Best of Maine

Cape Elizabeth's Inn by the Sea is a Dream Destination

Submitted By George Smith on Thu, 01/26/2012 - 18:11

We could live at Cape Elizabeth’s Inn by the Sea, in a two-story suite with amazing ocean views, taking our meals at the world-class Sea Glass Restaurant, walking daily on Crescent Beach right in front of the Inn, birdwatching in the surrounding gardens, enjoying daily treatments in the luxurious spa.

 Whoops! Time to wake up from that dream!

While none of us will ever live this dream year-round, a brief visit to this dream location is possible – and we guarantee it’s an experience you will store in your memory bank and haul out often.

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Find Italy in Downtown Waterville at Amici's Cucina

Submitted By George Smith on Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:40

The sense that we were in Italy overtook us shortly after we were seated at Amici’s Cuchina on Waterville’s Main Street. Well, perhaps with the exception that everyone was speaking English.

Mary and Angelo Carpinito have worked in the restaurant business for decades, but this is the first place they opened and operated on their own and they’ve hit a home run their first time up at the plate.

If you are looking for an authentic Italian dining experience, this is the place. We talked with two couples that night that have been to Italy several times and agreed with us on this.

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Rangeley's a Year-Round Recreation Destination

Submitted By George Smith on Thu, 01/12/2012 - 12:12

Rangeley is well-known for its outstand recreational opportunities, but did you know about the community’s fabulous inns, restaurants, and shops?

Even though we central Mainers can reach the town in about an hour, we tend toward I-95 and longer trips north and south, even for an evening’s dinner.

Turn that vehicle west and you will find a warm and welcoming community offering everything that gives Maine bragging rights for its quality of life.

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Sandy Miller at Rangeley Lakes B&B Rangeley Lakes B&B Parkside...

Rangeley's Farmhouse Restaurant - Small Place, Big Flavors

Submitted By George Smith on Thu, 01/05/2012 - 12:39

The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in Rangeley is exactly the kind of place we hoped to find for you when we started writing this column: small, unique, with exceptional food, superb service, comfortable atmosphere, and wonderful hosts.

And it’s only a short drive away. We often travel 60 to 90 minutes to dine in Brunswick, Portland, Rockland, or Bangor, but seldom think about Rangeley, just an hour away from our home in Mt. Vernon.

Well, we’re thinking of it now, and the dinner we enjoyed in the Farmhouse’s cozy downstairs tavern is the reason. Wow!

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Mainely Brews. Great Pub. Great Grub.

Submitted By George Smith on Thu, 12/29/2011 - 14:46

If Luke Duplessis could turn every Post Office location that is closing into a Mainely Brews, people would happily forget about the mail.

After several friends and readers of this column told us how much they like Mainely Brews Tavern, located in Waterville’s old post office, we scheduled a visit last week. This is a fun place with a  great pub atmosphere, superb micro-brews, and a surprising (and enticing) menu.

Home for Christmas last week, our youngest daughter Hilary (pictured above), who works at a high-end restaurant on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., joined us for our culinary adventure at...

Nothing Fine-ah than the China Dine-ah!

Submitted By George Smith on Fri, 12/23/2011 - 12:30

The China Dine-ah will surprise you. It’s a lot more than a diner, from food to atmosphere.

And it’s a true reflection of owner Norm Elvin, who modeled some of the restaurant on his Palermo camp, and who puts his personal stamp on every aspect from service (excellent) to the menu (huge) to the restrooms (immaculate). And the food is exceptional.

Who would have thought that the longtime owner of G&E Roofing would become a foodie!

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Photo at top of column: Norm Elvin (center) shares a laugh with Linda Smith, Cate and Ed Pineau (left to right...

Dining in Good Company is Always a Delight

Submitted By George Smith on Fri, 12/09/2011 - 16:52

We’re the fast food nation, grabbing what we can at the drive-through and eating in the car. Even many sit-down restaurants count on getting us in and out in a mere 60 minutes.

 A leisurely dinner in a comfortable relaxing setting in good company is worth savoring. And that’s just what we did at Rockland’s aptly named Main Street restaurant, In Good Company, where chef/owner Melody Wolfhertz delivers a unique and flavorful dining experience to her hometown friends, fans and visitors.

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Here's a Toast to Geaghan's Pub and the Fireside Inn

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 12/05/2011 - 18:27

Bangor is an impressive and vibrant city, with a gorgeous riverfront, many good restaurants, and lots to do. This year we expanded beyond our traditional “go-to” eatery, the Sea Dog Tavern, to try other restaurants, including Geaghan’s Pub.

And when we travel in Maine, we always look for lodging from Bangor’s Lafayette family. They offer a range of accommodations featuring great service, plenty of amenities, and real comfort.

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Treat Yourself to a Shaker Village Christmas

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 11/28/2011 - 21:03

What do people from Georgia, Rhode Island, Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey know that you don’t?

They know that Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester is an amazing place. There were people at Shaker Village from each of those states, as well as England, on the October morning we visited.

Shaker Village includes a store with many interesting products, a fascinating museum, a craft store with locally made crafts from lamps to baskets to cheese balls, a farm with sheep and goats, and several historical buildings.

The village...

Experience Natalie's At Least Once in Your Life

Submitted By George Smith on Sat, 11/26/2011 - 18:02

Natalie’s restaurant in the elegant Camden Harbour Inn offers a dining experience that is amazing. Unique. Best we’ve had since beginning this column in January. Can’t wait to return. Been dreaming about it.

 Well, you get the idea. This is a high-end splurge that delivers an unforgettable dining experience.

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Camden Harbour Inn

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