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Posts Tagged ‘Kennebunkport Dining’

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!

Sports Bars in Kennebunkport for World Series Watching

October 24th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

I am probably breaking some kind of cardinal rule in New England by writing this blog while the Red Sox are playing in the World Series, but I realized that not everyone knows where to find sports bars or similar settings in Kennebunkport. And while I enjoy watching the game all curled up in a cozy bed or sofa, I know that a lot of people live for the group dynamic when lots of people are cheering together.  Given how fanatical New Englanders are about their Red Sox, there are more than a few sports bars to grab a drink and cheer for your team.  St. Louis fans, just keep your jerseys under your jacket.  When you’re visiting, you won’t just be confined to your room or the living room at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, so here’s a selection of great local spots to cheer for your favorite team (as long it’s one from New England – kidding, kind of):

Don't miss the World Series in Kennebunkport!

Don’t miss the World Series in Kennebunkport!

  • 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!  And with their big menu of traditional pub food (and more sophisticated entrees as well) there’s lots to satiate you, even if the game goes into extra innings.
  • 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!
  • While the bar areas are not too big at Tia’s Topside and Ryan’s Corner House, both are sure to draw a good crowd for the World Series.  Plus, since you can walk from the Maine Stay, you can grab a beer or two and not worry about hopping in the car.

And, really, this is just the tip of the iceberg!  So instead of wishing you had an “in” for World Series tickets, you can sit back, enjoy a drink and some finger food, and watch the big game in Kennebunkport.

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!

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!

Favorite Things About Kennebunkport Maine

May 11th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

So while last night’s surprise thunderstorms sidelined my plans for some outdoor fun, a day like today reminded me of some of my favorite things about Kennebunkport Maine.  Now, we all know that there are way too many amazing things about this seaside town, so I will do my darnedest to keep this list reasonable.  But since I am making this a short one, apologies if I left anyone else’s faves off!

  • The beach –  Whenever.  No seriously, in rain or shine, snow covered or so-hot-you-could-fry-an-egg, the Kennebunkport Maine beaches are incredible.  Mother nature does such a wonderful job at keeping the coastline exciting, and making sure that you can never get bored looking at it!  But fortunately for us, the variety of beaches and coastline in and around town has something for everyone – secluded stretches of
    How could you not love this coastline?!

    How could you not love this coastline?!

    sandy beach, classic rocky Maine coast, slips of waterfront meandering through our quaint village, and even beaches with wide paved paths for those who want to enjoy the ocean without dealing with the sand.  Plus, unlike many vacation destinations, you can head there on foot from the Maine Stay Inn or by car and not worry about parking – we’ve got plenty!

  • The food – Most of you know that enjoying great culinary creations is one of my favorite past times, and fortunately for me, Kennebunkport Maine has eateries that can compete with those from any big city.  So whether you’re craving a simple boiled lobster or a stunning five-star tasting menu, we’ve got you covered. Yum!
  • The shops – It makes sense that my two favorite kinds of shopping are for food and room decor, but that doesn’t do me much good come Christmas and birthday time.  Fortunately  Kennebunkport Maine makes it so easy for me!  The amazing mix of stores in Dock Square means that I can find almost anything for that perfect gift.  On the rare occasion when I can’t, I know that I’ve got two world-class Outlet centers barely a half hour away!
  • The outdoor fun – If there’s anything I love more than food, it’s playing outside.  So whether it’s enjoying cross country skiing and horse-drawn sleigh riding in the winter or hiking, biking and running in the summer, I am in.  Over the past few years, the amount of conservation land in and around Kennebunkport Maine has just exploded, which means that there are about a gagillion options for peaceful and pristine outdoor activities.

I could go on all night about why I love this town, but you’ll just have to come and explore Kennebunkport Maine for yourself!

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!

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!

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!