Tuesday, August 29, 2006 

Fall Foliage in Kennebunkport

Where did the summer go? It seems that it had just arrived and here we are about to start our colorful foliage season. The above Robert Dennis photo shows us why this coming season attracts visitors from all over the world. In fact, it is not uncommon for the Maine Stay to have a full dining room at breakfast time in the Fall, with less than half of the guests being from the United States.

These colors of nature are miraculous. Whatever you do, don't forget the camera. New England's fall colors are indescribable and a picture is worth a thousand words (hey, that's catchy).

Let us know that you are coming to see the colors and we will map out a wonderful day trip, from the Maine coast to the Maine mountains, with a stop at a wonderful apple orchard where you can purchase some homemade apple donuts (there I am, back to food again). Don't eat too many. When these donuts are fresh, they go down much too easily.

Before you know it, I'll be writing about winter in Kennebunkport.


Saturday, August 26, 2006 

Craft Shows in Kennebunkport

Certainly one of the more popular events in Kennebunkport, the craft shows attract thousands of people.

During the Spring, summer and fall, the craft shows are most commonly held on the River Green as shown in the photo. During Kennebunkport's annual Christmas Prelude celebration the venue of the craft shows moves indoors to a variety of locations around town.

These craft shows provide the perfect opportunity to pick up that one-of-a-kind gift and, at the same time, support a Maine craftsman (sorry, craftsperson).

Don't forget, if you are staying at the Maine Stay Inn, that problem of finding a parking space is not your problem as the River Green is just around the corner.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006 

Guess Who is Coming to Kennebunkport

Kennebunkport will be alive with excitement this weekend. President Bush (43 or Dubya, as they say in Texas) will be visiting his parents, President Bush (41) and Barbara at Walker's Point.

The display of security is always very impressive. The opportunity to wave to the President and have the President wave back is quite a thrill for many of our guests.

The road to Walker's Point takes the motorcade directly by the Maine Stay and we expect the President's motorcade will drive by several times. Everytime he drives by, Janice and I and many of our guests gather out front and wave. He always waves back.

So come back to this site after the weekend. I will do my best to get some great photos and hopefully can elaborate on what should be a very exciting weekend for our little town.


Saturday, August 19, 2006 

On the Marsh - A Kennebunkport Restaurant Review

Attention to every detail. When you pull into the parking lot at On the Marsh and exit your vehicle, it begins. Even those less inclined to observe details will be impressed with the manicured grounds. The creativity of the landscaping and the placement of the fashioned ornaments complement the magnificent collection of plantings.

Enter the restored farmhouse and barn and be equally impressed with the eclectic collection of art and antiques. The European and American decor is ever changing and all the furnishings are available for purchase.

The ambiance is elegant, yet comforting.

We were escorted to our window side seats, overlooking the tidal salt marsh. When the hostess noticed my black slacks, she quickly replaced my white linen napkin with a black napkin. I was spared the need to pick lint off my slacks later in the evening. A simple, but a very classy touch.

Once again, Janice and I were enjoying the company of our friends from Nottingham, John and Hazel. On the Marsh certainly added to their favorable impression of Kennebunkport, as they pledged to return next year with their daughter and her family.

Hazel started with a selection of fruit which included strawberries and frozen Champagne grapes. Janice started with the On the Marsh house salad. The salad was made up of arugula fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. What are heirloom tomatoes?? They are pure yellow, but otherwise look and taste exactly like delicious tomatoes.
Hazel appeared to enjoy her fruit and Janice and I both enjoyed the On the Marsh salad.

John tried the Crunchy Gulf Shrimp and Leeks with lemon saffron aioli and fresh herbs. Lucky for me, John gave me one, it was delicious. I started with the Demi Salad. Mixed greens, Champagne vinaigrette and house-made croutons. It was very good but, next time I'll choose the On the Marsh salad. Usually the item named for the restaurant is the best choice and I should have considered that.

For entrees...Hazel had the Oven-Roasted Fresh Maine Halibut Filet. It came served over a sweet summer corn and baby green salad with lemon vinaigrette. She thoroughly enjoyed her choice. Janice had the Seared Hokkaido Sea Scallops and Lobster Risotto with brandied lobster stock, watercress, rice wine vinegar and truffle oil. A wonderful collection of flavors.

