Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chinese Homestyle Cooking Class

Imagine if you could cook excellent Chinese food at home - food that tastes just like it would in the home of a Chinese family. You can learn to do this at Bay Leaf Bistro this summer with their hands-on cooking classes that feature regional cuisines - cold dishes, hot dishes, spicy dishes, soups, dumplings and more! See for more info. Call 207-706-7929 to register.
Sunday Evenings 5-7 p.m.
Adults: $12 pp
Children Ages 9-16: $6 pp
Dates: June 3rd, July 22nd, August 12th

Cold Dishes:
Pickled Cabbage (Pol Cai)
Garlic Cucumbers (Pai Huang Gua)
Sichuan Sesame & Chili Noodles
Sliced Tomatoes with Sugar
Chicken Breast with Soy & Garlic Sauce
BBQ Pork Tenderloin (Char Sui Rou)

Hot Dishes:
Tomatoes and Eggs with Oyster Sauce
Tofu with Ground Beef and Chili (Ma Po Dou Fu)
Green Beans with Ground Pork, Onions (Gan Bian Si Qi Dou)
Roasted Chicken Wings (with soy, garlic, brown sugar marinade)
Cabbage with Chinese-style Bacon and Fermented Black Beans (La Rou)
Eggplant with Green Peppers
Chicken with Leeks and Peanuts  (Kung Pao Ji Ding)
Rice-Pasta Course:
Crab Fried Rice (Yangzhou Fried Rice)
Dumplings (Jiaozi) – with carrot filling
Beef Noodle Soup (Tang Mian)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Places we like to eat in Mid-coast Maine

When visiting the Mid-coast of Maine, you'll discover all sorts of amazing restaurants and options. Here's our list of favorites for 2012:

Towns – heading north from Bay Leaf
Lincolnville Beach
The Beach Store
Rt 1
If you want great pizza go no further (try the pastrami!). Super hamburgers, steak sandwiches, chicken parmesan, ice cream. Not much room for dining in, very casual, good view. No toilet.

