Monday, September 7, 2009

Maritime Cafe, Stonington, Maine

On Labor Day we decided to drive down to Blue Hill for a bit of sightseeing and antiquing. We found Blue Hill OK but most of the shops were closed (although we did spend some time in an interesting art gallery) and most of the eating options were also unavailable...those that were open didn't look too interesting. Not being in a hurry, and wanting to show Michael more of the coast, we decided to drive down to Stonington. Well, it is a longer drive than I thought (about an hour from Blue Hill) but an interesting and attractive one.

The town was beautiful and we parked right in front of a little cottage offering the best lobster rolls in Maine. Well, naturally we had to check that out and were disappointed to learn that they had actually run out of lobster meat! So we went reconnoitering, which doesn't take too long in Stonington. We considered the Fisherman's Friend, which seems to be the popular choice judging from the number of pickup trucks parked in front, but Michael found a small cafe on the other end of the short main street and we wandered down for a look.

Let's cut to the chase. It was one of the most memorable impromptu lunches we have ever had. We had a table on the end of a wooden deck jutting over Stonington Harbor, overlooking the busy commercial pier where lobstermen were coming in to unload the day's catch. Meanwhile schooners and yachts could be seen traversing Deer Island Thoroughfare and, in the distance, Merchant Row, which made me wish I had access to any sort of a sailboat.

We split an order of crabcakes as a starter. At the risk of being excommunicated as a native Marylander, they may have been the best crabcakes ever, full of sweet and flaky Maine crabmeat. We also had corn and crab chowder which was equally delicious. We then each had a lobster roll which was perfect in its unadorned simple perfection. Perfectly toasted and buttered bun with no distractions. My only regret is that I did not order the "jumbo" roll for another $4.

With our lunch we had a couple of local draft beers which were perfect. Just a perfect lunch. If you're near Stonington, don't miss it...and order the jumbo lobster roll.

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