Category Archives: Maine cuisine and restaurants

Shore Signs of Spring In Maine

Spring has arrived in Maine…sometimes its slow to arrive, with snow in April and skiing til May at Sugarloaf. Maine winters can be long, cold and snowy – skiers and snowmobiler love it but some folks just long for spring. Longer warmer days, beach weather and beautiful flowers. Cheers – spring is here!

Here are 7 shore signs of Spring in Maine:
Flowers popping their tender heads out of garden beds… the bright yellow daffodils, purple pansies, regal red tulips and golden forsythia buds busting forth – say that 3 times!

Shrink wrap ripping of boats as trailers and hauls drop boats into the water – well not literally dropping the boats – that would be a bad start to the yacht season!

Shorts – As the barometer peaks over 70, bold brave eager Mainers shed their long LL Bean layers and don shorts for the first time since September. Beware the bright white legs that have been under rap all winter.

Decks at your favorite Maine restaurants on the water are opening up faster than you can say “let’s get a drink down by the water.”

Portland’s Sea Dogs are playing ball. Nothing says spring in Maine like a home opener of baseball at Portland’s Hadlock Field with Slugger the Sea Dog and the Boston Red Sox Double A Team.

Lawns – the purr of lawnmowers returns as homeowners greet and groom the green grass they have missed  – buried under a winter coat of snow.

Lobster – yes it’s the season to start cracking into Maine lobster again. Here’s praying for a plentiful yield of crustacean this year. Maine lobstermen have set and exceeded their records for the biggest catch for seven straight years… insert clap of claws here.

Cheers to spring in Maine! Get in your short, get on a boat, go to the beach, catch a ballgame, enjoy a beer on a waterfront deck, and enjoy some Maine lobster.

For Maine lodging, visit Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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10 Waterfront Dining Spots in Maine – south up into the lower midcoast

lobster-bake-maine-style3aMaine’s legendary seafood just tastes better with an ocean view, it’s true. Where better to savor succulent Maine lobster than by the sea from which it came? Here are some beautiful oceanfront spots with top Maine chefs for waterfront dining. Get your clams, scallops, mussels and more near the shore at these Top 10 Maine Restaurants…

Davids’ KPT in the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel
The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel is home to this great riverfront restaurant – David’s KPT love-kbpt-davids6hangs over the Kennebunk River, just steps from Dock Square in central Kennebunkport. Portland’s popular chef David Turin is the host, and his creative menu has lots to choose from –a raw bar, light bites to pizzas and entrees. David’s has three vibrant bars plus a spacious outdoor deck with cozy seating for Happy Hour or late night overlooking the river lights. David’s KPT is a locals’ favorite. 21 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, 207-967-8225

stripers-fishing-boatStripers at the Breakwater Inn and Spa in Kennebunkport
Right near the breakwater out to sea in Kennebunkport, hence the name of the Inn where Striper is located – you can watch fishermen catch stripers from this choice spot. Go for cocktails on the gorgeous lawn at sunset, then enjoy mussels or duck or lobster in the beautiful waterfront dining room. 131 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport 207-967-5333

1cape-arundel-inn-oceanOcean Kennebunkport
Ocean at Cape Arundel Inn overlooks Walker’s Point, so you can enjoy a gourmet dinner with a presidential view of the Bush Compound. An elegant dining room and old fashioned wrap around porch in this classic seaside Inn are extraordinary. Chef Pierre is European trained, his sophisticated menu features local seafood and farm raised fare artfully prepared. Go to Ocean before sunset so you can enjoy the ocean view. Cape Arundel Inn is at 208 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, 207-967-2125

pineapple-ketch-nonantum95 Ocean at Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport
This historical and friendly hotel on Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport has water view dining with live entertainment most nights in the summer time. Favorite dishes include fresh seafood and famous Blueberry Chipotle Ribs along with funky cocktails at Heckman’s Pub and the more formal 95 Ocean. Foodies can also enjoy dancing to live music view grand views of the Kennebunk River. Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, 207-967-4050

dine_view21637 and Ships Cellar Pub in York Harbor
York Harbor Inn’s Ship’s Cellar Pub is great for a casual lunch or dinner, modeled after an old wooden ship, or dine upstairs in the more elegant 1637 – same menu – with ocean views and plenty of fresh seafood. Executive Chef Bonsey is a top chef in Maine. 480 York St, York Harbor. 207-363-5119

Dimillos in Portland
Waterfront restaurant doesn’t get any better than being on a boat. DCIM100GOPROGOPR0721.Dimillos is in fact the only floating restaurant on the upper East Coast, opened in 1982 on an old car ferry. But the Dimillos family has a history of great eateries dating back to 1954 in the Old Port. Dimillos restaurant and Marina is an ideal location on Commercial Street, near the Old Port, right on the waterfront so you can watch the fabulous yachts and ferries come and go while you enjoy fresh seafood and drinks in the casual setting. There are several outside decks plus two levels of inside seating – all with Portland Harbor views. 25 Long Wharf Portland, 207-772-2216

