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Posts Tagged ‘Kennebunkport Dining’

Lobster Lunches in Kennebunkport Maine

July 7th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

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

lobster boats kennebunkport maine

Enjoy picturesque views like this from Cape Pier Chowder House!

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

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

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

Enjoying Outdoor Dining in Kennebunkport

July 2nd, 2012 by Judi Hauer

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

row boats in Kennebunkport

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

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

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

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

Visiting a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast from Boston

June 29th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

As I drove toward our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfastfrom Boston, it struck me how much changes in 86 miles.  Yes, that major metropolitan area lies less than an hour and a half away, but it’s worlds apart.  The pace here is noticeably slower and the stars brighter.  Now I could go on and on about why Kennebunkport Maine is so different from city life, but that’s a matter for a separate blog.  But, nevertheless, on my short drive I realized just how many great things there are to do and places to nosh on the trip to

Catch a glimpse of sunsets like this one from the bridge into Kennebunkport!

Kennebunkport.  So I started to make a mental note of some of the favorite things guests might enjoy doing to kill some time before 3 pm check-in.

Now, you’re barely out of the city (and the vehicle volume on Route 1 confirms this), when you hit Saugus, home to Karl’s.  It’s been a destination in itself for as long as I can remember, but this summer the traditional German sausage kitchen is moving a few doors up and little off the beaten path for a much needed expansion.  So this summer, as you cross over the Peabody line, be sure to stop for some cold cuts (they’d be perfect for some picnic lunches at the beach – if they last that long!), or a full lunch at their new location, complete with prepared foods and a traditional German menu.  But keep in mind that noshing too much now might mean spoiling your appetite, which comes in handy a few miles further north when you hit Portsmouth.  This New Hampshire city has seem a tremendous revitalization over the last few years, and now the Strawberry Banke is known for (no, not the fruit) its wonderful assortment of shops and restaurants.

But mere minutes closer to Kennebunkport lies the well known shopping town of Kittery, ME.  Home to a plethora of outlets, Kittery  is prime territory for retail therapy.  And after some great eats earlier on the trip, the opportunity to stretch your legs is often well received.  Plus, guys like my father are often perfectly content to browse at places like the Kittery Trading Post while the girls and I check out our favorite shops.  But no trip to Kittery is complete without a stop at Yummies, a candy store with more inventory and variety that any shop I have ever encountered – and if you know my sweet tooth at all, that’s an accomplishment in itself!

Still looking to kill some time before checking in to our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast?  Choose a leisurely path up Route 1, and consider stopping at some personal favorites like When Pigs Fly Bakery or the Stonewall Kitchen.  Once you hit York, Woods to Goods is a must see, with most products made on the inside to enjoy on the outside – but you won’t find any stonework here, because, after stories like those from Shawshank Redemption, there’s only wood to be found in the penitentiary workshops.  Who knows?  You might even find a great present or two!  And while the towns of York and Ogunquit are great for exploring, there’s often not a more welcome sight than the bridge into Kennebunkport.  Your vacation to a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast has arrived!

Searching for Sweets in Kennebunkport Maine

June 25th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

If you’re anything like me and have more than just a single sweet tooth (I’d say I have a whole mouth full!), look no further than Kennebunkport Maine to quell your cravings.  Fortunately, though not for my waistline, there are lots of great options for candy, cookies, and frozen confections just a short stroll from our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast.  But if you find yourself hankering for a sugar fix before you even arrive, Yummiescandy store in Kittery is a great place to stop.  Not only are they conveniently located for

Yummies Candy in Kittery

Check out that candy on display!

some extra retail therapy, they’ve got over 10,000 pounds of sweets on their shelves at all times.  You’ll never see anything like it!  Assuming you have a teeny bit more control that I do, and you actually make it into Kennebunkport, the very first thing you’ll likely encounter is the Sugar Shack.  Located right next to the area Chamber of Commerce, it’s brightly colored sign and inventive window display are sure to catch your attention.  And their traditional assortment of sweets come in just as striking tones.  Nearby, you’ll find the new Chase Hill Bakery, a once famous bakery, whose owner retired, only to reopen recently.  It’s well on its way toward reclaiming its former glory.

As you drive deeper into town, you’ll pass a brand new frozen yogurt shop (stay tuned for more on that one at a later date!) and a great new artisan ice cream shop called Rococo.  With rich and flavorful varieties,  its definitely a new fave! But if some good old chocolate is what you crave, don’t miss out on the Candy Man.  Not only do they offer a mix of sweet munchies by the bin, but their chocolate assortment is out of this world, with the items made at their very own shop in York, ME.  No matter what you’re craving  though, Kennebunkport Maine has got you covered!

