Your first stop is about half an hour north, at the Purple House
, a wood-fired bakery in the quiet village of North Yarmouth. Krista Kern Desjarlais, a chef well known to Mainers from her former restaurant, Bresca, is the queen of this berry-colored cottage. Her brick oven turns out superior za’atar and maple-sugared Montréal-style bagels. Bathed in sunlight, the communal dining table begs you to stay for a strawberry tart, but the longest uninterrupted stretch of road lies ahead – 75 miles. Destination: lobster.
The route to McLoons Lobster Shack
leads through towns such as Bath and Damariscotta and across no less than ten bridges – some, long concrete straightaways like the one skimming the cobalt surface of the Sheepscot River; others, tiny storybook things you’d expect trolls to live under. Everywhere, you get the sense that this place was reclaimed from water. You’ll find McLoons on Spruce Head Island: “a true lobstering island,” says Bree Douty, whose family owns the shack and the wharf that supplies it with sweet cold-water crustaceans. “Many of the island’s houses are home to people who live here year-round, including lobstermen.”
The Doutys’ cherry-red shack with a walk-up window sits right beside the water, and the views are so quintessential Maine postcard – boats swaying in the navy bay, framed by tall, spiky evergreens – you half expect a skywriter to fly by spelling out “Wish You Were Here!” Savor a lobster roll, a top-split bun overflowing with succulent “TKC” (tail, knuckle, claw meat) and glossed with melted butter, at one of the picnic tables. Drink in the views a final time and resume course.