Doplhin Cove MarinaDolphin Restaurant in Harpswell
About 40 min from Portland on a most spectacular point in the heart of Casco Bay is the Dolphin with extraordinary waterfront views and delicious handmade Maine food. This family owned and operated restaurant and bar in Harpswell’s beautiful Potts Harbor serves the freshest seafood with homemdae legendary blueberry muffins, in a panoramic restaurant. Arrive by car or boat to Dolphin Marina docks. Open for lunch and dinner. 515 Basin Point Rd, Harpswell, 207-833-6000

sebasco-harbor-resort1200Sebasco Pilot House
Sebasco Harbor Resort has two waterfront dining spots, the casual Ledges Pub and the upstairs more elegant Pilot House. Seafood is always on the menu, salmon, lobster, crab, scallops and clams, at this classic Maine resort with lodging and golf course plus an outdoor salt water pool. Arrive by boat at the marina or stay at Sebasco in the summer for a night or a relaxing week. Sebasco Estates, 207-389-1161

grey-haven-inn-georgetown-blueBlue at Grey Havens
Blue at Grey Havens Inn is an extraordinary setting with equally fine food – and of course ocean views. On peaceful Georgetown Island, not far from Wiscasset and Boothbay, this 1904 Inn sits atop a bluff overlooking Harmon Harbor on the Sheepscot River and sea beyond. You can just make out Cuckold Light. Enjoy a drink on the porch before dinner at Blue. The Chef has fresh specials daily from tuna to lobster inspired treats. Innkeepers Eve & Dick are lovely hosts at this most magical place, we suggest you stay the night and enjoy this bold oceanfront setting. 96 Seguinland Road, Georgetown, ME. 207-371-2616

osprey-restaurant-wine-flightOsprey Restaurant at Georgetown
Osprey Restaurant in beautiful Robinhood Cove in Georgetown serves the freshest seafood and fun pub fare overlooking Robinhood Marina and the picturesque cove where osprey and seals play. Located 50 minutes north of Portland, southeast of Bath and west of Boothbay, in quiet Riggs Cove off the Sheepscot River, you can arrive by land or sea for lunch or dinner, sitting inside or out. Enjoy live music Sunday afternoons and Jazz Friday nights, cocktails specials in a casual Maine seaside setting. 340 Robinhood Road, Georgetown, 207-371-2530

Enjoy your Maine lobster and seafood with a sea view. Be shore to book waterfront lodging so you can relax and savor the sights, tastes and sounds of being on the waterfront in Maine. And let us know your favorite place for fresh Maine seafood with a view, on our Southern Maine Coast Facebook page.

Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Best of Southern Maine, eat, beach, shop, boat!

american-flag-schooner-eleanor3The Southern Maine coast is the ideal place to vacation, visit, even relocate. Southern Maine from Kittery to Kennebunkport to Portland and Freeport is full of beautiful beaches, ocean drives, seafood and shopping. So much to see and do. Here is our favorite guide for your tour of the Maine coast, and our recommendations on the very best places to eat, drink, sleep, shop and boat!

wells-so-beach3Hit the beach – Maine has so many beautiful beaches from soft long stretches of sand, to rocky beaches with perfect smooth pebbles, tidal pools and quiet coves , to broad open strands that surfers love for the big breaking waves. Southern Maine’s beaches are the best, unlike anywhere else in the world, given the 8-11 foot tide twice daily, Maine beaches are incredibly scenic and unique. Old Orchard Beach, Higgins Beach and Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport are among the best in southern Maine. See our guide to Maine’s best beaches.

water_goat_island_lightBest Photographs – Maine Lighthouses   Maine has a proud maritime history, and the lighthouse is the beacon and best representation to this day. From Whaleback Light best viewed from Kittery’s Fort McClary, to the most photographer Nubble Light at Cape Neddick York, to Goat Island Light off Cape Porpoise in Kennebunkport, Woods Hole Light in Biddeford and the oldest and most celebrated Portland Headlight in Fort Williams Park… you should see them all. Pack a picnic and enjoy the grounds Portland Headlight these gorgeous seaside settings, and ponder the shipwrecks these lights have thwarted over the centuries.

Take the Presidential pass to Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport Maine is the summer home to President George H W and Barbara Bush, as well as George W (we call him 43 versus his Dad 41), and Jeb too. You can drive along Kennebunkport’s Ocean Avenue and see their spectacular Walkers Point estate (locals call it gawkers point in prime tourist season), then visit Kennebunkport‘s White Columns Bush First Family Exhibit at Kennebunkport’s Historical Society.