McLaughlin’s Shack
Rt 1 at Rt 173
Maine seafood, great view, casual, self-serve.
Lobster Pound
Rt 1
Maine seafood, good home-style dishes, good view, very traditional.
Whales Tooth Pub
Rt 1
Maine seafood, continental cuisine, excellent array of choices, desserts to die for, good view, great happy hour/bar.
Chez Michel
Rt 1
Maine seafood, continental cuisine, French options, crisp clean open-air ambiance, some views.
Copper Grill
Off Rt 1 at Point Lookout (south entry)
Interesting seafood selections at breakfast. Note: Specials for the dining room atop Pt. Lookout (sign is on the highway – Rt 1)
Chase’s Daily
Downtown Belfast
Vegetarian, great desserts, farmer’s market. Michelin 4-star chef!
Young’s Lobster Pound
Off Rt 1 past bridge
Seafood galore the good old fashioned way – picnic tables, outdoor seating, can bring your own drinks and side dishes
Wasses Hot Dogs
Off Rt. 1 at Reny’s Plaza
Best hot dogs (and hamburgers) in Maine. Note: They also have two drive-ins in Rockland for the same quality hot dogs/burgers.
The Angler
Rt. 1
Local hangout with everything from fried seafood to bread pudding.
Just Barbara’s
Rt 1
Diner-like setting with excellent fried seafood, daily specials, and blueberry pancakes.
Heading south from Bay Leaf Cottages
Boynton & McKay
Rt 1 (Elm St.)
Best blueberry pancakes in Maine. Excellent array of eclectic dishes, none will disappoint. Great pastries. Best coffee.
Long Grain
Rt 1 (Elm St.)
Inventive Thai dishes – just outstanding. Reservations suggested!
Rt 1 (Elm St.)
NEW – Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern Cuisine
At the Bayview
Fresh ingredients and creative cuisine
40 Paper
At the smokestack
Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Peter Otts
Bay Street
Steak and salad bar
Paulina’s Way
Under Peter Otts
Artisan Pizzas. Interesting atmosphere – very European
Harbor Dogs
Parking lot at the harbor
Amazing seafood wraps with chutney (hot dogs with chutney!).
Rockport Diner
Rt 90
Local diner-style with good salad bar included with each dinner. Wide array of Maine comfort foods and fried seafood
Mr. Wat
Rt 1 south of Camden
Yummy Thai and Japanese Cuisine (Noodles, Sushi, etc.)
Shepherd’s Pie
Downtown Rockport
Amazing new restaurant – make reservations! NYT rating.
Rockland Cafe
Rt 1 (northbound)
Main Street
Family-run diner-style with wide array of local specialties. Can’t go wrong with this choice. Don’t forget a cannolli for desert!
Home Kitchen Cafe
Rt 1 heading south on right before road splits
Friendly, eclectic array of breakfast and lunch options. You will not be disappointed in either – the problem will be deciding!
The Compass
Rt 1 (northbound)
Corner of Park
There’s one thing you MUST order here: Lobster BLT. They won the “throw-down” with Bobbie Flay on Food Network.
South Main (heading to Owl’s Head)
Travel Channel’s Anthony Bordain recommends: Top NY Chef creates amazing dishes from on-site raised/grown meats & vegetables. Make reservations for main level – drop in for 2nd Fl.
148 South Main just 1.5 blocks south of Park intersection with Main
Travel Channel’s Anthony Bordain recommends: John Conte – recluse and all-around nut – he gets only the freshest seafood daily. Home-style bowls of salad, crusty bread, large amounts of decent red wine, and amazing Italian seafood. Keep this secret!
Thomaston Cafe
At the traffic light in downtown (on Rt. 1)
3 times a day they serve up amazingly good options from twists on favorites to lobster ravioli & German sauerbraten.
low - medium
Thomaston harbor
Very creative, fun, outdoor dining is on the pier, can’t miss this chef!
Rt 220 off Rt 17
Morse’s Sauerkraut brings out the best in German dining in Maine
Moody’s Diner
Rt 1
Diner’s Drive-ins and Dives eatery with old-fashioned diner food.
Owl’s Head
Owls Head General Store
On Rt 73
Known throughout the state for “the Best Hamburger” according to Food Network. It’s a great burger in a little hole in the wall.
Port Clyde
Port Clyde General Store
Or  Dip Net
Rt 131
With only 8 stools in the store, try Linda Bean’s Lobster Roll, Linda Bean’s Lobster Ravioli (it’s amazing for $11!). Dip Net has indoor and outdoor dining with good menu

A New Season on the Maine Coast

A new season on the Maine coast ... it wasn't long before a warm winter was over and I was driving back to Maine for the "summer season". Though the fireplace is running and there's still a nip in the air, it's nice to look out to Penobscot Bay again and discover what's new - closings and openings, the buzz on the street, and the yum in the tummy.

So far - Dohrman's Ice Cream in Rockland is open and everyone is going - we missed the good hand-made/dipped ice cream all winter.

Wasses celebrates it's 40 year with 30 cent hot dogs this Saturday (May 5). And while it's Cinco de Mayo, I think I'll celebrate both events with discounted hot dogs.

The Baked Potatoe closed and The Mediterraen opened - same location (have yet to try the new option). Mr. Wat is now where once pizza came ... and doing well.

Renys is still the best unexpected shop in Maine - while I love LL Bean, Kittery Trading Post, and many other Maine staples, there's nothing quite like Renys - where else can you buy a Maine back-scratcher, Raye's Mustard, and lobster pots alongside Pendleton and Carhart clothes?

Our new water system is in place - kicking out pool-like water and smelling better than that good old iron-metalic smell often an issue along the coast. One task down, many to go. We're making quick progress however.... motel/cottages are cleaned, windows washed, linens ready, restaurant has food for breakfast set to go, new lawn chairs, playground equipment on order, apartment almost finished, lawn mowed, lights working, TVs on, telephone and WIFI going strong.... ready to open! Flags go up tomorrow, sign changed to vacancy.

Come visit - we're ready to see how many lobsters you can eat in one sitting!