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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: July 9, 2014

Dining Guide: 5 noteworthy restaurants in Maine inns

There’s something about a Maine inn that just feels special, especially one that has welcomed travelers for decades. These five inns offer not only gracious accommodations, but first-class dining as well.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

For full listings and more restaurants, see the new searchable Restaurant & Bar Guide.

The porch at Cape Arundel Inn. Press Herald file photo

The porch at Cape Arundel Inn. Press Herald file photo

Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn

208 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport | 967-4015  | capearundelinn.com/dining | $$$$
Located in the swanky oceanfront estate area of Kennebunkport and housed in a vintage shingle-style “cottage” now functioning as a luxury inn, Ocean serves an elegant French-inspired menu by chef Pierre Gignac. No matter where you sit, the stylish dining room offers stunning views of the ocean. You may even be joined by regular guests President George and Barbara Bush, whose summer home is across the road.

Wine storage and the dining room at Sea Glass. Press Herald file photo

Wine storage and the dining room at Sea Glass. Press Herald file photo

Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea

40 Bowery Beach Rd., Cape Elizabeth | 799-3134  | innbythesea.com/dining | $$$$
For stylish seaside dining, Sea Glass offers a menu of admirable dishes that are well prepared in a kitchen overseen by longtime chef Mitchell Kaldrovich. Menu standouts include gazpacho with basil oil, chicken under a brick, gaucho steak and Gulf of Maine seafood paella. When the weather permits, dogs can dine with their owners on the deck overlooking a wide expanse of lawn, gardens and the ocean. Dogs are also allowed in the cozy lounge, but not in the main dining room.

Maine Harvest at The Harraseeket Inn. Press Herald file photo

Maine Harvest at The Harraseeket Inn. Press Herald file photo

Maine Harvest at The Harraseeket Inn

162 Main St., Freeport | 865-9377  | harraseeketinn.com/maine-inn/dining | $$$$
The more formal of two restaurants in this iconic Maine inn, Maine Harvest features locally sourced foods and a broad menu of traditional and modern American dishes. It may be one of the few places in the state to offer old-world, table-side service, which includes preparations for two of chateaubriand, rack of lamb, a special Caesar salad and flambeed desserts.

Squire Tarbox Inn

1181 Main Rd., Westport Island, Wiscasset | 882-7693 | squiretarboxinn.com | $$$$
Squire Tarbox is a spot for a special-occasion foray down a winding road for those who enjoy classic Old World food very well prepared in an unusual and historic setting with a lovely and tranquil ambiance. The inn feels far from civilization, but it’s just a little over an hour from Portland.

Natalie's dining room. Photo courtesy of Ted Axelrod

Natalie’s dining room. Photo courtesy of Ted Axelrod

Natalie’s at Camden Harbor Inn

83 Bay View St., Camden | 236-7008 | nataliesrestaurant.com | $$$$
Perched on a hill overlooking Camden harbor, the Victorian-era inn appears traditionally appointed from the outside. But in the dining room, the decor mixes the refinement of table linens and large vases of roses with riotously red fabric-covered pendant lamps and bright cushioned seats. As for the food, the art and execution of all of the dishes are as delightful as one can expect, down to the last detail.

Key to prices

The approximate cost of two dinner entrees (not including appetizers, drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up

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