Sea Food – Eat Maine
stripers-lobster-bakeEat some local Maine seafood, lobster, fried clams, shrimp, scallops, and oysters. You can dine at a fancy four star restaurant on artfully prepared lobster out of the shell, or you roll up your sleeves at a roadside Clam Shack, or enjoy a fresh made lobster roll.

Some of our favorite Maine restaurants include the York Harbor Inn – try the Ship’s Cellar Pub downstairs, Velveteen Habit and MC Perkins in Ogunquit, Joshua’s in Wells, David’s KPT at the Boathouse Waterfront in Kennebunkport, and Mabel’s Lobster Claw, Old Vines Wine Bar in Kennebunk, or casual pub fare at Alissons – it’s the Cheers of Kport1 (3)Maine. Portland has so many good restaurant – too many to mention.

Shop Maine
Maine is loaded with local crafts people, artists, chefs, and jewelers. Whether its lobster or lighthouse decor, starfish and sea glass jewelry, seascape inspired art, or Maine made blueberry and maple products, be “Shore” to save time to shop Maine boutiques. Score some bargains at Kittery Outlets and Freeport Outlets, and go open minded with an open wallet to Maine discount stores Mardens and Reny’s. You must LL Bean,  in Freeport 365/7/24 since 1913,  and see this Maine clothier and outdoor gear flagship store,  famous for its amazing return policy,  LL Bean boots, and the Bear and Moose display, plus the massive Bean Boot boat-tour-exits-river5outside (photo opp)!

Meet the Mainers
Accents – we got that! Mainers are incredibly proud,  funny, pragmatic people. They work hard, laugh often and have a strong sense of Yankee-ism. Mainers are  often sarcastic, you’ve been warned. See this guide to Maine slang for a clue, ayuh!

Biking in Kennebunkport MaineMaine’s natural assets
Besides the beaches, southern Maine is host to wonderful walking trails, bike paths and seaside walks. We recommend the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, and Parsons Way in Kennebunkport, plus the Eastern Trail which encompasses 65 miles from Kittery to Casco Bay, Portland. Get out and explore the great Pine Tree State.

Get on a boat
The best way to see Maine’s dramatic coastline is by sea. Maine boat tours range from lobster boat tours and sailboat rides that last an hour or two, to scenic lighthouse excursions, or all-day fishing cpineapple-ketch-nonantumharters and whale watch expeditions. Southern Maine’s most beautiful ports offering boat tours include Ogunquit and Kennebunkport and Portland. We think the best boat rides are the Rugosa Lobster Boat Toor from Kennebunkport‘s Nonantum for a fun family-friendly boat ride on the Kennebunk River, captain Bob takes you out to President Bush’s estate at Walkers Point, and you get to see how lobster is trapped caught and hauled. If sailing with the wind floats your boat, then the Pineapple Ketch is a beautiful sailboat charter from the same docks – the sunset sail is a 10. For a fishing charter, Libreti Rose II in the same Nonantum Marina is a great day, or a few hours, fishing with a licensed experience Captain Bruce, he was once featured on Deadliest Catch.

Kennebunkport Maine InnStay another day
There is a reason Maine is called Vacationland, and  “The Way Life Should Be” so slow down and enjoy your visit to Maine. Find a romantic seaside inn, or a full service hotel on the ocean, even a nice motel right on the beach. See our favorite Maine lodging locations and stay a little longer.

Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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What is there to do on the Southern Maine Coast in winter?

5seaside-inn-winterWhat is there to do on the Southern Maine Coast in winter? Plenty – walk the beach, shop, eat, drink, ski, sled, skate, surf, cozy up to a fire at a romantic seaside inn, eat lobster, snowshoe, paint, read, write…

You can walk the beach all year round. In winter, Ogunquit, Wells Beach, Kennebunk Beach and Old Orchard are all beautiful. You can watch the surfers ride the winter waves, walk your dog, take pictures of the snow and sand, and just enjoy an entirely different season on the beach, read: not wearing your bikini.

Cross country skiing or snowshoeing at nearby Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm on their 7 mile of beautiful trails or Harris Farm in Dayton makes for a great day, even an hour outside enjoying the snow and the scenery.

2dock-square-kbpt2For a more relaxing romantic endeavor, take a horse drawn carriage ride through Kennebunkport’s Docks Square, Ogunquit and Kennebunk both have beautiful outdoor ice skating rinks. Kennebunk’s Waterhouse Pavilion is a free public covered ice rink in downtown Kennebunk next to the Kennebunk Inn.

Sledding hills are peppered throughout the coast – Kennebunk’s Sea Road Dump, no longer a landfill, is very popular for sledding on the well-pitched hill. Munjoy Hill and the Eastern Prom in Portland have some good sledding spots too.

99love-kbpt-davidsAs for fun festivals, Kennebunkport celebrates Paint The Town Red and February is For Lovers with red and white lights, Ice Bar at David’s KPT, heart decorations and romantic specials on lodging at fabulous inns, happy hours, dining and shopping.  Ogunquit throws a Mardi Gras party in February 20 weekend with fir jugglers, a Masquerade Ball and a Hat and Mask Parade down Ogunquit’s Main Street. Let the good time roll in Ogunquit in winter.

