The Islesford Dock Restaurant | Favorite Places

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Isleford Dock Restaurant, MDI, Cranberry Island
Boat Ride to the Dock
{Boat Ride to the Dock}

Isleford Dock Restaurant, MDI, Cranberry Island

isleford dock restaurant


Summer has officially begun with my first dinner at Islesford Dock Restaurant, which is located on Islesford, one of the five Cranberry Islands just a few miles from Mount Desert Island in Maine. The location and views alone are reason enough to set sail to the island but the food will ensure you fall in love with this magical spot. Even on the foggiest of nights, people flock to this very special place, which has been owned and operated by Cynthia and Dan Lief for 22 years. To me summer doesn’t official start until I get my first meal at “The Dock”.

isleford dock, mdi, cranberry island maine




My favorite drinks there are the Margotrita’s, made with Patron tequila, fresh lime juice, Cointreau and a splash of orange juice, and Island Ginger beer from the Atlantic Brew Company.

cocktails at the dock
isleford dock restaurant

The kitchen, led by Chef Kirby Sholl, creates a variety of inventive and scrumptious appetizers, small plates and entrees. As you know from previous posts, I adore oysters and the Gidden Point Oysters on the half shell from Damariscotta never disappoint. They are clean and firm with just the right amount of brine. The lobster burrata is beautifully presented and out of this world delicious.

lobster and burrata cheese, isleford dock

isleford dock restaurant

No matter the size of our crowd, we always order extra plates or “floaters” of ribs, which are the best I have had anywhere. Asian in style with chopped peanuts on top, they are melt in your mouth goodness.

isleford dock clam chowder

If you are serious about clam chowder, I challenge you to find a better one. It’s rich and velvety and chock a block full of clams. If you love salad, the Great Hill Blue is a wonderful combination of flavors with blue cheese, grapes and candied pecans. The Halibut Ceviche is also out of this world good, made with the freshest Halibut and topped with cilantro, lime and red onion. New to the menu this year is a delightful braised organic Maine Tourmaline Farms goat starter with fresh beans, peas and sorrel from the owner’s garden.


isleford dock boykin burger

{Boykin Burger sans fries and with fiddlehead ferns (trying to be a little healthy!)}


porter house


As for the entrees, there are so many good choices! The Boykin burger is phenomenal and in the top tier in the pantheon of burgers, complete with bacon, cheddar and house made caramelized garlic onion jam, served with extra crispy, yummy fries. The steamed lobster is from the adjacent lobster pound and does not get any fresher. The pasta dish, large ribbons of pacchari pasta with country pork ragu and freshly grated cacciavallo cheese, is a belly warmer. The fresh Gulf of Maine halibut and Zoe’s Tide Mill chicken are mainstays and always crowd pleasers. For those with a big appetite, the Porterhouse steak for two, served with outrageously good bacon tater tots and sautéed spinach and mushrooms, is flavorful and as tender as a mother’s love. The desserts are also fabulous – peanut brittle sundaes and blueberry crisp ala mode are my two favorites. After dinner, the gallery, located at the back of the restaurant, is a must stop.

isleford dock art gallery

{Small glimpse of the Islesford Dock Art Gallery}

In sum, Islesford Dock is a magical place and if you are any where near Mount Desert Island, put this restaurant on your list. They are open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and I promise you once you go you will dream about going back. The Islesford Dock Restaurant or “The Dock” gets the highest marks in service, atmosphere, food and sheer beauty. This is truly one of my favorite places to dine in the world and it is so incredibly special!

isleford dock sunset



{At Isleford Dock with my Dad}

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