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Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

Wells Beach Steakhouse: A Not Kennebunkport Restaurant Review

June 7th, 2011 by avadmin

Now that I’ve eaten at basically every Kennebunkport Restaurant, the foodie in me is hankering for some new fodder, so we headed out of Kennebunkport Maine to test out the Wells Beach Steakhouse.  Located on Mile Road, just off of Route 1 in Wells, we arrived just about 12 minutes after leaving our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  Since I’m not a

Wells Beach Steakhouse, a great Kennebunkport Restaurant alternative

Try the WB salad!

fan of beef, this seemed like an unusual choice, but the assortment of seafood sold me.

Once inside, a swishy lounge and bar, complete with glittering star-like ceiling lights, greets diners, and a friendly host led us to extraordinarily comfortable booths.  I mean really cozy.  The decor was impeccable, though some might find it a little on the dim side, with clean, modern lines.  The dinnerware matched perfectly, coming in a variety of unusual shapes, but all in a crisp white.

No meal is complete without a large quantity of green veggies (yes, that includes breakfast – we even serve light salads at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast), so we started with salads.  The WB Spinach Salad was wonderful – baby spinach leaves, lightly dressed with apple cider-cranberry vinagrette, topped with shoestrings of radicchio, goat cheese, and paper thin slices of pear.  The creamed spinach smelled and looked absolutely delectable, though because it isn’t gluten free,

A salmon snapshot before it was gobbled up!

I didn’t have the pleasure of my own taste test.  But the arrival of entrees quickly banished that disappointment.

The salmon arrived perfectly cooked, boasting just the right crisping of those hearty omega-3s.  Always a fan of hollandaise, I asked for some on the side.  After tasting the red onion-dill aioli that is usually paired with the salmon, my request was entirely unnecessary.  I must admit, it didn’t go to waste (but mine is better!) and went incredibly well on sauteed spinach and even the spiced French fries.  The scallops were similarly well received.  But what about the steak?  Since Kennebunkport Maine lacks a great steakhouse, this was the real barometer of the quality of this newfound eatery.  Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!  The steaks were fabulous.

The only downside to this non Kennebunkport Dining experience was that I was too full for dessert!  Those who know me, that’s a real rarity.  But with exorbitant entree portions (though not enough for leftovers!), there was no hope to scarf down any sweet treats – not even Big Daddy’s Ice Cream, which we passed on our way back to our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  So if you’re looking for a great steak dinner or just want to see another part of Southern Maine, the Wells Beach Steakhouse is definitely one to add to the list!

Kennebunkport Festival Excitement This Weekend

June 2nd, 2011 by avadmin

The Kennebunkport Festival marks the kick-off of summer in Maine, bringing loads of exciting events to Kennebunkport Maine.  For the first time since the inception of this festival, our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast isn’t hosting a resident artist for the weekend.  But that doesn’t mean that this event has lost its focus on the arts.  In fact, the artistic presence may be more prominent than ever!  Starting at noon tomorrow, you can admire the creations of over 40 from across the state at the Colony Hotel.  Local artisan and well known fine furniture maker, Bill Huston, is holding an open house at his workshop all morning and into the afternoon.  And in between, make sure not to miss out on the phenomenal galleries that dot the streets of Kennebunkport Maine.

In the evening, watch the sun set over the Kennebunk River, while enjoying incredible caviar, oysters, and an assortment of adult beverages from sponsors such as Morgan wines and Lanson champagne.  But best of all, you’ll enjoy the company and conversations of fellow gastronomes from across the nation!  After dinner, don’t miss out on the Afterparty at Stripers Restaurant.  Savor light apps and signature cocktails from Double Cross vodka, while jamming alongside singer/songwriter Wayne Morphew.

In case you miss the arts displays, you’ll be able to catch them again at the Colony on Saturday. While you’re in that neck of the woods, pop in to the Grand Tasting, where you can enjoy the products of more than 60 fine restaurants and wineries. If this isn’t really your thing, check out Brews and Tunes (sponsored in part by our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast).  In the heart of the Kennebunkport Maine marina, located just behind the Pilot House Restaurant, you’ll find an assortment of your favorite local musicians, delectable nibbles, and local brews.  Heartwood College of Art will be the beneficiary of this year’s Plein Air Invitational, a perfect interlude between wine tastings, and other amazing sampling opportunities.  Cap off the evening with the After part at Alisson’s Restaurant, just steps from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.

This year’s Kennebunkport Festival is sure to be a smash hit, and we’re so proud to be a part of it!

The Kennebunkport Festival is Here!