4dock-square-kbpt7Shopping is a four season sport, and Maine is no exception, especially with LL Bean open 365 24/7. Winter shopping in Maine means deals and sales – whether you are at Kittery Outlets, Freeport’s Outlets, or the many boutiques and shops in Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and the Old Port of Portland. You can also find bargains at Mardens and Reny’s  -two classic Maine shopping experiences – buy it if you see it – these Maine shopping institutions are never the same twice. The local people watching is a hoot to.

davids-serverMaine restaurants host Maine Restaurant Week March 1-16, 2016 – so it’s actually two weeks of great Maine dining deals at the best restaurants in southern Maine. Maine’s foodie scene as rocketed to top chef status, in fact Portland recently topped Boston as the coziest city in America – with the great dining spots as a number 1 reason.

Per capita, Portland Maine has more restaurants than any other city in the United States, and many are walkable and wonderful! Winter is a better time to tackle the Top Restaurants in Portland – less lines and less waiting for a table and better dining deals than peak summer. Don’t worry, lobster is always on the menu, clams too.

6captain-lord-mansion-kennebunkportLastly, cozy romantic lodging along the Southern Maine Coast in winter is a great deal. You can score a beautiful suite or a fireplace room in a BNB for less than spring, summer or fall, and you have the place to yourself. Many lodging properties like Seaside Inn and Captain Lord Mansion in K’port, and Ogunquit Resort Motel offer packages including wine and flowers, or dining certificates to local restaurants during your stay, even late check outs. Family resorts like Rhumb Line in Kennebunkport and Village by the Sea and Misty Harbor in Wells have indoor heated pools perfect for a family vacation.

love-kbpt-davids6See our Southern Maine Coast lodging guide and plan a winter getaway today – bring the kids, the dog to a pet friendly place, or just your sweetheart to a romantic inn in Maine.

Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Love Wine and Love Maine? Try a Wine Walk

perkins-cove-footbridge2Wine Walks in Maine are the perfect pairing – wine education while on vacation – or an afternoon appreciating wine at new-to-you local venues. Your lovely host Erica Archer, CWP, WSET, offers this fun format of mobile wine classes in the Kennebunks, Ogunquit, and Portland, and Wine Sails in Portland and Camden.

I joined in a Friday Wine Walk in Kennebunk, as our group from Boothbay to Fort old-vines-bar-tableLauderdale, made our way to four Kennebunk restaurants tasting unique Chardonnays – the wine theme for the day. Erica, the beautiful blond brainchild behind Wine Wise – her wine event company founded five years ago, presented four fabulous wines with rich detail and description as we sipped away the afternoon together.

We uncorked our first taste at Duffy’s on Kennebunk’s Main Street. Chef John prepared a delicious poached salmon with summer squash medley that provided just the right balance to our buttery Kendall Jackson Vintner Reserve Chardonnay. Erica offered regional background, technical terms like malolactic fermentation, and then very pragmatic tips like how to open a bottle of wine perfectly and champagne like a pro (turning the bottle – not the cork).

winewalk2Our next stop at Owen’s Farmhouse, we smelled, sipped and savored a bright but subtle French Burgundy-region Albert Bichot Chardonnay which complemented the wood-fired pizzas we shared in this cozy café. Erica’s wine knowledge is impressive, she’s a Certified Wine Professional with Level Three Advanced Certification as a Sommelier. But she’s also warm, witty and passionate about her wines – no wine snobbery here. As Erica says, “If wine is a foreign language, we all become more fluent after a few glasses.”
winewalk1
At Academe, in the Kennebunk Inn, Chefs Brian and Shanna had created a clever BLT – Arancini with Brussels sprout and bacon which was fantastic with our beautiful bubbly – Veuve Clicquot Champagne (a Chardonnay in fancy French clothing).

We learned wonderful little wine facts:
Champagne corks can release at 45 mph
80% of the taste in wines comes from the aroma
Wines are served too cold, red, white, even rosé
French White Burgundy = Chardonnay
Red Burgundy = Pinot Noir
The Master Sommelier Certification Exam has a less than a 10% pass rate
The best wine opener* is the basic corkscrew with a knife, screw, and two notches
*note to my friends: please no more silly battery operated openers for my birthday

winewalk5Our final stop was 50 Local for a Foxglove Chardonnay from San Luis Obispo California paired with spicy tofu, local field greens, earthy pasta and mushrooms. So we had toured the west coast to France and back in our two-hour wine block walk. Our minds had been opened with each bottle, to new approaches to drinking wine, and better appreciation of how territory and treatment affect each vine and harvest. Our food pairings were excellent – showing Erica’s attention to detail and collaboration with her host chefs.

