Boothbay Harbor Fest

The Thistle Inn wins Best Taste Award

Posted:  Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 11:30am

This year’s Boothbay Harbor Fest, organized and overseen by event planner Lori Reynolds, was another big success. The 10-day event brought visitors from all over Maine and beyond, to enjoy all Boothbay Harbor has to offer: Great shopping, music, ocean views and food.

At the top of the list of favorite events at Harbor Fest is A Taste of Local Flavor. For $15, participants got a passport to enjoy bites of local chefs’ signature recipes, music, and camaraderie at 14 restaurants, pubs and inns in the harbor over a three-day, two-night food extravaganza.

This was the fourth year for the foodie event. On Sept. 1, The Mystic Mermaid hosted a kickoff party that featured radio station 92 Moose.

At noon Sept. 2, passport holders began making their way from one restaurant to the next one on the agenda, with a shuttle transporting them from one side of town to the other.

Participating restaurants went all out with their bites, some being much bigger than just a taste, and most being over-the-top in flavor and originality.

Along with the delectable food, each participating restaurant offered its own special cocktail, made by mixologists using sponsor Maine Distilleries Cold River’s vodka or gin. There was live music at most of the establishments to enjoy while sampling the hors d’oeuvre-style bites and cocktails.

Participating restaurants were The Thistle Inn, Harborside Tavern, Caper’s Deli, McSeagull’s, Mine Oyster, The Mystic Mermaid, Pier One Pizza, Fisherman’s Wharf Inn, Kaler’s Restaurant, Tugboat Inn, Boothbay Harbor Inn, Cod’s Head, Boothbay Lobster Wharf, and The Whale’s Tale & Seafarer’s Pub.

After all the food had been tasted, the music had been played and the drinks drunk, passport holders were asked to vote for their favorites, and their favorite overall experience.

And the people chose: Best Taste 1st Place: The Thistle Inn; Best Taste 2nd Place: Kaler’s Restaurant; Best Cocktail 1st Place: Boothbay Harbor Inn; Best Cocktail 2nd place: The Whale’s Tale & Seafarer’s Pub; 1st Place Best Music: Boothbay Lobster Wharf, with Junction 27; Best Music 2nd place: The Tugboat Inn & Restaurant, with Cattle Call; and Best of the Fest: Harborside Tavern.

The Thistle Inn chef Dick Reid’s winning tasty bite was butter-poached lobster with truffled (Thistle) Newburg sauce, on a pan-seared saffron risotto cake, with microgreens, and a port wine reduction.

Kaler’s Restaurant chef Michael Morrissett’s winning bite was a gourmet mac and cheese, made with noodles boiled in Sam’s Summer Ale, a smoked gouda cheese sauce, barbecued french onions, topped with an arugula salad tossed in a jalapena-infused white balsamic vinegar dressing nestled atop a piece of freshly baked bread.

Tasting sponsor of the event, Edible Maine, was on hand with a photographer to capture delectable moments. Other sponsors included First Federal Savings, Brown’s Wharf Inn, Flagship Inn, Greenleaf Inn and Topside Inn.