Saturday, November 14, 2009

there's more to maine

Hi all, formal was fantastic! I may very well need a day to recuperate however ;) so I'd like to welcome our 7th worldly plate to the table. Leslie, from the whole plate, is a wonderful friend of mine who I am so honored to have as a contributor. Take it away my dear...

Hello everyone! I’m thrilled to be here, as not only do I love Danielle and her blog, but I am also an avid fan of food and travel.  Plates spanning the world are exactly my style.
Like Danielle, I’ve done quite a bit of international traveling for someone in her early twenties.  When asked to think of my favorite place in the world, though, my mind immediately wandered somewhere a bit closer to home.
My parents have been vacationing in Ogunquit, Maine for thirty years, and I have spent at least a week there, if not two, every August since birth.  The town is quaint New England at its smallest and simplest: the movie theater has only one screen, the gas station only one pump.  It is without a doubt my second home: I spoke my first word on the town’s beach, lost my first tooth (and then three more) in our hotel’s front yard, and graduated to dining without parental supervision at the local pizza parlor. 
Now that my sister and I are older, our yearly visit to Ogunquit has become a culmination of foodie fun: we dig the meat out from lobster claws short miles from their ocean home; we snack on local blueberries and the sweetest maple syrup; we dine at exquisite restaurants whose gardens lay just outside.
Though I could go on about every restaurant we attend, there is one that is simply a cut above the rest, and it has a place of fame in my family’s history.  It's name is Arrows, and I first dined there four years ago – though my parents have raved about it for over twenty years. 
Sustainability has been a way of life at Arrows long before it became "mainstream": vegetables and herbs are grown right on the grounds, breads are baked in house, cheeses crafted in the kitchen, ice creams spun in the freezer. 
Even better, each winter, the chef-owners pass a month or two at a different destination around the world.  Devoted to food and to travel, they educate themselves on the local cuisine wherever they go, and when they return, they craft a new menu, incorporating the flavors they’ve experienced into their own style.  Opening their menu each summer is like opening a storybook, and it’s not unheard of for my family to spend forty-five minutes debating what to order.
My parents recently spent an autumn weekend in Ogunquit, and they learned that Mark and Clark will be spending their winter trip in the Middle East this year.  As if I wasn’t looking forward to next summer’s visit enough – now, I couldn't be more excited for the flavor that awaits.
Thank you so much Leslie. I've heard so many good things about Maine and I really have no reason not to venture a few hours away for such delicacies. Does she not just make it sound incredible? Love that girl.  If you'd like to participate in this Plates from Around the World series please email a description of your favorite place, and a foodie memory from there, along with a few photos of the place/food itself or those that were taken nearby to aroundthworld340@gmail.comSee you tomorrow for a review of the formalities.

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