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Archive for the ‘Kennebunkport Dining’ Category

Wining and Dining in Kennebunkport

September 7th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

The weather has been absolutely fabulous in Kennebunkport lately (Mother Nature, keep up the good work!), and a few nights ago was no exception, so we decided to head to Old Vines Wine Bar for dinner.  While its roots were originally as a wine bar, featuring a few delightful nibbles, the repertoire has expanded greatly.  The assortment of wines has stayed large and excellent, the menu now includes a full bar.  And in addition to cured meats and cheeses, you can now order a variety of light dishes.  So on a day when lunch happened rather late and a hearty dinner wasn’t required, we ventured to Old Vines to satiate ourselves.  Less than a half

wine bar in Kennebunkport Maine

The wall of wine at Old Vines!

mile from our Kennebunkport Maine Bed and Breakfast, it is an easy walk on streets that have good sidewalks (though that doesn’t always mean well lit, so check your dresser drawer for the flashlight we’ve left – you’ll likely want it on your trip home).  Now that they’ve added a great outdoor dining area (complete with a fire pit!), parking is a bit more limited, but, as is the case for much of Kennebunkport, street parking is pretty easy.  So if you decide to go with footwear not conducive for meandering, know that driving is definitely an option.

Old Vines sets a great tone for dining in Kennebunkport right from the second you enter.  The lighting is intimate, but still provides enough for some solid people watching (if you’re anything like me, that is!).  The walls are lined with the wood from different cases of wine, each emblazoned with their signature logo.  And just as important, the seating is comfy, but not lounge-chair-like.  While enjoying a beverage, we perused the food menu, starting with salads (which were out of this world, BTW!) and progressing to the tapas and hot sandwiches.  Unfortunately, we just didn’t have any room for the beautiful assortment of meats and cheeses.  Instead, we watched nearby tables gobble theirs up in a snap.  Fortunately for guests of the Maine Stay Inn, Old Vines offers a great opportunity for wining and (light or not-so-light) dining in Kennebunkport!

Checking Out Stripers, a Kennebunkport Restaurant

August 17th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Tonight I finally checked off something on my long-term “to do” list – dining at the Kennebunkport restaurant Stripers.  It’s barely a half mile from the Maine Stay Inn, but somehow I’ve just missed out on testing it out.  Well, mission accomplished!  So let’s set the scene… It’s a warm August evening, and the cloud cover from a passing afternoon shower has cleared, leaving the air fresh and the

Kennebunkport restaurant Stripers

Check out that view from the dining room at Stripers!

sky stunning.  We decided to drive over (even though it would only be a ten or fifteen minute stroll), mostly because it was going to be dark when we would be headed home.  And despite being equipped with a flashlight (yep, every single guest room is!), we decided not to take any chances.

Unfortunately, parking is at a premium, but the local lot had plenty of empty spots (definitely a perk for eating later).  That said, valet parking is always an option.  Walking up, we couldn’t have asked for a better view or service.  The staff was welcoming and prepared for us, but who could notice anything except the beautiful painted sky above the Kennebunk River?!  Not me!  The menu, while a little long, truly offered something for everyone, with an extensive seafood selection and many options for “landlubbers.”  During the wait for entrees (we were all saving room for dessert), we enjoyed some bread and deliciously salty, whipped butter, along with a delightful amuse bouche to set the tone.

Stripers clearly is a Kennebunkport Restaurant with a skilled chef (or chefs), because the plates arrived artfully arranged and the  combination of flavors was excellent.  Some dishes featured more exotic ingredients, while others tested out new versions of old faves. Besides the view, the highlight of the meal, though, was dessert.  Their deep chocolate sorbet stole the show and nearly eclipsed the breathtaking scenery as the highlight of the evening  - second only to our guest of the evening, a dear friend celebrating a very special birthday.  So the overall report? Kennebunkport restaurant, Stripers, is a great spot for waterfront dining – add it to your list!

