Fine Dining

Gigi’s Italian Seafood and Steak House

2 Beach Street York Beach, Maine 03910 207.351.8147                                                           

Welcome to the newest addition to our restaurant scene in York. And it is indeed welcome. Located in the “Atlantic House” (formerly the location for “Blue Sky”) Gigi’s offers what I would call “authentic Italian” cuisine. There are some “American Italian” items. You could go here for a plate of spaghetti with meat balls and “gravy” and the ever popular Chicken Parmigiana. But you will also find Osso Bucco and Swordfish Picatta. A memorable appetizer is the House made Gnocchi (with lobster).

We recently dined here and were wowed by the managements attention to detail, the good cheer of the staff and the general positive energy. Rachel Forrest, our local food reviewer has eloquently described Gigi’s. Please read her review:  “Gigi’s has Got it” 

Go here for a special dinner. Or stop in at the bar area, let Paul the master bartender mix you a finely crafted cocktail and order the “Salumi and Antipasto Platter” – a gastronomic delight!

 York Harbor Inn  1637 Restaurant and Cellar Pub

480 York Street  York Harbor, Maine   207.363.5119

 The “YHI” is an important fixture in town. The food is consistently tasty but not inexpensive. The service is usually excellent. This restaurant is one of our “out of town friends” favorites. “Oceanfront Dining” is the pitch.  The truth is you see the water from the very nicely decorated “1637  Restaurant“…over the street, through trees. You’ll enjoy everything from excellent flatbreads to a full blown lobster feast.  Most locals find themselves down the stairs at the “Ship’s Cellar Pub”. The decor is reminiscent of a sailing ship. Nice woodworking. Entertainment often offered (guitar and vocals).  The same menu options are available in the pub and the “1637 Restaurant”  (burgers, fresh fish, steaks, you name it) .  The pub is open later which is an important feature (southern Maine rolls up the sidewalks early…arrive at most spots before 8:30).

Stage Neck Inn  Porches and Sandpiper Grille

Route 1a York Harbor, Maine  207.363.3850

Truly ocean front dining and a nice menu.  Lots of choices … eat fancy, eat light. But this is a resort. The guy next to you may be wearing a blue blazer.  The staff is usually warm and efficient. “Porches” is a white table cloth experience and some seats have a wonderful bold ocean view.  We enjoy the Sandpiper Grille with its view of “Harbor Beach”. It has the same menu options, just a little more relaxed. And during the summer, an outside screened in area expands the casual aspect of this very popular upscale location. You can dress comfortably, but no swim suit or flip flops. Guys wear a collared shirt. Consider this for a special night (anniversary,etc.). You will impress her or him.

The Cape Neddick Inn   

1273 Route 1 Cape Neddick, Maine  207.351.1145

“Contemporary cuisine in an historic setting” is their byline. The menu is moderate (entrees in the 20’s). Dine in the formal room to the left or enjoy the tavern section to the right. The atmosphere is very soothing. We noticed romantic couples enjoying themselves. The new owners have invested a lot in the landscaping and decor – it shows. Perfect lighting, fireplaces blazing and very courteous service set the tone.  A limited but balanced menu is well executed: haddock, filet mignon, lobster, salmon, chicken…or fish and chips, burgers. We had a fine time! …….We returned recently. I loved the seafood cioppino over risotto.

Anneke Jans 

60 Wallingford Square Kittery, Maine 207.439.0001

There are two menu items that are all time favorites for me: mussels and strip steak. This very lively popular bistro serves both perfectly. So many places are now killing food with too many flavors. Anneke Jans executes artistically with just enough ingredients. On a menu level this spot is in my top 5. Make a reservation or try to get a seat at the bar. You will be lucky if you can squeeze in…many locals worship here regularly.  Open table would describe the noise level rating as “energetic”, so it’s not a quiet place. But it’s highly recommended for foodies.

