In the last post, we brought you the dish on new Kennebunkport Restaurants opening for the 2011 season. But we are equally excited about returning to our favorite spots to ooh and ahh over their new menu items. When choosing what to order, we like a challenge – so bring it on!
Old Vines… new vibe. Entering their 3rd season, Old Vines has become a go-to for a great pour and a light bite, a place that’s gourmet but yet so inviting, and one of the few places that serves food late into the evening. This season, they are introducing an expanded menu, adding small plates like Broiled Maine Shrimp and Chorizo to their ever-popular paninis, salads, cheeses and cured meats, as well as debuting a full bar, including cocktails and beer. And all of these enticing selections can now be enjoyed al fresco! Absolutely a perfect spot whether you’re up for an aperitif before heading elsewhere for dinner or just kicking back in one place and noshing all evening.
A downtown Kennebunk restaurant that opened last year, 50 Local enters its second season with popularity that suggests they may stick around for awhile. Priding themselves on offering food prepared with ingredients from local farms and fisheries, 50 Local serves up a nice combination of comfortable and hip, both in fare and atmosphere. Also enticing are the handcrafted cocktails, like “The Jam Jar” (Nana Paul's homemade strawberry jam, vodka, lemon - served right in the jar) or the savory “Ghost of Mary” (spiced tomato water, vodka, tomolives). Speaking of beverages, this season they are offering complimentary progressive tapas at the bar when you order drinks between 5 and 6:30pm. Yep, that’s free food! Also new for 2011 are $2 Taco Tuesdays. Self-explanatory but definitely worth mentioning. Lastly, 50 Local joins Old Vines in heading outdoors; their new patio, aka “Main Street’s Veranda” seems perfect for sipping one of those Jam Jar cocktails on a warm summer evening.
Oh Bandaloop. We have spent many, many a night with you since 2004. Due to frequent cravings for the Vermont Cheddar Quesadilla (with sugar-cured jalapenos!) and the Wilted Organic Spinach Salad, we will simply never be able to get enough of this Kennebunkport restaurant. But being a long-standing favorite also means we like to see new things on the menu now and again. This season we are eager to try the small plates like the Sweet Corn Three Onion Risotto and the Maine Shrimp (or Tofu) Taco (with roasted poblano hot sauce and herbed sour cream). They’ve also added a nightly flatbread selection, which fits in perfectly with the Bandaloop concept. When it comes to entrées, diners can keep things fresh by pairing any protein with any sauce. So with the Rosemary-Olive Oil Grilled All Natural Pork Chop, will it be the fire roasted BBQ onion sauce or the caramelized onion-gorgonzola cream sauce? I might have to have another strawberry mojito while I decide…
Cape Arundel Inn has long been home to a fine dining Kennebunkport restaurant, a choice for elegant evenings and special occasions. Chef Rich Lemoine has made it so. The winter of 2011 saw a changing of the guard for this landmark property, and ownership has been passed from Jack Nahil to our friend and neighbor Rich Malconian and his partner Mike Shea. But Chef Lemoine remains at the helm, assuring long-time fans that their returns visits will be as special as they always have been. Fear not, if you remember fondly the “Sauteed Maine lobster in a whisky and wild mushroom beurre blanc, returned to its spinach-lined shell, lightly broiled, and served with herbed fingerling potatoes” – it’s still being prepared as carefully as ever. However, changes are being made cautiously. For starters, they’ve added a Spring Midweek menu with items like Slow Roasted Meatloaf with Roasted Tomato Gravy and Garlic Whipped Potatoes. Rich and Mike’s vision is to help people create memories, we are eager to see what else they will bring to Cape Arundel.
With so many outstanding options for dining in Kennebunkport, it may be tough to make up your mind. However, if you are planning to visit Captain Fairfield Inn during the summer or fall, we highly recommend making that call sooner rather than later, as many restaurants are quite busy especially on Friday and Saturday nights. We are happy to make your dinner reservations for you; just let us know the when and where, and we’ll take it from there!