Kettle Cove Maine

By far, our favorite date night in the summer involves a quick trip over to Cape Elizabeth for dinner at The Well, followed by a visit out to Kettle Cove to watch the sunset. (On nights that we don’t happen to indulge in one of the tasty desserts at The Well, we’ll even complete the evening with an ice cream cone from the Kettle Cove Ice Cream.)

As we began thinking about dinner after work one evening last week we realized that the weather was too perfect not to enjoy our little date night in Cape Elizabeth, so we ditched the quinoa salad we planned on preparing, grabbed a bottle of rose from the fridge, and jumped in the car with Orvis. Thankfully, we got to The Well just in time to snag the last available picnic table for awhile. Although we’ve been to The Well three other times this summer, this was our first visit of the season with Orvis and per usual, he settled in quite nicely and made friends with all of the other families dining outside at the picnic tables.

After our fantastic meal, we took the scenic route to Kettle Cove, where we spent the remainder of the evening on a blanket with Orvis watching the sun go down. Kettle Cove is one of the very first places we visited when we moved to Maine seven years ago and we think it’s just as beautiful and special all these years later. Living so close to places like The Well and Kettle Cove are two of the reasons we love living where we do.

Orvis at The Well

Michael Cain at The Well

Halibut at The Well

BYOB The Well

Chocolate Cake at The Well

Dog Friendly Maine Restaurants

Kettle Cove

Orvis at Kettle Cove

Kettle Cove Cape Elizabeth

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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The Liberty Hotel Boston

When dreaming up weekend trips to Boston with Orvis, The Liberty Hotel has always been high on our list of places to stay. Friends of ours with dogs have long talked about how accommodating the hotel is to pets, especially on Wednesday evenings in the summer during the famed Yappier Hour. So, when we found out that I’d be speaking at a conference in Boston this past weekend and decided to bring Orvis along for the trip, we looked no further than The Liberty.

Housed in the former Charles Street Jail, The Liberty Hotel is easily one of the more unique settings in which we’ve ever spent the night. The stylish open main space, in the old jail’s central octagonal building, retains many of its original 19th century architectural details, including the cells inside Clink, the catwalk walkways, and the wrought-ironwork on the windows. But while the details are a constant reminder of the space’s past criminal “guests”, a night at The Liberty is far from a stint in The Slammer. The modern amenities, the comfortable rooms (many with amazing views of Beacon Hill and the Charles River), and the impeccable service are just a handful of reasons why we’ll be returning in the future, but possibly the greatest asset of The Liberty for our trio was just how dog-friendly it turned out to be.

We don’t always choose to bring Orvis along with us when we travel to cities – he’s always seemed to be happiest running wild in the country – but we couldn’t have been more pleased that he made the trip down to Boston. Walking around Beacon Hill, down to the South End, up and down Comm. Ave, and through the Public Garden with him at our side was something we’ll always remember fondly. From our research and the comments of friends, we expected a certain level of dog-friendliness at The Liberty prior to our arrival, but we were continually blown away by how well he was treated, both by the staff and by the other guests throughout our stay. He was encouraged to sit right next to us as we sipped our cocktails in the lobby bar, something which we rarely have the chance to experience with Orvis indoors. The image of a rather large, goofy dog in the middle of such a luxurious setting will always bring a smile to our faces, and we honestly cannot imagine planning another trip to Boston with Orvis that doesn’t include a stay at The Liberty – we all enjoyed ourselves way too much to not have an encore visit.

The Liberty Hotel

The Liberty Hotel View

The Liberty Hotel Bathroom

The Liberty Hotel Boston

Pets at The Liberty Hotel

The Liberty Hotel Pets

 

The Liberty Hotel Dog Friendly

The Liberty Hotel Dogs

The Liberty Hotel

Clink Boston

The Liberty Hotel  Boston

The Liberty Hotel Pet Friendly

Photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Orvis Abby Rocky

Michael and I spent the last month dog sitting for my family’s dogs, Abby (the adorable King Charles) and Rocky (the sweetest rescue pup in the world). We made sure to spoil each of them rotten while they were here – trips to the beach, twice daily walks, and all kinds of fun treats, including strawberry softserve ice cream! Being a three dog family was quite a lot at times, but we’d take these two for another month in a heartbeat.

Rocky

Orvis

Orvis

Rocky

Abby watching Orvis

Swimming Orvis

King Charles Spaniel

Rocky

Trundy Point

Orvis at Trundy Point

Abby at Trundy Point

Rocky at Trundy Point

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu. 

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Red's Dairy Freeze Strawberry Soft Serve

Anyone who lives here or has visited before would probably agree that summer in Maine is pretty hard to beat. As part of this series, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite ways to experience this sunny season in the Pine Tree State. 

