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Archive for the ‘Kennebunkport Restaurants’ Category

Maine Restaurant Week 2014

March 6th, 2014 by Judi Hauer

Maine Restaurant Week is one of my favorite times of year in Kennebunkport, and it is finally back again!  Not only is it a wonderful way to test out new restaurants or enjoy different options at some old favorites, but it’s also an excuse to order more than you normally would and enjoy leftovers for #Maine Restaurant Week´s Kickoff Signature Event is tonight in Portland!lunch!  And again this year, quite a few restaurants in Kennebunkport and the surrounding area are participating in 2014.  But unlike other restaurant weeks throughout the country, the entire state is participating, so no matter whether you stay nearby or go day tripping, you’ll have tons of great options!  As usual, Maine Restaurant Week is held from March 1 to 10, and that gives you plenty of time to indulge in loads of amazing meals.  And one of the best things about Restaurant Week is the three course prix fixe menus that get rolled out, so for $25, $35, $45 (and one for $55), you can enjoy a carefully crafted meal that is great for the wallet.  Plus, with many of the restaurants serving lunch, you can get a steal of a meal for just $15.

But whatever your reasons are for indulging in an evening of dining out, Maine Restaurant Week (until March 10) is sure to satisfy all of them!  And with our Third Night Free Special in full swing, visiting during this great culinary event means that you can enjoy a relaxing getaway that is perfect for your budget, without sacrificing any of the luxury you expect from Kennebunkport and the Maine Stay Inn. So don’t miss out on your chance to try any of the amazing participating restaurants during this year’s Maine Restaurant Week.

Celebrating National Clam Chowder Day in Kennebunkport

February 26th, 2014 by Judi Hauer

chowder @ clam shack

Every day can be National Clam Chowder Day in Kennebunkport!

While New England is certainly known for its clam chowdah, it recently came to my attention that Tuesday was National Clam Chowder Day, and there’s no better place to celebrate than in Kennebunkport Maine!  I mean, honestly, unless you’ve got a shellfish allergy, chances are very good that you’ll enjoy a cup or bowl of this semi-solid deliciousness before heading out of town.  It helps that almost every restaurant in the area has their version on this New England staple on the menu.  In fact, I can only think of three places in town where you can’t find a bowl of clam chowder on the menu! (And one’s a Mexican place, one’s a Thai restaurant, and one specializes in Asian fusion.)

None of us at the Maine Stay Inn would be willing to say where we think you can find the best  chowder in Kennebunkport, but that’s simply because everyone likes theirs a different way – thin vs. thick, fishy vs. potato-y, smokey or not.  And there really are no two places in town that concoct their chowdah the same way, so National Clam Chowder Day seems like a perfect opportunity to test them all out!  With that in mind, it’s time to meander on over to Alisson’s Restaurant in Dock Square or Federal Jack’s overlooking the marina or Pier 77 in Cape Porpoise…. or all three!  But no matter where you turn for a nibble or nosh, you’re sure to find great clam chowder in Kennebunkport Maine!

Finding Great Lobster in Kennebunkport During the Winter

October 21st, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Finding great lobster in Kennebunkport is probably at the top of nearly every visitor’s list (except you shellfish allergic folks – I send my condolences), and visiting during the winter months doesn’t change that.  And surprisingly, it doesn’t make it much harder!  But yes, I said it.  The W word.  And while there is still tons of

Cold weather won't hamper your chances of finding great lobster in Kennebunkport!

Cold weather won’t hamper your chances of finding great lobster in Kennebunkport!

glorious fall weather to enjoy, the days are getting a bit shorter and the temps a bit cooler.  I for one am always reluctant to admit that fall will undoubtedly fade into winter and I will have to eventually break out a real coat.  And mittens.  But there is one thing that always jars me into acceptance, and it happened this past weekend.  Nunan’s Lobster Hut closed for the season.  Don’t fret!  There are still lots of spots to enjoy that perfect Maine lobster you’ve been craving, and you won’t have to venture far from the Maine Stay Inn to enjoy it.

