Category Archives: Maine cuisine and restaurants

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.

Where’s the Maine Lobster at Maine Restaurant Week?

Maine has arrived as a Foodie State, now hosting several Maine Restaurant Week events – in the fall and spring. Having caught the culinary attention of top food magazines and media of late, Bon Appetite, Gourmet, Saveur, Taste, Food and Wine, and The Food Network have all featured Maine’s best chefs, the Maine local food scene and of course – articles on Maine seafood with lobster as the king. But recent culinary competitions have me wondering where’s the Maine lobster – instead of “where’s the beef?”

davids-serverMarch 1-14 Maine Restaurant Week 2015 kicked off their Signature Tasting Event as Maine chefs paired a cocktail and signature dish – but the menus fell short of Maine ingredients and culinary classic that have made Maine’s seacoast famous. Here’s a sampling of Maine Restaurant Week tastes, with seafood and lobster sadly under-represented:

The new Portland restaurant, Timber Steakhouse, won Maine Restaurant Week Signature Judge’s Taste with a cucumber martini and bite-sized cucumber cup filled with smoked salmon-goat cheese mousse and topped with tobiko (Japanese fish roe). David’s Opus Ten in Portland won People’s Choice wit1kbpt-sign-hearth a Mexican chocolate martini and pulled pork beignet. Chef David Turin now has a very successful sister restaurant to his Portland original, David’s KPT in Kennebunkport at the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel near Dock Square on the Kennebunk River.

Other Kennebunk based chefs, chefs Brian and Shana O’Hea from Kennebunk Inn – served a meatball slider skewered with fried mozzarella with an Italian Sunday Tuxedo -a spicy style bloody Mary, made of pureed roasted vegetables, hopefully from Maine gardens.

Another other-worldly taste from Tiqa, the new Mediterranean restaurant on Commercial Street in Portland, served The Miss Muffet Cocktail combining Double Cross Vodka (Ok- a Maine potatoes based Vodka – finally), Vya dry vermouth and labne whey (the milky liquid from strained yogurt), garnished with a Palestinian olive, paired with chef Bryan Dame’s Berbere-spiced labne on crispy chicken skin. So much for the good old fashioned Maine lobster roll or Clam Chowder. Is anyone else hankering for some recipes representing Maine flavors and fresh seafood?

lobsterGood news, you can dine at Stripers at the Breakwater Inn in Kennebunkport on their 2 for $20 Lobster Lovers menu this month. Also from March 1-14, foodies can dine at participating Maine Restaurant Week restaurants on three course lunches and dinners – specially prepared by the Chefs at a prixe fixe of $15, $20 and $25 for lunch, $25, $35 and $45 for dinner. I hope the Chefs include local lobster.

Maine Restaurant Week is predominantly Portland Maine restaurants, but expands to Freeport, Boothbay and south to Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and York, where Maine’s best Chefs flaunt their flavors and local-sourced food turned into culinary delights.

lobster-ocean-bloodyNew this year to Maine’s food scene is Coastal Maine Restaurant Week – April 26 – May 2 Coastal Maine Restaurants will offer special dining menus, in Kittery York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunkport and Kennebunk – 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. Ok, maybe not a deal, but a special tasting experience.

See our list of our favorite coastal restaurants in Ogunquit & York,  Wells Beach, The Kennebunks, and Portland’s best restaurants, and we will see you out and about celebrating good food and our good fortunate to be on the Southern Maine Coast.