Every day since strawberries first started appearing at the Farm Stand and farmer’s market, Meredith has been compulsively checking Facebook to see if Red’s Dairy Freeze had released their very limited run of fresh Maxwell’s Farm strawberry soft serve. Today, when she came running into my office, I knew that the wait was over, so we took a little midday break from work and popped around the corner for a strawberry milkshake and cone of this sweet summer treat (and an extra for the pups). Like many South Portlanders (and probably many southern Mainers) we look forward to this yearly tradition as the unofficial start of summer. But like summer in Maine, strawberry season is also short, so you’ll have to move quickly to get a cone for yourself.

Red's-Dairy-Freeze-Strawberry-Soft-Serve-Ice-Cream

Dog-Friendly-Red-Dairy-Freeze  Red's-Dairy-Freeze-Ice-Cream

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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The Well at Jordan's Farm

Anyone who lives here or has visited before would probably agree that summer in Maine is pretty hard to beat. As part of this series, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite ways to experience this sunny season in the Pine Tree State. 

You don’t have to be a frequent reader of Map & Menu to know how much we love The Well at Jordan’s Farm. Eating what is literally a farm fresh meal from a picnic table on a warm summer evening is a pretty ideal dining experience. This year is our first season dining at The Well and pairing every BYOB meal with the delicious wines from Maine & Loire. We’ve raved about Peter & Orenda’s store on the site before, but the ability to show them that night’s menu at The Well in search of a perfect pairing has become our newest summer obsession.

A bottle from Maine & Loire and a meal at The Well is a pairing that we think should be on everyone’s summer bucket list.

Maine and Loire Wine

The Well at Jordan's Farm Doughnuts

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Willard Beach

Over breakfast this morning, Michael and I sat down and made our Summer Bucket List. Like many New Englanders, we spend our winters counting down the days until summer, but seemingly by the time this precious season arrives, we blink and it’s over. In years past we’ve always kept our list of hopeful summer to-dos on our refrigerator, but I’m hoping that by sharing them on the site, you’ll help us with some accountability and we’ll be able to actually check (most of) them off.

  • Host our annual rosé party
  • Road trip to Rhode Island for Del’s
  • See Van Gogh and Nature at The Clark
  • Attend our first Red Sox game at Fenway
  • Paddle to Richmond Island
  • Plan a day hike in New Hampshire
  • Catch a Sea Dogs game
  • Take a dip at the Alna swimming hole
  • See Alex Katz in 1950s at Colby College Museum of Art
  • Day trip to a new island in Casco Bay
  • Rent stand up paddleboard
  • Head to Vermont for our annual August getaway

What’s on your summer list? We’d love to hear what you’ve all got planned in the comments below! 

Mt. Major

Marianmade Farm Lavender

Petite Jacqueline Maine

Rose Party

Home

Rhineback NY Farmer's Market

Bingham Falls

Isle of Springs Maine

Rose

Orvis at Trundy Point

Fisherman's Point

Isle of Springs

Donuts at The Well

Sailing to Chebeague

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Lobster-Tail

Meredith and I were reading that today is National Lobster Day, so in celebration of this super savory sea creature, we thought it’d be fun to highlight some of our favorite ways to enjoy lobster in Maine.

A couple of years ago we did a round-up of our favorite lobster rolls in Maine, a post we still stand by today. In addition to our list, the comments readers left were quite helpful and have guided us to many new locations up and down the coast. If you’re new to the Portland area or planning a trip to Maine, a roll at Fort Williams from Bite Into Maine is a quintessential Maine experience with views of Casco Bay behind the iconic Portland Headlight.

When friends come to town we love the tradition of going to Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth and picking out our own fresh lobsters from the tank. No trip to the farm is complete with our friends posing for a photo with the largest lobster in the tank, of course. Typically we cook them with a bag of steamers (clams), but we’re planning on giving this grilled split lobster recipe from Bon Appetit a try this summer.

If we’re not cooking it on our own or enjoying it to go, the following are a few lobster dishes around town that have caught our eye: the chilled Maine lobster tail with house mayonnaise at Petite Jacqueline, the lobster tartine at The Honey Paw, and the lobster dumplings at Empire. Seasonal lobster dishes at places like The Well and Vinland should also be on your radar.

If a lobster meal is on your summer bucket list, hopefully this post has given you some inspiration, and If you have any suggestions of lobster rolls, meals, or recipes that we may have missed, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below.

Muscongus Bay Lobster

Muscongus Bay Lobster Roll

Maine Lobster Dinner

Vinland Portland, Maine

Bite Into Maine Lobster Roll

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

Chefs Andrew Taylor & Mike Wiley’s go-to Portland spots are on Andrew Zimmern’s blog, complete with a couple of Map & Menu photos of local favorites Hunt & Alpine (pictured above) & Central Provisions!

