Maine has many great things going for it, but among the tops on that list is summertime. They call it ‘Vacationland’ for a reason, after all… Summer in Maine means lots of things: beaches; lobsters; lots of recreation on the mountains, lakes, and rivers; and Sea Dogs baseball, among other things. But here at FTS, one of the things we look forward to doing in summer is getting those steins filled OUTSIDE!
In our FTS Al Fresco series, we’ll take a look, throughout the summer, at some of the best spots to wet your whistle in Maine.
One of the best parts of Filling Your Steins Al Fresco is, well, that al fresco part. It’s great being outside when the weather’s nice, of course, and there aren’t many places in Maine nicer than Boothbay Harbor. And the best view of the Harbor (from the land, anyway) is at the Boat House Bistro’s roof deck.
Three stories up (there aren’t many skyscrapers in Boothbay, if you can believe it) is as good as it gets – sea breeze and sun, overlooking the Harbor while you take in one of the Bistro’s numerous dishes and refreshing beverages. The cool briny air does a nice job complementing the fresh seafood and strong flavors; tapas plates like the Lobster Salad with Mango Vanilla Foam or Pistachio-Crusted Scallops take advantage of Maine’s native fisheries, and a range of cuts from the butcher are sure to please the beef/pork/chicken/lamb-inclined among us. And what’s more, the large menu also includes vegetarian and gluten free options, as well.
Since we’re talking about Filling Our Steins, I can’t overlook the bar, obviously… The attention that chef Karen Guerin gives to the small and large plates is matched by her husband, Mark’s oversight of the wine menu. It’s not going to be confused with Troquet, but Mark’s knowledge and willingness to share pairing options with the menu is a nice secret in a small Midcoast Maine town. The Bistro’s sangria is a nice treat on a hot summer afternoon, as well – Maine blueberry/pomegranate sangria must be loaded with antioxidants, right? And since we’re in Maine, there are a good number of tasty brews on tap, from the local (Allagash) to the far-off (Estrella). Protip? Shopping local is often the best bet, and local beer isn’t the exception, here.
I’ll admit to only ever having sat on the roof deck at Boat House Bistro – the walk up the stairs reinforces that decision, since the inside seems a bit dark. But really, what’s the point of summertime in Maine if you’re not enjoying the amazing weather? So pull up a chair, take a deep salty ocean air breath, and drink a toast to…well, whatever!
The FTS Al Fresco rundown:
12 By-Way, Boothbay Harbor – note that seating on the roof deck is first-come, first served.
Hours? 11:00AM to 10:00PM, and the bar is open late (til 1:00AM on busy nights).
Yes, they take plastic.
Parking: On-street, which can get full quickly; try the town’s municipal lots, too.
Full bar, plus all the antioxidant-loaded sangria you could ask for.
Vibe is Vacationland Casual.
Boat House Bistro’s Social Media: Facebook
Photo courtesy of TheBoatHouseBistro.com