I arrived in Maine earlier this week to get situated in my new summer abode ahead of class this coming Monday. While the Center for Furniture Craftsmenship is located in Rockport, I’ll be living in coastal Camden, a quaint harbor town with all the tourist trimmings. I’ve rented a one bedroom cottage 5 minutes from town and 15 minutes from school. Boasting Camden Hills State Park and Megunticook Lake (rhymes with “begun to cook” or “he punt a book”), Camden is beyond pristine and idyllic. The town features a gorgeous, somewhat hidden, central park designed by the famed Frederick Olmstead of the Central Park. Schooners bob in the harbor as if they were props for a movie. Lining Main Street are local pubs with classic New England names like Cuzzy’s and Cappy’s Chowder House. Can you say “chowww daaaaah”?
Before Alex set off for China, he and I were sure to explore some local eateries. Should any of you decide to visit me up here, rest assured I’m now competent in lobster meat excavation after a comprehensive tutorial from my food sensai. We enjoyed delicious buttery lobsters (his a pound and a half, mine a more sensible pound and a quarter) at neighboring Lincolnsville’s Lobster Pound. Even if it was a bit of a tourist trap (or lobster trap in this case), we didn’t care less.
The next night, before his early morning flight out of Portland, we were sure to stop by Fore Street, the restaurant credited with kickstarting that city’s emerging foodie scene. In 2004, Fore Street’s chef and owner Sam Hayward was named Best Chef in the Northeast by the James Beard Foundation, and five years later, it appears as if (and tastes like) he is still at the top of his game. The ambiance of the restaurant is rustic and warm with an open kitchen and wood burning oven featured at its center. Alex and I ordered oysters and a pate sampler to start, and halibut and spit-roasted wild boar as our entrees. To cap the meal off we had a fantastic pair of desserts, the winner being a warm nectarine tart a la mode. To all the curious foodies out there, Portland is legit.
Okay, I’m off to hike Mount Battie, but stay tuned for my next post, an introduction to my new set of woodworking tools…