A few weeks ago I visited David Turin’s newest restaurant, Davids KPT, for the grand finale of the Kennebunkport Festival. It was a night to remember with an abundance of food, drinks, music, and dancing. Now, as I return for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon, the space still has an elegant, opulent feel. My friend and I arrive at noon and are greeted by a valet who takes my keys and walks us to the front door of the property. The entrance of the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel is inviting and serene with blue, white, and slate tones. The bar off the main entrance overlooks the wrap-around deck, and the dining room, furnished with plush booths and comfortable chairs, reinforces the nautical theme. My guest and I opt for a table on the patio and begin our leisurely lunch alongside the Kennebunk River. With such a large menu and so many items to choose from, we turn to our server for assistance. She gives us a few suggestions as we navigate through all the options; raw bar selections, entrée salads, seafood appetizers, sandwiches, main courses, pizza, and pasta. With a refreshing strawberry mojito in hand, I’m ready to feast.
We start with items from the raw bar; giant cocktail prawns with Cajun honey cocktail sauce and littleneck clams with a homemade mignonette. We pass on the oysters, but today’s selection includes oysters from Maine, Virginia, and Massachusetts.
An appetizer of herbed goat cheese wrapped in phyllo dough is elegantly prepared. Topped with frizzled leeks, the crispy pockets of warm cheese are served with grilled summer squash and zucchini, coated in a lemon pepper marinade. We’re torn between the lobster cakes and the lobster roll, but in the end, opt for a healthy lobster salad made with red leaf lettuce and an assortment of vegetables: julienned carrots, cucumbers, raw red onion, and tomatoes. The lobster meat is plentiful, dressed with just a tad of mayo.
We skip the pizza for today, but I plan to return for the steak and lobster pie. Our server tells us it’s a popular menu item, and I can understand why. It’s a white pizza with a garlic butter base, loaded with grilled steak and lobster, and topped with arugula, parmesan cheese, and caramelized onion.
We’re intrigued by the crab roll, served on David’s homemade focaccia. We are not disappointed; this sandwich is delicious. The roll is filled with picked crab meat and a generous dollop of mayo. I like that the crab meat is not mixed with the mayo, giving me the option to control how much I want in my sandwich. Served with chips and a pickle, this roll is a big winner.
There are many options for a more substantial meal, too: boiled Maine lobster with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables, crispy skin duck breast, and pepper-crusted sushi rare tuna. While all sound delicious, we gravitate toward the equally enticing homemade pasta entrees. I love mushrooms and cant refuse the exotic mushroom ravioli. The ravioli are stuffed with ricotta cheese, shallots, and an abundance of oyster, shiitake, and button mushrooms. The flavorful madeira wine sauce, spiked with truffle oil and a hint of lemon, is served with oven-dried tomatoes, arugula, and goat cheese. The portion size is spot on for lunch.
A lot of other people are sitting on the deck this afternoon; families with small children, women in sundresses heading to the beach, and couples taking a break from shopping at Dock Square. We watch ducks float past us and people paddle by on kayaks and paddle boards. Tour boats cruise in and out of the river and lobster boats head out to sea. The scenes from the deck only enhance our experience, until it starts to rain and we head inside for dessert.
The salt caramel cashew chocolate torte is rich, a delicious and over-the-top dessert to wrap up a beautiful meal. We finish with a cup of tea and a creamy cappuccino and relax in the comfortable oversized chairs. By the time we are ready to leave, servers are setting up for dinner service at David’s Opus Ten, the restaurant inside David’s KPT. I’m happy to have yet another reason to return to the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel; and maybe next time I’ll book a room.
21 Ocean Ave. | Kennebunkport | 207.967.8225 | boathouse.com/davids