake. The possibilities are endless!
— Sam Schipani
This story was originally published in Bangor Metro’s April 2019 issue. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.