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May 2008

May 30, 2008

Rick's Restaurant Raves - Part 4

Joshua's Restaurant, Wells, Maine

A well-known food writer recently praised Joshua's Restaurant as "Worthy of a long drive." fortunately, this award-winning restaurant is just a short drive south from the Captain Lord Mansion, Kennebunkport, on Route 1 in nearby Wells.

The 1774 dark brown Colonial may look austere on the outside, but as the day's shadows lengthen, the warm glow from the restaurant's many windows is promise of a wonderful dining experience that awaits you inside.

A private home until Joshua Mather and his parents Mort and Barbara purchased it in March 2004, it has been lovingly remodeled to provide state-of-the-art kitchen facilities and an engaging dining experience, without sacrificing any of the building's original charm.

What in colonial times would have been the "birthing room" is now the reception area; the parlor is a warm and cozy bar. The original "keeping room," where meals were prepared over an open hearth, is one dining room; the house's original dining room is the other. History aside, however, the real star here is the food.

Joshua was brought up on his family's nearby farm, and because of that, has created a fine dining experience built on his personal mantra of "fresh, organic, and Maine-grown." He describes his menu as "good, honest food, not fussy food." But what he does with that good, honest food is noting short of genius!

For instance, fresh artichoke hearts are lightly fried and served with a chipotle aioli that has just a little kick! Joshuas_foodA confit of fresh mushrooms is topped with a smooth, herbed, truffle butter that melts in the mouth. Roast chick is elevated to royalty — stuffed with a magical blend of basil, prosciutto, provolone cheese, and lemon zest. All dinners are served with fresh, seasonal vegetables (most from their own farm!) and bread baked daily on the premisis. For a tasty New England dessert, try the decadent Maple Walnut Pie with a generous scoop of their own homemade vanilla ice cream.

Bev and I love Joshua's. And when Bev had a "significant" birthday recently, our whole family decided t his would be the perfect place to celebrate. Bev chose the Atlantic Haddock with caramelized onion crust, chive oil, and wild mushroom risotto. She proclaimed it perfect! I love anything pork, so I went with the roast tenderloin, brushed with a sauce of apple cider reduction, ambrosial mashed potatoes, and an unusual and delicious fresh chutney. The well-trained and attentive waitstaff provided impeccable service all evening. We agreed that this was a very special way to honor a very special lady!

Whether you're a seafood lover or a meat-and-potatoes type, Joshua's Restaurant has a menu that's sure to please. And there's always an imaginative vegetarian selection, s well.

Joshua's is a "slow food" restaurant. So settle in, relax and prepare yourself for a truly memorable evening! The restaurant is open for dinner daily — let the Captain Lord Mansion make a reservation for you. You'll enjoy every minute — and every delicious bite!

Rick Litchfield, Your Innkeeper

May 28, 2008

Cabelas Comes To Maine!


Cabelas, that legendary store which is famous for outdoor clothes and equipment is currently celebrating the "Grand Opening" of their new store which is located at Exit 42 of I-95 (Maine Turnpike)in Scarborough. The store is just 25 minutes north of the Captain Lord Mansion. 

Bev and I visited the new store last night and were absolutely taken aback by the size, scope and extensive merchandising.  We were also impressed with the affordable prices.  One funny thing happened while we were walking around checking things out; we passed several large safes and wondered why they would be selling safes.  Then it dawned on us; they were gun safes!

Just visiting the store is an adventure, even if you don't purchase anything!  There are over 350 trophy mounts on display throughout the store.  There is a "Conservation Mountain" located in the center of the store with mounted bears, elk, moose, wolves, deer and other wild animals.  Also, we were amazed at the large wall aquarium with representative live sport fish.  Also, a full size float plane is hanging from the ceiling inside the store.  Wow!  Rick Litchfield, Innkeeper

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May 26, 2008

Rick's Restaurant Raves - Part 3

Pier 77 and the Ramp, Cape Porpoise

If you'd love a dining experience where the view rivals the food for "spectacular," head just a few miles east of Kennebunkport, out Route 9, to the tiny, picture-postcard village of Cape Porpoise.

