Salt and Honey
In the crowd of lovely restaurants in Kennebunkport that sit on the water or have bright signs, it’s easy to overlook Salt and Honey. This restaurant is on the upper level of a small group of shops and galleries on Ocean Avenue, so you would be forgiven for not noticing it at first. It’s my job to point out these hidden gems, and I’m happy to let you in on this one because you don’t want to miss it.
Now in its third season, Salt and Honey owner/chef Jackson Yordon took over the space that was previously a Thai restaurant. He knew it was going to need quite a bit of work. “Everything was tan,” he says. The renovation was done in stages over two years: they removed a wall, put in restrooms, and installed a quartz and barn board bar to go along with a newly acquired liquor license. The place is simple with art from local artists hung on the walls, and a friendly vibe, that comes from Yordon and his staff. The chef is an affable Southerner and makes everyone he meets feel immediately comfortable.
Yordon has established a following year-round of both locals and visitors, who are searching for a meal that’s approachable, but very well-crafted. Salt and Honey is a favorite for breakfast and is the only restaurant in Kennebunkport where you can start the day dining outdoors. “A full breakfast and booze all day,” says Yordon. Take a seat on the second floor landing overlooking the village with just a peek of the water beyond, and order coffee (or the Bloody Mary garnished with bacon). The menu offers so many appealing choices including Maine blueberry pancakes, braised short rib hash and eggs, and a lobster omelet with Havarti and sriracha cream. In-house cured salmon on toast with wild ramp pesto and dill yogurt sauce is a new item, destined to be popular. But the hands down favorite is Yordon’s huevos rancheros, with eggs over easy, house made salsa fresca, avocado, cheddar, and black bean puree atop fried corn tortillas. Break the yolk and let it mix with the toppings, creating a luscious pile of what could easily be called breakfast nachos.
“The dinner menu changes completely every two months,” Yordon explains. “To get people to come upstairs, I have to stay fresh and new. It’s a cross between northern New England and Southern fare.” As expected, there’s lots of seafood on the menu. Yordon shops for fish several times a week. “I like to see it, smell it, and make sure it’s fresh. There’s no walk-in cooler, so I buy small amounts often,” he says. A dish of seared scallops and chorizo on white cheddar polenta shows off the chef’s Southern roots, as a riff on shrimp and grits. He also offers four or five creative dinner specials nightly, testing out new recipes and using the best of the season’s ingredients.
Bartender Kara Picone has a sure hand with specialty cocktails. She mixes us an unusual beet juice Negroni with Campari and sweet vermouth that’s vibrantly fuchsia and incredibly delicious. A seasonal Seafoam Margarita is bright turquoise, made with lots of fresh lime, tequila, Grand Marnier, and egg white foam. Happy hour at Salt and Honey may be Kennebunkport’s best kept secret with half-off selected local beer and $5 bar bites.
Yordon’s easy-going manner combined with his fresh, flavorful food has garnered support from the community, and he enjoys giving back. Recently, he generously cooked for the Kennebunkport Festival, benefitting Full Plates Full Potential. “This is the most supportive community I’ve ever lived in,” says the chef.
Salt & Honey | 24 Ocean Ave. | Kennebunkport | 207.204.0195 | thesaltandhoney.com