Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Gives Lobster Roll Thumbs Up on First Trip to Maine

The talk show icon tried her first Maine delicacy while meeting her book club at a restaurant in Harpswell while filming a TV show

Oprah Winfrey/Instagram

Billionaire business magnate Oprah Winfrey not only recently paid her first visit to Maine, but she tried her very first lobster roll.

The talk show host stopped by the Dolphin Marina and Restaurant in Harpswell in December to shoot an episode of her new streaming program, "Oprah's Book Club on Apple TV+."

The location was picked because of Winfrey's guest, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Elizabeth Strout.

Strout's family has a connection to Harpswell and the restaurant and the marina was the inspiration for a fictional marina that was part of Strout's new book, "Olive Again," a New York Times Bestseller that Winfrey featured on her book club list.

Winfrey posted about the trip in a recent post on her Instagram account, featuring her biting into one of the restaurant's lobster rolls.

"This is the real deal," Winfrey said in the video. "I expected there to be like lots of mayonnaise and stuff in there, but this is pure."

Though Winfrey's visit to Harpswell was only a few hours long, the shoot took months of planning.

"It was an honor for our family to be involved in such a great production," said Billy Saxton, one of the managers at Dolphin Marina and Restaurant. "Oprah was very kind and her entire team was kind and generous."

Saxton told NECN and NBC10 Boston a production company from California initially contacted his family in September about their interest in being part of the show.

Though the company's crews scoured Maine's coast for the perfect spot, they eventually chose the restaurant which led to weeks of back and forth, taking of measurements and custom set design work in the building.

"It was just amazing to see how they transformed this building," Billy Saxton said.

In a trailer post to the Apple TV+ Twitter page, the interior of the restaurant is clearly shown, set up like a studio big enough for an audience.

The Saxtons said the upper level of the eatery was turned into a crew meeting room and Oprah's green room, while the basement was filled with production and audio equipment.

"I think at that point we realized we'd turned over the building to the production company and they were showing us where we could or couldn't be," Billy Saxton said.

Both Billy Saxton and his brother, Chris, say they thought the "Oprah's Book Club" episode was "unbelievable," even if the experience seemed like a "blur."

No one in the family knew Winfrey had never had a lobster roll before, so that pressure was not on their minds.

"Oprah's lobster roll was the same one we serve in the restaurant," said Chris Saxton. "It was no different, with fresh-picked meat right off the boats."

Based on her Instagram video, it is safe to say Winfrey found the sandwich spectacular.

As she put it in her Instagram video, "I think that Popeye's chicken sandwich has some competition."

Contact Us