John and I both chose the same entree...the On the Marsh Lobster Steak. Wow! The tails and claws of two 1.5 pound lobsters on a bed of roasted garlic wild rice, green beans and lemon buerre blanc (hey, there's that buerre blanc again). I learned from my salad selection. This time I ordered the entree that is named for the restaurant and, was I glad. Lobster lovers listen up...you really need to have the On the Marsh Lobster Steak. It was scrumptious.

Dessert, of course. Janice had the decadent chocolate (it was both). Hazel and I had the Apple Tart with home-made vanilla ice cream. Both the tart and the ice cream were spectacular.

Winner of the 2003, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, On the Marsh is an excellent choice for small weddings and private functions.

We have had many guests at the Maine Stay Inn, that have attended weddings at On the Marsh. They have had wonderful comments about this superb gem.


Thursday, August 17, 2006 

Cape Arundel Inn - A Kennebunkport Restaurant Review

"The closest you'll find to a table on the ocean"

We all have a restaurant that we visit for special ocassions. Whether it is a visit from special friends, a birthday or maybe an anniversary. For us, that's the Cape Arundel Inn.

Incomparable ocean views, excellent service and wonderful food, the Cape Arundel Inn has it all.

We dined at Cape Arundel last evening. Janice and I were entertaining special friends that were visiting from Nottingham, England. We hadn't seen John and Hazel in nearly 10 years and we wanted an evening that would be memorable. The Cape Arundel Inn is very memorable.

Janice and Hazel both started with the special seafood and corn chowder. I didn't get a taste as I was to focused on my salad. Several comments from both of them confirmed that the chowder was excellent.

John had the butterflied and grilled Maine lobster tail with zucchini linguine. He reported that it was superb.

My salad was more than just a salad. Grilled romaine hearts with with red peppered maytag blue cheese confetti and wild Maine blueberry dressing (now you know why I forgot to taste Janice's chowder).

Once again, Janice and I both had the same entree. Sauteed Maine lobster and wild mushrooms in a whiskey and herb beurre blanc, returned to the shell and broiled. I don't know what an herb beurre blanc is but, I am sure it played an important part in developing the tremendous flavor of this entree. It was wonderful.

Hazel had the citrus marinated and grilled Atlantic Salmon fillet over fresh watercress with roast grape tomato vinaigrette. John had the potato crusted and pan fried halibut fillet with fresh dill aioli. All reports were, once again, excellent.

Dessert? Take a guess...

You are wrong. We had no dessert. I am still not over it. I have had the desserts at the Cape Arundel Inn several times in the past. They are amazing but, no one else was having dessert.

During the meal we were entertained with beautiful piano music. The owner, Jack Nahill, is not only a brilliant restauranteur but also is a very talented artist. The walls are adorned with lots of wonderful paintings, many of were done by Jack.

Also, the Cape Arundel Inn does small weddings. I can't imagine a more romantic setting.

Don't forget, stay at the Maine Stay Inn. We'll make your reservations and we will also remind you to go 30 minutes early so you can enjoy a drink on their front porch.


Monday, August 14, 2006 

Arundel Wharf Restaurant - A Kennebunkport Restaurant Review

What a great spot to relax and watch over the traffic along the Kennebunk River while enjoying your lunch, your dinner or just a cocktail. Now that's the life.

The Arundel Wharf Restaurant offers you the option of dining out on their wharf or in their dining room. The attraction of the wharf speaks for itself (a picture is worth a thousand words). The dining room has tables covered with nautical charts of the area, lots of brass and mahogany which gives the guest a sense of dining in a very fine yacht club.

With views from every table and a cozy fireplace that will warm you during those chilly autumn days and evenings, Arundel Wharf offers something special for every season.

Our meals were equally special. We started with "Soups & Greens." Janice had the New England Clam Chowder. The chowder was excellent, plenty of clams and not overrun with potatoes. I chose the Garden Salad. It had several different kinds of greens and vegetables and a perfect amount of dressing (most places I have to order extra).