Lobster Lunches in Kennebunkport Maine

July 7th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

This afternoon I found myself chatting with guests about where they should enjoy a lobster lunch in Kennebunkport, and realized that there happen to be quite a few fantastic options.  Much to their chagrin, they had learned that Nunan’s Lobster Hut, our go-to for uber-casual fresh lobster, was only open for dinner.  Yes, it’s true!  But when they’re out catching your dinner, you really can’t

lobster boats kennebunkport maine

Enjoy picturesque views like this from Cape Pier Chowder House!

fault them, can you?  I mean, I am certainly willing to wait a few extra hours if it means getting my meal fresh off the boat!

Now since I believe that you can’t truly experience lobster without getting messy, it seems like a casual atmosphere puts a place at the top of my list.  For that very reason, I definitely recommend Cape Pier Chowder House.  Plus, the views are pretty stellar too.  So drink in the sights while you wait on their deck for your meal.  And the fact that it’s situated right on the pier so you  can watch other lobster eaters is just an unexpected bonus!  But if you are looking for just a touch more pampering, try the Arundel Wharf Restaurant, located just a block from the Maine Stay Inn.  And with tented, outdoor, and dining room settings, the whole family is in for a great treat.

But for the ultimate in casual fare, consider picking up an already-cooked (and still warm!) lobster or two from Port Lobster Company.  So pack the paper towels and set up your own seaside picnic or tuck in to the freshest lobsters around in our very own backyard or on our wraparound porch.  And with the ability to simply hose things down when you’re done, there’s no fear about making a mess!  So crack those shells and enjoy some lobster lunches in Kennebunkport Maine.

Enjoying Outdoor Dining in Kennebunkport

July 2nd, 2012 by Judi Hauer

This evening I received a welcome surprise – a visit from some of my oldest friends – which meant that we just had to pick a dinner locale with outdoor dining in Kennebunkport.  Today graced us with incredible weather that, while on the warm side, meant that sitting outside for dinner was absolutely perfect – no sweaters required.  But on the stroll downtown from our Kennebunkport Bed

row boats in Kennebunkport

You’ll enjoy seeing row boats like these when you experience outdoor dining in Kennebunkport’s Tia’s Topside

and Breakfast, I realized just how lucky we are to have such a great assortment of spots to enjoy a meal in the open air.

Closest to the inn, you’ll find the Arundel Wharf Restaurant with an assortment of indoor, tented, and outdoor dining options.  Its varied and well executed menu mirrors the seating arrangements and the location just can’t be beat!  But if you find yourself desiring a bird’s eye view of the marinas, you could check out Federal Jack’s, the local brew pub.  With a dining room on the second floor and impressive deck space, it is a great option for outdoor dining in Kennebunkport or just enjoying a beer in the open air.  Tia’s Topside also offers deck dining, but instead of checking out the swanky yachts in town, you can enjoy a view of the quiet inlet which is now home to a few gently bobbing row boats.

But if you’re looking for something a little more upscale, you can check out the patio at One Dock.  View?  Not so much, but the food is definitely something to write home about!  But it is still outside, and who can beat summertime in New England?  One big perk, though, is that it is perfect for people watching, which is something I really enjoy, and the light veil of potted plants and trellises is perfect for concealing my gawking.  But since there is live music here nearly every night of the summer, it’s sometimes not the spot for a romantic outdoor dining experience in Kennebunkport.  For that, I recommend heading to Old Vines Wine Bar, whose new patio is just calling my name!  And it’s location next to the lush gardens of florist Fleurant definitely helps counteract the traffic noise from its location on Route 35.  Plus, after a glass of wine or two, it’s sure not to phase you at all!  It’s funny to think that this list doesn’t even cover all of the Kennebunkport Maine Restaurants with outdoor dining, and these are just the few within walking distance of the Maine Stay Inn, but it’s true, so get out there and start eating!