  • For the next few weeks, you can still get that old fashioned lobster shack experience at Mabel’s Lobster Claw on Ocean Avenue, or the down home Maine feel at Arundel Wharf, just a block from the Maine Stay.  Both offer that traditional charm you think of when you think of classic Maine.  Once the weather gets too cold for them to keep their pipes from freezing, pop over to Mike’s Clam Shack in Wells for that old fashioned flair.
  • You can almost always count on Federal Jack’s to be serving, and since they keep tanks for lobsters, it’s a spot that has never disappointed when it comes to delivering a fresh, hot old fashioned lobster dinner.  Even in January!
  • David’s Kennebunkport also whips up a mean lobster dinner within walking distance.  And by that I even mean walking in the snow kind of walking distance.  Seriously it’s like 2 minutes away.  It will take longer to warm up the car than get there on foot.  Plus, they earn big bonus points in my book for a stellar water view.
  • In the heart of Dock Square, just a hop, skip, and a jump from our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, you’ll find Alisson’s Restaurant, which is almost as consistent as Federal Jack’s when it comes to operating hours.  So while you won’t get a great water view, you can pop in for a quick (and award winning) lobster roll that’s sure to satisfy.
  • In Cape Porpoise, situated right on the harbor, you’ll find Pier 77 and the Ramp, which offers breathtaking views of Goat Island lighthouse and Kennebunkport’s fleet of lobster boats.  And great lobster.  Obviously.

Now, I know that this just barely scratches the surface of places to get great lobster in and around Kennebunkport, but it’s a handy list to keep in mind during an off season visit – now get eating!

Gluten Free Bakery Options Come to Kennebunkport Maine

October 15th, 2013 by Judi Hauer


A new coffee shop and bakery comes to Kennebunkport!

A new coffee shop and bakery comes to Kennebunkport!

Kennebunkport Maine restaurants have done a great job jumping on the gluten free bandwagon, but the coffee shops and bakeries have been slow to meet the demand.  Earlier this year, Mornings in Paris, an “old world” style coffee shop located in the heart of the Old Port of Portland, opened a new location here in Kennebunkport Maine.  They’ve brought a tremendous assortment of teas and coffee varieties, great WiFi (for free), and delicious treats to town.  But since the Maine Stay Inn has oodles of tea and coffee available 24 hours a day and bakeries and gluten free diets generally don’t mesh well, a visit to Mornings in Paris was not at the top of my to do list.  This weekend, though, an old friend dropped by for a visit, so we decided to go for a stroll through Kennebunkport Maine and enjoy the glorious fall weather.  After exploring town and taking lots of pictures of the fall foliage, we decided that a warm beverage was just what we needed, so I finally got to cross off this item on my “to-do” list!

The outdoor bistro tables and market style umbrellas set the tone for a relaxing and inviting afternoon respite.  After opening the doors, a wave of wonderful spices and the aroma of freshly brewed coffees got my appetite going.  Much to my surprise, there were quite a few gluten free treats available!  How could I have ignored these gluten free treats all

... and they have gluten free treats!

… and they have gluten free treats!

summer?!  With cookies, whoopie pies, and cupcakes available, I felt like a kid in a … bakery!  The only thing that I needed to complete my afternoon rendezvous was a warm drink to hold during my walk along the ocean, and while the Pumpkin Latte was getting rave reviews, I needed something a little lighter to wash down my gluten free indulgence, so an Oolong tea fit the bill nicely.  While I chose to take my nibbles to go, the inside eating areas were comfy, cozy, and interesting to look at – no plain white walls here.  So even during weather that’s not quite as ideal as yesterday, Mornings in Paris is going to be a great spot for an afternoon cup o’ joe.  So all of us at the Maine Stay are happy to welcome the Mornings in Paris Bakery and coffee shop to Kennebunkport Maine and love their gluten free options!

Celebrating National Pizza Month in Kennebunkport

October 2nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer

So while October might be known for its candy corn and fun size candy bars, it is also National Pizza Month and Kennebunkport has lots to offer in the way of pizza pies!  And while we could choose something like salad or soup to keep our blood sugar from surging, pizza is just so much more fun – and since it’s the food of the month, we’re just being festive.  It’s like a rule or something.  Right?  Fortunately, there are options for every pizza palate right here in Kennebunkport!  So here are just a few of the spots where you’ll find some stellar slices!

