Let's Do Lunch! visits La Bella Vita at The Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine. There's more to Maine than succulent and sweet lobster, which host Robin Milling discovered courtesy of the delicious tasting prepared by Executive Chef Tim Pierce.
Cooking is not Tim's only talent. He tells Robin about his award winning ice-carving sculptures such as a life-size mammoth, and gingerbread holiday creations. Tim grew up in Boothbay Harbor and says he was hooked by the kitchen with his first job as a dishwasher, joking that he's still doing dishes! He began cooking as a teenager out of necessity due to his working parents with skills so impressive he was making baguettes by nine and preparing dinner parties for the family. At the early age of 20 he became an executive chef.
Lobster is a must on the menu but there's always an Italian twist starting with Antipasto Della Casa featuring Italian meats and cheeses garnished with house-made mustardo, fig jam, and juicy raisins still on the vine. The Swedish inspired crispy hand-crafted gnocchi adds a pleasing crunch with wild mushrooms, Italian bacon, and spinach topped with creamy Pecorino sauce. Tim, who has been lobster chef of the year prepared an Italian style surf and turf featuring the sweet knuckle of the butter poached lobster and petite filet mignon topped with Tuscan potato puree.
The summer months are perfect for al fresco dining at La Bella Vita, either by night with romantic views of Penobscot Bay or for lunching lazily watching the lobster schooners go by.