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Archive for the ‘Kennebunkport Dining’ Category

Top 10: June in Kennebunkport Maine

June 10th, 2011 by avadmin

Kennebunkport Maine is a wonderful town to visit at any time of year, especially once the weather has warmed.  And with temps reaching into the high 80s this week, June is certainly one of those times!  Granted, I might be a little biased, but there are millions of reasons that Kennebunkport Maine is the ideal spot for a getaway.  Here’s a peek at my top ten:

10. June means lower rates and better deals.  Our Kennebunkport Maine Bed and Breakfast offers incredible reduced rates during the entire month (with the creation of a new “Shoulder Season” starting at just $169 per night), and many area activities and restaurants offer incentives to travelers (and residents) – follow us on Twitter for retweets of the best deals around.

Parson's Beach Kennebunkport Maine

Sunset at Parsons Beach

9.  Cool nights, and I don’t just mean fun!  In June, evenings are generally a little cooler than they are in July and August, which is great, because that means you’ll be very comfortable when snuggling with your special someone in front of your gas fireplace.  Plus, it’s the perfect temperature for shorts and a light sweater – my favorite!

8.  Restaurants are less crowded, which is always a win-win situation.  Smaller crowds mean better service and shorter (or non-existent) waits at your favorite Kennebunkport Maine restaurants.

7.  Parking at Parsons Beach.  With barely a dozen spots to park, we only dare to send summer guests on bikes, early in the morning or near sunset.  But in June, you’ll be able to claim that primo location.

6.  Soft-shell lobsters.  While the restaurants might tell you that hard shell lobsters are the thing to choose, I find that the soft-shell variety tend to have sweeter meat.  Plus they’re easier to break into – no crackers required!

5.  Great flowers.  It might not seem like an important thing, but when all the gardens in Kennebunkport Maine are in bloom, there’s no prettier sight!

4.  Nunan’s Lobster Hut and the Clam Shack are open!  ‘Nuff said.

3.  Breakfast on the porch.  There’s nothing more relaxing that dining on our wraparound porch each morning, listening to the birds chirp and the horse-drawn carriage clop by.

Kennebunkport Maine Bridge picture

A beautiful June afternoon!

2.  Peaceful beaches.  There’s ample opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sands that grace Kennebunkport Maine shorelines, and in June there’s little risk of tripping over abandoned  sand toys.

1.  It’s beautiful!  And I mean spectacularly beautiful.  But you will just have to visit and see for yourself, and, of course, create your very own “Tope Ten” list!

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!

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.

 

Your First Time… At a Maine Bed and Breakfast!

May 12th, 2011 by avadmin

A lovely young couple checked in this afternoon, looking a little nervous, and they revealed that it was their first time at a Maine Bed and Breakfast.  Actually it was their first time at a Bed and Breakfast at all!  Every time this happens I am shocked, but this is such a common occurrence that I shouldn’t be.  So it got me thinking… What can you expect your first time?  At a BnB, of course…

So while I can really only speak for our Maine Bed and Breakfast, my many, many stays at other B&Bs show me that the Maine Stay is not an anomaly.

Catch a perfect sunset at a maine bed and breakfast

We'll help you find that perfect spot!

  • Warmth.  At our Maine Bed and Breakfast, we’ll great you with a smile and treat you like a friend.  But not in the “we’re long lost friends and I need to catch up on every detail of your life” kind of way.  The goal of any innkeeper is to make you comfortable so that you can really relax.  Honestly, I don’t know a single one who doesn’t care more about the comfort and happiness of their guests than themselves. It’s not fake.  We care. And because we care so much, we need to know how to make you the happiest – so give us a hint if you’re not super social or if you absolutely hate spinach, because we’ll do everything in our power to put you at ease.
  • Advice.  I draw the line at relationships and careers, sorry to disappoint!  Kidding.  I mean advice about your vacation.  At a Maine Bed and Breakfast, the staff will become your personal concierge/travel agent.  It’s our job to know area restaurants inside and out.  We’ll give you tips on things to do in Kennebunkport Maine.  Or secrets about when to catch the best glimpse of incredible sailboats or the perfect beach parking spot.
  • Fun rooms.  They’ll all be different, so pay attention when making your reservation!  (You can ask for a tour if you’re interested, but you never have to.)  Back to the caring point – tell us if you need something.  We want you to be happy, comfortable, and relaxed.  So if a lightbulb burns out – tell us!  Don’t sit in the dark.  But remember, it won’t be exactly like your home – that’s why you left it!
  • Great food.  ‘Nuff said.  But most innkeepers plan way in advance, so if you have allergies or are super picky, tell someone in advance!  At our Maine Bed and Breakfast we are especially skilled with gluten-free diets and need advance notice to provide something yummy and safe for our GF guests.

Hopefully this cleared up some of the mystery of staying in a Maine Bed and Breakfast – and remember that BnBs cater to your needs as a traveler, so tell us what you need!  In all honesty, B&Bs are the best way to travel, so make your reservation today and lose your BnB virginity!

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!

Pizza Pies in Kennebunkport Maine

April 29th, 2011 by avadmin

At our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, I regularly get asked where to find the best pizza in Kennebunkport Maine. Since I could never eat enough lobster, I can’t imagine looking for pizza when visiting a seafood mecca (Maine does

Pizza at Grissini, a Kennebunkport restaurant

Try a thin crust pizza and salad for a delicious dinner in Kennebunkport Maine!

supply over 75% of the nation’s lobsters).  It doesn’t help, however, that I am gluten-free.  But I seem to be overruled – people just have to know where to find the best pizza pies around.

