SCARBOROUGH — It’s not hard to find The Bait Shed near Pine Point Beach, but if you’re not a striped bass fisherman, boat owner or resident of the area, you might have never had reason to pass by it.

Located across from the Scarborough Marsh and near the mouth of the Nonesuch River, it’s way down Pine Point Road, past three major seafood restaurants. At the fork, you turn left, down a local road called Avenue 6. It’s a quiet, peaceful spot, about a 15-minute drive from Portland and so worth the trip.

The Bait Shed near Pine Point Beach is a special spot for a seafood meal in the summer.

It’s not just the water views, which are best at high tide, or even the great sunsets. The service and care the kitchen staff puts into these common dishes warrant attention. And though many of the dishes are over the $15 mark, it’s for good reason – fresh seafood.

I got the Greek salad ($9) and added lobster ($10) to gauge how generous this eatery was. I could have added chicken ($4) or shrimp ($6) for a less expensive meal. Truth is, I would have enjoyed the salad alone. It was loaded with kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and farm-fresh feta cheese, with a delicious dressing on the side. But on top of that came a pile of lobster, which made for a filling meal.

My partner got the trio of mini seafood rolls for $18, which you can get individually for less. A larger shrimp roll with chips and coleslaw is $13; the larger crab roll is $17; and the lobster roll is $19. (And you can get all of them in a double portion.) Hands down, it was one of the best lobster rolls we’ve found between Kittery and Lubec. The famous Maine summer sandwich is not the same everywhere. And I’d venture to say The Bait Shed’s are special.

These seafood rolls are loaded with fish and made with a firm, doughy roll, which looks far different from the iconic (but, in my opinion, unsavory) Wonder Bread-like bun. These rolls were crispy, but not overdone. My partner, who doesn’t like bready meals, said it was perfect. Then the waitress explained: “Our bread is made at a local bakery especially for us.”

The Bait Shed’s seafood rolls can be enjoyed in a mini slider trio ($18), or individually. A larger shrimp rolls costs $13; the larger crab roll is $17 and the lobster is $19. You also can get all three in a double. It’s not your typical, Wonder Bread-type lobster roll.

Looking around, everyone else on the crowded deck seemed pleased. The older couple who asked about our dog was enjoying a dish of mussels in garlic sauce ($14). And when we left, as we walked through the many different sections of the deck, I noticed a few tables sharing the flatbread entrees, which come topped with Maine crab, artichoke, garlic cream, feta and arugula for $17; or mozzarella, basil and tomato for $9; or chicken Caesar salad for $10. There also is a lobster flatbread with garlic sauce and chives for $19.

The meandering deck is another special aspect of The Bait Shed. From the bar area, the deck wanders out in two directions, making wherever you sit a quiet experience. On a Saturday evening in mid-June, it was packed. We waited to be seated 10 minutes, then the hostess took us and our pup out onto the deck around a corner to the end of a hidden section, which was private except for two other tables. A special experience.

The Bait Shed near Pine Point Beach in Scarborough is not on a main road. But the view of the Scarborough Marsh at the mouth of the Nonesuch River is worth going to find – as is the seafood served here. Photos by Deirdre Fleming


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