There are so many darling little towns dotted along the coast of Maine, each special in their own unique way but Boothbay is by far my favorite. It has everything you could ask for, a picturesque harbor, quintessentially New England architecture, sweet little shops and boutiques, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and some simply amazing food.
We only get to Boothbay once or twice a year, last June we came for a Gaelic Storm show at the Boothbay Opera house, and for the night to see the Gardens Aglow in December, so we were long overdoing for a visit. My parents and I were there for Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, mom and I attended a DIY Bodycare class at the botanical gardens on Friday(I will have a post up about the class and photos of the gardens up very soon.)
After checking in to our hotel and freshening up a bit, we set off in search of some dinner, the goal was to find a restaurant that looked good but we hadn’t eaten at before. While we were waiting for a table to open up at the restaurant we had decided on, we wandered into a few shops and bought some fudge at the Taffy Factory.
We had dinner on the third-floor deck of the Boat House Bistro Tapas Bar, the day had been quite humid but it was becoming a beautifully comfortable temperature, with a cool breeze coming off the water.
For starters, we had baked goat cheese balls with a warm cherry compote and the Glidden Point Oysters. Now I’m not a fan of goat cheese but something about the sweetness of the cherry compote balanced out the strong flavor of the cheese making it very enjoyable, and the crunch of the baked breadcrumbs made them perfect.
I had never had raw oysters before, I wasn’t planning on ever having raw oysters anytime soon, but my dad ordered them so I thought I might as well try them. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat them again but they weren’t half bad. (Three cheers for trying new things!)
The three of us all ended up ordering risotto, they had so many wonderful sounding ones but I had to get the Lobster Risotto. The lobster risotto is made with truffle butter, lobster tail, asparagus risotto, fried shallots, topped with lemon and truffle pearls.
Oh my goodness this was delicious!
Dad’s Seafood Risotto made with sautéed shrimp, scallops, lobster meat, garlic, shallots, and white wine.
Mom’s Scallop Risotto made with pan-seared scallop, creamy citrus risotto, and Myers lemon glaze.
So happy with the experience we had and Boat House, everything we had was delicious, the service was thought full and professional, and the view was perfect.
For dessert, we stopped at Wannawaf for ice cream and waffles. I got The Good Apple which is a waffle with apple pie filling, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, and fresh whipped cream. Needless to say, it was amazing.
Saturday morning we had a late breakfast at the Bridge Street Cafe which is a just off the Footbridge where Bridge Street and By-Way meet. The Cafe is completely charming, tiny and bright with big windows overlooking the harbor, and everything inside is white and blue.
They have the best Blueberry Buckle I think I’ve ever tasted, topped with delicious fresh whipped cream, Yum!
We spent the rest of the day wandering the shops, stopping at all the favorites like Abacus, which is full of art, furniture, jewelry and it all has a fun whimsical twist.
Red Cup is another of my favorites, I discovered it last summer when we were staying at the Fishermans wharf directly across the street, we stopped there several times that trip for the cold brew. This time I tried there Matcha Latte.
It wouldn’t be a proper trip to Boothbay without a stop at Coastal Maine Popcorn Co, they are a shop that only sells popcorn, how amazing is that? They have sweet and savory, and some weird ones too, we got the Glazed Pumpkin Donut, Toasted Coconut, and Rosemary & Sea Salt. I am a huge fan of popcorn so this place is a little dream come true for me.
A Litte Bit Of History.
In 1729 the region now knows as Boothbay was named Townsend and permanently settled by a group of around 60 Scotch-Irish, settling within the next ten years. Settlers of English extraction came from Dover, New Hampshire in the mid-1750s. All these families endured near starvation, and the French and Indian wars; some were kidnapped and taken to Canada. Nearly the whole town left the area for a period of years during one war.
Townsend was a very poor community on the edge of the frontier, although many of the settlers were from a farming background, Boothbay, like a lot of the Maine coast, was a rocky place and agriculture was a struggle. However, over the years a fine fishing tradition emerged, it was inevitable since the fishing banks in the Gulf of Maine were what initially brought people there regularly. Everything from clam digging to whaling has been carried on in Boothbay.
In 1764 Boothbay officially became a town, dropping the name of Townsend. Although there has been some speculation, there is no clear known reason for choosing the name “Boothbay”.
We slowly started meandering our way home in the late afternoon, driving along the coastline and stopping here and there along the way.