When Janice ordered the swordfish I had one thought, oh good, I love swordfish. It was drizzled with a seasoned oil and charbroiled. It was fresh and delicious.

I had the Greek Style Shrimp Scampi. The shrimp were big and crisp and had a nice garlic and butter flavor, not over powering. The shrimp were mixed in with spinach, greek olives, capers and feta cheese. Those are all flavors I really love, and together...well, I ordered the right meal. It was fantastic.

Arundel Wharf has several offerings for the lobster lover but, we were tired of lobster. Just kidding, we don't get tired of lobster. They have boiled lobster, lazy lobster, lobster rolls, lobster pasta and many others. I have had the lazy lobster and the lobster pasta and they both were terrific (can you tell I don't like dealing with the shell).

Next time I go to Arundel Wharf??? It's Greek Style Shrimp Scampi for me. It was really good. Maybe Janice will try something different and I will have a bite or two.

Another tip. Stay at the Maine Stay Inn and we will make your reservation and get you the special horseshoe table (we have friends).


Saturday, August 12, 2006 

Hurricane Restaurant - A Kennebunkport Restaurant Review

After a relaxing and informative cruise on Kylie's Chance (see my August 10, article), Janice, Dan and I wanted a quiet spot for an enjoyable lunch.

It was high tide and what better spot than Hurricane Restaurant. Sitting directly on the Kennebunk River with scenic views from every seat, the Hurricane's ambiance encourages relaxation. What could be better? Wait a minute, this is a restaurant, what about the food?

Hurricane has a diverse menu which is posted online. This allows them to change it to take advantage of seasonal or occasional opportunities with their offerings.

Janice chose the Monte Cristo Sandwich. That is one of my favorites too. Hurricane's version includes shaved ham, turkey, bacon and swiss cheese stuffed between batter grilled sour dough bread. It comes with your choice of regular or sweet potato fries and some warm maple syrup for dipping your sandwich. Of course, being a semi-professional food critic, I was obligated to try the Monte Cristo. It was delicious. I elected to forgo the maple syrup and the sandwich stood very well on its own.

Dan and I both had the same sandwich. The California Turkey Panini. With a grilled turkey breast, swiss cheese, apple smoked bacon and guacamole spread, this sandwich had a terrific combination of flavors that blended together very well. I highly recommend this sandwich.

We all got the regular fries which were excellent. I would like to have tried the sweet potato fries, but I didn't order them because I wasn't willing to risk having no fries if I didn't like them. (remember, I said I am a semi-professional food critic) The regular fries were excellent, the shoestring type and just crispy enough. As it turns out, the sandwich was enough to fill me up, I didn't even need the fries.

In short, the Hurricane Restaurant gets very high marks for location, for ambiance, for service and most importantly, for its food.

At the Maine Stay Inn, we are always happy to make reservations for you.


Thursday, August 10, 2006 

Take a Scenic Lobster Cruise from Kennebunkport

Kennebunkport by sea is an excellent vantage point. If you are looking for a nice calm afternoon, a cool breeze and an opportunity to learn how lobsters are trapped (I mean harvested) then this 1.5 hour cruise along Kylie's Chance is just what the doctor ordered.

In addition to a serene trip, you will learn interesting facts about Kennebunkport, lobsters and lobstering. For instance, the largest lobster ever caught was 44 pounds and was caught off Nova Scotia. It is estimated this lobster was 75 years old. I know what you are thinking...that's alot of lobster rolls. Me too.

We all know that a lobster's back shell has to be a least 3.5 inches or the lobsterman must throw it back. But, did you know, if the lobsters back is more than 4 inches you must throw them back as well. If they have lived that long, then they are considered a strong speciman and their continued existance will benefit the species. Also, if a female lobster is carrying eggs, their tail is notched and then they are thrown back. The notch will indicate to other lobsterman that they have caught a female even though they may not be carrying their eggs. Us guys don't get these breaks.

A lobsterman ( oh, by the way, when I say lobsterman, I mean lobsterwoman also. So no emails about that) is allowed to set up to 800 traps. On any given day they may check 200-250 of their traps and can expect to bring in about 80 pounds of lobsters.

