Last night i was honored to get a chance to eat at Nostrano, a marvelous restaurant in Bar Harbor. It was Frank Pendola’s way of thanking a few of the people who participated in the Garlic Festival – as though the sales we made and the chance to help KidsPeace were not enough!
i jumped at the chance to attend. i had heard amazing things about Nostrano – almost too good to believe – but once i was there i realized their praise was altogether too modest.
The whole experience left me awed: the space is small, gorgeous, holding less than 20 people (which explains why the participants of the Garlic Festival have to take turns). The end result is that you feel like you’re having dinner at a friend’s house – only that friend and his wife happen to be some of the most amazing cooks you have ever encountered. The way Frank explained the components the meal, how they were prepared (his wife made the best beet salad i’ve ever had, so she told us about that one), his philosophy of cooking, how he transformed from a molecular biologist to restauranteur, entertained and educated us. The meal, needless to say, was divine.
I should have taken pictures of the space, because it is lovely and stunningly designed, or Frank, his wife and the other guests, because they are all awesome. Instead, i found myself snapping pictures of my pottery in the kitchen, being everything i had ever hoped for: functional and lovely and well-used.
Which brings me to my primary thought: i am very grateful for the other local business who help and support my endeavors. Nostrano is a fantastic example of this. i have seen Frank support local farmers, KidsPeace and other small businesses with steadfast enthusiasm. We are all grateful. He has a growing collection of asha fenn originals – and to see them there, being used, integrated into such a beautiful restaurant, left me nearly as giddy as the food.
Although the food won. Dessert put it over the edge, probably because of the local peaches!
Go to Nostrano if you find yourself in Bar Harbor, there is a link to make a reservation… in the mean time, visit their website to entice yourself.