Date Night in Bar Harbor
One of the best parts about vacationing with my family in Maine is the free babysitting. My parents are always willing to watch whichever kids we don’t care to accompany us on any given outing. We often take one or two of our older kids and go hiking or sight-seeing, but at least once on the trip we try to fit in some time for ourselves.
Wednesday night we went out for dinner at a quaint restaurant in Bar Harbor called simply Maggie’s. (For some reason, the website isn’t responding.) We discovered this gem on our last trip to Maine and promptly made reservations after reading these reviews. They grow their own vegetables and herbs and feature local organic ingredients, and they tailor their menu around what is in season. You know I’m all over that. But better still, their food is divine and the atmosphere is elegant without being stuffy. It’s the perfect destination for a romantic date.
I didn’t feel like lugging my camera, but I did pretty well with my camera phone. We took advantage of our free babysitting and left camp early enough to walk around Bar Harbor and grab a drink before dinner. We stood for a while in the small grassy park that overlooks the harbor, admiring the view.
If we’d had more time, we would have camped out on one of the benches for a while but we were anxious to get to Testa’s and enjoy a drink before dinner. I wish I’d been to their website before we went. I’d surely have tried one of their famed mint juleps. Instead I had a glass of red wine, and Paul had a locally brewed blueberry beer. Only in Maine, right?
Before we left the park, we made a weak attempt at self portraiture.
I know, it’s truly pathetic, but it’s all I’ve got. And why I didn’t take off my sunglasses, I have no earthly idea.
So dinner. Maggies is located on a side street in historic Bar Harbor, just off the main drag.
It’s a great location because it’s close enough to the harbor and the shops for an after dinner stroll, but it’s off the beaten path so you’re not dining amidst the hustle and bustle of a crowded tourist destination. We sat by an open window that overlooks the tree-lined residential street where a group of children were playing ball. We had barely sat down before a server showed up with a basket of fresh bread and oil to dip it in. That’s my kinda service. We happily dug in as we waited for our drink orders to arrive.
I started with their garden salad – look how gorgeous this is. And it isn’t just pretty. It’s got bacon. Need I say more?
The buttermilk dressing was wonderful too – tasty without being too sweet or too tangy.
Paul ordered the smoked salmon plate, which was delectable as well. I reminded him how much he enjoyed it the last time we were there, but really I just wanted him to order it again so I could sneak a taste or three.
Now let’s talk main course.
As far as I’m concerned, there is only one dinner to get at Maggie’s. She specializes in seafood, and the menu varies with what is in season and available, but always on the menu are her signature Lobster Crepes. Now I know yesterday I said that I’m a purist when it comes to my lobster, but this is the one case in which I will make a resounding exception. Although it’s not MUCH of an exception because I’m pretty sure that, other than the crepes themselves, there isn’t much else in the dish but butter and cream. And lobster, of course — the meat of an entire 1-1/4 pound lobster at that. And of course the best part is, I didn’t even have to shell him.
The accompanying scalloped potatoes were nothing to sneeze at either. They contained an unexpected herb that I later declared to be rosemary. I’d love to know if I’m right. Whatever it was, it was tasty.
Are you sure you’re ready for this? Be prepared to drool…
You can’t say you weren’t warned.
Paul ordered the monkfish, which he said was quite good, but not as good as my crepes. I tried to tell him, but he has this ridiculous theory that we can’t order the same entrée when we dine together. Fortunately for him, I can never finish my meal and he got quite a few bites off my plate.
And of course we saved room for dessert. It was a tough decision, but I finally ordered a lemon curd tart topped with fresh blueberries in a sweet sauce. Paul ordered the butterscotch pudding. All of Maggie’s desserts are homemade, and I’m here to tell you, that tart was probably the best pastry I’ve ever ordered in a restaurant. Y’all know how I take pride in my pie crusts, and while I’m not one to turn down a restaurant pie, rarely do they live up to my standards. This one was exceptionally flaky and delicious.
The sweetness of the blueberries and the saltiness of the crust offset the tangy lemon curd perfectly. It was a refreshing treat after my rich meal.
Still not ready to head home quite yet, after dinner we wandered back down the street and found a coffee shop and internet cafe that was open late, so we stopped in and treated ourselves to a couple mugs of steaming java for the road.
Maybe I’m getting old, but as far as I’m concerned, it was pretty much the perfect date.