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The Havana a hidden gem of fine dining in Bar Harbor, Maine

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Stephen L Dalton
Stephen L Dalton
 11 days ago
The Havana - a Cubano-style restaurant in Bar Harbor, ME.By the author.

Bar Harbor, ME, attracts millions of visitors each year, 3.5 million in 2020. Primarily to visit Acadia National Park, but there is so much to do and see, including whale watching. One recent VIP visitor was former President Obama and the First Family.

A Day in Bar Harbor Maine: So much to see and do!

Uploaded by Tikki O. Travels

A Presidential Visit

President Obama enjoys visiting quiet national parks with his family. In 2010, The President of the United States (POTUS) and his family vacationed for three days on Mount Desert Island, part of Acadia National Park, enjoying the scenic views of the Northeast part of the United States.

The First Family stayed at the local Holiday Inn Bar Harbor Regency Hotel, hiked the 1,532-foot Cadillac Mountain, and enjoyed local restaurants' fine foods, including the popular Havana.

The Havana fine dining restaurant

The Havana is a fine dining restaurant owned by Michael Boland and his wife Deirdre Swords, who remember the visit with the Obamas quite well. Mr. Boland remembers the staff chatting with the POTUS and First Lady during their meal and felt they were very genuine. They chatted about yoga, their daughters, and restaurant ownership. President Obama had Seafood Paella, and the First Lady had the Lobster Thermidor.

The Havana has been in operation for over twenty years and runs the Havana Parilla Tapas Bar & Grill. Havana has you covered with the option to choose from fine dining or a quick burger or steak from the grill. Start your day off with a cocktail, appetizer, soup, and salad before indulging in the entrée.
Seafood Paella with lots of seafood, and of course, the Socarrat.Feda Wong – Wikicommons

Seafood Paella

Get your seafood fix with the Seafood Paella that has lobster, mussels, shrimp, scallops, tomatoes, peppers, smoked chicken on saffron rice, with a traditional Socarrat. If you’re unaware, a socarrat is the delicious crust, perfectly cooked on the bottom of a paella. It is how most paella is judged, like a perfect crust on a pizza.
Lobster Moqueca.Roman Odintsov - Pexels

Grab a Maine Lobster with Latin flair, the Lobster Moqueca, which is actually a Brazilian dish served with fresh-caught lobster simmered in coconut broth with haddock, red peppers, and onions. This delicious meal is served over jasmine rice and includes grilled pineapple.

End your fine dining experience with some dessert and dessert cocktails. The Latin Flair Tres Leches is a traditional vanilla-infused tres leches cake with three kinds of milk, whipped crème, and toasted coconut frosting with lemon zest. Grab a glass of blueberry Moscato to enhance the flavor of the dessert.
Inside the Havana Parilla Tapas Bar & Grill in Bar Harbor, ME.By the author.

The Havana Parilla Tapas Bar & Grill

The Parrilla Tapas Bar & Grill has a fresh, vibrant menu with a long list of drinks. At the Parrilla Tapas Bar & Grill, there is a separate menu from Havana. With various plates to choose from, such as cold plates, hot places, sweet plates, there is something for everyone.

You can enjoy grilled scallops with mushroom/ginger sauce with a side farm salad. If you’re in the mood for a larger plate, try the Allagash (a native Craft beer that is a dry IPA) marinated duck breast seared and served with fried Arborio rice, peppers, onions, and carrots.

For dessert, satisfy that sweet tooth with the Chocolate Torte, which includes rich dark chocolate torte topped with orange mascarpone and toasted almonds. Or try this Layered Chocolate Whoopie Pie Cake.

Havana - Bar Harbor

John Andreau visited Havana, had this delicacy, and pronounced it the “Picasso of Cakes,” and uploaded this video to YouTube.

Final thoughts

The Havana and Parilla Tapas Bar & Grill in Bar Harbor, ME, has been in business for over twenty years and certainly has some amazing history surrounding this luxury restaurant. This place is a culinary pleasure dome fit for a king... or a President.


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