The tycoons of the 19th century traditionally did their wheeling and dealing at fine-dining establishments, cleverly concealing the fact that they still lived with their parents. Make off with a feast fit for a robber baron with today’s Groupon: for $35, you get $75 worth of upscale bistro fare at On The Marsh in Kennebunk.
On The Marsh executive chef Jeffrey Savage has presented menus at the James Beard House in New York City, showcasing his flair for fresh takes on New England cuisine. On The Marsh's ever-evolving dinner menu teems with local, seasonal produce and the delicious denizens of land and sea, which come together in plates such as seared sea scallops and lobster risotto posing coyly beneath a veil of black-truffle vinaigrette ($33). A roasted half duck finds a happy habitat in celeriac foie-gras mash, local mushrooms, and cipollini onions ($28), and a host of starters, including a clutch of mussels pan-roasted with garlic ($9), stand ready to accompany main courses as harmoniously as dueling banjos. Desserts cosset the indecisive with tastings of crème brûlée in assorted flavors ($8) and house-made sorbets ($8).
On Friday and Saturday nights, a piano player's dulcet tones share airspace with tantalizing aromas in On The Marsh’s warm, rustic dining room. Custom silverware and antique furniture gathered on owner Denise Rubin's travels through Europe glow beneath chandeliers formed from a tangle of small branches, affording a cozy observation deck for views of garden flowers and diners enjoying a postdinner nap on the restaurant's expansive lawns.