Feast on fresh seafood as boats come in at Stewman’s

At Stewman’s the wharfside setting gives diners an up-close view of lobster boats coming and going and other action on the waterfront. PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Stewman’s Lobster Pound on the waterfront in Bar Harbor isn’t the kind of place you go to just once.

“We get people who come back every year; it’s part of their routine,” said Executive Chef Ryan Phillips. “I think it’s because we do seafood right. It’s fresh and we prepare it properly.”

“The other day, someone who came off a cruise ship said it was his third time here,” said the West Street restaurant’s general manager, Shane Larson. “He said, ‘I recommended you guys to a whole bunch of people on the ship.’”

Stewman’s is best known for its lobster dinners and lobster rolls. The lobsters come from local waters, of course.

“All of our seafood is extremely popular,” Phillips said. “We sell tons and tons of Maine scallops. And we’ll go through 600 to 800 oysters a week in peak season. Mount Desert Island Oyster Co. grows them just off the tip of the island. Our mussels are from Acadia Aqua Farm in Blue Hill Bay.”

At Stewman’s Lobster Pound on West Street, Executive Chef Ryan Phillips shows the generously portioned lobster roll while line cook Jordan Vandiver provides a peek of a lobster dinner.

For those who aren’t in the mood for seafood, Stewman’s has a number of popular options such as steak frites, roasted crispy chicken with apple-cranberry chutney and warm gorgonzola steak salad.

This being Maine, a dessert favorite is the wild blueberry pie.

Cocktail specialties include the blackberry-pineapple smash and the blueberry jam mojito.

“We fly through those,” Larson said. “And we have great, experienced bartenders.”

They pretty much have to be, Phillips added.

“An ordinary bartender wouldn’t do too well in this environment. It’s so fast and furious in the summer.”

The restaurant prides itself on its inventive drinks ranging from a blackberry-pineapple smash to a blueberry jam mojito.

Stewman’s is open daily for lunch and dinner. There is seating indoors and on the upper and lower decks, both of which offer magnificent views of the harbor.

“We like giving people that authentic Maine dining experience of sitting on the water, looking at the lobster boats and getting the best lobster around,” Phillips said.

On a recent evening, a family from Kentucky that was visiting Bar Harbor for the first time sat at a table on the lower deck.

“The place we’re staying recommended Stewman’s,” one of them said. “They said you couldn’t go wrong.”

At a nearby table, an extended, three-generation family from Maine and New Hampshire was enjoying lobsters and steamer clams.

“We were here last year and everybody loved it, so we had to come back,” said the one called Nana. “And we’ll be back next year.”

Stewman’s is a casual restaurant suitable for youngsters. For children, there’s plenty to see including Bar Harbor’s lobster fleet bringing the day’s catch.

A couple from Binghamton, N.Y., who were in Bar Harbor for their 30th wedding anniversary, came to Stewman’s “for the lobster, of course.”

There also is a Stewman’s at the Bar Harbor Regency hotel, about a mile north of the in-town location. That one, too, offers waterfront dining.

Stewman’s Lobster Pound is located at 35 West St. For more info, call 288-0346 and visit the eatery’s Facebook page.

Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]