Fog. That’s what greeted us on our first morning in the quaint town of Camden. No surprise, fog after all is a fact of life in Maine. According to the weather forecast, it wasn’t going to “burn off” so no hope of any sun, instead we had the prospect of off and on showers all day. Oh well, we would certainly prefer a sunny day but it wasn’t enough to keep us inside.
As we walked down main street in Camden toward the waterfront, the fog enshrouded harbor was embraced in an eerie yet picturesque aura. Not much of a view beyond the immediate harbor, but the ghostly silhouettes of boats and masts provided a serene visual. What a picture perfect scene, the epitome of quintessential coastal Maine!
Leaving the waterfront area, despite the fact that it had started to shower lightly, we moseyed around the rest of the town for a bit, doing some window shopping and enjoying all the sights. At least the showers kept the crowds away!
We had heard about the happy hour and gastronomic delights at 40 Paper, an Italian Bistro recommended by Deas and Jen of NealysonWheels, friends we had met during the winter in Florida and preceding us up the Maine coast.
Located in a civil-war era mill built over the Megunticook River, 40 Paper not only serves dinner, but during their happy hour (4:00 to 6:00 p.m.) they serve cocktails, chicetti (small snacks) and flatbread pizzas for $5. Since it was close to 4:00 p.m. and we hadn’t eaten anything since our quick breakfast on the coach that morning, we were more than ready for some gourmet victuals. When we arrived, there was only one other couple at the bar, but by the time we left it was pretty crowded. Nice place with a great ambiance!
Sitting at the bar, we ordered one of their specialty drinks, a Corpse Reviver #2 (seems like a pretty strange name for a drink) recommended by Wind Tracy, a master bartender/mixologist, who has been named best bartender numerous times around the state. Despite it’s rather morbid name, the drink was quite tasty!
But we needed something more to satisfy our hunger, so we ordered a Margherita Flatbread Pizza with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Oh, my that was delicious! But still not quite enough so we followed that with another pizza, marinated calamari with artisan salami and chipotle. That was yummy as well. Of course by now, we needed another drink.
Being a little more adventurous, Rob ordered a Pesca which was bourbon, fresh lemon, whole basil, brown sugar, peach bitters and seltzer. And at the recommendation of a local woman sitting next to us (Chrstine), I decided to try a Root & Smoke (an award winning cocktail invented by Wind). It is made with Mezcal, fresh lime, house made beet & ginger shrub and ginger beer. Sounded interesting but to be honest, I didn’t really care for the rather unusual flavor, wouldn’t order it again. To finish off our happy hour visit, we had an order of mussels with toasted garlic and fresh herbs. Those were really good. Only complaint we had was that there was no bread to mop up the broth. They have a regular dinner menu, maybe next time we’ll have dinner there.
It was time to return back to the beast where we spent a quiet evening. But we still had a lot more to see and do – more about our stay in Camden in our next post.