Chef Mel Chaiken grew up in Tokyo, Japan, with a Malaysian mother and American father. Her tri-cultured family atmosphere helped shape her taste and skills in the kitchen. She came to Maine via Colby College, and today practices these skills six nights a week at The Fiddlehead Restaurant in Bangor.
Located in the heart of Bangor's revitalized food scene, Fiddlehead offers creative and inspired versions of both Maine classics and world cuisine. The dining room is guaranteed to be bustling Tuesday through Saturday, so reservations are recommended.
Warning: This column might make you hungry. You could feel a sudden urge to jump into your vehicle and drive to Bangor.
This could result in severe depression — if you arrive when
The Fiddlehead Restaurant is closed or crowded.
The antidote: Take two whoopie pies and call for a reservation.
I had never heard of this place before my brother and I took our parents there last Friday for an early Mother’s Day celebration. Noah had to work in Farmington on the actual holiday, so we convened at the Bissell homestead on Friday afternoon and then headed to Bangor for some eats. It ended up being the best Mother’s Day our family has had in years, largely due to the amazing time and incredible food we had at The Fiddlehead, on Hammond Street in downtown Bangor.
Ever since an astonishing initial visit last year, one of my constant recommendations for people in search of new, fabulous restaurant experiences has been for them to try the Fiddlehead Restaurant (84 Hammond Street, Bangor). Not only would they be able to sample dishes dreamed up by a couple of restaurant wunderkinds, but the whole experience, I assured them, would include service and ambiance at a level found at a very small handful of restaurants in this town.
The Fiddlehead Restaurant in Bangor is a bit of a contradiction. It’s nearly impossible to get a reservation on a weekend night, yet it has none of the conceits of your typical hot spot. Diners get white-tablecloth service — the only thing missing is the crumb sweeper — but the closest thing to a tablecloth in the joint is a humble little runner. Though the menu reads like a comfort food greatest hits list — truffled mac ’n cheese, grilled pork chops with slaw, noodle-free veggie lasagna — each dish has a twist that elevates it to fine dining status.
The Fiddlehead Restaurant on Hammond Street in downtown Bangor may be the coziest dining spot in the area. Even if every seat in the place is filled it still holds only 46 people — so it always seems busy. And the place has been humming since owners and operators Laura Albin and chef Melissa Chaiken opened it in late August.
You must install Adobe Flash to view this content.