Yes, we know the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year is the most popular event at the annual Harvest on the Harbor food and wine festival, so it follows you may be tired of hearing about it. Here, then, are the most interesting new additions to the festival, which is scheduled for Oct. 16-21 this year:

If you like to be surprised, try a Chef’s Choice dinner on Oct. 16 or 17, all of which will feature “secret menus.” You won’t know what you’re having for dinner until you sit down for the evening. Participating restaurants are Bolster, Snow & Co., Five Fifty-Five, Izakaya Minato, Opus Ten, Solo Italiano and Sur Lie. Tickets cost $95 and include tax, tip and beverage pairings.

Hair of the Dog, held from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 20 in the Harvest Festival Tent at 100 West Commercial St., will pair a pig roast with a variety of bloody marys. Tickets cost $50.

Oyster lovers, prepare to slurp. At Maine Oyster Fest, scheduled for 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 20, your $55 general admission ticket will get you a dozen oysters and beverages, plus the opportunity to meet Maine’s oyster farmers and learn how to shuck an oyster properly; spend $75 for a VIP ticket, and you’ll get two dozen oysters and beverages. Need more? Buy additional oysters for $1 each, sold in groups of six.

Tickets for Harvest on the Harbor events are on sale at


Every year, folks in Damariscotta read the same book, then get together to talk about it and do stuff.

This year, that book was Gabrielle Hamilton’s “Blood, Bones & Butter,” Hamilton’s best-selling 2011 memoir about her life’s journey toward becoming a chef. Participants in the Skidompha Library’s 2018 Community Reads program read the book, and then came together for events such as pasta-making classes, readings at Damariscotta restaurants, and screenings of the PBS Series “Mind of a Chef” that have featured Hamilton, a James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of Prune restaurant in New York City.

Now Hamilton is coming to town to meet her readers and give a talk about her life and work, followed by a reception featuring live jazz, craft cocktails and local bites. The event will be held Aug. 3 at the Skidompha Library, 184 Main St., Damariscotta. Tickets cost $35 for Hamilton’s talk and $65 for the talk and the reception, and are available at the library’s front desk, by calling (207) 563-5513, or online at


A small update about a new restaurant I wrote about in this column last week: The founders of the Ri Ra Irish Pub and Restaurant in Portland plan to open a barbecue restaurant at 480 Congress St. that will serve North Carolina-style barbecue. Their license application called the new place “Whole Hog,” but apparently they’ve changed their mind on the name. It’s now going to be called Wilson County Barbecue, according to a manager at Ri Ra.


Allen’s Coffee Brandy is getting a little upscale local competition. Stroudwater Distillery at Thompson’s Point has launched Griffin’s Wharf 1773 Coffee Liqueur, made with Alanzo’s Double Dark coffee from Coffee By Design. The coffee is blended with neutral grain spirit, cane sugar, molasses and vanilla, according to Jeff Johnson, chief executive officer of Stroudwater Distillery.

The liqueur is named after the time and location of the Boston Tea Party, which quickly escalated into the American Revolution. In its promotion of the new liqueur, Stroudwater Distillery notes that John Adams switched to coffee in 1774 after he renounced tea drinking as unpatriotic.


Chalk this one up to a weird coincidence? Last week, I told you about a “Big Night”-themed dinner scheduled for July 27 at the Robinhood Free Meetinghouse in Georgetown. Ali Waks Adams, the chef at the Brunswick Inn, will be cooking an Italian feast based on the 1996 movie. Now it looks as if you won’t have to go as far as Georgetown to get your timpano, the elaborate pasta dish featured in the movie.

It turns out Portland’s Roma Cafe, 767 Congress St., is having its own “Big Night” dinner party, and will be screening the movie as well. The Aug. 14 event begins at 6:30 on the Bramhall pub patio (the restaurant and pub are in the same building), with a rain date of Aug. 21. The Roma’s new chef, Ronnie Medlock, and sous chef Paul Archambault, will prepare dinner – and yes, timpano is on the menu. The movie will be shown on a big screen outside, courtesy of Maine Backyard Drive In. (Dress accordingly.)

The cost is $300 per picnic table, and includes the movie, a welcome cocktail and food. It does not include tax, tip and additional alcohol. The tables can seat six comfortably, or squeeze in eight. Each table will get its own timpano.

For tickets, go to


The day that lovers of fried clams have waited for has finally arrived: Bob’s Clam Hut in Portland opened last Thursday.

The restaurant, located on the corner of Washington and Cumberland avenues, is just the second location for the seafood shack since the original Bob’s Clam Hut roadside stand opened in Kittery in 1956. The Portland restaurant, at the base of Munjoy Hill, seats 24 and includes a patio with extra picnic table seating for 56. The patio is decorated with an abstract mural by local artist Maia Snow.

The Portland menu includes old favorites such as clam chowder, jumbo lobster rolls, and clams two ways: dredged in a blend of flours with no seasoning, and “Lillian’s-style,” which first dips the clams in egg wash for more crunch. They’re named after Lillian Mangos, a longtime cashier at the Kittery restaurant.

Look for a few new menu items as well, including a fried lobster tail basket and seafood tacos (clam, fish or oyster) topped with slaw, smoked paprika aioli and pickled onions.

The new restaurant will serve a rotating selection of local craft brews, wine and cider, and milkshakes made with Rococo Artisan Ice Cream.

The hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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