3 days in Kennebunkport
We're off to Kennebunkport (from the NYC area) this morning for 3 days/2 nights. I've read so many conflicting reports about which places for lobster and clam rolls are either musts - or musts to avoid. Any advice? Sadly, my husband's not a clam shack kind of guy - Do I insist on a stop at Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery or will a compromise on Maine Diner work?
We're also looking for 2 spots for dinners - not fancy, just delicious. From what I've read on the Board, I'm thinking Pier 77/Ramp Grill and Bandaloop. Please let me know if there's a better choice.
We'll also be making the pilgrimage to LL Bean - any not-to-miss lunch spots?
Thanks for your help.
We're heading back up to Kennebunkport tomorrow morning, and I realized that I didn't post at all about our visit in August, though I'd started to write something up. We're thinking about going out for a nice quiet dinner one night over the weekend, and I'll post back on whatever we end up doing.
I was in Kennebunkport for the first time this past week. While we mostly ate in, I wanted to report quickly on some of the chow we did have.
Hurricane - four of us had dinner there on Sunday night, sitting at a table in the bar area as there was a bit of a wait in the dining room. Both the bar menu and the dining room menu were available. I had a lobster roll and french fries ($17) - the lobster roll was chock full of succulent chunks of lobster, a little mayonnaise and diced celery. I did think that just a touch of salt would have been good. The french fries were a little on the mushy side, but had a nice flavour to them. The others had the five onion soup (pastry crust on top was pale and a bit flavourless apparently, and the soup itself not so exciting), the pappardelle in a ragu sauce (I tasted this - nice earthiness and depth to the sauce, though I thought there was far too much of it), and my friend's daughter had the chicken sate and the flatbread with tomato, basil and mozzarella (both she and her mother raved about them). We had a $40 bottle of wine - Steele Pinot Noir that we all enjoyed, and the bill was about $100 before tip. Lovely room, and the place seemed a bit less frenetic, in a good way, than some of the other places we stopped into that night, even though it was full.
Clam Shack – on a drive out and about on Friday morning I picked up a pint of clam strips and took them back to the house – I think this is the first time I’ve had clam strips and I thought they were delicious – the clams were tender and the batter crisp, and remained so for quite a while. My husband thought that they had a bit too much breading on them for his taste.
Port Bakery – I stopped in hoping to buy some brioche or challah to make French toast with over the weekend. They didn’t have any, but I noticed that they offered sandwiches on brioche, and was able to special order a loaf for the next day ($6.00). The loaf was huge, and well executed – nice crust, tender, buttery, etc. – just as a brioche should be.
HB Provisions – just wanted to mention that I stopped in here for some odds and ends and noticed that they had a nice wine selection and also sell hard liquor.
The Market – stopped in here as well – bought some black olives for a salad – nice selection of cheese and a wide array of prepared foods, as well as wine.
(Seafood) – on another outing I was in search of clams on the half shell to use for a baked dish I was making – no luck at The Lobster Pot or Mabel’s, but at the latter they referred me to a seafood market up on Route 1. The place seemed very popular and had some great looking scallops. No large clams, so I bought two dozen oysters, and since they don’t shuck them, took them home and got my husband to shuck them. The oysters were decent, not rave worthy (but, since they were topped with caramelized onions, pancetta, butter, red pepper flakes and bread crumbs and then baked, I suspect I could have put a piece of paper towel in the shell and it would still have been delicious!). About 25% of the oysters were open when we got home and wouldn’t close again, so I did have to pitch those unfortunately.
Can't go wrong with Bandaloop for dinner! If you want fried clams I think The Ramp has the best around and if it is too crowded Pier 77 does serve The Ramps menu upstairs. If you are here on a Fri. night, The Pilot House has a great cheap fish fry if you like fried haddock. Joshua's in Wells is also a good dinner choice as well. Skip Bob's and the Maine Diner.
Bandaloop and Pier 77/Ramp: two excellent choices. I'd add Grissini's downstairs pub. Do Arundel Wharf for cocktails on the deck, not food. Stripers, in the Breakwater, has a nice lounge menu and river/sea views. On the Marsh leans toward fancy, but it's excellent. Consider Hurricane for lunch in K'port.
For sit-down lunch in Freeport, the Mediterranean Grill is very good and on a side street (School St.) so it doesn't get as much traffic. Broad Arrow Tavern is excellent (go hungry if you want to do the lunch buffet). If you want to pick up sandwiches, Old World Gourment at the Big Indian (Route 1 south of town) makes excellent ones. And there's always HArraseeket Lunch and Lobster down in South Freeport.
I would recommend Allison's (http://www.alissons.com/) Its a nice place for lunch, with a varried menu. My wife and I enjoy it, when ever we are in the area. There is a nice restaurant in the area called Arundel Wharf,that is generaly nice.(http://www.arundelwharf.com/menu.html) /There is another nice Restaurant called On the Marsh, that is nice a little on the up scale side but has had some good reviews priviously on Chowhound (http://www.onthemarsh.com/index_flash...) Hope this helps a little, Hope you have a nice trip.. Earle Ct.