At the very end of the Pier Road, you'll find Pier 77 Restaurant, overlooking picturesque Cape Porpoise Harbor and the working lobster boats that daily ply its waters. On occasion, you might even spy former President George Bush zipping in, in his sleek cigarette boat, to pick up lobsters for a cookout at his nearby Walker Point compound!

Three Restaurants In One

Pier 77 Restaurant, on the street level, seats 80 in a handsome, contemporary setting. Photo_lg_10_2Large windows provide stunning of the Harbor and Goat Island Light in the distance. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily from June 1 to September 30; Thursday to Monday the rest of the year. Reservations are advised for dinner, and the Captain Lord Mansion would be happy to make one for you.

The inventive menu includes many regional favorites such as Maine Crab Cakes, Crab Sandwich on French bread, Seafood Mixed Grill, and of curse, mouth-watering Steamed Lobster with all the fixings! Bev and I judge the quality of a restaurant by the quality of the bread it serves. Well, Pier 77 offers you two delicious, freshly-baked breads to start your meal. Their olive bread, when dipped in their pure virgin olive oil seasoned with freshly-ground pepper is scrumptious! Recently, while watching the sun set over peaceful Cape Porpoise Harbor, we both enjoyed the Pan Roasted Haddock with Ricotta Gnocchi, Portabello Mushrooms and Fried Baby Artichokes. End your satisfying meal with a Warm Blueberry Crumble (it wouldn't be Maine without blueberries!). For a liquid dessert (which we didn't have!), Pier 77 offers the World's Greatest Hot Beverage — Bailey's, Bushmill's and coffee! For added enjoyment, a pianist tinkled the ivories throughout our dinner. He plays every evening in season; weekends in the off-season.

The Ramp Bar and Grill, on the lower level, has a cozy, pub-like atmosphere and serves a casual bar menu all day. Their Fish and Chips and overstuffed Lobster Roll are legendary! Bev and I love their huge (and delicious) burgers, too! The Ramp is the place to rub shoulders with locals who know where to find great tasting, well-prepared food.

The Lighthouse Room, on the top floor, welcomes intimate, private parties of 10 to 25 people. Bev and I often see small wedding parties enjoying rehearsal dinners in the Lighthouse Room. The room's name indicates the terrific view of the Goat Island Lighthouse that can be seen from the room's expansive windows.

Bev and I enthusiastically recommend Pier 77 and The Ramp to anyone looking for a quintessential New England experience. With its superb regional food and outstanding water views, it's one of Kennebunkport's "must" experiences!

Rick Litchfield, Your Innkeeper

May 13, 2008

Rick's Restaurant Reviews - Part 2

Hurricane Restaurant, Dock Square, Kennebunkport

Ds_exteriorAll shopped out? Time for a break? You're in luck — right in the middle of Dock Square, Hurricane Restaurant serves innovative and delicious American cuisine with a magnificent view overlooking the tranquil Kennebunk River. It's open for lunch and dinner year round, except for a short hiatus in January. And it's just a short walk back to the Mansion.

As a young man, co-owner Brooks MacDonald discovered his passion for food while working in this very same kitchen, when it was the old Riverview Restaurant. Now he and wife Luanne have created a casual-chic spot that is popular with visitors and locals alike.


Come on in, have a seat, order a glass from their extensive and award-winning wine list, and prepare for a culinary adventure —

For Starters —
How about a Five Onion Soup with flaky Bruyere cheese crust. Or crispy Maine Crab Cakes and Coconut Shrimp with wasabi coleslaw. Prince Edward Island Mussels are flown in fresh and seamed in white wine and garlic. And of course, there's always their house specialty, Maine Lobster Chowder.

Not Your Ordinary Lunch —
Choose Maine Crab-meat and Havarti Cheese on grilled sourdough bread, a grilled Yellow-fin Tuna Burger, or the biggest, best Maine Lobster Roll you'll find anywhere around!

Dinner With a Delicious Difference —
For seafood lovers, try the Seafood Stew, bursting with Maine lobster, shrimp, scallops and mussels. Meat-and-potato types will love the grilled Beef Tenderloin with garlic mashed potatoes and buttermilk onion rings. Vegetarians aren't left out, either. The Wild Mushroom Ravioli in a vodka tomato sauce is heavenly!

