This month's O-Rama series, collaborative reviews on a theme from your local Portland area food bloggers, is out-of-town restaurants. I spent the weekend at Kennebunk beach with my parents, so my boyfriend A., the local, took us to a scenic point with two great restaurants.
A lighthouse, good food, my favorite people, a beautiful late summer Maine weekend. What could be better?
The Ramp, in Kennebunkport, Maine, is a small, funky restaurant below the fancier Pier 77, both at the end of a long winding drive to Cape Porpoise. We drove past large waterfront inns, beach cottages tucked into the hill, Walker Point, the Maine home of the Bush family, and finally out to a gravel lot with a seafood shack, a view of the Goat Island Light, and Pier 77 and The Ramp Bar & Grill.
The bar, covered in retro sports paraphernalia, was hopping, even the weekend after Labor Day. Pier 77 closes during the winter months, but The Ramp stays open year round, enjoying strong local support for the sports bar environment and big portions of hearty bar and seafood fare.
The menu ranged from spinach salad to Carolina style barbecue to burgers and a Greek mezze plate. Everyone at our table stuck with seafood, ordering up two fish and chips, a lobster roll, and an order of mussels.
The lobster roll and chips were both great, with a flavorful lobster salad overflowing out of its bun.
My tempura fried fish was only OK, with an undercooked tempura batter. A heavily dressed cole slaw failed to pick up the slack. The fries were great; crunchy and heavily seasoned. The mussels in a thicker tomato broth with chorizo were plump, hot, and spicy.
Barring the miss on the fish and chips, we loved The Ramp for its funky atmosphere, lively bar, and creative but familiar menu. This place is worth seeking out - while you won't necessarily avoid the crowds of Kennebunkport, the cluster of Adirondack chairs outside the busy restaurant encourage you to take a moment to have a drink and admire the harbor.