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Archive for the ‘Kennebunkport Restaurants’ Category

New Kennebunkport Restaurants Enter the Dining Scene

June 18th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

The past few months have seen lots of change when it comes to Kennebunkport Restaurants, with tons of new dining options opening in the area.  I’ve been working on making the rounds, and still have a few to explore, but so far they’ve all been great hits!  We’re so lucky that the dining scene in town is so wonderful, because as true food lovers we wouldn’t want it any other way.  And so far, these new spots have been living up to our expectations.  So here’s a brief look at some of the new spots to check out during your Maine summer vacation:

Whether you choose a Kennebunkport restaurant on the water or not, you're never far from this view!

Whether you choose a Kennebunkport restaurant on the water or not, you’re never far from this view!

  • Just down the street from the Maine Stay Inn sits the waterfront David’s Kennebunkport and Opus Ten.  Owned by famed Portland Chef David Turin, you can enjoy lunch or dinner overlooking the marina.  It’s a great spot to grab a simple burger or fresh salad, or you could indulge in oysters or clams on the half shell from their raw bar.  Or for a fine dining experience that’s within an easy walking distance from your Maine bed and breakfast, you could explore Opus Ten, the restaurant within a restaurant.  With its own kitchen and staff, you’ll enjoy a truly spectacular 9 course dining menu for $75 per person, and it’s worth every penny!  And if you’re lucky enough to be seated at the table overlooking the kitchen, you’ll be treated to some fun table-side entertainment, perfect for the culinary fan in your life.
  • Head across the bridge to Abbondante for fresh Italian fare.  Operated by the local chef/owner combo who brought farm to table fare to Kennebunkport with their 50Local.  And that lead us to their other new addition to town – Owen’s Farmhouse.  Just across the street from their original location in downtown Kennebunk, you’ll find an adorable cottage housing this great find!  Featuring creative salads (like their New Morning salad with goji berries and quinoa) and incredible pizzas and tons of gluten free options, it’s a great spot for dinner to go or casual fare after a day at the beach.
  • Ocean has replaced the tried and true favorite at the Cape Arundel Inn, but with this new restaurant run by Chef Pierre Gignac, we know that this newly opened Kennebunkport restaurant is going to be a great hit.  His previous restaurant, 98 Provence, in Ogunquit has been a long term favorite and we know that his creations in this new spot will be nothing less than fantastic.
  • But speaking of the Cape Arundel, longtime Chef Rich Lemoine has opened his very own restaurant in Kennebunk.  After earning the White Barn Inn it’s five star, five diamond rating and a long career on Ocean avenue, he’s brought his tremendous culinary talent to a new location.  And the Village Tavern is fabulous!  No, it’s not a fine dining spot, but the food and service is out of this world, and we’re so lucky that Rich has kept his talent in the community. Plus, it’s the kind of place you could eat at every night, because the food is fresh, delicious, and varied, so you’ll never leave hungry or bored – what a treat!

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – the Kennebunkport dining scene is on fire!  We’re so lucky to have welcomed so many new Kennebunkport restaurants to the area recently and we’re excited to share them with you!

A Romantic Evening in Kennebunkport Maine

February 27th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

On a blustery evening like tonight, there is nothing better than a cozy, romantic dinner before settling in for the night, and fortunately for everyone, Kennebunkport Maine has some great destinations that fit the bill perfectly! Now, I have to admit that sometimes on wintry nights like this one, visitors choose to bring their dinners in, to enjoy before the living room fire (yep, I’ve certainly been known to do this myself!), because it is just oh-so-tempting to hop into bed or slide into a hot bath without having to brave the elements.  But when you’re hankering for a romantic dinner out, consider checking out one of these great nearby restaurants that score a perfect 10 for setting the mood.

  • Just a moment’s drive from the Maine Stay Inn, you’ll find Grissini, an Italian restaurant with an upscale main floor and a more casual lower level, known as the Grotto.  And on a snowy winter evening, there is
    Enjoy a romantic dinner on a snowy winter night

    Enjoy a romantic dinner on a snowy winter night!

    nothing more romantic than sipping a glass of your favorite wines in front of their roaring fireplace.  

