"Food is love" is one of the mottos of Leanne Cusimano, who bustles around the eatery, forging a menu designed to convey that warmth. The scents of breakfasts snapping against skillets drift from Amore Breakfast?s sand-hued cottage exterior, which conceals the gleefully mismatched tables and checkerboard accents of a '50s diner. Servers tote thick slices of french toast stuffed with cream cheese or topped with berries and fluffy omelets enfolding veggies, meats, and cheeses. Wreaths of steam from cups of the house blend coffee encircle them as they bear trays to the dining area, where patrons marvel at spotting a toaster?s face in slices of toast.
Located less than one mile from the beach, the Hayloft Restaurant culls the nearby surf for fresh ocean fare while also serving land-wandering game among their breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The lunch and dinner menu invites taste buds to indulge in a coterie of sandwiches, burgers, grilled specialties, and seafood baked or fried in the Hayloft's secret-batter recipe. Double your crustacean intake with the lobster pie, stuffed with chunks of lobster meat bathed in a creamy lobster broth ($23.99), or delve into bourbon barbecue steak tips ($14.99) marinated in the chef's own bourbon barbecue sauce. Break-of-dawn bellies indulge in the breakfast menu's pancakes, omelettes, and Hayloft combinations—complete with eggs, meat, and homefries—able to energize a full day of fish whispering.
York's sandy beaches and iconic rocky shores make it an idyllic walking town. The Nubble Lighthouse, a 1.5-mile stroll east of the hotel, ascends from a small, rocky island off the northeastern shore of Cape Neddick. This red-roofed landmark, encased by a cast iron shell, flashes a red beacon every six seconds to remind seafarers to call their mothers. Continuing along the coast, visitors traverse the Cliff Walk, a trail lined by wildflowers and set against a dramatic backdrop of the rugged Atlantic shore. Stationed an 8-minute drive from the hotel, York Harbor and York Village charm travelers with historical buildings and quaint New England cafés. This quiet shopping district houses the Museums of Old York, a collection of nine historical sites including Old Gaol, a former 18th-century prison outfitted with cells and dungeons, and the Emerson-Wilcox House, which displays 12 period room settings and two antique galleries.
The Landing Restaurant wines and dines patrons with an extensive menu of seaworthy fare and gull's-eye views of the riverside and port. A bowl of homemade New England clam chowder is an ideal starting gate for a Landing experience ($7.50 at lunch), as is a cup of creamy lobster stew ($10.50 at lunch). Terra-firma-dwelling dishes conjured by the kitchen mystics offer a variety of 12-ounce steak options ($24+), including many that pair with saltwater teammates to round out the surf-and-turf lineup (prices vary with market price). The Landing’s deepwater marquee stars a collection of shellfish that includes native Maine shrimp ($22) along with finned fish such as haddock ($20–$21). The lobster list presents the clawed cavalier of the sea served boiled, pre-cracked, or smuggled into a lobster pie using a clam shovel and a claw file.
Alisson's patrons engage in casual dining with a menu of lunch and dinner dishes culled from the sea's tummy-rumbling depths and the meadow's succulent stretches. Seafoodies get their lunch fix with Alisson's signature lobster roll, packed with mounds of Maine lobster with a dollop of mayonnaise, served on a grilled roll chaperoned by fries or coleslaw ($17.95).
Snagging its name from one of the schooners built in Kennebunk's adjacent 19th-century shipyards, Federal Jack's makes its own mark by pairing creative pub fare with flavorful ales brewed in-house. Taste buds set sail on their own toothsome odyssey with an appetizer of fried calamari ($8.95) and house favorites such as the Fiery Volcano burger, whose fearsome flow of hellfire relish is capped with a ground beef, turkey, or veggie burger and a sunny-side-up egg ($9.95). Smooth seas await restricted dieters—including vegetarians, gluten-avoiders, and the sugar-suspicious—with several modifiable options and menu staples, such as the hummus sandwich ($7.95) and the spinach, ricotta, and red-pepper-layered eggplant milanese ($13.95). Diners can quickly win a stare-down or guess the poker hand of the hot open-faced turkey, an autumnal treat served atop stuffing bread and dressed with cranberry sauce ($9.95).