Perkins Cove is a part of Ogunquit, Maine, that is often visited by guests of the Maine Stay Inn, and although it’s just 13 miles south of here, it’s a part of the Southern Maine coastline that I had never seen before. So on a gorgeous evening recently, we decided to check it out. Separated by just a few miles, Kennebunkport and Ogunquit feel light years apart. Frankly, the approach to Ogunquit is anything but scenic, with strip motels, mini-golf courses, and countless nicknack shops lining the road, but as you turn off Route 1 onto Shore Road, the scene begins to change. The establishments get smaller and a bit more charming, and private homes begin to crop up. We continued past the entrance to the Marginal Way (a great spot for a coastal walk, if you ask me) and found ourselves on a cul-de-sac filled with shops and restaurants. Even in mid-May, the place was teeming with people and cars hunting for parking (especially the very limited free spots), but we scored one just around the corner from the restaurant we had chosen for the evening. MC Perkins Cove is owned by the folk who also own Arrows Restaurant, regularly listed as one of the top 50 restaurants in America, and boasts a much less formal ambience. The facade is unimpressive – a narrow cape with weathered grey shingles – and the decor is kept understated so patrons won’t be distracted by the view. It’s situated on a craggy outcropping, and the oversized, undraped windows allow for panoramic views, with Kennebunkport visible in the distance. Once inside, the hustle and bustle outside faded away.
The entire menu is built around the “farm to table” concept – with local seasonal products utilized throughout. My roasted summer squash and zucchini salad was an absolute stand out, with the fresh basil vinaigrette perfectly coating the fresh baby greens, and the Caesar salad followed suit. Despite being initially turned off by the fact that a helping of veggies would cost you a whopping $8 more, I quickly realized that the generous portion sizes meant that adding to your order was either unnecessary or the ideal way to make sure you’ve got leftovers for lunch. But everything about the main courses was fantastic! And the fact that you could choose your own “evil carbo” (read: starch) and your own sauce meant that the small menu had infinite possibilities!
The only disappointment of the evening was that it had to end, as the view eventually faded into darkness. For that very reason, I will definitely encourage guests of our Kennebunkport hotel to try MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit for lunch and enjoy a stroll along the Marginal Way.