May 31st, 2011 by avadmin

So you’ve missed Day 1 of the Kennebunkport Festival, but it’s not too late to take part in some or all of the exciting events that make this week so special.  In fact, there’s still room in tomorrow’s “Art of Dining” intimate dinners.  Just

Historic home dinner during the Kennebunkport Festival

Their three and a half story spiral staircase makes ours look teeny!

steps from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast lies the Samuel Stairs House.  This stunning manse was built in 1810 and boasts one of the tallest spiral staircases in New England (it’s three and a half stories high!).  Incredible as it might seem, the truly astounding detail is the preserved wallpaper smuggled into the United States during the Civil War.  So while you are enjoying the delectable creations of Kennebunkport’s very own Chef Gary Caron of Stripers Restaurant, make sure to take special note of this historic home.  Even though this building is still a private home (thank you, Longworth family for welcoming the Kennebunkport Festival!), you’ll enjoy the finest selection of wines from Hall Wines.  Not only will your palate be excited, but so will your eyes – on the works of Craig Mooney.  A renowned artist, Craig is featured in the Maine Art Gallery.

Not in the mood for such a formal event?  Don’t miss out on the After Party at Bandaloop Restaurant.  Always a favorite, it is sure to be hoppin’ tomorrow night.  For just $20, enjoy signature cocktails (and they are always amazing), appetizers, and live music.  Plus, there’s more artwork to be enjoyed by Pam DeSantis Tachibana.  Yep, the Kennebunkport Festival certainly is different than any other food and wine festival, and not just because it has the best location imaginable!  Artistic creations are one of the cornerstones of Kennebunkport Maine, and the festival has stayed true to its roots with the incorporation of substantial amounts of incredible artwork from primarily local artists.

Stay tuned, because there’s so much more to come in this year’s Kennebunkport Festival!

Just Around the Corner: the Kennebunkport Festival

May 27th, 2011 by avadmin

With Memorial Day Weekend off to a great start, all of us in Kennebunkport Maine are looking forward to next week’s exciting event – the Kennebunkport Festival.  This kick-off to summer has been around for several years under a variety of names, including Arts in the Inns and the Kennebunkport Fine Living Festival, but this year the reins have been turned over to Maine Magazine.  Despite all the changes, the Kennebunkport Festival is celebrating the start of the summer season with a five-day party honoring the best of Maine living – incredible food and wine, warm hospitality, fantastic artwork, and an amazing destination – Kennebunkport Maine.

From May 31-June 5, enjoy the finest things in life (while some events have sticker prices to match, others are free!) in a destination you already know you love – or one you are just beginning to discover.  The beauty of the Kennebunkport Festival is that you can pick and choose your involvement – stay for five days and indulge in outstanding private dinners in area mansions, or come for a night and enjoy great craft beer and live bands.  There’s something for

Summer in Kennebunkport Maine

Summer in Kennebunkport - it's a beautiful thing!

everyone!  Some folks might favor events like Oysters and Pearls or the Grand Tasting, while others may prefer the lively After parties at some of Kennebunkport’s hippest restaurants or Brews and Tunes (sponsored by the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport, of course!).

And don’t forget, ticket holders will receive 50% off their third night at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, perfectly located to enjoy all of the Kennebunkport Festival!  Walk to great dining (and, more importantly, the rockin’ After parties), live musical performances, and phenomenal tastings sure to excite your palate.  But don’t neglect your other palette – your artistic one!  With amazing artists and galleries filling the town, you’re eyes won’t be neglected. We hope you’ll join us next week for this incredible event – enjoy!

A Kennebunkport Maine Favorite Goes Gluten Free!

May 25th, 2011 by avadmin

Federal Jack’s BrewPub has long been a dining staple for visitors to Kennebunkport Maine, but it has finally become a place that welcomes gluten free eaters with open arms – and you won’t just have to order salad!  As a casual restaurant

view from Federal Jack's Kennebunkport Maine

Picturesque view from the Deck

that is open nearly every day of the year, it naturally goes on the standby list.  Add its consistency in food quality and water views, and you’ve got an instant fave.  Granted, it’s not fine dining and the food doesn’t take your breath away, but it’s good American chow with a Maine twist, and there’s something for everyone.  And now, that even includes gluten free patrons!

Honestly, I have to credit a guest for alerting me to this change, but boy am I glad she did!  Federal Jack’s was her favorite eatery in Kennebunkport Maine before she was diagnosed with Celiac disease, so when returning with her hubby for their babymoon, they announced their intention to return.  I gave her a few pointers about navigating the menu and encouraged her to talk to the very knowledgeable head chefs.  When she returned, she was ecstatic!  Fed’s has a new gluten-free menu!  In fact, they thought it was so good they went back again.  And again (seriously).

