Amy’s Culinary Adventures at the Kennebunkport Festival: Day 3
I’m moving a little slowly the morning after attending a cocktail party, wine dinner, and an after party. I postpone my morning run to focus on writing and hydrating, but after a few cups of coffee it’s time to get moving.
While I prefer to eat with friends, it’s also nice to go it alone every now and again. Today I walk to Hurricane Restaurant for an early lunch. I’m seated along the windows overlooking the bridge to Kennebunk, and although I’m armed with a magazine, book, and notebook, it’s so much better to enjoy the peaceful river and people watch.
I order a glass of sauvignon blanc, and quickly realize I’m so hungry I can’t make a decision. I waver between shrimp cocktail, clams casino, oysters Rockefeller, Caesar salad, lobster chowder, and the grilled crab and Havarti sandwich. It goes on like this for a while, but my server is ever-patient and very helpful. She answers all my questions and never looks frustrated or annoyed. I vow to be more like her.
I finally decide on a half order of clams casino and a half order of oysters Rockefeller and the Caesar salad with a half lobster. In a few minutes I’m slathering butter on warm, soft pieces of bread, and love that I can eat all of it if I want. Yet another benefit of dining alone!
After lunch I wander around Dock Square to look at jewelry and art, and stop by clothing and candy shops, too. After a short run, it’s time to get ready for tonight’s cocktail party at Chicks Marina and the Pop the Kennebunkport gala event under the tent in Kennebunks lower village.
My friend and I spend some time catching up with friends from the magazine, and I marvel at the connections I’ve made in only a few days. The festival has given me an opportunity to talk to people who enjoy food, wine, music, and art as much as I do. After a few appetizers provided by Aurora Provisions crab cakes with pickled fiddleheads, cucumbers filled with a pea mousse, and biscuit sandwiches with ham, tomato, and mustardits time to head to the flamenco party.
Bettina Doulton of Cellardoor Winery throws an amazing party, and tonight is no exception. With a glass of chardonnay in hand, I scan the tent. There are beautiful salsa dancers, lively music, and Mediterranean inspired food prepared by Kitchen Chicks Catering. The first food station I visit offers paella, a hearty dish with rice, mussels, sausage, and shrimp, and there’s a vegetarian version, too. It’s a great way to start, but there are other stations to visit, a taco stand with shrimp and beef tacos and cheese and vegetable quesadillas; vegetable, steak, and chicken skewers; and black bean, corn, and cilantro salad. In addition to the stations, servers are constantly passing small bites. There’s a spicy tuna taco with slaw and chipotle cream, tuna ceviche with avocado and tomato, a white gazpacho with delicate pieces of crab meat. But my favorite is sweet and savory bite, a fig wrapped in pancetta atop a corn tart drenched in melted manchego cheese. I’m not usually a chardonnay fan, but this wine is balanced and bright, with hints of apple and pear, a great match for the food.
After I’ve had my fill, I grab a mojito and head to the dance floor. I ask members of the Philadelphia salsa group Art in Motion to teach me a few dance moves, but I don’t have the rhythm to keep up with the music. The dance floor is packed and everyone is having a great time in true Cellardoor Winery style.
A lot of people want to keep the evening going, and the after party at Stripers Waterside Restaurant at the Breakwater Inn and Spa is happening. Even though I’ve had my fill, I’m tempted and sample gazpacho shooters, pork belly panini, cheeseburger sliders, fish and chips, and open-faced pulled pork sandwiches with caramelized onions. The drinks are flowing and I can’t stop moving to the sounds of the band, The Ghost of Paul Revere. It’s been a fabulous night from start to finish, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
Hurricane Restaurant 29 Dock Sq. | Kennebunkport | 207.967.9111 | hurricanerestaurant.com
Aurora Provisions 64 Pine St. | Portland | 207.871.9060 | auroraprovisions.com
Cellardoor Winery 367 Youngtown Rd. | Lincolnville | 207.763.4478 | mainewine.com
Kitchen Chicks Catering 1 Mills Rd. | Kennebunkport | 207.967.1150 | kitchenchickscatering.com
Stripers Waterside Restaurant 127 Ocean Ave. | Kennebunkport | 207.967.5333 | breakwaterinn.com