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Old 12-12-2008, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Pittsfield, Maine
160 posts, read 334,446 times
Reputation: 150

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Hi sms2279 and welcome!

My wife and I just moved to Maine (Pittsfield) this past summer. We absolutely love it here!!! I don't think you will find a better group of people. Everyone has treated us well and welcomed us (we moved from Pennsylvania). Luckily I am a freelance illustrator/designer so i just moved my clients with me. It took some time for my wife to find a job (managing a Dunkin' Donuts in Augusta). She has over 20 years of restaurant management and ownership.

We rented a place in Brewer for a couple of months while we did day trips to various places to see which area we wanted to settle. Don't be surprised if you find another area that tickles your fancy more than Portland. Pittsfield did that to us. It is a very small town. I forget who but someone on the forum here thought we should check it out.

There are no ugly places here. Just wonderful people and beautiful landscapes.

Good luck with your move and WELCOME home!!!
Lynn and Russ
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:55 PM
 
13 posts, read 45,642 times
Reputation: 17
I know what you mean about driving around to find other places. My mom lives in Blue Hill and I fall in love with every new little town we pass. But I know that my fiance would probably prefer to be in a bigger city in the beginning while we get used to Maine.
There are some GREAT restaurants in the more rural areas, but he's never been to Maine so he has no idea what to expect.
He must love me right? I'm getting him to move all the way across the country to somewhere he's never even been! But I know he'll love it. It's our kind of place. The people, the community, the slower pace lifestyle...
So was Duncan Donuts the only thing that was available for your wife or did she want a position with them? I'm just wondering how hard the culinary field really is.
I think with my fiance being a chef it is a bit different but.. we will start anywhere to be honest! It seemed like Portland would offer more jobs in that field. But is it pretty typical for people to travel long distances to work?
Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:19 PM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,461,369 times
Reputation: 3491
There are some five star restaurants in the Portland area. A good sous chef will be in demand in Greater Portland. Don't let the chrome diner crowd on here give you the false idea there is no fine dining in Maine or that fine dining is not popular. Fore Street resaturant is the finest restaurant north of Boston. Though they keep a few tables for walk-ins, there is always at least a week wait to get a reservation there. There are many more upscale restaurants in the area which do equally as well. Your fiance will not have to work in a Duncan Donuts! If he is good he will find work easily in a reputable establishment!
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:07 PM
 
Location: maine/alabama
169 posts, read 488,162 times
Reputation: 161
don't overlook Arborvine in blue hill or the Pilgrim's Inn on deer isle.........both close to mom
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Downeast, Maine
467 posts, read 994,995 times
Reputation: 335
Also in Hancock is LaDomaine and The Crocker House...
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Robbinston, Maine
43 posts, read 79,292 times
Reputation: 50
Bar Harbor is ALWAYS looking for a Chef and it's a beautiful area as well. Not too far from Blue Hill either. Good luck on your search and trip.
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Pittsfield, Maine
160 posts, read 334,446 times
Reputation: 150
Well Dunkin' Donuts contacted her. She was looking at some restaurants but she liked what DD offered her. She really likes it there and has a great group of folks she works with so it more of her choice than that was the only thing she could find. Sorry if it came across the other way.

As Maineah said, there is fine dining here so you will just have to roll up your sleeves and look. We have yet to have a bad meal since we've been here.

Coming from farm country in Pennsylvania, the food up here is just top-notch. Everything tastes so fresh. Being foodies, you will be in heaven just for the culinary and fresh produce end of things.
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,031 posts, read 16,086,748 times
Reputation: 9377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
There are some five star restaurants in the Portland area. A good sous chef will be in demand in Greater Portland. Don't let the chrome diner crowd on here give you the false idea there is no fine dining in Maine or that fine dining is not popular. Fore Street resaturant is the finest restaurant north of Boston. Though they keep a few tables for walk-ins, there is always at least a week wait to get a reservation there. There are many more upscale restaurants in the area which do equally as well. Your fiance will not have to work in a Duncan Donuts! If he is good he will find work easily in a reputable establishment!
I think most people who have read my posts may toss me into the "crome diner" crowd as I tend to be very critical of the restaurants I eat at (not just in Maine) and going out to eat is a hobby of mine (self-proclaimed "foodie"). Even if I'm broke I'll probably spend a huge portion of my check on dining out (sad, but true).