After a review like that, I had no choice but to check it out.  So I went for lunch and asked about it.  There was a whole separate menu with an impressive variety of options.  Yes, salads were among them, but certainly did not comprise a significant portion.  I chose the clam chowder (yes, their chowder is gluten free!) and a salad – I swear, I just wanted veggies, but I didn’t have to.  So while the chowder was wonderful, they did bring me oyster crackers.  This made me a little nervous, so I decided to ask about the change before sampling.  Rick, the bartender (who is amazing, I might add) quickly went back to double check – they’ve revised the recipe, which does look a little different than the old variety.  It was such a pleasure to have real clam chowder without getting sick!  Now I am just going to have to go and sample the rest of the menu, and I hope that all of you gluten-free eaters will enjoy this new staple in Kennebunkport Maine as much as I do.  Enjoy!

Yank's Franks: A Twist on Tradition

May 22nd, 2011 by avadmin

What could possibly be better than an amazing grilled hot dog on summer afternoon in Maine?  A gluten-free hot dog (well, the bun, I mean)!  I have spent half my life pining after that simple treat, and now I can enjoy a wiener along with everyone else, thanks to Yank’s Franks.

The doors opened on Saturday, May 21, 2011 for the first time this season, and they debuted a variety of new menu options, all of which I am sure are fabulous.  But I cared about only one: their gluten free buns.  So a 11:15 a.m., I

Yank's Franks

Now Offering Gluten Free Buns!

strolled in, where I found a line already. And they only opened at 11!  So instead of ordering my usual – a Yank’s Frank with no bun, pickle on the side, I got the works (on a gluten-free bun, of course)!  I could barely contain my excitement, bouncing onto my toes just enough to draw the curiosity of the other patrons.  Janice and George Yankowski, owners of Yank’s Franks (and former innkeepers at the Maine Stay Inn in Kennebunkport), kindly came to my rescue, explaining about their newest addition, which was making me positively giddy.  When I told them I hadn’t had a real hot dog since I was twelve, they understood my eagerness.

Frankly, I was beyond thrilled that when warming my bun they did not put it on the grill with the other buns (risking potential contamination), even though I chose a grilled dog.  Great job, guys! But the best was yet to come.  I couldn’t even tell the bread had been nuked – it was soft, fluffy, and delectable! The perfect complement to my already mouth-watering hot dog.  I just don’t know how they do it!  These frankfurters are the best I have ever eaten.

I quickly devoured this summer treat, smothered in just the right amount of diced onion, ketchup, pickles, and seasoning, and on my way out the door exclaimed, “This made my day!”  Janice and George chirped that they were glad to hear it and chuckled, without really understanding my joy.

Today, after recommending Yank’s Franks to a gluten-free guest, she returned, raving about her experience.  And walking away, she turned back and said, “It just made my day!”  You don’t have to be gluten free to appreciate this fantastic spot for a classic hot dogs, but if you are, don’t miss out something that is sure to make your day – a gluten free Yank’s Frank.


Best Places to Eat Lobster in Kennebunkport Maine

May 6th, 2011 by avadmin

Kennebunkport Maine is a quintessential Maine town, and when I think of Maine, I think of two things – lobster and blueberries.  But since nobody makes gluten-free blueberry pie, I’ll have to tackle lobsters (not that I mind, of course!). At age two, my parents decided to expose me to this New England treat and let me share my mother’s dinner.

Kennebunkport Maine Lobster Tree

Kennebunkport Maine gets creative with traps!

Unfortunately for her, I ate the whole thing.  That started me on the road to becoming a crustacean connoisseur.

Frankly, it’s pretty convenient that I find myself in Kennebunkport Maine – it keeps my appetite well satiated. Particularly at this time of year, the options for lobster abound.  So whatever atmosphere you fancy, I’ve got the spot for you.  Rather, Kennebunkport Maine has the lobster restaurant for you!

While not my preferred way to consume these crustaceans, many guests at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast really want to experience incredible lobster in a fine dining atmosphere.  I suppose since somebody else will be laundering the table linens, go ahead and make a mess!  So if this is on your bucket list, we should make dinner reservations for you at the Cape Arundel Inn.  Here, get your lobster lazy-man style and enjoy the succulent meat while overlooking the Atlantic.

Another oft-requested item is lobster pot pie, and while I wouldn’t choose that variation (and not just because it isn’t gluten-free), the Kennebunk Inn is know for its lobster pie.  In fact, it was recently featured on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”  I must say, however, it sure wins bonus points for creative presentation, as a portion of claw is served poking out of puff pastry.

But for a purist like myself, lobster is best served by a shack.  Mabel’s Lobster Claw, a long-term staple in Kennebunkport Maine, is a more refined shack.  The menu offers a fair amount for non-seafood eaters and servers really do serve you, right at the table!  Unfortunately, you’ll pay for the ability to have options, so Mabel’s certainly isn’t a buget-traveler’s pick.  Nunan’s Lobster Hut, however, will bring you the cheapest and best around.  Granted, if you don’t eat seafood, the pickings are rather slim.  That said, the Nunan family has been lobstering in town for generations, and they know how to cook a lobster.  If you’re not in the mood to sit inside, take a trip down to our local fish market and ask them to cook yours for an instant picnic.  We’ll even supply the crackers!  Honestly, though, Kennebunkport Maine does lobster, so you really can’t go wrong.