Kylie's Chance is operated by First Chance Whale Watch. They also operate Nick's Chance which is their larger boat (87 feet long). This Whale Watch tour is approximately 4.5 hours, travels 20 miles offshore to see a variety of species of whales, dolphins and other interesting marine life of our area.

If you are staying at the Maine Stay Inn, we will make it very easy for you. Just tell us what day you would like to enjoy a day on the sea and we will be happy to take care of the details.


Monday, August 07, 2006 

The Beaches of Kennebunkport - Mother's Beach

The Playground at Mother's Beach

With its manageable expanse (short) of beach, its gentle waves, and an on-duty lifeguard, this beach lies at the far west end of Kennebunk Beach. A perfect beach to take your children for so many reasons, including the playground in the picture.

This picturesque stretch of beach also has public rest rooms. The only thing missing is a spot for a bite to eat, there is nothing nearby.

Like all the beaches in Kennebunk, this beach requires a permit to park, or you can take the Intown Trolley.

If you are a guest of the Maine Stay Inn, we have parking permits for you, we also have beach towels, chairs and umbrellas (even a collection of beach toys for the kids). So pack light, we have everything you need.

Oh yes, what about lunch? We will arrange a wonderful bag lunch for you from our friends at Port Bistro.

What are you waiting for? We still have rooms available later in August.


Saturday, August 05, 2006 

Weddings in Kennebunkport

'Tis the season

Walking along Ocean Avenue this afternoon between 3:00 and 5:00, Janice and I came across two weddings in progress. The one pictured above was being held at Colony Beach and another on the point at St. Ann's.

In addition, bridal parties were forming outside of the Nonantum Hotel and several guests were walking toward the Colony Hotel (both very popular for wedding receptions). We also have several guests at the Maine Stay Inn attending weddings.

Those are the weddings we learned about today. On any given summer weekend in Kennebunkport there are several weddings being held. Kennebunkport is a magical destination and many couples choose to begin their lives together in these scenic surroundings.

Other wonderful locations for wedding receptions in Kennebunkport include, Pier 77 Restaurant, On the Marsh and The Cape Arundel Inn. Rather than write about these three wonderful places here, I will promise to write an article for each very soon. For now, they are each suitable for smaller receptions and they are all excellent choices.

Remember, when choosing accommodations for you, your family and your guests, consider the Maine Stay Inn as a romantic and memorable alternative to a hotel.


Thursday, August 03, 2006 

Can You Hear the Drummer?

Gets you in the groove.

The 2006 Summer Concert Series is sponsored by the River Tree Center for the Arts. This year's series is titled "Jazz in the Kennebunks" and is presented each Thursday evening through August 17.

Pictured here is this evenings concert, featuring The Eric Donnelly Jazz Ensemble.

This free series of concerts is held on the river green, next to South Congregational Church. There isn't a more scenic location for this wonderful event.

On your next summer visit to Kennebunkport, be sure to stay over Thursday evening, enjoy the free jazz concert, and then let us at The Maine Stay Inn make a reservation for you at one of Kennebunkport's fantastic restaurants for dinner. Trying to decide which restaurant? Read the previous articles titled "Kennebunkport Restaurant Review" and, visit this site frequently, there are many more to follow.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006 

Kennebunkport's Own Summer Theatre...

...and it's really terrific. The Arundel Barn Playhouse, just a few miles north of Dock Square, offers off-Broadway shows throughout the summer.

The Playhouse's early season offering, I Love A Piano; The Songs of Irving Berlin, featured the music of this genius whose vision extended over 60 years. This show received rave reviews from many of our guests.

Bye Bye Birdie was next and was followed by the current show, 42nd Street which runs through August 12th.

The season will conclude with Moon Over Buffalo, which begins on August 15th. This show comes with a guarantee, "this cast...will make you laugh 'til you cry."

Janice and I have seen many shows at The Arundel Barn Playhouse. Each and every one has been extremely entertaining. This country playhouse is a wonderful addition to our community.

We, at the Maine Stay Inn, would be very happy to arrange for your evening at the playhouse.

Photo to follow (tomorrow).


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