I'd like to expand on (and to a small extent, disagree with) what Maineah mentioned in his post.

First, let me reiterate, do NOT fear about having to work in a Dunkin Donuts to get by (not that D&D is wrong for everyone!). Portland has a LOT of restaurants for a city of 63,000 souls. Many here claim that it has the "most restaurants per capita" in the nation. While that statement is false (Many other cities claim this as well and the obscure data that DOES exist is only for cities of more than 250,000 people), there are certainly grounds for people making that claim. Your fiance should be able to find a job at one of these establishments and it will be better than fast food or chain food.

As far as "fine-dining" goes, it's CLEARLY a subjective matter. I would argue that while Portland has MANY restaurants, there are few that are of vastly superior quality. In fact, if we're going to go on a "5-star" system, I would say that Portland's top-quality restaurants are 4 stars and you can count those on one hand (perhaps 2 fingers).

Let me give you my basis so you can be the judge on how valuable/valid my opinion is. Even if you disagree, you can at least make an assertation for yourself....

.5 Stars would be your basic fast food chains (Mcdonald's, Wendy's, BK, Taco Bell, etc)
.5-1.5 Stars would be your real low end chains and take out/pizza joints (i.e. IHOP, Friendly's, your neighborhood Chinese place, Dominos Pizza, etc)
1.5-2.5 Stars would include the mid-level chains such as Olive Garden, Friday's, Applebees (at the lower end), etc. as well as mediocre nighborhood pub food (Great Lost Bear, anyone?), etc.
2.5-3.5 Stars would include the upper echelon of those mid-scale chains (Macaroni Grille, P.F. Chang's MAYBE Long Horn at a 2.5, etc). established neighborhood restaurants (this is where I'd put places like Dogfish Cafe in Portland or Joe's Boathouse).
3.5-4.5 Stars would be your upper tier chains (Think Ruth-Chris Steakhouse), real causual but reliable cuisine, etc. This is where Hugo's (a 3.5 to me) and Fore Street (a solid 4.0) as well as some of the other Maine bests would land in my book.
5-Stars is reserved for the truly elite. These restaurants blow your mind. Last weekend I had a Kobe Beef Steak at a restaurant called "Oishii" in Boston and it was phenominal. Italian at Al Forno or Capriccio in Providence fits in here... they're just a tier above anything you'll find in Maine. I can't put anything in Maine up here because even the best up here can't compete with the elite of the bigger cities in the country, they just can't.

Now, Maineah, I am in no way trying to call you out (Though you MUST try Blue Sky in York Beach before you call Fore St. the "best North of Boston" ... it's a close call). I agree that Maine has options, particularly in Portland. I don't think the OP's fiance is going to have trouble finding work in Portland as a sous chef and CERTAINLY won't be working at D&D (not that there is anything wrong with that, btw). He will be able to find work at a reputable establishment. In fact, after I finish this, I'm sending OP a DM with info on a good restaurant I know is overhauling their kitchen staff for next season and will be looking to replace the head and some of the sous chefs.

Now, if nothing else, we can take from this post that I have WAYYY too much time on my hands. I'm hoping though, that even if the OP disagrees with my personal star system, she can gain an idea of what type of establishments exist in Maine.

>End Rant<

Last edited by lrfox; 12-12-2008 at 09:07 PM..
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Pittsfield, Maine
160 posts, read 334,446 times
Reputation: 150
Good points Irfox. "Fine dining" is a matter of opinion. Sometimes a juicy hamburger is just as tasty as a leg of lamb with mint sauce. Also remember if your boyfriend has the skills and talent, he will find work.

And correct, there is nothing wrong with working at Dunkin' Donuts.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:48 PM
 
1,961 posts, read 4,253,439 times
Reputation: 1805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn and Russ View Post

And correct, there is nothing wrong with working at Dunkin' Donuts.
Agreed- nothing like a well managed Dunkin Donuts! They are lucky to have your wife work for them! Plus I am sure it is a great way for your wife to network and get situated in the hopes of someday opening up her own place!

I wish we had DD here! They closed down the 2 that I know of last summer I sure miss a tasty fresh donut!
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