After asking for advice on this board, I wanted to report back from our recent trip to Ogunquit/Kennebunkport. We had maybe the best weekend of food ever (there were four of us--two in from SF and two in from NYC)...read on if you're interested.
Friday we started at MC Perkins Cove which was really great. I had "fish and chips" but trust me it was unlike any I'd ever had before. The fish was wonderful--light and flakey and the presentation was clever. Then we headed to Barnacle Billy's for rum punch (based on a suggestion from this board) which was fun and a nice view. Glad we ate at MC though as the food definitely looked better there. The lunch prices were quite reasonable.
Friday night was On The Marsh which I can't say enough nice things about. The food was amazing and the atmosphere and service were so welcoming and special. I had the scallop and lobster risotto and was truly impressed with how plentiful the seafood was...and the risotto was cooked perfectly. They had one of the best wines by the glass selection I've ever seen (in terms of depth and also price). The house and the grounds were really pretty also. Quality to price ratio was very high.
Saturday was the big splurge evening. We went to Arrows which will go down as one of the best and most memorable dinners ever--comparable to any place in SF or NY. People had told me the setting in the old farmhouse was special, but I was blown away--you feel like you enter this different world overlooking the gardens at night with the white lights in the trees...it set the stage for the whole evening. We decided on the 6 course tasting menu which, granted, was expensive ($95--in line with other big cities) but unlike some reviews on this board, none of us were remotely still hungry at the end. In fact, we all agreed that the portions and the items selected for the tasting menu was quite generous. Started with chilled lobster salad, then a tasting of four greens from their garden paired with four vinegars (which sounds boring, but it was amazing the flavors that came out), then salmon cooked three ways with different Asian techniques, then a duo of beef (including a mini 'hamburger' type presentation of Kobe beef), followed by a cheese and then a dessert course. From the warm welcome when we entered to their accommodation of some special food requests, the service was outstanding and struck a balance between attentive yet unobtrusive. The whole restaurant had the same sort of balance...clearly it felt very special but it didn't feel formal or stuffy. I can't think of a better place if you're wanting a decadent meal.
Thanks for all the tips, Hounds.