Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maine trip

I didn't do a "Friday Night Meal" this week because we went to Rockland Maine Saturday and Sunday with plans to eat well! Tony was watching his favorite show "Anthony Bourdain No Reservations" where he traveled to Maine on the show and went to a restaurant that looked great (and come to find out it was great)! Tony looked it up on line just to check out the menu and it looked very good so he booked the hotel and made a reservation. The restaurant is called "Primo".

Primo's is in an old house that was converted into a restaurant 11 years ago. Nice big Victorian style house where they grow all there own vegetables and the meats are from a local farm where the animals are grass fed. After looking at the menu I was excited to try it out. I love to see a menu with approachable foods that sound like new or different combinations of ingredients. I don't like fancy restaurants that serve brains or liver or loads of seafood (because I am still new at seafood).

So we left around 10:00 am on Saturday, what's the rush? We figured it would be a 4 hour drive (well that's what the GPS said). We would stop for lunch somewhere in Maine where Tony could get a lobster roll (he was craving one). Well we hit traffic then more traffic and then more traffic!! We were hungry so we stopped off at Portsmith NH for lunch. We remembered a place we went to before with our friends that was good so we headed to "The Gas Light Co." restaurant. We sat in our favorite spot, right at the bar (this was more a food counter) right in front of the wood burning oven and watched the cooks at work. We had a beer and Tony got his lobster roll and I got a nice roll-up sandwich that had red pepper hummus, lettuce and onion flavored very nicely with a red wine vinaigrette. We both had coleslaw on the side. We got back on the road and hit a little more traffic but we finally got to the hotel at 4:30.

We had reservations at 5:30 and we decided we weren't going to be hungry in an hour, we felt like we just had lunch. We cancelled the reservations because on the web site for Primo's they said how there is ALWAYS a seat if you just walk in. We changed up for dinner and headed out about 5:30 with the idea we would go someplace for a drink first. We drove around a bit and soon decided we were ready to head to Primo's. We probably got there about 6:00 and he gave us a couple options of where we could sit and we chose the bar (of course, our favorite spot). The room was decorated just as I would do if it was my restaurant. The bar was covered in copper, the room was dimly lit, the wooden shelves to hold all the glasses and plates fit in perfectly. It was probably an old bedroom but you would never know it. On the bar they placed tall glasses every so often and filled them with long and thin bread sticks as a bar snack. There was a drink special on the chalk board and the other chalk board had a list of bottles of wine you could order that were newly delivered (a bit pricey, but I am sure delicious). The bartender handed us the rest of the bar menu. I ordered a drink that had rhubarb and prosecco, it sounded interesting with the rhubarb (he quickly said we are out of rhubarb, it will be made with nectarine instead) I was fine with that. Tony got the special drink of the day which was a "Rita Hayworth" it was made with Tequila, fresh cucumber puree, a splash of house made chili vodka and a salt rim. He liked that a lot. My second drink I wanted something more interesting so the ginger vodka cosmopolitan caught my eye (I love anything with ginger). It was very good.

We ordered dinner. I had the Farmer's Salad with Frisee, romaine and radicchio lettuces tossed with lemon and Parmesan vinaigrette, croutons, house made bacon and a poached egg. Then the Scaloppini of Pork "Saltimbocca" with roast garlic mashed potato, garden spinach, prosciutto and a sage-mushroom-Madeira jus. Tony got Pemaquid River Oysters roasted in the wood oven with lemon butter, chanterelles, cilantro and sweet corn. Then the Wood Grilled NY Strip Loin with crisp potato gnocchi, wild mushrooms and roast cipolline. We had to get dessert even though we were full (we did drive 6 1/2 hours to go to this restaurant). We shared two desserts...one was a molten chocolate cake with espresso gelato and fresh berries (see photo below). The second was a really moist carrot cake with a carrot syrup and a "cream cheese-cake" so the idea of that was the cheese-cake is like the cream cheese frosting that you would normally have on carrot cake. I have to say I liked the carrot cake dessert better but the chocolate dessert was very good too. We had cappuccino with our dessert.

For breakfast on Sunday morning we saw a place that sounded good, we listen to a pod-cast called "The Splendid Table" and the host of the show always talks to this married couple that goes to many restaurants and talks about them. Tony said the guy on that pod cast said this was a good place to get breakfast. We found it and it was closed. While we were driving to find that restaurant we noticed another popular looking place called "The Brass Compass Cafe". We stopped there because there was a sign in the window that said "Bobby Flay's Throwdown..." . I guess he had a "Throwdown" ( a show on food network) with the owner on lobster BLT and the lady won. So I had Eggs Benedict with home fries and Tony had Penobscot Bay Benedict which is made with a clam cake at the base of the eggs. He also had home fries and a side of corned beef hash. It was a good breakfast but nothing to write home about (look at me writing about it at home...).

We headed out of Rockland and figured we would stop here and there on the way home. We drove a couple hours to York Maine to check that out and maybe there would be a good spot by the water to have lunch. We drove all around and there was some spots that looked ok but it was so busy and no place to park, we kept driving down Rt 1 and we ended up driving into Kittery Maine. We saw a place right in the middle of all the outlet stores called Robert's Maine Grill. We gave it a shot and it was great, for a lunch place to get some good eats. Tony tried again and ordered the Jumbo Lobster Roll (the last one didn't do it for him). I got Turkey on grilled cranberry, orange and walnut bread. It had goat cheese, red onion, tomato, tarragon mayonnaise and baby spinach. We were both very happy with what we got, I loved my sandwich. Tony got onion rings and I got coleslaw again. We got in the car and headed home.

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