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This or That: Maine or the Motherland

This or That: Maine or the Motherland

While Bar Harbor restaurants Stewman’s Lobster Pound and Paddy’s Irish Pub offer cuisines that are world’s away from each other, what unites them is their approach to the authentic.

When it comes to Bar Harbor restaurants, it’s not hard to find a different option every couple feet in this village on Frenchman Bay. But if it’s authenticity you are looking for, then two stops definitely stand out: one for its traditional Irish offerings and entertainment; the other for its authentically Downeast atmosphere and dedication to fresh seafood. We give you Paddy’s Irish Pub, located right on street level of the West Street Hotel, and Stewman’s Lobster Pound, right across the street.

The Scene

A couple clinks glasses at Paddy's.

Paddy’s Irish Pub

Paddy’s recreates the cozy, dark atmosphere of an Irish pub with its deep red walls, distressed leather booths, and the dark wood built-in bookshelves. In fact, all tables, chairs, the bar, and other furniture were actually shipped in from Ireland. In the summer, light and air are let in by opening up the wall of glass and connecting the indoor and outdoor dining areas and offering an uninterrupted view of Bar Island across the Mount Desert Narrows.

Stewman’s Lobster Pound

When you think of a classic waterside Maine lobster pound, most likely what you’re picturing is something akin to Stewman’s atmosphere. Perched over Frenchman Bay in a red building adorned with colorful buoys on its exterior, the restaurant boasts a casual atmosphere, from the pine paneling on the ceiling and walls to the picnic tables on the two floors of outdoor seating on the water.

The Food

The Downeast Lobster Experience dish at Stewman's.

Stewman’s Lobster Pound

Stewman’s serves up a whole spread of fresh-caught New England favorites from mussels to clams to shrimp. You can get it fresh and simple at the raw bar or go with a battered and deep-fried basket of your favorite fish paired with sweet potato or French fries. For the full Maine experience, however, you’ll want to go with the “Downeast Lobster Experience,” which starts with a cup of homemade clam chowder before moving on to a one-and-a-quarter-pound steamed lobster, mussels, buttered sweet corn, and potatoes. Just make sure to save room for the handmade blueberry pie at the end.

Paddy’s Irish Pub

Paddy’s offers a mix of traditional Irish and Irish American dishes for three meals a day. You’ll find beer-battered fish and chips (served with malt vinegar of course) and corned beef and cabbage as well as some Irish twists on American favorites like Guinness barbeque pork stack. For the most traditional spread of the day, get in early for a traditional fry up, or Ploughman’s Breakfast. The hearty dish comes with two eggs, Irish potatoes, bacon or sausage, pan roasted tomatoes, and a slice of rustic oatmeal bread.

The Perks

An aerial shot of Stewman's.

Stewman’s Lobster Pound

The upstairs is known as the Eagle’s Nest. Along with its own deck and the same tasty seafood that is served downstairs, the lounge offers a full-service bar as well. All night, they sling local and imported beers, wines, and cocktails to those sitting at the bar or on the deck looking out at the Porcupine Islands directly across the bay.

Paddy’s Irish Pub

Live music, usually with an Irish twist, is offered on the weekends. While sipping and chowing down on authentic Irish fare, listen to ballads, jigs, and folk tunes straight from the Emerald Isle. The hardest part will be stopping yourself from getting up and dancing in the middle of the dining room.

Where to Stay Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina | West Street Hotel

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