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Kennebunkport

June 22nd, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Since I was one of those kids that would try (and almost always love) anything you put on my plate, the idea of hunting for restaurants with kids’ menus is pretty foreign, but fortunately for families visiting Kennebunkport, there are quite a few great options for pint-sized visitors.  Inspired by a little guy visiting us with his family this week, I decided to look into menus that are

view from Tia's Topside in Kennebunkport

A view of the river from Tia's Topside

specifically designed with kids in mind, because while most Kennebunkport restaurants are happy to tailor their offerings for simpler palates, there aren’t that many who put out a special selection available to kiddos.

A relatively recent addition to the Kennebunkport dining scene, Tia’s Topside has jumped on bandwagon, offering a gluten free and a kids’ menu!  A short walk from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, Tia’s overlooks the inlet and river in Dock Square.  So while the parents can enjoy an elegant meal in a lovely atmosphere, their tykes can tuck into a special serving of mac & cheese or chicken fingers.  Slightly off the beaten path in Cape Porpoise lies Lucas on Nine, a family favorite with a hard-to-find specialty – cooking veggies exactly right!  So while  the menu doesn’t stand out as being unfriendly for children, the availability of a kids’ menu is sure to please even the fussiest eaters!  But despite not having a designated childrens’ menu, the offering at Nunan’s Lobster Hut, bears mentioning.  And while likely designed for finicky eaters in mind, the presence of gooey grilled cheese or a piping hot hot dog on their limited menu certainly calls to many of our little friends.  But despite the short list of places catering to kids, there are countless restaurants in Kennebunkport that happily adjust their regular menu to meet the needs of Maine Stay Inn guests who can’t yet see over the counter.

Lookin’ for Lobster Shacks in Kennebunkport Maine

May 31st, 2012 by Judi Hauer

If there’s one thing I am asked every day, it is where to find the best lobster shacks in Kennebunkport Maine - and luckily for us (and for you) we have three that are just great!  So while I would never attempt to rank them or label one as the “best”, each one has something to make it unique.  Just around the corner from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast is The Clam Shack, which sits on the bridge dividing Kennebunkport from the town of Kennebunk.  It certainly has top scores for convenience, but doesn’t have

A view from Cape Pier, a Kennebunkport lobster shack

A view from Cape Pier

parking, which can be a drawback for many.  Granted, I would definitely suggest walking because a) it’s super close and b) it would take you longer to find a parking spot than it would to hoof it.  Plus, it’s an extra excuse to pile on the butter!

Sometimes, though, a picturesque water view is the top priority, in which case I recommend Cape Pier Chowder House, located at the end of Pier Road in Cape Porpoise.  Known as the original fishing district of Kennebunkport, Cape Pier sits directly adjacent to a working fish pier.  With nearly 360 degree water views, the setting is about as good as they get, more than making up for what they lack in decor.  Yes, there are only about three tables (and a dozen large picnic tables), and the menu is walk-up-and-take-a-number style.  But the food is fresh, the portions are large, and you can’t beat the sights.

When it comes to straight up lobster, no one has more experience than the folks at Nunan’s Lobster Hut.  They’ve been doing it for generations, and that means laying and pulling the traps themselves as well.  The only downside to Nunan’s is that they’re not open for lunch, but when being unavailable means making sure you’ve got the freshest lobsters on your plate this evening, I think I can keep my disappointment in check.  But no matter your mood, you’re sure to find the perfect lobster shack for your needs not far from the Maine Stay Inn.

Now Open for Ice Cream In Kennebunkport – Rococo

May 28th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

While Memorial Day weekend might have kicked off the summer, it wouldn’t have been official in Kennebunkport unless it was celebrated with ice cream.  But since I missed the grand opening celebration of Rococo Artisan Ice Creamlast week, I decided to pay them a visit after lunch on Saturday.  Granted, we could not have asked for better weather at the end of May, so that really got me in

Rococo Kennebunkport Ice Cream

The counter at Rococo Artisan Ice Cream in Kennebunkport

the mood for a cup. Located right on Spring Street, just down the street from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, this new shop is certainly not your average ice cream parlor.  Since they are so new, there’s no sign outside, but the name “Rococo” is emblazoned on the window in an elegant and very Kennebunkport fashion.  Once inside, the shop bears no resemblance to its former identity as a barber shop, as it is now open and airy.