Hands down, the best pizza comes from Grissini, a restaurant not far from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast in Lower Village Kennebunk.  The upstairs trattoria offers sophisticated Italian dining, while the lower level houses the “Grotto,” a cozier and more intimate space.  When dining downstairs, you can choose from two menus, choosing fine or casual dining, or some combination of the two.  But Grissini’s basement is the only place you can order their amazing pizza.  With its thin, delicate crust and perfect application of gooey cheese, I briefly considered going for the gluten (or maybe I should say “glutton”!).  Nevertheless, with its crisp and non-doughy crust, wood fired and baked to perfection, even the lightest of eaters should have no trouble polishing off a small pie.  So if you’re looking for a delectable dinner with an elegant atmosphere, look no further than Grissini.

Sometimes, though, nothin’ but a pizza and beer will do.  Just off Route 1 in Kennebunk sits Sebago Brewing Co., in the former home of a brick-oven pizzeria and Italian restaurant.  Sebago Brewing is well-known for its Maine-made brews, but its Kennebunk location is the only one to offer “Flatbreads.”  Essentially individual-sized pizzas fired in their brick oven in a variety of flavors (with and without traditional marinara sauce), these are perfect for sharing or for those who can’t (or won’t) compromise!  But don’t enjoy their local beers too much – you can’t walk back to our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.

Sometimes after a long soak in the tub, a phenomenal afternoon nap, or a great game on TV , visitors don’t feel up to walking to dinner in Kennebunkport Maine.  Instead, delivery calls.  Looking for take-out?  Try Lower Village Take-Out for pizza and your favorite fried food.  But be forewarned – they don’t deliver every night of the week!

On a gluten-free getaway?  Duffy’s in downtown Kennebunk offers gluten free pizza crusts with any of your favorite toppings!  They can be a little dry, so be sure to ask for extra sauce, but if you need to join in on the junk food action, Duffy’s will hit the spot.  And best of all, it’s just around the corner from Dairy Queen – the perfect ending to a pizza dinner.

Top 10 Best Things about Summer in Kennebunkport Maine

April 23rd, 2011 by avadmin

On an unseasonably cool day like today, I sit in our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast (while I wait for guests to

Kennebunkport Maine beaches

Stunning beaches aren't the only reason to visit Kennebunkport this summer!

check-in, of course!) and daydream about the amazingness of summer in Kennebunkport Maine. And not just for the return of green leaves and sunshine. So here’s today’s list of the top 10 things I can’t wait to enjoy this summer in Kennebunkport Maine:

  1. Impatiens at the Maine Stay –  At our Kennebunkport Inn, Walter’s impatiens are one of the first signals of summer. While these signature white and coral orbs have hung on our wraparound porch for at least 40 years, they never lose their intrigue – plus, you just want to get outside and take a peek!
  2. Afternoon Naps in the hammock –  ‘Nuff said.  Seriously, what is better than an outdoor snooze, with the afternoon breeze gently rocking you to sleep?
  3. The Horse-drawn Carriage –  One of the most common questions I get asked by someone making a reservation at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast is if it is going to be noisy (reminder: we are on Maine Street, not Main Street!).  Ummm, no.  But in the summertime, the most common thing you’ll here is the clip-clop of the horse-drawn carriage doing loops of the historic district.  It’s such a soothing sound that takes you back in time!
  4. Music on the Patio at One Dock –  Every night in the summertime, One Dock Restaurant (part of the Kennebunkport Inn) offers live music, much of it performed outside, so as you stroll through Kennebunkport Maine, jazz music, acoustic guitar, and lovely vocals waft through the air.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to … #5!

    Kennebunkport Maine bridge sunset

    A Summer Sunset on the Kennebunkport Maine Bridge

  5. Warm Sunsets –  While the Pacific coastline might claim the best sunsets in the nation, those in Kennebunkport Maine will give any venue a run for it’s money.  But my favorite spot is just steps from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast – the Dock Square Bridge!
  6. Volleyball in the backyard –  The feel of grass under your feet and good, honest fun with friends, family, and other guests is one of my favorite things about summer at the Maine Stay.
  7. Outdoor dinners –  Grab a lobster to go from Port Lobster or delicious soups and sandwiches from Cape Porpoise Kitchen to enjoy in our spacious back yard, or choose one of the many Kennebunkport restaurants with open-air eating areas.  Nothing says “summer” better than that!
  8. Barefoot walks our GORGEOUS beaches –  Kennebunkport Maine is known for its phenomenal coastline, so kick off your shoes and dig your toes into our plentiful (and beautiful) stretches of sand!
  9. Lobster at Nunan’s –  This old-fashioned Lobster Hut screams summer in New England.  A lobster there, and you’ll never go anywhere else.
  10. Breakfast on the Porch –  Honestly, this is the best part!  Enjoying a gourmet morning meal at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast doesn’t get any better than when it’s savored in the fresh sea air.

So when planning your Summer Vacation, make it in Kennebunkport Maine – a quintessential New England Village that’s perfect for exploring or just relaxing!