Fried Lobster at FISHBAR–The Debut of the Classy Take on a Well-Known Dish

Fried Lobsters and Waffles!

Fried Lobsters and Waffles!

Our server smiled.  “I haven’t seen you in a while,” she greeted us.

“You are so popular now… We find lines here every night!” my mom replied. It’s true; FISHBAR is now a favorite in the South Bay. And it should be! Chef Jessica Jordan’s creative ideas for new dishes, drinks, and creations are always loved and flavorful.

I discussed this morning’s debut dish with Chef Jordan, and we talked about different ways to incorporate lobster into classic dishes and desserts. She’s inspirational and impressive, and I was so lucky to interview her a little while ago: http://www.southbayfood.com/?p=1725

October 26 was the debut of FISHBAR’S new “Fried Lobster and Waffles”. At first, I was reluctant to try this new dish, because I have never even had Roscoe’s Famous Chicken and Waffles. But I am glad I gave this a chance, because I was pleasantly surprised by this twist on a classic. Fresh, delectable lobster, enveloped in a light beer-batter, crowns a crisp, fluffy waffle. The huge chunks of lobster were best drizzled with Tabasco hot sauce and dipped in maple syrup.

I was extremely impressed with this dish, but who knows how long this will remain on the menu? So get it fast! This is a delicacy not to be looked over.

 

Day 6: Delectable Dining!

(I am continuing my series of blog posts on my summer trip to Camden, Maine.)

Having Fun at Megunticook Lake!

Having Fun at Megunticook Lake!

What did we do today?  First up, we went kayaking in Megunticook Lake and visited the tiny farmer’s market of Camden.  We also visited an expensive cooking store, but what I would really like to share is our dinner at Atlantica.  Highly recommended by our rental house owners, this restaurant is a favorite in town, and a favorite in our family.

 

Atlantica From the Outside

Atlantica From the Outside

First, let me tell you about our waitress.  Oana, from Romania, was nice and very sweet, and I would like to thank her for suggestions and friendliness in a new town.

We were seated in a table outside, right next to the water!  There, we sat and saw the beautiful sunset and enjoyed our dinner next to the calm horizon.  I also enjoyed the decor of the restaurant:  casual blues and yellows, but still formal and impressive.

Simply Stupendous!

Simply Stupendous!

For an appetizer, we ordered the seafood board:  crab sofrito, finnan haddie rillettes, and shrimp over cucumber kimchi.  The crab sofrito was by far my favorite part of dinner because it was creamy with a hint of spice.  This starter was fine crab, topped with a slice of radish and served over a cracker with red paste.  My mom and I tasted a little bit of something like horseradish in the mix, and we loved how it was crunchy but smooth, and definitely addictive.  The finnan caddie rillete was creamy and whipped, meant to be served on bread.  I don’t think I will ever want to eat bread differently again for the salty smokiness of the fish spread!  I gave my dad the last bite, though, because he loved it more than any of us.

The Maine shrimp with cucumber kimchi was unforgettable.  It had a spicy kick, and Mom said it was such a “dream” in her mouth, but she also said she thought it was better than any lobster roll — or anything — that we had tried in Maine!  “I would stop listening to her after that,” my dad said.  🙂

The seafood board was great, and MUCH better than the sweet onion, bacon, and fish chowder.  Everyone wanted to try it, so we ordered a bowl for the table, but the only flavors we could taste were the overpowering potato and too much salt.   Overall, the chowder was not our favorite dish, and my dad especially wished we had gotten something else.

As entrees were delivered to the table, I could smell each of their pungent fragrances.

Dad's Monkfish

Dad’s Monkfish

A smoky scent rose through the air above Dad’s monkfish on a bed of shrimp, couscous, peas, bacon, garlic, and asparagus. Mom’s salmon released the fragrance of thyme, and my  mussels in a yuzu broth scented the air with lime and ginger.  Tabitha’s hot and sour Maine shrimp and crab soup gave off a strong smell of crab, but not the unpleasant fishy kind you would imagine.

 

Mom's Salmon

Mom’s Salmon

But they didn’t taste as good as they smelled, I am disappointed to say.  Well, in my opinion. The rest of my family loved Atlantica, but I found it one of my least favorite of our dinners in Maine.  While Dad enjoyed his roasted monkfish, I found it fishy and overpowered by the couscous.  My mussels were good, and, yes, I enjoyed them very much, but they were not anything special, and I was not as impressed as I expected to be.  Tabitha’s soup was fine, but compared to The Golden Egg’s clam chowder, this shrimp and crab was unfortunately not what I expected from a well-reviewed, harbor-side, East Coast restaurant.  Mom’s salmon, however, wowed me!  This was off the charts, especially compared to the other dishes.  I loved the herbs that topped it off, and the chard sauté was extremely impressive.  Atlantica’s motto was “Locally sourced. Responsibly handled. Inspired kitchen.”  While I am sure Atlantica is all of these three, it was not as phenomenal as was expected.