  • Owen’s Farmhouse – While this favorite is located over the river (but not through the woods!) in


    downtown Kennebunk, it’s more than worth the short drive from the Maine Stay Inn.  With inventive toppings, including homemade sausage, and creative salads on the menu, this is a great spot for some casual digs.  Plus, they’ve even got gluten free pizzas to enjoy!

  • Federal Jack’s BrewPub – An all-American menu wouldn’t be complete without some cheesy, gooey, piping hot pizzas, and Fed’s doesn’t disappoint.  Although they call their regular pizzas “flatbreads” and their gluten free option “pizza” – it’s all the same to me.  Bread. Sauce. Cheese. Yum.
  • Abbondante – this Italian Trattoria would not be complete without some authentic pizza pies, now would it?  Even though this converted New England barn has kept its casual, unpretentious atmosphere, this new Kennebunkport restaurant channels its Italian roots so well, but you’ll have to taste it for yourself!
  • In the heart of Dock Square, you’ll find some tasty pizza options at Alisson’s Restaurant, Atlantic Pizza, and some upscale “flatbreads” at One Dock.  All three offer great locations, and some different flavors that will round out your pizza tasting perfectly!

With all these great options, who even needs an excuse like National Pizza Month to indulge?  Nah, I’ll still take an extra reason to enjoy an indulgent slice (or two…or five…)!  But no matter where you choose, Kennebunkport is lucky to have so many different and creative twists on an old fashioned favorite!

Enjoying the Perfect Lobster Dinner in Kennebunkport

September 1st, 2013 by Judi Hauer

While I can’t think of a single restaurant in Kennebunkport  where you can’t get some kind of lobster at dinnertime, there are very few spots I would say serve the perfect lobster dinner.  Now let’s be real – this is Maine. So chances are good you’ll get good lobster just about anywhere.  But as a lifelong lobster connoisseur (seriously, just ask my mom), I will tell you that there is an immense difference between a decent lobster and a knock your socks off, craving inducing, must drive hundreds of miles just for this, kind of lobster.  And one of those incredible finds is just up the

Found: a perfect lobster dinner at Nunan's Lobster Hut in Kennebunkport!

Found: a perfect lobster dinner at Nunan’s Lobster Hut in Kennebunkport!

street from the Maine Stay Inn at Port Lobster.  Now, this is not your average restaurant.  In fact, it’s not a restaurant at all.  But this fish market does cook up the freshest lobsters you could ask for.  So when visiting Kennebunkport, it’s a great idea to pack your own gourmet lobster picnic to enjoy by the water.  Hop on over to Cape Porpoise kitchen to pick up a bottle of wine, some amazing cheeses, and an assortment of off the charts sides to complete your feast.  Then pick up your hot and steamy lobster to enjoy wherever you like!  We’ll happily supply the cracking equipment – just ask!

Looking for an old fashioned lobster dinner that you can walk to?  Check out Mabel’s Lobster Claw, just a ten minute walk from the inn.  And while it’s not on the water, its old school flare is pretty neat.  But the hands down favorite when it comes to Maine lobster is Nunan’s Lobster Hut.  You may have to drive, and you may wait in line (they take no reservations), and you may have to pay cash (sorry, plastic not accepted), but it is SO worth it. Not only is the atmosphere exactly what you think of when you think of a charming lobster pound,  they know exactly how to make every lobster spot on.  That’s probably because they basically just do lobster.  They fish it, they catch it, and they cook it!  Honestly, it’s heaven on a plate.  Rather, it’s like heaven times two, because you’ve got to get the twin lobster special option – it’s the best buy around.  Then top off your meal with a hearty slice of homemade blueberry pie ala mode. Yummmm.  So when visiting Kennebunkport on the hunt for the perfect lobster dinner, you’re sure to find your ideal meal not far from the Maine Stay Inn.

