Spotlight on Ogunquit, Maine
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Spotlight on Ogunquit, Maine

Featured Restaurants by Jessica Sacco / July, 2018

As one of New England’s premier coastal towns, Ogunquit brings together the best of land and sea. Beach lovers have access to a huge stretch of sandy shores. Walk along Marginal Way, a paved footpath that connects Perkins Cove—with its boutique shops, alfresco dining, and beautiful views of the colorful ships anchored in the harbor—to Ogunquit Beach. The welcoming community is filled with charm and offers a little of everything for visitors who’ve traveled near and far in search of the perfect getaway spot.

Northern Union
261 Shore Road, 207-216-9639
northern-union.me

Once a house in the early 1900s, Northern Union is now a restaurant and wine bar focusing on seasonally inspired dishes. When Matt and Lauren Wickerttook over the space in 2015, they set a goal of restoring a homey feel (the location had previously hosted a series of restaurants and a jewelry store). “We felt it would be best represented if it were to have the sense of being in our home for a casual night of great food and drink,” says Matt. “We also love varying dining styles, from eating at the bar to low couches where you can relax with a glass of wine with friends without feeling rushed, or being jammed into a crowded dining area.” You enter into the “living room,” a great area for drinks on the sofas. Different spaces offer varied dining experiences. There are options for beer and cocktails, but the restaurant’s specialty is its extensive wine list. Foodwise, go for the Chef’s Basket for a warm-weather celebration. Executive Chef Romann Dumorne prepares a picnic for the table, with items like fruits, veggies, pesto, and bread. Entrees include items from land and sea, like the Seared Scallops and Hay Roasted Pork Loin. If you’re only hungry for snacks, no worries, there’s an entire section devoted to just those. Try the General Tso’s Mushrooms or Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates, which are wrapped in bacon and are so tasty you won’t want to share!

Angelina’s Ristorante
655 Main Street, 207-646-0445
angelinasogunquit.com

SpotlightAngelinas

Family recipes and a large selection of wines is what you’ll find at Angelina’s Ristorante. Owner and Executive Chef David Giarusso Jr. grew up cooking with his great grandmother, Angelina Peluso. In 2005, he opened a restaurant featuring her Italian dishes: ravioli, meatballs, and all the main sauces—like marinara, alfredo, puttanesca, and more. Try the Rigatoni Bolognese, homemade pasta served with a red sauce that’s been simmered for five hours with ground sirloin, veal, and pork. Giarusso also prioritizes seafood, like haddock, scallops, salmon, tuna, and scallops, all caught in Maine. To sample an array, go for the Fettuccini alla Bucaniera, served with pomodori or spicy fra diavolo sauce. The Tuscan Grille section of the menu offers chicken, steak, pork, and veal dishes. Be sure to check out the wine list, where you’ll have your pick of 21 wines by the glass and 175 by the bottle. Angelina’s doesn’t offer house wine, encouraging patrons to try something new. “I think people really enjoy good wine,” says Giarusso. “My motto is if I’m not going to eat or drink it, I’m not going to serve it.”

Jonathan’s Ogunquit
92 Bourne Lane, 207-646-4777
jonathansogunquit.com

SpotlightJonathans

 For more than 40 years, Jonathan West has been welcoming people into his family home turned restaurant, Jonathan’s Ogunquit. A pioneer of the go-local movement, West uses meats, veggies, and fruits from his own 12 acres to create New England classics that keep regulars satisfied and tourists intrigued. “I was farm to table before they even had the term,” West says. “I didn’t know that was a thing. I thought that was just how you ran a restaurant.” Each of the five dining rooms at Jonathan’s has a different theme—from a 600-gallon fish aquarium to a minimalist room with unique art pieces. Wherever you sit, try the Seafood Stuffed North Atlantic Haddock, which is loaded with a scallop and shrimp stuffing and cooked with garlic, white wine, and lemon beurre blanc. The Caramelized Atlantic Salmon Filet is also a top seller, as is the Jaeger Schnitzel, a breaded pork tenderloin cutlet dressed with a lemon and mushroom demi-glace and served with braised red cabbage and a warm German potato salad. For an age-old classic that’s been on the menu for 30 years, try the Mediterranean Pasta. It features Jonathan’s farm-raised lamb sausage and local goat cheese tossed over linguini fini. For dessert, there’s really no bad choice—the Coffee Cinnamon Ice Cream is made in-house and the Apple Crisp is filled with fruit from Jonathan’s farm. There’s also an upstairs concert venue where musicians and comedians from all eras have made a home entertaining guests.

Bintliff’s Ogunquit Restaurant
335 Main Street, 207-646-3111
bintliffsogunquit.com

Spotlight Bintliffs

Bintliff’s Ogunquit Restaurant manages to tempt for both brunch and dinner. Co-owned by Executive Chef Norman Hebert and his father, Norman Hebert Sr., known as Pops, the American-style restaurant keeps its regulars satisfied. “They always come in and say, ‘We’re going to try something else,’” says Chef Hebert. “But I would say 95 percent of people, when they’re leaving, they’ve had the same thing they’ve had the last five times they’ve been in. ”Morning goers often choose French toast. It’s hard not to, as Hebert uses his homemade breads. Try the Crème Brûlée French Toast with Tuscan bread, or the Apple Cinnamon Raisin French Toast. The Corned Beef Hash, which is simmered overnight, is famously popular. Bintliff’s also offers a mean BLT Bloody Mary using bacon-infused vodka that’s garnished with a romaine heart, cherry tomato, and a salt-and-pepper rim. For dinner, the Herb and Garlic Roasted Prime Rib Au Jus, served Thursdays through Sundays, is so in demand guests often try to reserve a slice in advance. The meats at Bintliff’s are hand cut, making the Beef Wellington and Rack of Lamb go-tos all year.

The Front Porch
9 Shore Road, 207-646-4005
thefrontporch.com

Spotlight FrontPorch

As the only piano bar in Ogunquit, The Front Porch is a great spot for dinner, drinks, and a show. When the eatery first opened in 1980, it was exclusively a piano bar, but over time a dining room and lounge were added. The restaurant has always been known as a spot where anyone and everyone can come in to enjoy a meal and hear some favorite tunes. “We are unique in that we have been able to maintain a format that has long since been lost at other piano bars around the country,” says owner Scott Vogel. “People come from all over the country to participate in what has become one of the most inclusive and interactive piano bars anywhere. We pride ourselves on being everyone’s happy place.” The piano sits upstairs, surrounded by a dozen tables. Pianists bring a wide range of selections, from John Legend to Adele, and welcome the crowd to sing along. For a meal, try the Lobster Risotto, which features seven ounces of lobster tossed in a creamy brandy sauce. For something a little different, go for the Chicken Under a Brick. A bone-in chicken thigh is literally cooked under a brick, giving it a caramelized, crisp exterior. It’s served with fingerling potatoes and the vegetable of the day. New for the summer is a weekend brunch menu. Items include Chicken and Waffles, Corn Beef Hash, and Eggs Benedict. And the piano bar will be in full swing to kick start your morning.