Profiteroles of Perfection!

Profiteroles of Perfection!

Dessert, however, took a turn.  I loved the profiterole special:  a sweet puff pastry stuffed with ice cream, topped with caramel and fudge.  It was addictive, unforgettable, and unable to be ignored.  “Yummers!” as we have heard here in Maine, and definitely “Yummy” where I come from. Dad received a dessert of his own, which is unusual.  A Genoise Chocolate Terrine, a rich layer cake, had never been heard of in our family, but it was fairly satisfying, and definitely worth a try!  Atlantica was not my favorite restaurant, but I am glad we tried it, and thank you to our homeowners for this suggestion.

*********

Atlantica Restaurant

9 Bayview Landing

Camden, ME 04843

Tel:  (207) 236-6011

Website:  www.atlanticarestaurant.com

Day 5: Friends and Fun

Today, we are driving back to Portland to see my mom’s college friend and his family. Sounds like another LONG, BORING car ride? Not at all! Actually, we found some pretty cool stops on the way, including a meat/cheese/souvenir shop, a local market, a lighthouse, and world-famous Red’s Eats!

The first stop was The Market Basket, a small, simple store that offered floury, homemade, whole-wheat breads, wine, a wide variety of coffee, and lunch. It was a cute local store, and we were glad we stopped in!

Following our visit to the Market Basket, we encountered another place worth stopping for! Or should I say places? Three different companies were connected, but the State of Maine Cheese Co. was the main attraction. When you first walked into the barn-like building, all you saw was CHEESE! But that’s not all the State of Maine Cheese Company has to offer.  Honeys, blueberry products, and much more line the shelves and stands of the main room.

And yes, there were other products, but cheese was the star.  In the center of the room, a sample table stood, with a wide variety of samples laid out in boxes.  I got to try 5 kinds of cheese!  Two cheeses I loved were a Garlic Lover’s spread and a fresh cheddar.  The garlic spread was flavorful, but not overpoweringly strong, which I liked.  The cheddar was sharp and tangy, and it appealed to both me and my dad.  The outcome and wonderful taste really reflected the hard work, time, and effort that the staff put into making the cheese. Another thing that I like about the State of Maine Cheese Co. is the owner, Cathe. Though running the entire business, she worked at the counter, offering free samples, and in the bakery, too! Plus, she was friendly and nice, not to mention generous! She let us try cheeses that weren’t on the sample table. A black olive cheese was hard, but not sharp, and yummy, but not as good as we expected. My mom’s favorite was a pungent, smooth garlic cheese with a strong punch. I enjoyed both flavors, but I think my favorite was the Black Pepper cheese. peppercorns were ingrained into the sharper cheese, and my tastebuds savored every last moment!

In this 3-in-1 store there was also a meat section. And if there is a meat section, you know I’ll be there! Bleecker & Flamm Maine Street Meats offered a variety of sausages, steaks, and cured meats. Their was even a Lamb Merguez sausage! The meat company is owned by Andrew S. Flamm and Sarah Greer, but we did not get to meet them. 🙂 Overall, seeing Maine Street Meats was worth it.

Lastly, the Rockport Market Place was a Maine souvenir shop. Inside, we found fur products, bottled goods, and clothing. There was even a Moxie shirt, and after yesterday, I definitely wanted it! The Rockport Market Place was a cute little shop and I am glad we swung by!

********

The Rockland Breakwater Light

The Rockland Breakwater Light

 

 

 

After visiting The State of Maine Cheese Company and its companions, we drove up to the Rockland Breakwater Light, a small lighthouse open for visitors. To get to the lighthouse, we walked along a rocky, uneven granite breakwater that was almost one mile long (according to the Rockland Breakwater site warning sign).

On our way to the lighthouse, we saw two friendly people picking escargot, or snails. It was very interesting, because I have never done anything like that, and it looked like hard work!

Another enjoyable sight along the walk were the many lobster buoys lining the breakwater’s edge. My dad was overly obsessed with the lobster traps that were scattered along the ocean floor, just waiting to catch the next oblivious lobster. My mom told me how each fisherman has a different color buoy, and I watched as the buoys lit up the periwinkle ocean.