Farm Fresh Foods in Kennebunkport Maine

August 28th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

As I dove into my bowl of pasta and homemade pesto – made with basil fresh from the garden – I got to thinking about how there are such great opportunities for farm-to-table type dining in Kennebunkport Maine.  Honestly, I feel so lucky to be in an area where there’s a real appreciation for quality food and sourcing local ingredients!  I mean, at the Maine Stay Inn, one of our food suppliers focuses on using Maine products as much as

Strawberries fresh from our garden!

Strawberries fresh from our garden!

possible, especially given the -ahem – poor growing conditions during the chilly months of the year.  But that means that our eggs come from Maine chickens and our dairy products from Maine cows!  Today we even got to serve a Maine cantaloupe – who knew you could grow those here?!  While we don’t have a huge herb and vegetable garden, we do grow a few nibbles and a bunch of herbs.  There really is nothing better than getting up and clipping fresh herbs from the garden in the morning!  And we know that is something visitors appreciate when they wake up in Kennebunkport Maine, but since we don’t serve lunch or dinner, we’ve made sure to come up with some farm fresh options for lunch locales.

Just over the border in Wells, you’ll find Joshua’s, a restaurant that specialized in farm to table cuisine long before it became trendy.  Chef Joshua’s father is an organic farmer whose farm provides the produce for the restaurant as long at the weather permits, and during the winter months, they utilize other local farms that have large greenhouses which produce year round!  Head a little further south of Kennebunkport Maine to Ogunquit and you’ll find fine dining establishment Arrows.  With its extensive gardens and inventive menu, Arrows has been named one of the top 50 restaurants in the United States.  But closer to home, you’ll find that homegrown chef David Ross knows his stuff when it comes to local farms.  His sister restaurants, 50 Local and Owen’s Farmhouse, are both located in downtown Kennebunk and their commitment to supporting local agriculture permeates every aspect of the menus in both locations.  And just a hop, skip, and a jump from our Kennebunkport Maine bed and breakfast, lies funky not-so-hidden-anymore gem Bandaloop.  Its focus is also on providing the freshest foods from local sources, but there’s one local treat you won’t find on the menu – old fashioned boiled lobster.  Sorry – we’ll send you to Nunan’s for that!  The truth is, though, that there are oodles of places around Kennebunkport Maine that serve farm fresh feasts, and we at the Maine Stay Inn are happy to help you find the spot that’s right for you!

On the Hunt for Oysters in Kennebunkport

July 27th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

While many people visit Kennebunkport thinking of indulging in lots of lobster, more and more folks have approached me recently about finding oysters and other raw bar items at restaurants in town.  Fortunately the Kennebunkport restaurants seem to be listening, because more and more menus seem to be featuring these uncooked delicacies!  So here’s a smattering of nearby eateries that are sure to wet your whistle when you’re experiencing a craving for treats on the half shell.

Enjoy treats from the raw bar at Tia's Topside!

Enjoy treats from the raw bar at Tia’s Topside!

  • The Hatch is a new addition to town courtesy of Federal Jack’s Brew Pub, and as its downstairs little sister, its menu is similarly pared down.  Focusing on the speciality brews from the Kennebunkport Brewing Company, the menu features things that go great with beer – like burgers and pub style treats, as well as oysters!  So grab a beer and a few icy cold oysters while watching the boats passing through the Kennebunkport harbor.
  • The Hurricane is a classic (and classy) restaurant in the heart of Dock Square (and just a short walk from the Maine Stay Inn) whose understated facade doesn’t betray the dining room’s stellar water views.  So whether you just want to grab some oysters or littleneck clams at the bar or as a starter for a lovely sit down dinner, you’ll find a great spot here.
  • You’ll find oysters on the half shell during Happy Hour from 3-5 at David’s Kennebunkport, or stay a bit later to indulge in oysters or Count neck clams from the dinner menu.  On the waterfront, you’ll find a great spot to grab a bite, but since they take no reservations, be prepared for a wait during peak dinner hours.
  • At Tia’s Topside, you’re able to order a single oyster or littleneck clam from the raw bar, which means that you can mix and match as you watch the boats on the water and the people meandering through town from its perch on Chase Hill.

