Tired of the same old Rocky Road and Butter Pecan? How’d you like a taste of something really – I mean, seriously – different? Like Chocolate Butterscotch ice cream, Spinach Strawberry Basalmic, or Cucumber Watermelon sorbet? If you’re into funky flavors, you’ll want to stop by the new “test kitchen” that Kennebunkport-based Rococo Ice Cream has opened in Wells at 45 Wells Plaza on Route 1. It’s next door to owner Lauren Guptill’s ice cream production facility, allowing her to gather feedback on flavors she’s considering making in larger quantities. While this space is for tasting and not cones and cups like her other ice cream shops, Guptill will sell pints of the company’s most popular flavors, such as Maine Whoopie Pie and Spicy Rocky Road. The test kitchen is open from 1 to 9 p.m. every day. It opened June 28, but the official ribbon cutting is this Sunday – National Ice Cream Day.

LOBSTER, Y’ALL

Who wants to go down to Georgia and win a peach pie contest?

That makes about as much sense as a chef from Georgia winning this year’s World’s Best Lobster Roll Competition sponsored by Down East magazine. The second annual contest, held Saturday at Thompson’s Point in Portland, awarded top honors to Andrew Isabella, executive chef at BeetleCat in Atlanta. BeetleCat is a seafood restaurant, and it does indeed have a lobster roll on its lunch and dinner menus. Last year’s winners, Ben and Lorin Smaha from Freshies Lobster Co. in Park City, Utah, came in second this time around. (They’re originally from New England, so we’ll give them a pass.) Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery came in third, which gives us hope for their new location in Portland.

Isabella took home a check for $1,000, and will be featured on a page in Downeast magazine. Second place received $500, and third place $250.

LIBERTY! EQUALITY! FOOD!

If you didn’t get enough fun on the Fourth of July, you still have time to celebrate the storming of the Bastille in 1789 – the spark that ignited the French Revolution. As it does every year, Petite Jacqueline in Portland plans a Bastille Day celebration Saturday from noon until close.

There will, of course, be food for sale: crepes, house frites, local oysters, cheeses, charcuterie, macrons, eclairs and the restaurant’s famous “French Attitude Burger.” Beer, wine and cocktails will be available at the bar, and you can enjoy entertainment in the form of French games and raffles.

S’amuser, mes amies.

WINE WINNERS LIST

A dozen Maine restaurants have won 2018 Restaurant Awards from Wine Spectator, which, the magazine says, “honor the world’s best restaurants for wine.” More than 3,700 awards were given out this year to restaurants in all 50 states and 75 countries.

The awards are given in three levels, starting with the Award of Excellence, which recognizes restaurants “whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers.” The second level, the Best of Award of Excellence, goes to restaurants that “offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions.” Finally, there’s the Grand Award for restaurants that have a “serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vintages, excellent harmony with the menu and superior presentation.”

Maine restaurants won in the first two categories. An Award of Excellence went to Back Bay Grill, Tiqa and Tempo Dulu in Portland (which closed in March); Azure Cafe in Freeport; Damariscotta River Grill in Damariscotta; Hurricane Restaurant in Kennebunkport; La Bella Vita in Rockport; The Point Restaurant at the Black Point Inn in Prouts Neck; and Natalie’s in Camden. Best of Award of Excellence winners are Five Fifty-Five in Portland, Havana in Bar Harbor and The White Barn Inn Restaurant in Kennebunk.

The winners are profiled at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com and will be featured in the magazine’s August issue.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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