End on a Sweet Note —
So much to choose from, but here are two stars: the Chocolate Hurricane — chocolate mousse with Godiva Hurricane_cropCreme Anglais, and a Blueberry-White Chocolate Bread Pudding, made with our delicious, tiny Maine wild blueberries.

If you want to stick to the tried-and-true, of course you can always get a magnificent, half-pound Bar Burger or a crispy-fresh Caesar Salad. Drop in for lunch from 11:30AM on, or let the Captain Lord Mansion make you a reservation for dinner.

Gosh, all this talk about food reminds me that it's lunchtime. I think I'll get Bev and head on down to Hurricane. I need a lobster roll "fix"!

Rick Litchfield, Your Innkeeper

May 05, 2008

What is "Paint the Port"?

Save the date – June 22, 2008! Over 55 well-known artists from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire will gather in Kennebunkport for the fourth annual “Paint the Port” fresh paint day and art auction presented by Heartwood College of Art and the Kennebunkport Historical Society on Sunday, June 22, 2008.  The public is welcome to watch as participating artists paint at scenic locations throughout Kennebunkport and Cape Porpoise.  The paintings will then be auctioned off live that evening, following a cocktail reception with delectable hors doeuvres, at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport.  Proceeds will benefit both the Kennebunkport Historical Society and Heartwood College of Art.  Local artist Dennis Rafferty is shown creating one of his beautiful paintings during last year's event. Dennisrafferty_3

Paint the Port" has become a much anticipated fresh paint event in southern Maine and presents "locals" and visitors to our area with an opportunity to watch well-known artists at work on location and purchase quality artwork depicting local Kennebunkport and Cape Porpoise scenes.  The event is reasonably priced ($15/ticket) and includes a fabulous cocktail reception at the Nonantum Resort.  All proceeds (after the artists' percentage) benefit both the Kennebunkport Historical Society and Heartwood College of Art.

Bev and I are proud of the area's well-deserved reputation as an extremely active art colony.  If you are in Kennebunkport for this event, please stop by the Captain Lord Mansion to say hello!.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

May 02, 2008

Rick's Restaurant Raves

Sensational Dining Experiences: Part 1

On The Marsh

"One of the very best restaurant experiences I've had in years!" one of our recent guests enthusiasticallyChefphotos2004a_3 exclaimed. And we couldn't agree more. The food, the service, and the ambience are superb in this chic, year-round gem.

Housed in an 1800s converted farmhouse and barn on 3 1/2 acres of gorgeous plantings and a tidal salt marsh, it's located about a mile south of dock Square on Rte. 7 — just minutes from the Captain Lord Mansion.

Step inside, and you're immediately made to feel at home. Owner Denise Rubin has brought her interior design expertise to creating "a feast for the eyes as well as the palate." Tables on two floors are draped in white cloths over floor-length cloths in "raspberry sorbet" — her favorite color. The padded chairs are incredibly comfortable. And all the artwork and most of the antiques are available for purchase. But the food — ah, the food!

Food275Enjoy 3 Fabulous Dining Options:

1 The Dining Room. Enjoy exquisite dining on two floors. You might start off with crunchy tiger shrimp and
leeks, or tasty lobster ravioli. Main courses can include such succulent delights as grilled swordfish with
fennel and orange relish, roasted breast of duck, or seared scallops in orange sauce with lobster garnish.
End this delicious repast with a smooth creme brulee or dark chocolate pate.

2 The Adventuresome. This is your chance to see what goes on "behind the scenes." Two or four people can dine right in the kitchen, and see how each dish is lovingly created. Plan to dress down for this!

3 The Owner's Table. You'll be really pampered, as you sample Executive Chef Jeff Savage's exclusive "Tasting Menu" — eight small entrees, paired with appropriate wines.

Or, you could just relax with friends and a favorite beverage at the comfortable bar.

Bev and I love sending guests to On The Marsh. We know the experience that lies ahead. But even more, we love the look on their faces and the stories they tell when they return. Let us make a reservation for you on your next visit — you'll have an evening you'll talk about for a very long time!

Rick Litchfield, Your Innkeeper

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