Although Michael and I were both a sobbing mess throughout most of this video, we absolutely think that the story of Denali the dog and his owner Ben is well worth a watch over the weekend.

A trip to Big Sur is high on our travel bucket list, so hopefully one day this travel guide will come in handy.

The playful branding of the Dundee, Scotland bar, Jam Jar, caught my eye this week.

This naturally sweetened Mango Berry Cherry Sorbet looks and sounds like a perfect summer weekend snack.

Oysters & cocktails on a boatGrand Banks sounds amazing!

If we ever make it to Australia.

We were shopping for dinner tonight at the Farm Stand and happened upon the season’s first local strawberries. I can’t wait to give a few of these Bon Appetit strawberry recipes a shot this season!

Hopefully you all have something fun lined up for the weekend. We’re looking forward to making tacos, grilling burgers, and sipping drinks on the patio as much as we possibly can! 

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Honey Paw Wok Fried Wide Rise Noodles

Every now and again, Meredith and I don’t mind having a meal that doesn’t involve bringing along the camera and thinking about every dish in regards to a blog post. Special occasion meals typically fall into this category, so when we tried The Honey Paw for the first time around my birthday, we did so without Map & Menu in mind… but ended up enjoying our meal so much that we spent the next couple of weeks thinking about a return trip with camera in tow to share it with you.

When it was announced that the trio behind perennial Portland favorites, Eventide and Hugo’s, would be adding a third establishment to their portfolio, there was quite a bit of buzz around town that The Honey Paw, a “non-denominational noodle bar”, would be a welcome new addition to one of Portland’s tastiest blocks, and after our first two meals there, we couldn’t agree more. Sharing more than just a kitchen, the restaurant pays the same attention to style, detail, and presentation that its sister restaurants are known for. The space is filled with natural light, warm honey-golden tones, and beautiful wooden accents like the large maple island and walnut Industry West stools. Similar to Eventide, the communal bars and table encourage social meals of friendly conversation with other patrons, while music pipes through the vinyl HiFi system.

As for that shared kitchen, we’ve yet to try a bite at The Honey Paw that hasn’t left us craving our next. The creative flavor combinations of dishes like the octopus poke with watermelon and cucumber are delightful, and plates and bowls of charred pork shoulder and wok fried rice noodles are savory and comforting enough that we hope they never leave the menu. On our first visit, the dolsot bibimbap, in which dry-aged beef was served over a heated stone bowl of rice that continues to fry and become crunchier long after the dish arrives, was one of those meals that will remain fresh in my memory for a very long time. In fact, the same could be said about both of our meals at The Honey Paw, and we’re certainly looking forward to adding more dishes to those memories on future trips.

The Honey Paw Portland Maine

Honey Paw Portland Maine

Tuna Tartare Honey Paw

Charred Pork Shoulder The Honey Paw

Charred Pork Should at The Honey Paw

Wok Fried Wide Rice Noodles Honey Paw

Octopus Poke at The Honey Paw

The Honey Paw Portland Maine

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Greenbrier

Michael and I recently watched the HBO miniseries, Olive Kitteridge, and after seeing the toile wallpaper from the opening credits we found ourselves on a search for a similar nautical toile paper for our own home. Ever since shooting some projects for Furbish a few years ago, I’ve been wanting to incorporate wallpaper into our home, but Michael was always on the fence about it until our stay at Nebo Lodge, where more than a few rooms are given an extra dose of character thanks, in large part, to their various wallpapers.

Just like I did with our bathroom update from the spring, I thought it would be fun to share some wallpaper inspiration from our travels. From the floral print in a guest room at The Greenbrier (pictured above) to the whimsical hot air balloons in the stairway of the Saint James in Paris, these wallpapers inject a sense of personality and fun into their spaces.

Powder room at The Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. 

Ocean-House-Watch-Hill-Powder-Room

Stairway at the Saint James in Paris.

St. James Paris

Guest room at the Saint James.

St. James Paris Hotel

The Brimstone Room at Nebo Lodge on North Haven, ME.

Nebo-Lodge

Nebo-Lodge-Maine

Bathroom at Nebo Lodge

Nebo-Lodge-ME

Colonial Room at the Pitcher Inn in Warren, VT.

Pitcher Inn, Warren Vermont - Map & Menu

The pub at the White Hart Inn in Salisbury, CT. 

White Hart Inn, Salisbury CT

Dining nook at Tipsy Parson in New York. 

Tipsy-Parson-NYC

Do you all have any design discoveries from your travels? We’d love to hear about them below!

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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