Review: Francine's

By BRIAN DUFF  |  June 10, 2011

Adding to the Maine theme-park element were the locals we met that afternoon on the hill, who seemed to refuse to tell us where the restaurant was. One told us it was in a hotel. The other claimed not to eat in "downtown restaurants." Hiding a treasured local spot from tourists: How cute! How Maine! It seemed like another charm of Francine. But it made us wonder if maybe there is a darker side to the fairy tale: like maybe working-class Mainers can't afford to eat at upscale restaurants? Like maybe the coast of Maine developed as a relatively expensive and inaccessible theme park for rich people from Boston and New York? Maybe I just overheard a grandfatherly man brazenly hit on that adorable hostess in front of his wife? Maybe those friendly prisoners were quietly miserable?

All theme parks have a dark side (except maybe Storyland). Earlier, on the hill, with the day growing late, we had kept moving eastward beyond the summit believing we could find an even better view. We asked another hiker and she wondered why we didn't just appreciate the one in front of our eyes. Good question. At least leaving Francine we were certain we could not have found a better meal — a good indication that this restaurant transcends even the overabundant charms of the Maine coast on a gorgeous day.

Brian Duff can be reached at

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Restaurant Reviews , Seafood, food, Camden,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DIVE BAR ALTERNATIVES  |  April 17, 2014
    The former allows you to drink under 13 stories of home-grown bankers and lawyers; at the other, you’re lounging above a dozen floors of business travelers and tourists.
  •   GIVE 'EM A HAND  |  April 10, 2014
    Pocket-sized comfort foods
  •   EXTREME LOCALISM  |  March 19, 2014
    Perhaps Vinland’s pontifications become white noise, which fades away as you appreciate the food and its distinctive coherence of flavors and textures — the Nordic, astringent, piney, ascetic goodness of it all.
  •   DISTINCTIVE SUBURBAN DINING  |  March 14, 2014
    It is the rare chef, for example, who can make ordering the “veggie plate” seem like a good idea in retrospect — but the one at Oscar’s was fantastic, with a great mix of colors and textures.
  •   CRACKING OUR HARD EXTERIORS  |  February 27, 2014
    These days it is mollusks like oysters, mussels, and clams (rather than crustaceous shellfish, like lobster, crab, and shrimp) that best represent our collective emotional temperament. 

 See all articles by: BRIAN DUFF