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Kennebunkport

June 22nd, 2012 by Judi Hauer

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

view from Tia's Topside in Kennebunkport

A view of the river from Tia's Topside

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

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

Lookin’ for Lobster Shacks in Kennebunkport Maine

May 31st, 2012 by Judi Hauer

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

A view from Cape Pier, a Kennebunkport lobster shack

A view from Cape Pier

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

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

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

Now Open for Ice Cream In Kennebunkport – Rococo

May 28th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

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

Rococo Kennebunkport Ice Cream

The counter at Rococo Artisan Ice Cream in Kennebunkport

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

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

Finding Gluten Free Pizza in Kennebunkport Maine

April 27th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Even in a place known for its dining scene like Kennebunkport Maine, there comes a time when visitors and locals alike just need a good pizza.  Now, because of some incredible foresight and strict zoning laws, you’re not going to find a Domino’s or Papa Gino’s anywhere nearby, but even that wouldn’t help us gluten-free folks.  Fortunately, though there are three places in and around Kennebunkport Maine where you can satisfy that craving without compromising your diet (not the waist-watching one – sorry!).

So if you’re anything like me and feel that a cheese-y slice of pizza should be followed by honking helping of ice cream, check out the gluten free pizza offerings at Duffy’s, which is conveniently located a few doors down from Dairy Queen.  With its accessible location on Route 1 in Kennebunk (perfect for your day trip adventures) and a dining room overlooking the Mousam River, it’s probably a better spot to hit for lunch than dinner.  But since any meal warrants dessert, you still shouldn’t miss out on the DQ.  But

gluten free pizza in Kennebunkport Maine

The new gluten free flatbreads at One Dock are a must try!

closer to your home-away-from-home at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, you’ll find Federal Jack’s Brew Pub.  With a gluten-free menu (but be sure to ask for it), it’s particularly friendly for gluten-free patrons.  But you’ll have to keep looking for a GF beer, because while it would fit their identity as a craft brewery, that option hasn’t yet joined their repertoire.

Sometimes, though, you just want to have it all –  a great grownup atmosphere and some stellar pizza.  Fortunately the new menu at One Dock fits the bill perfectly!  Just steps from the Maine Stay in the heart of Kennebunkport Maine, you can relax in their upscale, lounge-like dining rooms and enjoy the sophisticated setting.  Despite the fact that my server had yet to try the gluten free crusts available for their flatbreads (read: pizza not cooked in a genuine pizza oven) or the inventive crab meat and scallion topped version, I decided to give it a shot.  And, boy, was it ever a win!  As someone who has always been a little skeptical of pizzas without marinara, the combination of mozzarella, scallions, and crab meat atop a white sauce sounded a bit outside my comfort zone, but not anymore.  While the average person might have been a little disappointed by the not-so-crispy crust, that was fine by me, because that signaled on very important thing – it was cooked on a pan.  And any gluten-free eater knows that dramatically reduces your chances for cross-contamination – way to go One Dock!  So despite indulging in a decadent starter, I was somehow able to pack away all six of the generous slices, though it took me so long that I needed the last two pieces sent back for a warm-up (which, I might add, was accommodated with a smile).  There’s no question – this gluten-free pizza is sure to be a hit and a regular staple of my dining routine in Kennebunkport Maine!

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!

A Presidential Getaway in Kennebunkport, ME

February 18th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Although February 14th has come and gone, many people are keeping the mood alive and taking advantage of the long weekend for Presidents’ Day to do their Valentine’s celebrating, and what better place than Kennebunkport, ME for a truly presidential retreat?  Many people may be surprised, but on my very first visit to Kennebunkport, I had no idea that this was the summer retreat of our 41st and 43rd

Bush Family home in Kennebunkport, ME

What a view! Thank you to one of our very special guests for use of this photo taken during her visit to Kennebunkport, ME

Presidents!  So for those of you who didn’t realize that the Bush Family compound is located just 2 miles from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, you’re not alone.  And for those of you who think you might find another first family here, you’ll find Camelot about three hours to our south – not too far for a day trip!

While the Bush family is not in Kennebunkport, ME at this time of year, their estate still sits pretty atop a rocky peninsula just down the street.  No matter the time of year, it’s a great walk out there for some sightseeing and gawking at the incredible “cottages” that flank our coastline.  And Parson’s Way, a path along our famous Ocean Avenue, boasts some of the prettiest stretches of Maine Coastline around (that’s my opinion, folks).  So it’s time to get in the spirit of Presidents’ Day week by dining in style at some of the Bush family’s favorite digs.  For a casual lunch, the seniors have often been spotted at The Ramp, a Kennebunkport, ME version of a “sports bar” – but it’s excellent, though eclectic, cuisine would lead you to think that description might not be accurate.  Guests have also reported that Barbara enjoys a fun, fresh dinner at Bandaloop, usually with girlfriends in tow – sorry, George, we’ve gotta have girl time!  But most frequently we hear of Presidential sightings at Cape Arundel Inn’s fine dining restaurant, which is no surprise given its location.  The open and airy dining room overlooks the inlet and entire Bush compound, plus it’s just around the corner – they could walk if the secret service let them.  But just like you, the former first family likes to lie low during their visits to Kennebunkport, ME, so this week, kick up your heels and relax at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.