In Spanish, the word Tapa means "lid' or "cover". The original concept of what Tapas were in the days gone by has shaped what we perceive Tapas as today. The tales of Tapas' origin are numerous and nobody really knows for sure which the most accurate of them is. Here is one interpretation that we believe to be the closest to authentic: after a hard day's work people would return to the village and visit their local "taska" to relax with friends, share a conversation, and enjoy a refreshing drink – a glass of wine or sherry. The top of the glass would be covered with a cracker or a slice of bread to protect it from the uninvited guests – bugs. It was common for the tavern owner to place little bites of food on top of the crackers for his patrons to snack on while they enjoyed the day's wine. Little bites of olives, local cheeses, and cured meats were added to the edible toppers to mix things up and keep the patrons happy. The concept of nibbling on light bites while enjoying a fine beverage is what has led us to our unique version of modern day Tapas dining the Boat House Bistro style!
Our philosophy and goal at the Boat House Bistro is to provide you with an unhurried, pleasant, and casual atmosphere of coastal summer dining. Putting the recipes of the world into the context of local ingredients, we offer a broad tempting selection of tastes for our guests to "Wow!" about. Presented with an artful flare and paired up with an unsurpassed view from our roof top deck, our plates are guaranteed to nock your socks off (unless you prefer flip flops in the summer, in which case, those might get knocked off as well)! Bring your friends and family to enjoy a lunch, a dinner, or a late night snack over a glass of fine wine and a good conversation! Try one or two Tapas for a light appetizer before your entrée or skip the entrée and indulge in an "all Tapas" experience combining two or three Tapas per person for a diverse and exciting meal. Enjoy!
The Boat House Bistro is an independent friends and family owned restaurant at the core of which are two couples: Mark and Karin Guerin, and Ralph and Elena Smith. These four restaurant industry "musketeers" met at Spruce Point Inn, right here in Boothbay Harbor, Maine back in 1999 and have been inseparable ever since. Coming from New Hampshire, Austria, Delaware, and Russia respectively, the four adventurous, food and fun loving souls, after years of searching, learning, and growing finally worked their way up to what they had always been dreaming of – a restaurant to call their own. The Boat House Bistro is the place where knowledge, experience, and passion come together. Mark's expertise in wines, Karin's European chef training, Ralph's business ingenuity, and Elena's genuine hospitality are the pieces of the puzzle which when put together create a restaurant where good food and fine wines are enjoyed in the company of true friends. Day in and day out, Mark, Karin, Ralph, and Elena work side by side with the rest of the members of their big restaurant family: Tricia and Brian, Emily and Jay, Alka and Timmy, Nikki and Gleb, Miriam, Cookie, and Lauren, people without whose dedication and hard work the Boat House Bistro success would have stayed nothing but a dream. Summer time foreign exchange students are a big part of what the Boat House Bistro is as well! Bringing fresh perspectives and new languages into the fun filled Boothbay summer mix, the exchange students are much missed when they have to return to their countries and academics in the beginning of each fall. The cultural exchange programs benefit all: we get to experience the lovely young people from around the world and the world gets to learn how fun and dynamic life in the US is and what our Boat House Bistro interpretation of the American Dream looks like!
Austrian born and raised, Karin Guerin grew up on a farm where her family grew all of their on produce and raised all of their own livestock. Inspired by her mother, who was a very talented chef in her own right, Karin developed an appreciation for farm fresh ingredients when she was very young. She carried that appreciation with her, at the ripe old age of 15, to an Austrian culinary school where she trained to follow her dream and become a chef like her mother. At 19 she was taken under the wing of a Michelin rated Master Chef who honed her skills at a Five Star Resort in the Austrian Alps. Today, we are fortunate and delighted to have Karin here with us, at the Boat House Bistro. Karin's influence and inspiration is evident throughout our new menu and Tapas style format. Her European background and training combined with her extensive depth of knowledge of world cuisines is an asset we are delighted to share with you for your dining pleasure.