The truth is, though, that you can’t go wrong at any of these great spots – as long as you like oysters, that is!  So the next time you’re craving oysters or raw bar concoctions in Kennebunkport, you can rest assured that you’ll find just the right atmosphere to indulge in this treat from the sea!

Outdoor Dining in Kennebunkport

July 15th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Outdoor dining in Kennebunkport is one of the most frequent requests we hear during the summer months, because even on an unusually hot day like today, the ocean breeze made it very pleasant to relax outside.  Although a few people chose to have breakfast in the comfort of our air conditioned dining room, most people opted to enjoy their breakfast on the wraparound porch.  And even with a cup of hot coffee in hand, everyone was

Enjoy harbor views from Tia's, Federal Jack's, and Arundel Wharf

Enjoy harbor views from Tia’s, Federal Jack’s, and Arundel Wharf

very comfortable, all thanks to our location just one block from the harbor.  But come lunchtime, we were fielding requests for more outdoor dining, and fortunately for Kennebunkport visitors and locals alike, there area lots of great options! Just one block from the Maine Stay Inn, you’ll find the Arundel Wharf, a casual dining restaurant situated on a pier with indoor, tented, and open deck seating (but the tented area is my favorite, offering shade in the heat of the day, and protection from mosquitos in the evening.  If you head away from Dock Square for a bit, you’ll find Mabel’s Lobster Claw, which has a small porch for dining, but unfortunately isn’t right on the water.  In the heart of downtown Kennebunkport, you’ll find Federal Jack’s and Tia’s Topside, each serving casual fare from their perch high about the water. But if you’re looking for something a little different, you could try Pedro’s, the Mexican restaurant – it’s tacos and margaritas make a fantastic pick-me-up, especially when you’re hankering for something other than lobster.  Now, if you do want lobster and the appropriate fried fixin’s, heading out to the Cape Porpoise pier for a nibble at Cape Pier Chowder House and relax at the numerous picnic tables right on the dock.  And fortunately for everyone, David’s Kennebunkport has finally opened at the site of the old Landing Restaurant, complete with a stunning harbor side deck for dining!  Cast your worries aside, because we’ve got lots of great options for outdoor dining in Kennebunkport!

Staying Cool as the Game Heats Up in Kennebunkport Maine!

June 24th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Enjoy a great view of the harbor while watching tonight's Bruins game!

Enjoy a great view of the harbor while watching tonight’s Bruins game!

With temps reaching into the low 90s today, it’s hard to believe that it could really still be hockey season, but the Stanley Cup Finals are still in full swing, and many guests are choosing to stay cool while watching the game in Kennebunkport Maine!  Federal Jack’s BrewPub is always a great choice, and with the most televisions and the largest bar space, Fed’s is sure to have the most vibrant crowd.  That said, you’ll certainly find a great vibe at Alisson’s Restaurant, which is the closest spot to our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  With lots of fun menu items that are perfect for game-time noshing (think fried goodies like chicken tenders, potato skins, and wings galore), both Federal Jack’s and Alisson’s are close enough that you can walk home after enjoying a few brewskis or to relocate back to the comfort of your room during commercial breaks and between periods without missing a moment of playing time. But these big guys aren’t the only Kennebunkport ME restaurants to catch the game.  Both Pedro’s and The Ramp have great bars for watching sports on television, but the food offerings here are truly excellent.  Plus, who wouldn’t want a great margarita while watching the Bruins on a warm summer night? Despite the plethora of viewing venues available, many visitors might choose to lay low, watching the game in the comfort and privacy of their own room, enjoying the air conditioning (or if they’re like me, the great evening breeze) with their choice beverage and favorite ice cream flavor.  Don’t worry – you can pick up a pint at a shop in Dock Square or hit up any of the amazing ice cream, gelato, or frozen yogurt shops just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Maine Stay Inn.  But wherever you choose to enjoy the big game, you’ve got lots of options for watching your favorite sports in Kennebunkport Maine!