We get it. It’s March. You’re tired of the fickle weather. It’s time for something different. Maybe even something new?
Fortunately, Maine’s coast is burgeoning with possibilities in the form of great restaurants. There are plenty of old favorites like Provender Kitchen + Bar in Ellsworth waiting to welcome you back, but why not try something new? Here are three newish dining options to consider.
Formerly Known as Hearth & Harbor in Southwest Harbor
You might recognize this name. Hearth & Harbor opened in Southwest Harbor in November 2020 and quickly drew fans. But when two of the owners decided to move on to other things in February, the remaining owner, Dave Allen, shifted the concept slightly and plans to update the name. (Right now, the social media for the restaurant mostly refers to it as “Formerly Known as Hearth & Harbor.)
On the new smaller menu, dishes like Downeast Gumbo (fried haddock, tasso, pork belly, sausage and herbs) and Short Rib Stroganoff can be finished off with a choice of Bread Pudding or Chocolate Mousse for dessert. A lengthy section of beers, ciders and wines will compliment the food.
The restaurant that was known as Hearth & Harbor is located at 336 Main St. in Southwest Harbor and is presently open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday.
Aster & Rose in Lincolnville
Aster & Rose calls itself relaxed contemporary dining. Located in the Youngtown Inn, the restaurant was opened in 2022 by the inn owners Michael and Karrie Nowak. They have some dining credentials in the popular restaurant they owned in Cleveland, Ohio, The Black Pig.
At Aster & Rose, starters like Chicken Liver Toast and Roasted Beets can kick off the meal. While pastas like Fettuccine Bolognese (pork, lamb and beef braised in milk and wine with tomato and herbs) and Agnolotti (scallops, lobster and crab with Calabrian chili, lemon and bottarga) and entrees like Bistro Steak served with roasted onion farro, rapini and squash puree offer a more substantial plate.
Aster & Rose is located at the Youngtown Inn, 581 Youngtown Road in Lincolnville, and is open for dinner on Wednesday through Saturday.
Homeport Tavern in Searsport
Searsport is having a moment, and a reopened tavern in a renovated inn is part of it. The Homeport Tavern opened in June as part of the Homeport Inn. Serving seafood and tavern fare, Homeport Tavern’s sample lunch menu features entrees like a Swordfish BLT and Fish & Chips.
At dinner, the sample menu includes entrees like Chimichuri Beef with smashed fingerling potatoes and garlic spinach and Wild Halibut served with citrus corn ragout and herbed fingerling potato coins.
Homeport Tavern is located at 121 East Main St. inside the Homeport Inn in Searsport and serves both lunch and dinner.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Aster.