Four of us recently enjoyed steak tartar, mussels, fried oysters to start. Then we launched into halibut with a unique corn sauce, seared sushi grade tuna, and a couple of cowboy steaks au poivre. Service: perfect and cheerful. Food: stunningly good. And a note about the acoustics: much improved with a new ceiling treatment…and in the warm months the entire front of the restaurant is open to the street. Well done. I am trying to think of a restaurant that I like more right now…

Robert’s Maine Grill 

326 Route 1  Kittery, Maine  207 439 0300

You will find this very popular restaurant across from the Kittery Outlet Malls on route 1. However, once you enter, all of that shopping mania will be gone from your head. The decor is crisp and inviting. Some tables have water views. Yes, you can get a filet of beef or a burger here. But most go for the sea food. Fried at it’s best.  But also: mussels and steamers, sword fish, salmon, scallops, lobster dinners…all prepared beautifully. Oh, and if you are into raw oysters, stop in Mondays and get 2 for 1. The staff is great. Many seem to have worked here for years.  For a casual sea food dinner in a lively bistro atmosphere, Robert’s is hard to beat. Some of our regular guests who spend several days with us have been known to go here…every day. What else can I say…except that some of their desserts are created at the very special Beach Pea Bakery! Local sourcing and “natural” products are a highlight as well.

Frankie and Johnny’s 

1594 US Route 1 Cape Neddick, Maine  207-363-1909

This is different. F&J’s feels like a throwback to another decade…in a really good way. With a focus on fresh healthy ingredients, they have created a restaurant like no other in the area. Expect spartan decor, the sound of the kitchen nearby, friendly and enthusiastic service. You will also be a bit surprised by the prices. $35 for a strip steak? Yes, but you will be pleasantly stunned by what you get. Entrees are accompanied by a choice of soup or salad. We tried caesar and house salads (which were large and wonderful) as well as a seafood bisque and “smokey” white bean soup. They were all outstanding. Then our main meals arrived. We were speechless. Huge and delicious. Everyone ate about 1/2 and had another dinner to bring home. In addition to the Strip Steak, we sampled a Pork Delmonico, Blackened Haddock and Salmon. The meat and fish were cooked perfectly and the vegetables were incredibly fresh and state of the art. On a value/quality scale I give it 5 stars. Lot’s of veggie options. BYOB and CASH only.

Angelinas Ristorante

655 Main Street Ogunquit, Maine   207.646.0445

For those who want Italian food and to stay in Maine, we’re told there is no other place to go. We have several guests who regularly praise this eatery. A few will go here more than once when they stay with us. In that York lost it’s best Italian restaurant a few years ago, Angelinas is a magnet for lovers of “gravy”. Remember to add extra travel time if you plan to visit in the summer…the restaurant is on route one and so is everyone else. The spring and fall are the best time access this highly praised “ristorante”. Read the TripAdvisor reviews and Buon Appetito!

Arrows Restaurant 

Berwick Road Ogunquit, Maine  207.361.1100

On a country road in Ogunquit Arrows defines serious dining. And if you are a serious foodie you may have one of the nicest dining experiences…ever. Mark and Clark are pioneers of the farm to table idea (arrive early to tour the food you’ll eat on full natural display). Add the culinary inspirations from their globe trotting to such freshness and some magic happens. You’ll dine in a wonderfully comfortable old home and be attended to by a most professional and gracious staff. The price of meals here causes us to reserve our visits for special occasions. But the new menu looks so fascinating perhaps we’ll find a reason soon. In a previous life, my business required monthly trips to NYC. The best part of the job was the eating. Nothing I experienced in the city over almost 20 years exceeded my meals at Arrows.  Arrows has been awarded the James Beard Best Chefs of the Northeast 2010. Actually, the accolades are too many to list. Save your money. Go there.

Hurricane 

Dock Square Kennebunkport, Maine 207.967.9111

Part of your tour of southern Maine may involve a visit to Kennebunkport and its Dock Square. There are many fine restaurants there, but this one has stood the test of time. Originally a favorite haunt of ours in Ogunquit, the Hurricane relocated here. We especially love their constantly rotating selection of raw oysters. A creative and very tasty menu. Worth the drive.Recently we revisited: superb. Oysters were spectacular. Martinis perfect. Wine excellent. Enjoyed filet, pork chop, rainbow trout. Food and service were top notch. Had to write a great TA review.