Mainers are accustomed to restaurant shutdown season. It’s normal (albeit frustrating), say, for an eatery to close for the month of February, especially in a seasonal town. But what can be more unsatisfying is when, instead of closing, a restaurant just makes some awkward amendments.
David’s KPT at the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel in Kennebunkport doesn’t close for winter, but it will behoove patrons to know about some changes (good and bad).
The fourth of chef David Turin’s restaurants – he owns David’s Restaurant and David’s Opus 10, both in Monument Square in Portland, and David’s 388 in South Portland – David’s KPT is an expansive wraparound restaurant on the ground floor of the Boathouse Hotel fit with three (three!) bars and 55 seats in the dining room.
However, the center-most and longest bar, connecting the front entrance bar with the dining room and the dining room with the oyster bar, is regrettably closed except on Friday and Saturday nights.
It’s understandable that staffing three bars for one restaurant could be challenging, particularly during the winter months, but it’s also unfortunate to have to turn guests away from a desirable seating area. The center bar also doesn’t look closed (the chairs are very neatly and deliberately arranged and the bar is still fully stocked), so guests might take a seat at the closed bar for a couple of minutes before someone informs them of the modification.
Nevertheless, the ambiance at David’s KPT is swanky, sophisticated and reminiscent of the Dockside Grill, a neighborhood favorite in Falmouth. There are plush, blue velvet chairs in the dining room and modern oversized light fixtures, and virtually every seat has a view of the harbor (well, except for the aforementioned center-most bar seats).
Happy hour is seven days a week at David’s KPT from 3 to 6 p.m.; Monday’s happy hour will be available from 3 p.m. to close (9 p.m.). Drafts are $4, select wines by the glass are $5, and a few well cocktails are available for $5 to $6. Select small plates are $5 to $8 during happy hour, including the house-made truffle potato chips, pot stickers, steak tartar, warm olives and duck sliders. Half a dozen oysters are on the menu for $12.
The regular cocktail menu is remarkably cheap (all house cocktails are $8.50), but the liquors on display aren’t necessarily of highest caliber, so this might explain the price.
Unfortunately, over a month into the fall season, the cocktails are still summer-themed with ingredients such as rhubarb, strawberry and lemonade. There’s even sangria on the menu.
According to dining room manager Jennifer Leonard, the cocktail menu will change sometime in November to feature more seasonal ingredients.
The oversights at David’s KPT are countered by a couple new additions: A Tuesday “Date Night” special starting in November will feature a $42 dinner special for couples that includes an appetizer to share, two entrees and a shared dessert. Select bottles of wine also will be available for $24.
Also starting in November, breakfast will be available from 7:30 to 10 a.m.
WHERE: 21 Ocean Ave. (at the Boathouse Hotel), Kennebunkport
HOURS: 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily (hours will change after Jan. 1)
SPECIALS: 3 to 6 p.m. happy hour seven days; 3 p.m. to close happy hour on Mondays; Tuesday “Date Night” dinner special
AMENITIES: Very clean hotel bathrooms, comfortable bar stools, plush dining room seating
PARKING: Parking attendant (hotel guests get parking priority); off-street parking
BOTTOM LINE: David’s KPT is known for its great views and wraparound deck in the summer. The winter season still offers a sophisticated, plush dining atmosphere but with some amendments to hours, seating accommodations and a summer menu that extended through October. The service is friendly and professional but, on busy nights in the off-season, it is noticeably short-staffed.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes