The Maine Course: Natalie’s at Camden Harbour Inn
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I went looking romantic destinations in Maine.I came across an inn on the mid-coast where their attention to detail was something I had to see for myself. I took a Natalie’s, located at the Camden Harbour Inn.Many say its the most romantic restaurant in Maine and maybe even NewEngland.When you walk through the door, you know you’re somewhere special.The lavish decor is complimented by the friendly staff.Raymond Brunyanszki and his partner Oscar bought the inn on Christmas Evein 2006. They purchased Natalie’s in 2007 and moved it to the inn fromit’s previous location.”We want to have sort of a Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons feel with a bed andbreakfast warmth and personality. with that vision, it needed to be modern with flowery bold paper, but in a modern style, not like the Victorian one, bright colors, modern furniture, comfortable,luxurious,” said Brunyanszki.Luxury isn’t spared and neither is romance.”Natalie’s was awarded, two times now, most romantic in New England byDiners Choice of Open Table. We really go overboard with romance here. Wewent with old French feeling, but at the same time, I want to have thismodern feeling, as well, this new fresh feeling, so we went with a vibrantred color for the furniture as you can see,” said Brunyanszki.As for the bar, Tom Laslavic has been awarded best bartender in Mainetwice for his creative concoctions.”They can expect hopefully an amazing cocktail. Fun conversation. We alsooffer a bar menu of our items from our restaurant. We do two courses for$24 or one for $15 and they’re basically tasting portions of what we’redoing in the main dining room,” said Laslavic.The food at Natalie’s is taken very seriously by their award-winningexecutive chef.”We use a lot of local ingredients and I would say its quite easy becauseeverything is at your hands. The farms are all around and it’s nice torepresent the community as a restaurant. I want them to have anunforgettable experience, of course, and have a lot of fun as well,” said Executive Chef Geoffrey Deconinck.”The harbor is the window to the world. We are influenced to all those countries you can sail to. So, the chef is using the spices as his inspiration, the Maine bounty as well,” said Brunyanszki.People seem to agree.”It’s an escape, so you, even if I was from Camden and I have been to lotsof different places up here, you really feel like you escaped and you gotto go someplace special,” said Mary Morrison, a repeat guest from New Hampshire.”As sophisticated and lovely as it is, you become part of the family ifyou’ve been here more then once,” said Ed Boylan, a Camden resident.Besides it’s local charm, there’s also a worldly appeal.”You’re likely meet someone from around the world, as you will some onewho lives right next door,” said Laslavic.Everyone is treated the same.”Everybody, in our opinion, is a star and famous, and we will treateveryone the same here. There’s really no difference how we treat ourpeople. If you saved two years to stay here to spend a romantic valentine,you’re probably more important to us then when your super famous,” said Brunyanszki.You can find out more about the restaurant and inn at Natalie’sRestaraunt.com.