Exceptional Dining in Boothbay Harbor Maine
The Harborside Tavern sits on the town side of the Boothbay Harbor footbridge. This view of the water and the famous “Boothbay Harbor Footbridge” bring a smile of pride to the owner and staff here at the Harborside. The connection is personal, as the Harborside Tavern current owner’s great-grandfather, Frank Sample, helped build the bridge and the infrastructure of Boothbay Harbor. To make this place even more special the tables are all made from a family owned Ashwood tree – the same tree which was which owner, Fiona, played upon as a child, she is 5th generation Boothbay region born and raised. There was a lot of pride at the Harborside Tavern in the telling of these facts and the involvement of this locally-owned and operated restaurant into the current Boothbay Harbor community. It’s apparent, that Fiona and the staff all seemed to love working there and serving people.
The simple decor at Harborside Tavern is welcoming, however, most impressive was the fine dining experience we had here. Harborside offers a nice bar list and one of the better selections of wines that we found in the area. More than just California wines, a nice selection of European favorites was nice to see.
Boothbay Harbor Fine Dining: Harborside Tavern Style
For starters, the famous Oysters Rockefeller. These Maine raised oystered were prepared with creamed spinach and served with a pearl of Meyer Lemon. Yes, they were simply amazing. The other appetizer was a house-made Ricotta with Blueberry Compote accented with Meyer Lemon and served with a house-made Pepper Biscotti – tasty and the perfect appetizer size.
On to the Main Course. We choose a Lobster Dish and decided upon the house-smoked Pork Ribs. Ribs on the coast of Maine? Well, this is no ordinary restaurant and we found out the ribs like nearly everything served, is made in-house. Harborside Tavern serves fall-off-the-bone in-house smoked ribs with crispy creamers (whipped potatoes) and garlic spinach and it was outstanding. Best of all not too spicy. The ribs were so tender and the sauce was a compliment to the delightful smoke flavor. The Shelled Lobster Dinner Special was equally amazing. Shelled, fresh Maine Lobster served with asparagus, mushrooms, and homemade ricotta gnocchi over a corn pudding made for a spectacular presentation. Each flavorful bite was a palate pleaser. The gnocchi was very light and the pudding added just a bit of texture.
Desserts are a combined effort from the family and Chef Justin. We had to try the wild Maine Blueberry Crisp and also sampled the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake. Make sure you leave room for dessert as they are just as incredible as the starters and main courses. Everything is basically house-made, house smoked, or house-baked including their famous Cinnamon Rolls. These are made every morning from the same recipe that has been used for the last 35 years. Famous Harborside Cinnamon Rolls are a holdover from when this restaurant was known as Andrew’s Harborside Tavern. Today, Harborside Tavern Cinnamon Rolls are available throughout the day or until they sell out. Take a few home, they warm up very well.
We wanted to shout out to Tracy our knowledgeable and efficient server, Shaylee who shared so much information about the restaurant and the food preparation, and Chef Justin who has a great instinct for food preparation and presentation. Lastly to Fiona who invited us to dinner and has assembled such a professional and talented restaurant staff. What we found at Harborside Tavern was delicious, fresh, simple fine dining at affordable prices. Worth a special visit – another must do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The Harborside Tavern is open for three meals a day. Please let them know that MELiving.com sent you.
Harborside Tavern – Boothbay Harbor ME Restaurant
12 Bridge Street
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
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