We walked away from our Wine Walk having tasted and toasted new friends with a new improved vino lingo and greater love of wines.

windjammer-maineNow I want to  Wine Sail in Camden or Portland at sunset, sounds sublime. See Wine Wise’s schedule for Erica’s upcoming Wine Walks in Ogunquit, Portland, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport and Wine Sails in Casco Bay and Camden.

Wine Walks in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport Poertland, and Ogunquit

Sunday, November 22 Wine (and food) Walk in Ogunquit, ME: Wines of Piedmont, Italy

Saturday, November 28 A Wine (and food) Walk in Portland’s West End: Delicious Wines of Spain

Sunday, November 29 Bourbon (and food) Walk in Portland, ME

Saturday, December 5  A Wine (and food) Walk in Portland, ME: Cabernet Sauvignon

Saturday, December 12 A Wine (and food) Walk in Portland, ME: Sparkling Wines

Saturday, December 19 A Wine Walk in The Old Port, Portland, ME: Italian Wine & Food Pairings

Sunday, December 20 A Wine (and food) Walk in Ogunquit, ME: Sparkling Wines

Saturday, December 26 -Wine (and food) Walk in the West End, Portland, ME: Wines of the Rhône Valley, France

Saturday, December 26 Wine (and food) Walk in the West End, Portland, ME: Wines of the Rhône Valley, France

Sunday, December 27 Spirits (and food) Walk in Portland, ME: Scotch

See more fun food and wine events on the Southern Maine Coast including  Kennebunkport’s Progessive Dinner Trolley and The Kennebunkport Festival!

Coastal Maine Restaurant Week Oct 24-30

If you love creative cuisine and touring the southern Maine coast – then we have just the scene for you!  Coastal Maine Restaurant Week is October 24-30, 2015. What started as Kennebunk Restaurant Week in 2013 has grown to a gourmet event spanning the Coastal Maine towns of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arudnel, Cape Poprpoise,  Wells,Oqunquit, York, Kittery and Eliot with the top places to dine on the waterfront like York Harbor Inn, The Cliff House,   Hurricane, On the Marsh,and Nonantum, and Stripers. There are two fantastic new restaurants this year,  Velveteen Habit in Ogunquit and Ports of Italy in Kennebunkport!

davids-serverMaine Restaurants are now home to top chefs serving local  Maine ingredients – with a flair during these special culinary weeks each spring and fall, when restaurants aren’t super busy like they are in peak summer. The dining format is three-course themed price fixe menus – above and beyond the Chef’s usual offerings for foodies to celebrate and congregate. Kennebunkport’s top restaurants are participating, Nonantum 95 Ocean, Hurricane, Ocean, Stripers, Academe, and the new Ports Of Italy.

October 24-30 is Coastal Maine Restaurants with special dining menus from Kittery to Kennebunkport– organized by the York County Coast Star. During this week southern Maine chefs will prepare special three course gourmet menus –often with an ocean view at a prix fixe dinner of $25, $35, and $45 per person, before beverages, tax and gratuity. So maybe not a steal of a deal, but a special tasting experience.

Maine has attracted top chefs in recent years, and received high praise in food article from Forbes to Yankee, Gourmet and Bon Appetite, to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Many of the culinary talents in the Pine Tree State are focused menus featuring Maine sourced, locally grown and farm raised food, fresh caught lobster and seafood  to artisan farm cheeses. There’s more to Maine than just blueberries, broccoli and potatoes don’t ya know?!

cape-neddick-yorkWhat’s fun about Coastal Maine Restaurant Week, besides the view and delicious cuisine, is meeting fellow foodies in your travels. You meet new people while dining out – folks who share your passion for fine food and wine. Wine pairings and drinks specials are often offered to complement the chef’s menu, but not included- nor is gratuity.

Here are the Coastal Maine Restaurants participating in Coastal Maine Restaurant Week:

Ports of Italy, Western Ave, Kennebunk
Hurricane, Dock Square, Kennebunkport
Stripers Waterside  at Breakwater Inn 207-967-3118, 133 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport
Federal Jack’s 207-967-4322, 8 Western Avenue Kennebunk

On the Marsh Bistro -207-967-2299, 46 Western Avenue, Kennebunk
York Harbor Inn – 207-363-7151, 480 York Street, York
Jonathan’s Ogunquit 207-646-4777, 92 Bourne Lane, Ogunquit
Bintliff’s 207-646-3111, 335 Main Street, Ogunquit
Velveteen Habit, 207-216-9884, 37 Ogunquit Road, Ogunquit
Angelina’s Ristorante 207-646-0445, 655 Main Street, Ogunquit
The Front Porch 207-646-4005 9 Shore Road, Ogunquit
Bintliffs, 207-646-3111, 335 Main Street, Ogunquit
Roost 207-646-9898, 262Shore Road, York
Surf Point 360 207-646-9384, 1205 Post Road (Route 1) Wells
50 Shore Road, 207-646-5001, 50 Shore Road, Ogunquit
York River Landing 207-351-8430, 150 US Route 1, York
Stage Neck Inn 207-646-8988, 8 Stage Neck Road, York

Reservations for dinner are recommended during this special week. See you out an about enjoying Coastal Maine Restaurant Week! Make it a mini vacation by staying a night or two midweek and get great lodging rates in Kennebunkport Hotels like Seaside Inn, Breakwater or Captain Lord Mansion, or Ogunquit Resort Motel or York Harbor Inn.

