Amy’s Culinary Adventures at the Kennebunkport Festival: Day 4
A hearty breakfast is exactly what I need the morning after Pop the Kennebunks, and a vegetable omelet, home fries, and toast at All Day Breakfast on Western Avenue hits the spot. It’s a rainy day, and I take the afternoon to rest a bit and visit a few of the properties in the area. I love how different they are, offering something for every occasion.
The Art.Works. opening reception at River Tree Arts kicks off at 5 p.m. and for a few hours my guest and I snack on passed hors doeuvres provided by Aurora Provisions and admire the artwork. I wish we could stay and listen to Max Garcia Conover, the featured musician, but we are dining at the McNamara residence for the final Art of Dining dinner.
Owners Steve and Michelle Corry of 555 and Petite Jacqueline and their chef Ian Hayward of Petite Jacqueline are cooking this meal, and the wines are paired by Terry OBrien of Nappi Distributors.
It’s a stormy evening; the wind is howling and the rain is coming down, but we’re in this together and everyone has fun with it. We run from the house to the tent, and inside is an elegant and comfortable dining room with beautifully arranged tables with soft lighting and gold accents. Everyone settles in and begin to feast. Terry starts us off with a Trimbach reisling, and we progress to a more full-bodied and aromatic sancerre, followed by a lusciously smooth Chateau Mont-Redon chateauneuf du pape. With each course Terry tells us stories about the wine, the region, and the significance of the pairing; his wine knowledge is impressive.
The chefs prepare a French inspired menu, offering the best of both restaurants. We start with a mushroom and onion tart served with an herbed crème fraiche. The tart is buttery and the earthy mushrooms and caramelized onions are sweet and aromatic. The salad course made of grilled asparagus and mache greens is light, accented by bursts of crunchy, salty lardons made from pork jowl. The French comté cheese is slightly nutty and adds yet another layer to the already beautiful salad.
My dining companions and I are all getting to know one another and we share stories about our significant others, travel, and food. It’s a lively dinner party, and even though the weather isn’t ideal, we embrace the experience.
The duck breast entrée is beautifully simple with poached figs and duck fat heirloom potatoes, and the dessert is the best I’ve had all week. It’s a silky caramel pot de crème with Maine sea salt, a dark chocolate salted caramel truffle, with lavender crème. It’s sweet, creamy, and intensely delicious. The lavender gives the dessert an herbal componentone; guest remarks it tastes like the spa.
I love everything about this dinner: the weather, the company, the food, and the wine. We run back inside, turn on some music, and watch the end of the Bruins game together.
We end the night at Pedro’s for a quick beer and margarita, but everyone is heading home to get some rest before the grand tasting event on Saturday. It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of this fun-filled festival.
All Day Breakfast
55 Western Ave. | Kennebunk | 207.967.5132
555 Congress Street | Portland | 207.761.0555 | fivefifty-five.com
190 State Street | Portland | 207.553.7044 | bistropj.com
181 Port Road | Kennebunk | 207.967.5544 | pedrosmaine.com