Archer's on the Pier, Rockland, Maine
What does it take to beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay at his own game? Find out at this Rockland Harbor gem!Text & Photography by Tom Richardson
For Lynn Archer, the affable owner and head chef of Archer’s on the Pier in Rockland, Maine, it’s all about fresh and local. “I was doing sea-to-table and farm-to-table before it became a ‘thing’,” she laughs, explaining that her father, husband and three sons are all lobstermen. “When I was growing up [in Thomaston, Maine], we ate what was available according to the season. We had chickens and cows, grew our own produce, always had fresh fish, crabs and lobster. I brought that philosophy to my restaurants by focusing on local ingredients.”
Archer’s, which opened in 2011, occupies the former site of a waterfront bar on this once-exclusively working harbor. “When the property became available, I knew I had to acquire it. The setting is so spectacular,” says Archer, who also owns the Brass Compass in downtown Rockland.
Spectacular indeed! The restaurant commands a sweeping view of Rockland Harbor and its eclectic waterfront. The huge wraparound deck is the perfect place to enjoy a meal or drink while watching the lobster boats and yachts come and go.
Boasting a hearty laugh and no-nonsense Down East demeanor, Archer has become something of a local celebrity, and she’s a natural on camera. She has appeared on “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”—where her lobster club sandwich won the day—and has a monthly cooking segment on the Portland-based lifestyle show, “207.” And now Archer can add “New England Boating TV” to her portfolio, as she and her restaurant were recently featured in NEBO’s Rockland episode.
During that show, the crew feasted on the exquisite (if somewhat messy) lobster reuben sandwich and the now-famous “King of Clubs,” both bursting with lobster meat. However, Archer’s most popular menu item by far is the fish tacos, featuring Maine-caught haddock, cole slaw and Mexican rice. Other top dinner entrées include the tenderloin with butter-poached lobster, the hand-cut Delmonico ribeye, the broiled Italian haddock, and prime rib, the last served for $15 on Wednesday nights. “If you want the prime rib, you’d better get here early. We always sell out,” warns Archer (pictured at left with Bobby Flay), who is also famous for her desserts, which include a decadent chocolate peanut buttercup cake (yes, we tried it, and it is pretty awesome).
Visiting boaters can tie up at the Yachting Solutions marina, at the end of the pier, for $20, but Archer’s is also a short stroll from the Rockland public landing, where dockage is free for up to two hours. Besides, you’ll be glad for the walk back to your boat after dining at Archer’s, so you can work off a few of those calories!
Archer’s on the Pier
58 Ocean St., Rockland, ME