Saturday, July 07, 2007

We went into Belfast for the Arts in the Park festival. There were maybe a handful of worthwhile vendors and the rest were pure "my parents went to Maine for the weekend and all I got was this silly ________" (insert wierd touristy item here).

Afterwards though, we decided to get a quick bite at the Dockside, Belfast's hidden in plain sight okish restaurant with fantastic views. We never think to go here when we are looking for somewhere to eat...I pass it almost every day and never notice the place, but its been there for a long time. We ate out on the deck out back and had a table right on the end overlooking the harbor. Greg had a haddock dinner which he said was ok, not the best and I had the chicken ceasar salad which was good, though it could've come on a bigger plate or in a big bowl. Dressing was served on the side and difficult to toss into the salad without making a huge mess. The thing I like about this place is that the staff is super friendly, the food is good for a quick meal at lunchtime and the view off the deck is better than some pricier places in Camden. The bill for the two meals (Greg's came with salad and potato and mine came with a roll and two large sodas was $24.00 without tip. That woulda been the cost for one person down at the Waterfront in Camden. So this is a good economical place to eat and the outdoor atmosphere is GREAT.

Food: B
Atmosphere on the deck A++++
Atmosphere inside: About the same as a Denny's
Service and Server: A-

I had another WWJD moment last night after I invited our neighbors over for steak on the grille. Thats about all we had and I was in to mood to cook. I had a lot of celery hearts left over from bloody mary's last sunday and a couple of leeks that needed to be used. I found a recipe that was interesting to me, so I took it and tweaked it and found that the soup was very nice. It was tasty either hot or cold. I call it Leftover Soup.
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup champagne (optional..I had some left over and had to use it)
2 celery ribs washed and coursely chopped
2 leeks washed and coursely chopped
2 boiling potatoes coursely chopped ( I used purple potatoes and left the skins on)
1 apple, coursely chopped
1 banana coursely chopped
couple of dashes of curry
1 cup buttermilk or 1/2 and 1/2 or even whole milk
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
Simmer vegetables and fruit in the chicken / champagne broth until tender, about 12 minutes. Add milk, butter and curry powder and cook another 10 minutes (do not boil) until the vegetables are nice and cooked. Pulse in blender until smooth and then force through a fine mesh sieve. Serve either hot or cold.
In the photo below, the thing in the middle is actually celery pesto that I made with just celery leaves and olive oil with sea salt and pepper.

Along with the grilled steak and soup, I served yellow squash done on the grille and a champagne and asiago cheese risotto that was done long before the steak was grilled and so sat around for about 30 was sticky and terrible. It was really good when it was first done though!


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

We are going off to a friend's cookout in Belfast and I decided to be Martha of Maine and make a lemon tart with my rendition of the stars and stripes. The only fruit I find at Hannaford that was white were apples, so we'll see if they will hold up and not turn brown by the time the cookout happens. The lemon tart recipe is on the blog from last fourth of July (thank the stars its a different crowd this year)
Have fun, be safe, and enjoy

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

So I have it from one of my spies that all sorts of changes are afoot at Natalie's in Camden. Word has it that the chef left last Saturday and that Abby, the founder of the restaurant, is on her way out too. Abby sold the restaurant to the owners of the Camden Harbour Inn when she relocated the restaurant there from the old MBNA Mill.

A Maine Foodie Spy had dinner there on Sunday with a group of Camdenites and the reports were at once hysterical with all the mishaps and also a bit maddening with the prices one pays there. The restaurant is serving a prix fixe menu for the next several weeks while they sort out the whole chef deal. Five courses and a glass of wine cost my spy almost 80 dollars and when I asked how the meal was I was told.."it was a lot of hype for cold soup, freezing temperatures and flies." The cool soup refered to the split pea soup that was served along with a piping hot scallop. There was confusion as to whether the soup was meant to be lukewarm or whether they just didn't get it right. Knowing now that the executive chef had already left, I vote for the fact that it was a mistake. The main course was a choice of steak or hallibut. My spy had the steak which she said was on the extremely small side and had the most horrendous hickory smoked flavor to it that was not revealed in the menu. There was a fly that buzzed around her table all evening and she said the room was ice cold with the air conditioner blowing right on them.
Even with all the problems, my spy did say that the restaurant was worth a second visit once they finally had all their ducks in a row. She commented a lot on the interior which is a very European all over white with black stained floors and red accents. They spent a lot on the decor apparently.

OK, well thats it for me today. Happy Fourth!