Under a new manager, Damariscotta Lake Farm is gearing up for another busy summer season on the Jefferson side of the lake.
Anita Kirkpatrick, the restaurant’s new manager, came on in February and has spent the last few months keeping busy in the large mid-19th century building at 15 Bunker Hill Road.
The restaurant is open, serving dinner three nights a week, and Kirkpatrick is helping to get the restaurant and bed-and-breakfast ready for the busier and warmer months ahead.
Kirkpatrick, a native of Jefferson, remembers frequenting Damariscotta Lake Farm as a youth when ice cream was sold on the premises.
She got her start in the restaurant industry in Whitefield, working at the Old Country Farm Restaurant.
Kirkpatrick then took a break from the industry, working for the federal government for around 20 years before the opportunity came to open the Mill Stream Restaurant in Gardiner in 2007.
She said the people she gets to meet while on the job drew her back to a restaurant environment.
“I like the people and I like cooking for them,” Kirkpatrick said.
Kirkpatrick said her favorite foods are home-cooked dishes, but the lakeside restaurant is working on a more contemporary menu.
“We have a mixed menu with both foodie stuff and good home-cooking,” Kirkpatrick said.
The restaurant makes use of local products, from produce grown on Lincoln County farms to seafood harvested off the coast of Boothbay.
“All of our seafood comes right off the boat from Boothbay,” Kirkpatrick said.
David Lampton, the owner of the restaurant, marina, and bed-and-breakfast, said they are hoping to expand hours as the season progresses, noting that the facility becomes quite busy in the summer.
Lampton said the establishment is looking to hire additional staff and will train individuals interested in joining the team.
Lampton, who has owned Damariscotta Lake Farm for years, is aware of the restaurant’s popularity in the community and said he and Kirkpatrick will work to build on what has made the facility popular.
“People think of this place as their own. We want to keep that local presence. It’s what makes it a real Maine place. There is a nice mixture of locals and tourists,” Lampton said.
One new and interesting item currently offered at Damariscotta Lake Farm is a variety of champagne with a uniquely Maine twist.
Bluet, a wild blueberry sparkling wine, incorporates the flavor of Maine’s iconic berry with a naturally bubbly and bone-dry flavor that allows the taste of the prized berries to shine.
Made in the fieldstone cellar of the farm’s barn, the sparkling wine is the product of work done by winemaker, California resident, and Maine native Michael Terrien, Lampton’s nephew.
It is best to chill the bottle before opening it.
“It’s a traditional wine that is perfect for Maine,” Lampton said.
The bed-and-breakfast portion of Damariscotta Lake Farm features five rooms, two with full bathrooms, and three rooms sharing 1 1/2 baths.
On the ground level of the bed-and-breakfast is a common room featuring a fireplace and a large bay window looking out on the waters of Damariscotta Lake.
The building also features a spacious function room for wine tastings and large birthday parties, in addition to an outdoor area with a tent to cater to the needs of those looking to take their wedding, corporate function, or other event outdoors.
Lampton said he is working on re-orienting the entrance to the building to the Route 32 side and that, in the future, there will be parking on both sides.
Damariscotta Lake Farm is currently open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 4-8 p.m., with expanded hours coming in the summer.
Even with some of the changes at Damariscotta Lake Farm, Kirkpatrick reiterated that the level of service will remain the same.
“We still have the same friendly staff,” Kirkpatrick said.