Nook and Cranny Offers Unique Valentine’s Day Dishes

By Lura Jackson


While Washington County, Maine, is not traditionally regarded as a hotspot for gourmet or European-inspired cuisine, that doesn’t mean there is none to be had in this area. One option – which consistently offers delectably rich dishes prepared by talented chef Steve Clark – is the Nook and Cranny Restaurant located just outside of Calais. For those who are looking for a unique place to share a high-class meal with their special Valentine, the Nook and Cranny is ready with a menu of choice selections. 

This year’s menu invites couples to celebrate their “le jour d’amour” – or day of love – with a choice for starters of lollipop shrimp or cucumber rose salad with blood orange dressing. Diners can choose between five main dishes for their entrée: steak Delmonico, served with sautéed portabella mushrooms and creamy garlic potatoes, house-made lobster ravioli with a creamy Limoncello sauce, artichoke-spinach stuffed chicken breast served with a four cheese risotto, pork tenderloin crusted with Raye's old world mustard and served with Yukon gold potatoes, or gnocchi served with seasonal vegetables in a house marina sauce with a hint of cream. For dessert, couples can choose from “heart” (being a white chocolate and raspberry croissant bread and butter pudding with baby meringues and vanilla pod custard) or “soul” (coffee-caramel creme brulee with red velvet cake). 

Recognized previously on WABI news as one of four restaurants featured in the “Good Food – Hard to Find” broadcast, the Nook and Cranny fits the succinct label fairly well. The restaurant is located 2.5 miles past the turn onto Route 9 when traveling from Calais, giving it a remote location apart from other buildings. The exterior is somewhat nondescript, but upon stepping through the door, visitors are immediately exposed to the tasteful décor and regionally-relevant photographs and images lining the walls of each of the rooms. 

The regular menu of the restaurant, which is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, includes down east favorites like steak, shrimp, and haddock, along with unusual fare such as pad thai bowls, seafood crepes, lobster mac and cheese, fajitas, tortellini, pierogis, and escargot, among many other choices. Chef Clark, with more than 25 years in the cooking industry, is capable of preparing dishes to order and will make any entrée customized whenever possible. The quality of the food is reflected in the restaurant’s 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor, based on 105 reviews. 

The Nook and Cranny is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Call ahead to make reservations or with special requests at 454-3335.