Friday, November 5, 2010

Just When YouThought I Couldn't Write Any More About Maine...hee hee hee...

If you are even a fraction Italian...something in your genes craves pasta at least once a week.  My mom always made homemade sauce and spagetti or linguini on Thursday of every week.  My sister  Paula has Pasta Thursday for her friends and family and I tend to do that, too.  For us it is a simple sauce...often meatless on really great pasta.  Sometimes twirly pasta and sometimes spoon up pasta...but always pasta.  When we were in Maine last week we craved pasta and luckily found a restaurant called Paulina's Way that solved our pasta problem for us.

The food was wonderful.  The sauce recipes are Christina's  grandmother's recipes...the above was my husband's dinner...he had to have a traditional oriecchiette and meatballs...and he loved it and ate every bite.  Christina is the chef/owner of Paulina's Way.

Our salads were amazing...and everything came directly from Christina's garden. 

Needless to say...we ate all of our veggies that night.  Christina is a wonderful source of information.  She is writing a cookbook and is involved in organic food trends and education.  She teaches food classes at the restaurant.  Yet one more reason to spend time in Camden.

She wanted us to try a special dessert at the end of dinner.  It is an Italian dessert called sweet takes days to is a bigger than normal ravioli that is stuffed with butternut squash and I think ricotta cheese that is lightly sweetened...and sort of dusted with a bit of chocolate sauce.  After telling us about this dessert, Christina immediately went into the kitchen to make it for us.  I almost forgot...until I saw the picture...she added housemade pumpkin gelato to the sweet was yummy...

Paolino's Way is just a delightful place to eat.  The inside is just very unique.  It reminded me of the way my Italian grandmother's kitchen looked.  I loved it so much that we ate there two more times.  Once for Caesar Salad and pizza...the pizza was heavenly.  On our last night there we went back for Christina's special lasagna...and it was amazing...

The restaurant was steps from our hotel which made it extremely appealing to have multiple dinners there.  The Maine evenings were deliciously cool...the lights on the harbor lovely and the Italian food exquisite.  All pasta cravings were met!!!

Inside pix of Paulina's Way

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Grand Harbor Inn...Where? In Maine...Of Course!!!

This was our very special the heart of the harbor in Camden, Maine.
We loved this small boutique hotel.  There are just eleven lovely rooms/suites in this hotel.  The bathrooms are beautiful...showers...pretty amazing and  also held huge delicious Jacuzzi tubs.  Beds are huge and soft with comfy Egyptian soft sheets.  There were delightfully huge flat screen TVs on the walls and our suite had a double sided fireplace that started with a touch of your fingers and could be programmed to whatever time length you prefer.  One of the really neat parts of the room was a closet that was stocked with a Keurig Coffee/Tea/Hot Chocolate machine.  In addition to this there was a microwave and a refrigerator.  K-cups are available in the entry downstairs if you happen to  run out in your room.  Cookies and popcorn for the microwave were also available.  Our room had harbor views everywhere.  Add to this an amazingly solicitous staff of people who were helpful and friendly and kind and knowledgeable.

We parked our car steps from the door of the hotel and almost never used it.  We are veteran Maine travelers...we have favorite places and views and restaurants.  We have rented houses and stayed at other inns and once we even rented an apartment at the top of a barn that was connected to a hotel.  However...Grand Harbor Inn is by far one of our most favorite places.  We loved staying right in Camden and our habit at night was to walk to dinner.  We love going to Maine this time of year...everyone else is mostly done with travel and Camden feels like our little secret.  I almost forgot one of the best parts of our stay.  A huge lovely breakfast tray loaded with coffee and freshly baked muffins and the best ever house made granola and yogurt.  Just to not even have to think about breakfast and to be able to curl up on the sofa with hot coffee and a fire and my Kindle...was heaven.   Grand Harbor Inn is one of those very special places...we are right now plotting about how soon we can get back.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yo Mamma's Home? More Tales From Maine...