A Long Walk to a Lighthouse

Almost there!

When we finally got to this long-awaited lighthouse, I was disappointed that it wasn’t the tall, spirally, striped tower I had imagined. It was basically a tiny,white house with a light at the back. It was cool, though, to see the islands, not too far in the distance, and to look back at the long slab of granite and the calm rocky beach. I must say that, overall, my favorite part of our lighthouse stop was the seaside walk to and from it.

********

Red's

Red’s

After our journey to the lighthouse, we had lunch at the famous Red’s Eats! Known for the best lobster roll in all of Maine, this place had lines down the block, we were lucky enough to get in line with less than a 30 minute wait, because we had heard it could be hours!

 

Dad, Mom and I all ordered their lobster roll, and Tabitha got the chicken nuggets. At Red’s Eats, you can get your lobster rolls with butter or mayo, which I like, and they were exploding with meat! I actually had to take out almost an entire lobster tail so I could eat it!  Plus, there was more than one lobster in EVERY SINGLE ROLL! Each roll was fresh and juicy, and we were so impressed with the perfection of Red’s roll! We were so happy with it that it was granted

Luscious Lobstah!

Luscious Lobstah!

 

 

5 of 5 shells! Go Red’s!

For a quick dessert, I tried my first Whoopie Pie! In between rich chocolate cookie crusts lied some sort of cream. I think it was supposed to be marshmallow, but I certainly didn’t taste it. However, it was still a delight and definitely worth trying!

Crazy Flavors!!

Crazy Flavors!!

Next, we just HAD to stop at Lears to try their eye-catching lobster ice cream! We got a small cup to share, and, truth to be told, we should have gotten samples! It was supposedly made with real lobster, but all it tasted like to Mom, Tabitha, and I was a disgusting mound of sea salt. My dad, however, enjoyed it. Whereas the girls in our family found the garlic ice cream WAY more pleasing than this lobster ice cream, Dad found this interesting flavor better than our Gilroy garlic favorite! I guess everyone has their opinions, though.

What are some crazy foods and flavors you have tried? What did you think of them? Comment to tell me all about it!

********

Flatbread PIzza

Flatbread PIzza

After all of our stops, we did eventually make it to Portland. There, we attended a dinner at a restaurant with many locations across the country: Flatbread Pizza. We met my mother’s college friend, Pete, and his family at a really cool table next to the harbor, and we had a great time!

For dinner, we all shared salad and three LARGE pizzas: a mushroom and pepperoni pizza, a Coevolution pizza, and a plain cheese pizza. I didn’t try the cheese pizza, but the homemade pepperoni and the warm mushrooms made a wonderful entree. The Coevolution pizza had goat cheese, olives, red peppers, mozzarella, and rosemary. Both of my parents loved it, and my mom described the goat cheese as creamy and she mentioned the many flavors of the pizza. Dad thought the veggies had great seasonings, and, overall, it was a great pizza that was enjoyed and wolfed down!

********

My mouth froze over as I scooped a bite of chocolate ice cream into my mouth. Yum! A simple dessert, yes, but a favorite no matter where you go! But, ice cream is especially treasured on the East Coast, where there’s an ice cream shop around every corner!

Overall, I was happy with our dinner at Flatbread Pizza, and so was everyone else!

* * * * *

The Market Basket

223 Commercial St.

Rockport, Maine 04856

Tel: (207) 236-4371

* * * * *

The State of Maine Cheese Company

461 Commercial St.

Rockport, Maine 04856

Tel: (800) 762-8895

Website: http://cheese-me.com

Email: info@cheese-me.com

* * * * *

Bleecker & Flamm Maine Street Meats

461 Commercial St.

Rockport, Maine 04856

Tel: (207) 236-MEAT

Email: mainemeat@gmail.com

* * * * *

Rockport Market Place

461 Commercial St.

Rockport, Maine 04856

Tel: (800) 762-8895

* * * * *

Rockland Breakwater Light

Website: http://www.newenglandlighthouses.net/rockland-breakwater.html

* * * * *

Red’s Eats

41 Water St. 

Wiscasset, Maine 04578

Tel: (207) 882-6128

* * * * *

Lears Old Fashioned Ice Cream

Water St.

Wiscasset, Maine 04578

 Tel: (207) 380-4811

 * * * * *

Flatbread Pizza

72 Commercial St.

Portland, Maine

Tel: (207) 772-8777 

Website: http://www.flatbreadcompany.com/

Email: bobbymorgan@flatbreadcompany.com