As many of you know, I am a big eater.  And by that, I don’t mean a foodie (although I do indeed think of myself as a quality connoisseur) – I just eat a lot!  So I must admit that I was disappointed to find that their smallest size clocked in at a whopping $4.50.  Fortunately, though, a large lunch ensured that I wouldn’t be tempted to order the next size up.  And thank goodness!  The richness of their concoctions meant that I genuinely struggled to finish the last few spoonfuls.  The quality was excellent, without a trace of icy shards – yes, this stuff was fresh!  But, truthfully, the best part of the experience at Rococo was the inventive flavors, which will undoubtedly keep me coming back for more.   Their signature strawberry and basil blend was invigorating, but not my cup of tea (don’t take it personally, because I don’t like any fruit flavored dairy products).  As expected, vanilla and chocolate were available, but it was the other unique blends that were major hits – like Chai Cardamon Ginger Trifecta.  There wasn’t a single flavor I didn’t enjoy, and can’t wait to go back for seconds (and thirds, and fourths….).  That said, as I walked back to the Maine Stay Inn, I realized one way they could improve – lids!  Yes, lids.  They don’t have any!  And that means none to take home for those unlucky folks who decided to stay behind.  But next time you’re searching for ice cream in downtown Kennebunkport, look no further than Rococo Artisan Ice Cream for a delectable and indulgent delight!

A Lazy Day – Getting Takeout in Kennebunkport

August 15th, 2011 by avadmin

In a town like Kennebunkport Maine that is full of incredible restaurants and food shoppes, it is hard to imagine feeling so relaxed or slothful that only takeout or delivery will do.  But Saturday was one of those days!  Victoria (a fantastic

Kennebunkport Maine Beaches

Lunch without ever leaving your spot!

member of the staff at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, as well as a friend) and I prepared to close up for the evening while we waited to greet the last few arriving guests.  A light rain was just beginning and the sky grew dark, so together we were dreaming about our ultimate comfort foods. Suddenly we looked to each other and knew we just had to have some!  Deciding to indulge, we turned to Lower Village Takeout, because we certainly couldn’t leave the inn and abandon our guests.
So a half hour later, a bag of thick french fries, a buffalo chicken pizza, and two greek salads showed up at our front desk.  “Which room?” the delivery guy asked.  “Uhhh… Here is fine!”  We snatched the bag and tore into it.  We were not disappointed.  The small pizza had just the right proportion of cheese and sauce, with plenty of kick from the buffalo sauce, which was offset by the container of ranch dressing, conveniently provided.  The fries were good, but exactly as expected.  I’ve got to give them credit, though, because they arrived hot – something that’s hard to do with fries!  But the icing on our takeout “cake” was the non-authentic Greek salad we had both been craving.  With oodles of iceberg lettuce, slices of hothouse tomatoes, sliced olives, and, of course, feta, it was exactly what I wanted.  The only better thing I could have imagined was eating it on the beach.  Oh, wait!  Now you can!  Yup, Lower Village Takeout delivers to the beach!  So the next time you don’t want to give up your parking spot or drag the kids away from their sandcastles, you can order and soda, subs, and salads will be on their way to you without ever leaving your beach towel!  Somehow I think a day at the beach in Kennebunkport Maine just got better.

