Media & Travel Trade

What's New & Unexpected for 2018

Friday, November 10, 2017 - 07:04

FOOD & DRINK

The tide of new restaurant openings across the state shows no sign of abating. Recent openings include:

  • LB Kitchen, which serves breakfast and lunch, with dishes ranging from gluten-free pancakes to wild boar served with rice and arugula.
  • Izakaya Minato is where to satisfy udon and ramen cravings.
  • Neighborhood in Belfast serves tortilla pizza, fish tacos and fries dusted with parmesan in a family-friendly spot.
  • Pearl & Spat Oyster Cellar in Kennebunk is the seafood and raw bar restaurant of New York Chef Rebecca Charles.
  • In Belfast, Ondine Oyster is the brainchild of Chef Evan Mallett.
  • El Jefe Taco Bar in Freeport is from the folks behind Conundrum Wine Bar.
  • North 43 Bistro in South Portland is the vision of Chef Stephanie Brown, with water views and rooftop bar.
  • The popular Roma in Portland has reopened paying tribute to great restaurants of decades past, but embracing the techniques of the present by taking staple Italian dishes and elevating them with modern flavors and locally sourced ingredients.

Bixby & Co. recently expanded in Rockland by opening a new retail room and launching their new premium Bean to Bar Craft Chocolate. Visitors to the factory and retail space can learn about the process of making chocolate from scratch and taste samples. bixbyco.com

Cellardoor Winery recently took several honors and awards at the 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Now with two locations, tastings are available in Portland and Lincolnville. mainewine.com

Blyth & Burrows is a new bar in the Old Port neighborhood of Portland. The brainchild of a collective of veteran bartenders, Blyth & Burrows is a classic cocktail bar steeped in the traditions of exceptional hospitality and a dedication to craft. The bi-level room features two actual bars and a raw bar accommodating 40+ patrons. The focus at Blyth & Burrows is on perfectly poured cocktails with impeccable service complemented with a creative food program. blythandburrows.com

Cousins Maine Lobster, as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank, is coming home to Maine. With 25 food trucks throughout the country serving Maine lobster, Cousins truck will be now found throughout the Portland area. cousinsmainelobster.com

Maine Foodie Tours is now in five locations throughout the state – Kennebunkport, Portland, Rockland, Camden, and Bar Harbor. A variety of tours is offered showcasing the best of the best of Maine food and drink. mainefoodietours.com

OUTDOORS

Sunday River Resort’s full-service Mountain Park now celebrates summer with several new additions to its summer activities list, including electric bike rentals, an 18-hole disc golf course, and hiking terrain, plus new stand-up paddleboarding yoga classes through the resort’s partnership program with L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools. sundayriver.com

In addition, Sunday River has several guest enhancements for the winter 2018 season with a new chairlift and trail, improved snowmaking equipment, expanded outdoor restaurant seating and the launch of Dream Maker Lodge, their newest real estate development.

After making the dream of skiing and riding on Burnt Mountain a reality in 2010, Sugarloaf will make that experience even more accessible this winter by offering guests snow cat–serviced skiing and riding in three new glades. This new winter offering is a cornerstone of Sugarloaf’s new “sidecountry” skiing development. sugarloaf.com

TimberStone Adventures Inc. – Maine Treehouse Rentals & Disc Golf is located in East Stoneham on 50+ acres bordering the White Mountain National Forest. They currently offer two fully functional treehouse lodges and one more primitive aerie. New in 2018, visitors can hike to their own private mountaintop castle with panoramic views, while their gear is towed up a 300’ cable bridge. Or enjoy Maine’s natural beauty while playing the wooded 18-hole public disc golf course. timberstoneadventures.com

For those who love the Appalachian Mountain Club lodges, the good news is that AMC’s Medawisla Lodge & Cabins reopened in July after being completely rebuilt. Medawisla (the Abenaki word for loon) is the newest destination in AMC’s Maine Wilderness Lodges network and an ideal spot for exploring the famed 100-Mile Wilderness. Truly off the grid, it’s situated by the shore of Second Roach Pond, on 70,000 acres of forestland permanently conserved by AMC as part of its Maine Woods Initiative. Located seven miles from Kokadjo and northeast of Greenville, Medawisla offers hiking, paddling, fly fishing, canoe camping, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. For those who already love the winter and summer activities at nearby Little Lyford Lodge & Cabins and Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins, it’s another amazing opportunity to explore the Maine woods. outdoors.org

ARTS & HERITAGE

The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor will host the new three-day Indian Market in May of 2018. Juried Indian art shows are rare in the Northeast and will draw artists from around the country and highlight Maine’s Wabanaki artists who have been nationally recognized.

In addition, 2018 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market held in Bar Harbor each July.

The Maine Maritime Museum recently unveiled an immersive lighthouse exhibit, Into the Lantern: A Lighthouse Experience. The exhibit houses the second-order Fresnel lens that once guided ships into Portland, Maine, from the East Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse tower. mainemaritimemuseum.org

Langlais Sculpture Preserve in Cushing opened in September 2017. This nature and sculpture park celebrates Bernard Langlais’s legacy and the natural resources of the Cushing peninsula. Established on a portion of Langlais’s homestead, the preserve retains several of the artist’s outdoor sculptures, including the thirteen-foot Horse, Langlais’s first monumental outdoor work and a landmark of Cushing’s River Road; and his sculptural homage to Christina Olson, the local woman featured in Andrew Wyeth’s 1948 masterpiece, Christina’s World. langlaisarttrail.org

Experience Maritime Maine has recently launched a new maritime culture podcast. The downloadable story topics range from women who lobster to windjammer cruising and the fish monger of Portland – a perfect accompaniment to touring Maine and learning more about the traditions that still exist today. experiencemaritimemaine.org

Horror fans delight…

With the recent release of the movie It, based on the 1986 novel by Maine’s very own Stephen King, why not visit the real life “Derry” – Bangor, Maine. SK Tours offers narrated tours of sites in the area that have inspired King throughout the years. visitbangormaine.com

LODGING

Located at 747 Congress Street in the historic Mellen E. Bolster House, The Francis is a smart, fifteen-room hotel designed around the history and culture of Portland. Filled with art, craftwork and snacks by local purveyors, the hotel provides a uniquely Portland experience. thefrancismaine.com

Glamour and camping are combined at the new Sandy Pines located in a forest grove less than a mile from Goose Rocks Beach. Rent one of 12 luxury tents, each designed by a New England interior designer, or choose a campsite outfitted with a picnic table, fire pit, electricity, cable, water and sewage. There’s even an onsite lobster pound, as well as a general store, farm stand and ice cream cart. sandypinescamping.com

The Higgins Beach Inn, a historic beachfront hotel in Scarborough, has been bought by The Migis Hotel Group. The three-story colonial revival structure, which dates from 1897, lies between Prouts Neck and Crescent Beach State Park. The 23 newly designed rooms have a modern feel with stylish furnishings. higginsbeachinn.com

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