Summertime Bring Sweet Treats to Kennebunkport Maine

April 30th, 2011 by avadmin

In Kennebunkport Maine, the return of ice cream means the return of summer – and by that I mean that my favorite spots for a cup or cone have now opened, all just minutes from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good, healthy meal, but sometimes a girl’s gotta have ice cream!  Honestly, though, what’s better on a hot summer night than a double scoop dribbling down the sides of a waffle cone as you sit by the ocean?  That’s just around the corner (in terms of time and geography)!

kennebunkport maine desserts

Cookies in the afternoon and ice cream after dinner - sounds good to me!

So when you’re visiting our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast this summer, make sure not to skip the best places for ice cream.  Two staples sit just a few blocks away in downtown Kennebunkport Maine.  If you prefer cups to cones (or are watching your figure), test out Roly’s English Fudge.  Don’t let the name deceive you, because it dishes up some of the best gelato around!  Decadent and creamy, gelato has fewer calories and fat than ice cream, so it’s the ideal option for an evening treat, even if you’re regretting that extra cup of chowder or three pound lobster from dinner.  Plus, it’s just delicious!

Only about 12 houses separate the Maine Stay Inn from a New England staple – Ben & Jerry’s.  So this summer, when you’re craving some Chunky Monkey to top off your Berry Berry Extraordinary vacation to Kennebunkport Maine, don’t pass up on a cone.  Or cup, whatever you like.  Plus, even though Ben & Jerry’s is a chain, it’s made in New England, so you’re still supporting the local food movement!

But sometimes nothing will do but a DQ (who doesn’t love a rhyme now and then?)!  Their soft and creamy blends may only come in two flavors, but there’s always something for everyone.  Located in downtown Kennebunk, this American favorite might be off the beaten path, but is still less than ten minutes from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  So indulge in a candy packed Blizzard as you say “hello” to summer!

The hometown hero when it comes to ice cream is Big Daddy’s, located in Wells, Maine.  The last of my faves to open, it’s well worth the wait.  Everything is homemade – even the peppermint stick – and you can absolutely tell.  The ice cream here is so good that I dream about it all winter long, even when it’s snowing.  But they’ve opened for the season, reminding me that summer is almost here!  So plan your vacation to Kennebunkport Maine today.  And don’t forget the sign as you cross into Maine “the way life should be” – in my book, that means calorie free, so leave ‘em at the border!

Ryan's Corner House – A New Kennebunkport Maine Restaurant

April 22nd, 2011 by avadmin

Ryan's Corner House - Kennebunkport Restaurant

Ryan's Corner House is the Newest (and Cutest) Restaurant in Kennebunkport Maine!

After a winter’s worth of anticipation, Ryan’s Corner House, the newest Kennebunkport Maine restaurant, has finally opened, just steps from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  This Irish Pub is the real deal, serving up plates of Bangers and Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, and loads of potatoes!  The atmosphere is definitely cozy, with the bar and mixed height tables filling every spare inch.  In other Kennebunkport restaurants, this might feel cramped, but at Ryan’s Corner House, with its friendly staff and jovial patrons, the feeling is entirely welcoming.  That said, I can’t wait for the weather to be warm enough for their patio seating to open!

The noise inside is punctuated by fiddles and jigs and more than a few jolly Irish accents – and, yes, they are real.  The Ryan family moved to Kennebunkport Maine from Ireland less than two years ago.  And speaking of families, theirs was all there – mom, dad, two kiddos, and an uncle or two – the whole shebang.  Obviously I am rather partial to family businesses, but there is something incredibly homey and comfortable about walking into a restaurant where everyone is pitching in – even two little guys on school break.  Okay, there was a lot more socializing from them, but it absolutely adds to the experience! Plus, the kids have the inside scoop on what to order!

So down to the food:  For genuine Irish fare (with a few Maine staples interspersed for good measure) and great comfort food, Ryan’s Corner House is a must.  The potatoes are real, and real delicious – fried or mashed (there’s none of that “potato product” here), and the portions are large enough to last even the heartiest eaters two meals.  If you’re hankerin’ for leafy greens, this probably isn’t the spot for you (although their are salads on the menu), but if you need a stick-to-your-ribs meal or the ultimate grilled ham and cheese, head directly from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast to Ryan’s Corner House.

PS – I still think a Reuben sandwich needs to be on the menu, even though it was patiently explained to me that neither Reubens, nor corned beef, are actually Irish.  But I want one, and I know that these guys can do it right and get all the cheese to melt, even in the middle!