  • Want a spot that sets the mood that’s close enough to walk to  - even in the snow?  The fireside lounge style dining and cozy bar area at One Dock is a great choice.  Plus, with great gluten free options, it’s a personal fave.
  • Just a few minutes down the road on the Wells border, you’ll find Joshua’s Restaurant.  Set in a colonial farmhouse, you’ll find an intimate dining atmosphere (and yes, it has fireplaces – plural!) with positively incredible concoctions.
  • But if you are looking for fine dining a little closer to home, On the Marsh Bistro is always a hit.  There you’ll enjoy a stellar meal by candlelight with attentive, never oppressive service.  And since it’s located about two minutes from your Kennebunkport Maine bed and breakfast, you’ll hardly have time to feel the winter chill before snuggling into bed!

So even though Valentine’s Day has passed, there are plenty of great ways to celebrate the ones you love, and enjoying a romantic dinner on a classic winter evening in Kennebunkport Maine seems tops the list.

Watching the Game in Kennebunkport

January 20th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

As we all know, today is a big day in the sports world, and it got me thinking about where you can find the best game-watching in Kennebunkport.  Now, the really sharp sports fanatic will note that I am writing this entry after the kick-off for the Pats vs. Ravens game, but I am watching, I promise!  Nevertheless, in a small town like Kennebunkport, you might think that great sports bars would be tough to find, but think again!  Yep, when you’re visiting, you certainly won’t be confined to your room at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast (though many folks do choose to snuggle in and watch!), so here’s a selection of great local spots to cheer for your favorite team:

  • Federal Jack’s is definitely a favorite spot, because with a dozen or so big screen TVs you’re sure to get your fill.  Plus, as the home of shipyard ales (with seven different homemade brews tapped directly from the brewery below), and a huge assortment of other draft beers, you’ll find just the thing to quench your thirst!  Worried about noshing – they’ve got a big
    A view of Cape Porpoise Harbor from Pier 77's The Ramp

    A view of Cape Porpoise Harbor from Pier 77′s The Ramp

    menu of traditional pub food (and more sophisticated entrees as well) so nachos and wings are available nearly at the snap of a finger.

  • Alisson’s Restaurant, located at the very center of Dock Square, just a stone’s throw from the Maine Stay Inn, features quite a few TVs and a great bar.  Plus, their assortment of finger food is just as extensive as that at Fed’s.
  • You’ll find a small gathering of local folks at Pier 77‘s the Ramp, which, while only offering 2 viewing screens, has a great homey atmosphere.  Looking around, you will find the walls and ceilings plastered with vintage sports memorabilia, which just adds to the viewing experience.  And with standout food choices, this the Ramp is a great spot for the non sports fan and the enthusiast alike.
  • Looking for something a little different?  Check out Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant in Lower Village Kennebunk.  The food’s pretty stellar (and not at all like commercialized Mexican eateries) and their margaritas are out of this world.  So pull up a seat at the bar and enjoy!

And, really, this is just the tip of the iceberg!  We’re really fortunate in Kennebunkport to have tons of great spots to watch your favorite sports games, and even luckier that they are also comfortable and fun for those who aren’t quite so enamored with sports!

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!

Off the Beaten Path Kennebunkport Restaurants

July 20th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

On a particularly busy weekend like this one, finding a last-minute Kennebunkport restaurant with open reservations can be a bit of a challenge.  And even though we ask all of our visitors about a week in advance if they would like us to make dining reservations for them, sometimes you just want to be spontaneous!  But that certainly doesn’t have to mean compromising on good food at a time

kennebunk inn dinner

Another great dinner at Academe at the Kennebunk Inn!

that works for you.  I mean, sure, I could get reservations tonight at my favorite eatery in town, but I was going to have to eat at 5 or at 10.  I don’t know about you, but 5 p.m. is just about snack time, and the only thing I eat at 10 is ice cream – that’s a rule!  Fortunately, though, there are several lesser known (and maybe a little bit farther away) Kennebunkport restaurants that are perfect, especially for a night like tonight.

Lucas On 9 is one such place, mostly because its location halfway between Cape Porpoise means that it’s not a prime location for foot traffic.  It’s a casual spot that is family-friendly and has a great bar, which is something that is definitely tough to find.  With a very reasonably priced menu, it fits the bill for almost any traveler.  And can they ever cook!  Usually causal dining restaurants are the place to order fries and not broccoli, but at Lucas on 9, they do veggies justice.  But most importantly, the family that owns and operates Lucas is incredibly kind, hard-working, and dedicated to their patrons – who could ask for more in a place?

