PORTLAND, Maine — There is, happily, no law that requires people to eat lobster when in Maine, although it might seem to some folks—tourists in particular—that they’re flouting custom when they spend a week here and never crack open a claw or body. On 207, we do not judge. From time to time, however, we do seek out recommendations, and on this occasion we asked Joe Ricchio, the food editor of “Décor Maine” magazine, to steer us to some of his favorite places for fried seafood. This approach gets us away from lobster, but keeps us close to what’s fresh and local, whether it’s fish, clams, scallops, whatever.
As we talked, I asked Joe what he considers the key to good frying. “Well,” he said, “I can tell you what makes for bad frying: soggy.” Does anyone disagree? Seeing no hands raised, we’ll conclude that no one likes seafood encased in a limp, gloppy coating.
Joe came up with a list of five casual restaurants in Maine, from Kittery to Cornish to Penobscot, that serve exceptional fried seafood. Watch our conversation to see what he likes about these places.
--Bay Haven Lobster Pound, Cornish
--Bagaduce Lunch, Penobscot
--Estes Lobster House, Harpswell
--Salty Bay Seafood, Scarborough
--Bob’s Clam Hut, Kittery and Portland