Guilty secret that is really no secret...I love to shop...I love to acquire...I love stuff...and yo mamma's home is a store in Belfast, Maine...that just happens to be right next door to Chase of my favorite Maine restaurants.  And this store just happens to be one of my favorite stores for precious quirky stuff.  I buy different sorts of things there whenever we are in Maine.  This trip I bought journals and notebooks...they always have uniquely different ones.  I buy bags...Baggallini purses/bags that are perfect for travel...I buy big ones and small ones and different colored ones...they are the best bags ever.  I usually buy one when my husband is there and then I sneak in another one right before we leave.  They are just too irresistible for me.  They have tons of zippered compartments and attached zippered pouches so that everything you carry is safe and sound and available.  I know that you can buy Baggallini bags at Amazon and on their website but I love to buy them at yo mamma's home...there are so many of them just hanging in a special corner of the tempting.

This is just a fraction of the bags available...the most perfect bags ever.  I think that yo mamma's home is similar to shopping with my mom when I was little and there were stores called Woolworth' could wander the aisles and always find some sort of treasure.  This is my yo mamma's experience...glasses and stickers and mouse pads and lotions and chocolates and rugs and bags and journals and books and cards and earrings and napkins and so much more unique merchandise.  They do have a website and I linked to it but it is nothing like the store.  You just have to go there for a subline experience!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mainely Maine...

This is truly one of my favorite restaurants in this entire world.  My husband and I love love love this place.  It is totally vegetarian.  The food is so good and fresh and delicious that if you are not a vegetarian you will not miss meat at all.  It is always busy at lunch.  Soups vary and are so yummy that you will eat big bowlfuls.  While in Maine last week we had a curried chickpea soup that my husband totally fell in love with and a creamy carrot leek soup that I totally fell in love with.  It is very laid back and the chefs and servers seem to be relaxed and chilled and friendly and knowledgeable and a bit quirky.  Chase Daily also has their own farm and most of the food
 comes from the farm and is very local and seasonal.  The back part of the restaurant is a farm market.  You can buy the freshest greens and potatoes and all sorts of seasonal veggies.  We buy Maine honey and tons of dried beans and coffees there, too.

There are also counters full of freshly baked breads and amazingly huge cookies...I am munching on an oatmeal raisin right now that is so good...I am sorry I didn't buy more.  The cherry tarts...I cannot tell you how good they are.  People begin to flock into Chase Daily mid morning for teas and coffee and the best pastries ever.  Yum!!!

The menu is full of many delightfully different foods.  You can get a veggie Bahn Mi...the Vietnamese sandwich that is similar to a hoagie...only at Chase Daily it is full of tons of veggies and grilled do not even notice that it is meatless.   I had an egg sandwich one day...OMG...and a kale and feta omelet the next.  And soups and salads and omelets are always served with grilled bread...not toast...Chase Daily's own grilled bread with grill marks and everything.  Double Yum!!!
My apologies!!!  I almost forgot to take a photo so my omelet has a few bites out of it...we were starving!!!

Tomorrow I will be writing about the most amazing store ever...right next door to Chase Daily...a double reason for going to Belfast!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

We're Back!!! They Shrink Wrapped The Boats!!!

This is a shrink wrapped boat in Camden Harbor...ready for the winter.  We stayed in a really unique boutique hotel right on the water.  There were only eleven rooms in our hotel and they were wondrous.  Our shower had so many sprays that you could not count was delicious.  We love Camden this time of year.  Everyone is gone and restaurants are on winter hours and you can pretend that you live there.  We moved our car exactly one time.  We literally walked to everything.  That was our goal for this trip to Maine.  We actually loved the fact that it rained all day long on Wednesday.  We had a fire going and only ran out to grab lunch...a lobstah roll of course and dinner which that night was two steps away.  The rest of the time was spent lounging on the sofa in front of the fire.