Much closer to our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, Mekhong Thai is a great spot for a good meal within walking distance.  Sure, Maine isn’t exactly known for its curry, but there are plenty of times that lobster just isn’t calling your name.  And times like that are what make Mekhong a great fit for the area.  And since they don’t compromise quality just because the locals might not know better, the food is always fresh, the vegetables crisp, and the service attentive.  It’s a win all around.

A little further away in downtown Kennebunk lie two great restaurants – 50 Local and the Kennebunk Inn.  50 Local is known especially for its funky, modern vibe and use of ingredients sourced from local and organic farms.  Directly across the street, you will find Academe, the restaurant inside the Kennebunk Inn.  A personal haunt, we visit regularly, almost always sitting at the bar, where the staff is friendly and knowledgeable.  Now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t like the dining room, because it is spacious and clean, with simple decor, but after a long day, my family and I are ready to talk to someone else – not just each other! Truthfully, though, any of these restaurants are great choices for dining in Kennebunkport, so Bon Appetite!



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!

A Visit to Perkins Cove in Ogunquit

May 19th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

A view of Perkins Cove Ogunquit ME

A view from MC Perkins Cove

Perkins Cove is a part of Ogunquit, Maine, that is often visited by guests of the Maine Stay Inn, and although it’s just 13 miles south of here, it’s a part of the Southern Maine coastline that I had never seen before.  So on a gorgeous evening recently, we decided to check it out.  Separated by just a few miles, Kennebunkport and Ogunquit feel light years apart.  Frankly, the approach to Ogunquit is anything but scenic, with strip motels, mini-golf courses, and countless nicknack shops lining the road, but as you turn off Route 1 onto Shore Road, the scene begins to change.  The establishments get smaller and a bit more charming, and private homes begin to crop up.  We continued past the entrance to the Marginal Way (a great spot for a coastal walk, if you ask me) and found ourselves on a cul-de-sac filled with shops and restaurants.  Even in mid-May, the place was teeming with people and cars hunting for parking (especially the very limited free spots), but we scored one just around the corner from the restaurant we had chosen for the evening.  MC Perkins Cove is owned by the folk who also own Arrows Restaurant, regularly listed as one of the top 50 restaurants in America, and boasts a much less formal ambience.  The facade is unimpressive – a narrow cape with weathered grey shingles – and the decor is kept understated so patrons won’t be distracted by the view.  It’s situated on a craggy outcropping, and the oversized, undraped windows allow for panoramic views, with Kennebunkport visible in the distance.  Once inside, the hustle and bustle outside faded away.

The entire menu is built around the “farm to table” concept – with local seasonal products utilized throughout.  My roasted summer squash and zucchini salad was an absolute stand out, with the fresh basil vinaigrette perfectly coating the fresh baby greens, and the Caesar salad followed suit.  Despite being initially turned off by the fact that a helping of veggies would cost you a whopping $8 more, I quickly realized that the generous portion sizes meant that adding to your order was either unnecessary or the ideal way to make sure you’ve got leftovers for lunch.  But everything about the main courses was fantastic!  And the fact that you could choose your own “evil carbo” (read: starch) and your own sauce meant that the small menu had infinite possibilities!

The only disappointment of the evening was that it had to end, as the view eventually faded into darkness.  For that very reason, I will definitely encourage guests of our Kennebunkport hotel to try MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit for lunch and enjoy a stroll along the Marginal Way.

Great Casual Kennebunkport Restaurants

April 21st, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Today, as I was discussing Kennebunkport restaurants with a new employee, I realized that it might be helpful to share some of the insights.  Fortunately for us, and for all visitors to our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, this community is filled with great places to dine, and not all of them call for snazzy outfits or result in astronomical bills.  And even in April, before 100% of restaurants have opened their doors, there are lots of places for a good casual meal.

