Welcome to spring! Ok I’m going to admit something. There were times this year I thought the snow and cold were never going to end. But here we are with a week of sunshine and temps in the mid 70’s! So to celebrate I thought I’d talk up two more of my favorite restaurants. Both of these establishments are owner operated with a focus on fine, locally sourced ingredients.
The first is Bandaloop. A Kennebunkport restaurant owned by Scott and Bridget Lee. Scott is the chef who in his own words” loves to incorporate local, fresh foods to create exotic worldly flavors and textures, showcasing the natural taste of the food without pretense.” And this is what you get at Bandaloop; wonderfully aromatic, fresh and delicious food without any pretension. The restaurant setting is funky, alive and fun. It was the first restaurant in Kennebunkport (that I can remember) that broke out of the standard “New England” fare of lobster rolls, fried haddock and creamy clam chowders. And although none of those are bad things, Bandaloop open my eyes to a more cosmopolitan, west coast fusion of asian/anglo blend of food. Since they opened their doors in 2004 I’ve been addicted to selections such as the egg rolls (caramelized red onion, walnut, spinach, danish blue cheese with a sweet & sour port wine balsamic reduction) or the wilted spinach salad (with red onion, broccoli, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, lemon-balsamic vinaigrette, sheep’s milk feta and toasted pine nuts!)
The other restaurant is 50 Local in downtown Kennebunk. The owners are Merrilee Paul & her husband David Ross. Before meeting Merrilee and moving to Kennebunk (Merrilee’s hometown) David worked in an assortment of New York restaurants including Oceana and Tabla. 50 is the restaurants address (50 Main st. Kennebunk) and Local is what they represent. The first thing you see entering the restaurant is a giant floor to ceiling chalkboard adverting the days ingredients and the local farms who produced them. You’ll see names like Frinklepod Farm, Black Rock or Nonesuch. In their words “ 50 Local presents an outstanding, approachable menu containing many of the traditional dishes offered in French bistros with an American take, served in a comfortable, elegant & friendly atmosphere.” A must try on the menu is their crispy farm egg salad (soft poached egg, caesar dressing & shaved pecorino), fried calamari (with pickles and spicy tomato sauce), and (hands down the best dessert in town) their beignets with creme anglaise!
If locally sourced, delicious food, with great atmosphere is what you’re looking for in Kennebunk or Kennebunkport, Bandaloop and/or 50 Local are the places to try. Both stay very busy during the season, so make sure to reserve your spot. bon appetit!