Rockland, ME 04841
Best Farm-To-Table Dining
James Beard Award-winning chef Melissa Kelly invites diners to tour the gardens and pastures where much of the restaurant’s produce is grown and chickens and pigs are raised, before dining on her Mediterranean-accented fare.
The food and drink here excels; from the Key lime mojito and the peach Bellisima, to the homemade sopressa and the sea bass Livornese-style, which stays on the daily changing menu because it is so fabulous. We thought the cannoli recipe had been improved since our last visit, and it started out top-notch. If you come during summer and want to dine at a table in the popular restaurant, make sure to call ahead for a reservation. Or, sit at the bar, where you can order from the full menu. The wine list is stacked with delights and appeals to a wide-ranging clientele.
According to Chef Melissa Kelly, “It’s such a relief and a release when vegetables start to come up in the spring. We have a good-sized garden and try to grow as much as we can for the restaurant. Sorrel is among the first plants we can use. You feel rebirth. Rejuvenation. It’s hokey, but you just know that the sun will shine again, and it’s part of what makes living here so different from places that don’t experience the same extremes. It feels so good.” Sorrel’s citrusy, astringent flavors brighten up the richer foods on her menu, such as salmon, crab, and pasta.