Have Your Cake at Chase Hill Bakery in Kennebunkport Maine

August 10th, 2011 by avadmin

All of us at the Maine Stay love to eat, so when there’s something to celebrate, we reach for cake – and now there is finally a great bakery in Kennebunkport Maine!  Many people, both locals and visitors alike, have been bemoaning the closing of Port Bakery for nearly a year.  Once a staple in Lower Village, it shut its doors and gave rise to Pedro’s Restaurant, an

Chase Hill Bakery Cake in Kennebunkport Maine

Nothin' left but a few crumbs!

excellent Mexican Cantina (which we desperately needed).  So while we’ve relished a non-traditional Kennebunkport restaurant, there has been a noticeable gap in the area’s dining scene.
Without any warning or fanfare at all, a small chalkboard sign appeared, reading “Chase Hill Bakery.”  Rumor has it that quite a few years ago, long before my time in Kennebunkport Maine, Chase Hill Bakery thrived on Chase Hill (convenient, right?) and was something of an institution, with lines forming at 6 am for their freshly baked confections. And while they haven’t rebuilt Rome in a day, they are establishing a solid reputation for themselves with a small menu of pastries, breads, and pies.
Two very special members of the staff at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast have given us lots to celebrate recently, as one married her longtime boyfriend at the end of July and the other is walking down the aisle this weekend.  In their honor, before checking in guests and serving cookies at teatime today, we decided to have a little party, which needed a great cake to make it complete.  Instead of a less than mediocre grocery store cake, we now were able to order a lovely creation from Chase Hill Bakery.  This stunning chocolate buttercream frosted white cake arrived in a simple brown box, but there was nothing ordinary about what lay inside!  It was fantastic!  The proof is on the plate (or rather in what was no longer on the plate) – Chase Hill Bakery is a winner and a great addition to the dining scene in Kennebunkport Maine.

Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth in Kennebunkport Maine

July 25th, 2011 by avadmin

If you’re anything like me and your “sweet tooth” has taken over your entire mouth, there are ample opportunities to squelch even the strongest of cravings in Kennebunkport Maine.  While there are occasionally days when the smell of

Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast cookies

Sometimes freshly baked cookies just don't cut it when it comes to sugary cravings!

freshly baking cookies in our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast can calm my sugar cravings, it takes multiple servings to reach satiation.  Fortunately for me, there are oodles of amazing spots in Kennebunkport Maine to satisfy any confectionary craving!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!  On a steamy afternoon, like the ones we’ve had recently, the options abound for frosty treats.  Just steps from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast lies the famous Ben & Jerry’s, a New England creation offering rich flavors and high milk fat content.  A stone’s throw from there sits Aunt Marie’s, which features a Maine made ice cream (Gifford’s).  Though

Aunt Marie's Kennebunkport Maine

Aunt Marie's - great for ice cream and lemonade!

the flavor options are more limited, the charm of this hole-in-the-wall (literally) absolutely makes up for it.  If you find yourself exploring the sands of Goose Rocks Beach, Goose Rocks Dairy is not to be missed.  With enormous servings and creative flavors all made in house, this shop is truly one of the gems of Kennebunkport Maine.
If something fruity is more up your alley, check out the delicious frozen beverages at Smooth-a-Licious Smoothies, just steps from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  Need something lighter?  Try the fresh squeezed lemonade at Aunt Marie’s or the stand adjacent to the Clam Shack.  Roly’s English Fudge also offers an array of gelato options, especially fruit-flavored ones!
Hankering for chocolate?  Try the famous confections also available at Roly’s English Fudge (their Cadbury variety is my personal fave), but be forewarned, English fudge is crumbly and less dense than traditional American types, with distinctly caramel undertones.  If you are partial to more standard fudges, the Candy Man features ample options.  This store also offers chocolates that are hand made in their York Maine base, as well as typical candy store treat – jelly beans, gummy worms, etc.  But my favorite part of the Candy Man is its extensive salt water taffy assortment and the looping video of the taffy-making process.  The Sugar Shack is of a similar ilk sits on just on the other side of the Kennebunkport Maine bridge, making its location perfect for stopping just before or after your trip to the beach!
So no matter when your craving hits during your Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast vacation, you’re sure to find satisfaction quickly and easily!