Copyright SouthernMaineCoast.com 2015, all photos and content.

Vacation Guide to the Southern Maine – Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, York, Old Orchard Beach – Resorts Inns

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Maine is famous for its food- more than just lobster!

stripers-lobster-bakeA trip to Maine is not complete with a crustacean… a fresh Maine lobster steamed and served with drawn butter. But there is much more to the Maine food scene than just seafood – clams, scallops, crab, oysters, mussels and fish.  You also have to sample Maine specialty foods like saltwater taffy, made right before your eyes at the Golden Rod in York Beach.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0442.Maine blueberries and strawberries are delicious in early summer -whether eaten fresh and simply by the handful of berries, or baked in cakes, pies, muffins, shortcake and cobbler or jams.  Maine gourmets are making their own delicious artisan cheese, apple cider in season and fresh berry jams and preserves. You can tour Stonewall Kitchen in York, and learn about their award winning Maine recipes and specialty food products.

old-vines-bar-tableThere are numerous Maine breweries and Maine wineries like Cellardoor using native berries to create unique homemade brews and wines. There is even a potato vodka made right here with Maine potatoes – one of Maine greatest products. Maine is also a top producer of broccoli – who knew?!

colony-kennebunkport-festival-aspenEnd your day with a cocktail on the deck of a gorgeous inn, or one of our favorite spots on the waterfront, then enjoy a perfectly prepared seafood dinner followed by homemade blueberry pie for desert.

In Scarborough, you can visit the world’s largest moose made entirely of chocolate (chocolate moose – get it?!) at Libby’s – next to Cabela’s.

bass-harbor-light (9)And you’ll have to take home some delicious Maine treats. So save room in your car for live Maine lobster packed to go, fresh picked Maine crabmeat, Maine Harbor candies, fresh Maine blueberries, and a quart of Maine maple syrup. Or you can just stay another day and try more of Maine’s best restaurants.

pineapple-ketch-nonantumEnjoy your Maine vacation  and see our southern Maine Coast lodging guide for where to stay!

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Best Events on the Southern Maine Coast

wells-so-beach3There are so many fun events in Maine from Kittery to Kennebunkport and Portland Maine. You just have to “sea” some of these zany vibrant foodies fun festivals to appreciate how Maine does things, fun parades, parties, and celebrations …”The Way Life Should Be”!

Every Saturday in Kennebunk is a Farmers Market from 8-1pm. Fridays throughout Southern Maine.Art Walks occur every Friday evening  in Maine – the 1st Friday in Portland, 2nd Friday is the Village Art Walk in the Lower Village Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, and 3rd Friday Art Walk in downtown Kennebunk.

The Padpaddle-boarder2dle Battle at the river front Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport is August 2– this third annual race of canoes, paddleboards and kayaks on the Kennebunk River starts at 1:30,  register for the race here.  Food, music and fun are part of the event for non-paddlers too on this Father’s Day.

Southern Maine Fireworks DisplayFireworks at Old Orchard Beach every Thursday night  on the beach next to the Old Orchard Beach Pier all summer June 25 – September 3rd.

July 4th  fireworks on the coast at Maine Beach Towns including York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk Old Orchard Beach, Portland.

pineapple-ketchThe Tallships Parade Comes to Portland Maine  July 18-20 2015  – Portland Harbor will hosts 8 historic tallships on their final stop of the 2015 Tallships Challenge . The highlight, the Tallships Parade, sails into Portland Harbor at 1pm July 18

Nonantum Resort Kennebunkport has live entertainment and riverfront dining Monday – Thursday all summer 6:30-9:30.

Stripers Waterside Restaurant stripers-lobster-bakeat the Breakwater Inn in Kennebunkport has an authentic  Maine Lobster Clambake every Monday night at 6pm served outside on the river with beautiful sunset views.

Aug 29, 2015 is Wells Annual Chilifest at Wells Harbor – a Mexican fiesta in Maine as Wells best restaurants compete for the best chili title.

breakwater-river-view7Laudholm Summer Solstice Nature Crafts Festival in Wells is the 1st Weekend after Labor Day featuring 100 artisans, jewelers, and crafts people display at Wells Laudholm Farms.