Quite a few are just a short walk from the Maine Stay, meaning on warm nights light tonight, you’ll be just as content meandering out to dinner as hopping in the car for a meal.  In Dock Square you’ll find Federal Jack’s, a brewpub, which is also home to Kennebunkport Brewing Company. Best known as the largest craft brewery in the state, you’ll enjoy beers tapped directly from the

Pedro's Restaurant sign

Pedro's bright blue sign is hard to miss!

holding tanks to the bar – you can’t get much fresher than that!  But their food is excellent as well, with a large menu sure to please anyone in the family.  And with a large gluten-free menu, even food allergy sufferers will find something satisfying.  Diagonally across the street, you’ll find Ryan’s Corner House, an authentic Irish pub serving up traditional fare like bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, and shepherd’s pie.  Though you will find seafood on the menu, it’s great for visitors of our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast who are ready for a break from lobster and clam chowder.  Still walking distance from the inn, but located in the heart of Lower Village Kennebunk, you’ll surely stumble across Pedro’s.  This Kennebunkport restaurant is hard to miss with its oversized metal rooster outside and great patio complete with fire pit.  But you’d really be missing out by not trying one of their incredible margaritas with homemade syrups or their authentic Mexican cuisine.  Under the same ownership, you can enjoy a great casual meal at the Ramp at Pier 77.  This vintage style sports bar offers incredible harbor views and great food.  Plus, you might even catch a glimpse of local lobsterers hauling in their catches on the pier.  But whatever you choose for a casual meal, these Kennebunkport restaurants have got just the thing to satisfy your cravings!

Bandaloop Restaurant Reopens in Kennebunkport!

April 18th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

While this week was notable for lots of things in Kennebunkport, the reopening of Bandaloop Restaurant topped the charts of many locals and visitors alike.  Last night marked the restaurant’s reopening after a nearly eight week long hiatus, and with temps

Bandaloop in Kennebunkport

Bandaloop and its red doors

well into the seventies when its signature red doors opened at 5, it felt more like summer than the start of spring!  Despite the fact that no one at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast has given its new menu a test run yet, three couples decided to head over.  And guess what?  There were six glowing reviews this morning around the breakfast table!  Now while that’s not really a surprise, it is always nice to hear that nothing’s been forgotten after a long vacation.  But because we always test out the restaurants in Kennebunkport and the surrounding towns (just to make sure that we are appropriately guiding our guests to place that suit them best), I am now looking forward to my first spring dinner at Bandaloop even more than ever.  However, since we just dove headlong into a living room renovation project, this meal might just have to wait a few more weeks.  Don’t worry, though, this project is being done in stages to avoid disruption of the guest experience.  Yes, we’re all very excited about to have them serving again, but selfishly, I am glad to have another great option for gluten-free dining close by.  Even more important, though, is the fact that the reopening of Bandaloop is a big milestone in terms of restaurant availability in Kennebunkport, because now over 75% of eateries in town are open.  Now, not all are operating at their height of summer hours, so be sure to check with innkeeper or staff at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast just to be safe!

The Reawakening of Kennebunkport Restaurants

April 4th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Early April is a very exciting time in Kennebunkport, with the weather warming, the days lengthening, and restaurants reopening.  And while a good many are open all year long, a few are indeed seasonal – some because their proprietors need a good long rest after a busy season, and others because they are situated in “charming” buildings that just can’t handle a rough Maine winter (not

Kennebunkport restaurants opening in the spring

Kennebunkport restaurants all around the harbor are opening their doors!

that we had one this year!).  Yes, believe it or not, quite a few of these old structures weren’t erected in a way that would allow for efficient heating or for water pipes not to freeze and burst.  Now, though, we are nearing the end of frost danger and certainly  (knock on wood) long stretches of arctic blasts, and these Kennebunkport Restaurants are coming back to life!  And a few more always take their vacation time in March, just in time to avoid the mud season (and maple syruping – their loss!).

Just around the corner from the Maine Stay, One Dock (located at the Kennebunkport Inn) opened last weekend.  And while I have yet to venture over (hello there, renovations that are right down to the wire), I am confident that their menu will be as good as ever.  Plus with a redecorated dining room, the dining experience is sure to be enhanced.  Always a favorite, Mabel’s Lobster Claw is reopening tomorrow – no doubt that the Bush family won’t be too far behind.  And Hurricane Restaurant in the heart of Dock Square (with unquestionably the best location of any Kennebunkport Restaurant) will round out the week with their reopening on Friday.  More favorites will follow suit shortly, so stay tuned for updates!