Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 64
On the Table
Clockwise from top
left: Free-ranging at
Primo, Purple House
pastries, a typical
harbor scene, Long
Grain's Ravin Nakjaroen and Paula Palakawong, its pad kee
mao, and fresh pizza
from Dolce Vita.
Food isn't the only reason to come to Midcoast. Families will want to plan a visit to
Monkey C Monkey Do (698 Bath Road; monkeycmonkeydo.com), a high-ropes adventure course in Wiscasset. In Rockland, the Farnsworth Art Museum (16 Museum
Street; farnsworthmuseum.org) features roughly 15,000 works by American artists, including Andrew Wyeth and Joseph DeCamp. Searsport's Penobscot Marine Museum
(2 Church Street; penobscotmarinemuseum.org) at Midcoast's northern end celebrates
the region's seafaring history. Belfast offers great shopping for everything from locally
made preserves and granola at café/market Chase's Daily (96 Main Street; chasesdaily.me)
to antique volumes at Old Professor's Bookshop (99 Main Street; oldprofessorsbooks.
com), a fantastic bookseller.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
the views are so quintessential Maine postcard - boats swaying in the navy bay, framed
by tall, spiky evergreens - you half expect
a skywriter to fly by spelling out "Wish You
Were Here!" Savor a lobster roll, a top-split
bun overflowing with succulent "TKC" (tail,
knuckle, claw meat) and glossed with melted
butter, at one of the picnic tables. Drink in the
views a final time and resume course.
Follow State Route 73 north about 15
minutes to Primo, Melissa Kelly's legendary restaurant and farm in Rockland. Stroll
among the gooseberry bushes, quince trees,
and pepper patches until Kelly opens the
doors at 5 pm, then head upstairs for a couple
of oysters, a wedge of Maine cheese, and
house cider at the copper-topped bar, where
some seats are always reserved for walk-ins.
Rockport follows Rockland, then comes
Camden, the picturesque and popular harbor town that's home to Long Grain, a storefront restaurant with mismatched chairs,
wood tables, and some of the best Southeast
Asian cooking in America. Enjoy chef Ravin
Nakjaroen's herbaceous Vietnamese salad
and fluffy fried rice threaded with Maine
crab while locals breeze in and out, nonchalantly scooping up take-out orders.
If you happen to visit Midcoast on a Friday,
there's another great dinner option available
only that night. Cross through Camden to
the next town, Lincolnville. Here the road
slopes down to Lincolnville Beach, a narrow
crescent of sand and scrub framed by opposing lobster pounds. Hook a hard left on
Beach Road, which curls inland to Rose Lowell's Dolce Vita Farm & Bakery, where she
makes outstanding pizzas topped with farmgrown ingredients in a wood-fired oven
named Arabella until 7 pm.
Head back to Route 1 and check the specials sign outside 29-year-old Chez Michel:
If raspberry or blueberry pie is spelled out
in marquee letters, grab a slice to go for dessert and take it down to the scruffy shore.
Lincolnville Beach is far from the prettiest
in Midcoast Maine, but the dark, seaweedwreathed sand is soft, and the water is just
as inviting as any cove. Locals throw a bonfire here every December to mark the start
of the holiday season, but even at the height
of summer, the air is crisp and fire-appropriate as the sun goes down on a perfect day
on Midcoast Maine.