MaineStage Shakespeare presents outdoor Shakepeare theatre in the park every Wednesday-Saturday at the Colony, Lafayette Park and River Green in Kennebunkport.

portland-headlightMaine Open Lighthouse Day is September 12 with free admission to Maine lighthouses along the coast

Maine Lobsterman Triathlon in South Freeport is September 12

cape-neddick-yorkFor lodging on the Southern Maine Coast during any of these events and festivals, go to our Lodging Deals Guide.

For a list of Events throughout Maine, see our Maine events page.

11th Annual Kennebunkport Festival

 

kennebunkport-festivalWhat started as the Kennebunkport Fine Food & Art Festival a decade ago has expanded and become simply “The Festival” of Kennebunkport Maine! The Kennebunkport Festival is now  in year 11, as Maine Magazine’s pet project, organized and promoted by their staff, with event tickets priced from $15 for Brews and Tunes, to cocktail parties each night at $40, to as much as $250 for exclusive Chef dinners at private mansions on the beach, Ocean Ave and Wood Fired Maine at Wells Laudholm Farm. This year’s Kennebunkport Festival is June 8-13, 2015.

kennebunkport-festival-tentA portion of The Kennebunkport Festival proceeds go to a local Maine charity – this year’s beneficiary is Full Plates Full Potential. But mostly it’s an event for sampling local Chefs’ best bites, sipping cocktails on the Kennebunk River, a week to see and be seen in the  famous town of Kennebunkport!

kennebunkport-festival-drinksFrom the cocktail parties to the after parties (see the schedule below), it’s a festival infused with high spirit, spirits, art, food, music and Maine scenery. It’s hardly a locals event, instead its hobnobbing with the publications folks from Portland, chefs from around the state, and the well heeled second-home owners. But its a feel good, do good festival nonetheless.

Monday, June 8 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Gratitude Cocktails at the Lodge on the Cove 5 – 7 pm $45
Barbara Bush’s 90th Birthday – Private Party – not part of the Kennebunkport Festival

Tuesday, June 9 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Cocktails at One Dock at Kennebunkport Inn 5 – 7 pm $40
A Taste of Grace at The White Barn Inn 7 – 10 pm $200

kennebunkport-festival-singerPrivate Art of Dining Tuesday Dinners
Captain Fairfield Inn Dinner with Chef Sam Talbot of Pig + Poet 7 – 10 pm $175
Handler Residence Art of Dining featuring Chef Brian Hill of Francine Bistro 7 – 10 pm $150
Hogan Residence Art of Dining with Chef Larry Matthews of Back Bay Grill 7 – 10 pm $175
Knudsen Residence dinner featuring Chef Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan 7 – 10 pm $175
Kuehnle Residence Dinner featuring Chef John Shaw of Tides Beach Club 7 – 10 pm $175
Leonardi Residence Dinner featuring Chef Josh Hixson of 40 Paper 7 – 10 pm $175
Lord Residence Dinner featuring Chef Damian Sansonetti of Piccolo 7 – 10 pm $150
Molloy Residence featuring Chef David Levi of Vinland 7 – 10 pm $175
Taranto/Ellms Residence featuring Chef Fred Eliot of Petite Jacqueline 7 – 10 pm $175
Weaver Residence featuring Chef Aaron Smith of Old Port Sea Grill 7 – 10 pm $175
After Party at Abbondante Tuesday 9-11pm – Complimentary

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0749.Wednesday, June 10 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Cocktails at The Colony 5 – 7 pm $40
Private Art of Dining Dinners on Wednesday 
Gillard Residence Dinner featuring Chef Dan Sriprasert of Green Elephant 7 – 10 pm $175
Gott Residence featuring Chef Mel Chaiken of The Fiddlehead Restaurant 7 – 10 pm $175
Granetz Residence featuring Justin Walker of Earth 7 – 10 pm $175
Hurlbutt Residence Dinner featuring Guy Hernandez of Lolita 7 – 10 pm $175
Kaufman Residence featuring Chef Jackson Yordon of Salt & Honey 7 – 10 pm $175
Keller Residence featuring Chef William Benner of The Black Point Inn 7 – 10 pm $175
Maushart Residence featuring Chef Leslie Oster of Aurora Provisions 7 – 10 pm $175
Taranto/Ellms Residence II with Chef Chris Wilcox of The Velveteen Habit 7 – 10 pm $175
Raffaelli Residence featuring Chef Harding Lee Smith of The Rooms 7 – 10 pm $175
Rice Residence featuring Chef Emil Rivera of Sur Lie 7 – 10 pm $175
Turner/Bull Residence featuring Chef Jeff Buerhaus of Walter’s 7 – 10 pm $175
After Party at Stripers Wednesday 9-11pm – Complimentary

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0442.Thursday, June 11 Kennebunkport Festival Events
The Hinckley Reception at Chicks Marina 5 – 7 pm $40
The Spirit of Maine Party at Pilot House Boatyard 6 – 11 pm $150.00

