On a recent journey west to get away from the fogged-in coast, I not only found the sun, but discovered a real gem in downtown Kingfield.

Longfellow’s Restaurant, a family-owned business established back in 1980 by the now-retired couple John and Tammy Goldfrank, is the place on the corner where locals go to meet up with friends and admire the work of local artists.

Named for Maine’s Longfellow Mountains — a little-used name given to all of Maine’s mountains by the Legislature in 1959 in honor of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — the restaurant has friendly staff who know how to make us out-of-towners welcome, too.

When I announced I was looking for a slice of pie and iced tea, the smiling server gave me star accommodations in front of one of the windows overlooking the Carrabassett River. While enjoying strawberry-rhubarb pie, I was refreshed by a cool breeze and entertained by teenagers diving off the bridge and swimming to the grassy bank.

Back in January of this year, the Goldfranks passed the baton to their son, Christopher Doucette and his wife, Mel. Now the head chef, Chris said, “I was brought up in this business, washing dishes and doing prep from the time I was in sixth grade. I always liked the instant gratification, taking raw ingredients, making something out of them that people enjoy, getting paid and doing it all over again.”

He added, “It’s all been very hands-on and I’ve learned a lot from the chefs I’ve worked with over the years. My parents created this great, successful business and have given us a wonderful opportunity.”

The family traditions the Doucettes have embraced don’t stop there. They live on the dairy farm once owned by Mel’s parents, where they grow vegetables and produce the maple syrup used at the restaurant.

The mouth-watering menu Chris and his staff serve up to locals and people who come to the area to recreate offer something for everyone. Said Mel: “The Two-for-Tuesdays selections are especially popular and bring in a lot of our regular customers.”

If you’re in the mood for Mexican, chicken enchiladas are available; there are also a variety of Mediterranean selections on the menu, as well as stir-fry options for those who want to eat out but prefer more healthy choices.

“More and more customers have a preference for vegan and gluten-free meals,” said Mel. “We can make accommodations for those requests. We even make our own veggie burgers from scratch.”

Chris, who is quick to credit his team for all their hard work, has generously offered to share the recipes for two of Longfellow’s signature entrees: chicken Longfellow and baked scallops Nova Scotia. (A third signature dish is steak tips in homemade barbecue sauce.) These two Longfellow standards are simple to prepare and will be sure to impress your guests. They’re also quick and easy enough to make for your own stay-at-home Two-for-Tuesday!

Chicken Longfellow

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pound out an 8-ounce chicken breast for each serving. Roll two-thirds of a cup of stuffing in the chicken breast. (Recipe below.) Bake in a casserole dish for 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is firm and stuffing is hot. Transfer to a plate and spoon sour cream sauce over it. (Recipe below.) Garnish with chopped parsley and a sprinkle of paprika.

Stuffing recipe:

Most store-bought stuffing will work fine in this recipe, but here’s how Longfellow’s makes theirs from scratch:

2 cups white French bread, coarse-chopped in a food processor. Set aside.

1/2 cup finely chopped celery (about two ribs)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 pound unsalted butter

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

1/4 cup dry sherry

In a saute pan, heat butter, celery and onion, cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients, except for the bread crumbs, and simmer for 15 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs and the butter mixture. Let cool.

Sour cream sauce:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon white wine

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 cup sour cream

Saute onions in the vegetable oil until they are clear. Deglaze pan with wine. Add butter and heat slowly until completely melted. Turn off heat and add onion powder and sour cream.

Baked scallops Nova Scotia

Directions: Toss large fresh sea scallops (about 6 to 8 per serving) in Ritz cracker crumbs. Place in an individual baking dish. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 2 teaspoons of honey over each serving. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Longfellow’s Restaurant

247 Main St., Kingfield

Open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Telephone: 265-4394

On-street parking with additional parking behind restaurant

Take-out available

Seasonal outdoor dining on the deck

On-site and off-site catering includes weddings, anniversaries, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, employee parties and more.


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