Friday, June 12 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Art Works Opening Reception at Gallery at the Grand 5 – 7 pm $40
Wood Fired at Wells Reserve at Laudholm 6 – 10 pm $225
Cucchiara Grand Cru featuring Ocean Chef Pierre Gignac  6 – 10 pm $225
After Party Pedros  9-11pm – Complimentary

Saturday, June 13 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Grand Tapas Party at Pilot House Boatyard Tent Noon – 4 pm $65
Brews & Tunes on the The River Green 2 – 5 pm $15
Cocktails at Old Vines – Pims on the Patio 5 – 7 pm $40
Biking in Kennebunkport MaineChoice Art Show at Maine Art 5 – 7 pm $40
Festival Grand Finale at David’s KPT 7 – 11 pm $140

Sunday June 14
Tour De Cure at Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm

See you at The Kennebunkport Festival! Eat, drink and be merry in Maine!

Forks Up, Coastal Maine Restaurant Week is on!

Love food? Love the southern Coast of Maine? How does a week devoted to dining out on the southern Maine Coast sound? Coastal Maine Restaurant Week is April 26 – May 2, 2015. What started as Kennebunk Restaurant Week in 2013 has expanded this spring to include Coastal Maine towns of Wells, Oqunquit, York, Kittery and Eliot including some of the top places to dine on the waterfront like York Harbor Inn, The Cliff House and MC Perkins in Ogunquit, Ocean, Stripers and David’s in Kennebunkport!

davids-serverMaine Restaurant have become progressive about promoting their talented local chefs and Maine ingredients – by flaunting their fine food during these special culinary weeks in spring and fall, when restaurants aren’t super busy like they are in peak summer. The dining format is three-course themed price fixe menus – above and beyond the Chef’s usual offerings for foodies to celebrate and congregate. Kennebunkport’s top restaurants are participating, Davids, Ocean, Stripers and On the Marsh.

April 26 – May 2 is Coastal Maine Restaurants with special dining menus from Kittery to Kennebunkport– organized by the York County Coast Star. During this week southern Maine chefs will prepare special three course gourmet menus –often with an ocean view at a prix fixe dinner of $25, $35, and $45 per person, before beverages, tax and gratuity. So maybe not a steal of a deal, but a special tasting experience.

Maine has attracted top chefs in recent years, and received high praise in food article from Forbes to Yankee, Gourmet and Bon Appetite, to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Many of the culinary talents in the Pine Tree State are focused menus featuring Maine sourced, locally grown and farm raised food, fresh caught lobster and seafood and artisan cheeses. Maine has more than just blueberries, broccoli and potatoes as native food to rave about.

cape-neddick-yorkWhat’s fun about Coastal Maine Restaurant Week, besides the view and delicious cuisine, is meeting fellow foodies in your travels. You meet new people while dining out – folks who share your passion for fine food and wine. Wine pairings and drinks specials are often offered to complement the chef’s menu, but not included- nor is gratuity.

Here are the Coastal Maine Restaurants participating in Coastal Maine Restaurant Week April 26- May 2, 2015:

Ocean 207-967-1504, 208 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport
David’s KPT 207-967-8223, 21 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport
Stripers Waterside  at Breakwater Inn 207-967-3118, 133 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport
Mabels Lobster Claw 207-967-2562, 124 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport
Federal Jack’s 207-967-4322, 8 Western Avenue Kennebunk
On the Marsh Bistro -207-967-2299, 46 Western Avenue, Kennebunk
Duffy’s Tavern and Grill 207985-0050, 4 Main Street, Kennebunk
York Harbor Inn – 207-363-7151, 480 York Street, York
Jonathan’s Ogunquit 207-646-4777, 92 Bourne Lane, Ogunquit
Bintliff’s 207-646-3111, 335 Main Street, Ogunquit
MC Perkin’s Cove 207-646-6263 111 Perkins Cove, Ogunquit
Angelina’s Ristorante 207-646-0445, 655 Main Street, Ogunquit
The Front Porch 207-646-4005 9 Shore Road, Ogunquit
Clay Hill Farm 207-361-2272, 220 Clay Hill Road Cape Neddick
The Cliff House 207-361-1000, 591 Shore Road, York
The Steakhouse 207-646-4200, 1205 Post Road (Route 1) Wells
Five O Shore Road207-646-5001, 50 Shore Road, Ogunquit
Cape Neddick Inn 207-351-1145, 1273 US Route 1, Cape Neddick
Stage Neck Inn 207-646-8988, 8 Stage Neck Road, York

Reservations for dinner are recommended during this special week. See you out an about enjoying Coastal Maine Restaurant Week! Make it a mini vacation by staying a night or two midweek and get great lodging rates in Kennebunkport Hotels like Seaside Inn, Breakwater or Captain Lord Mansion, or Ogunquit Resort Motel or York Harbor Inn.