Academe at The Kennebunk Inn

4.4
312 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Academe at The Kennebunk Inn showcases the culinary creativity and execution of Chef-owners and Culinary Institute of America graduates, Brian and Shanna O'Hea. This year Academe's Lobster Pot Pie was featured on the Food Network show "Best Thing I Ever Ate," nominated by celebrity chef Cat Cora. Since acquiring the historic inn located in the heart of Kennebunk village in 2003, the O'Heas have dramatically altered the look, the feel and, most importantly, the tastes awaiting patrons of The Inn's restaurant. From first course options to entree and dessert offerings, Academe promises an uncommon yet accessible dining experience drawn from the seasonal bounty of the land and sea.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, French American, American
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Hours of operation
Lunch and Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:30 am - 9:00 pm
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Phone number
(207) 985-3351
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Brian and Shanna O'Hea
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Private party facilities
A private room that overlooks The Inn's brick patio and herb garden can accommodate up to 30 for seated service and 40 for standing receptions. Access to the patio/garden provides a gracious combination of indoor and outdoor space.
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Private party contact
Diane Ryan: (207) 985-3351
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Catering
Chef-owners, Brian and Shanna O'Hea, will design the perfect menu to meet your on or off-site catering requirements for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, anniversary and birthday parties, or corporate events.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Grove St.
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Parking details
Ample parking is available directly behind The Inn at no charge. Parking on the street in front of the restaurant is also permitted at no charge.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 312 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.0
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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M
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Charming dining room. Great menu with something for everyone

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D
Miami
7 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Academe. The lobster stew won the day, and my landlubbet husband raved about the cacio e pepe. And those moderate portion desserts were perfect. This was the best meal we had during our week long Maine visit. We highly recommend it.

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EM
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always an excellent time at Acadame! Delicious food with friends and family. Brian, Shanna and their staff really make the evening perfect! ❤️

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful gem in downtown Kennebunk

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OT
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was excellent! The staff was pleasant. Excellent experience all around.

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MM
New England
4 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Met here with a small group of friends to have a send off meal for someone who was moving. The food was delicious, the atmosphere very nice and we enjoyed our time. The wait staff was decent although there were times throughout the evening when he seemed to "forget" about us - for instance when we asked for a few minutes longer to read the menu it was about 15 or 20 minutes before he came back. We weren't in a hurry so it worked out. I had the Rigatoni bolognese and it was fabulous - amazing flavor! Would definitely go back again!

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SD
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

this was our first visit to this restaurant even though we have lived in the area for 10 years. The food was amazing and service first class. we will go back

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TB
Baton Rouge
5 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

They couldn't find our reservation but seated us anyway. Service was very slow. We were one of three families in at the time and our waiter was having a hard time keeping up but the other waiter was moving quickly. The food was ok, nothing special. Very expensive for the portions and quality of food. Then we ordered dessert and wine. They brought me the wrong wine, but I drank it because we didn't want to wait another 30 minutes for them to correct the issue. The fried Oreos were stale and the mini versions of desserts are approximately 2 bites. Still too much money for what you get. By the time we finished the restaurant was full and our waiter was busy taking pictures and chatting with other tables. We wanted our check to leave but that took a while too.

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OT
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

The Lobster pot pie was good and had lots of lobster. They only give you a very small bowl so you may want a salad or something else to go with but it’s good. This is their signature dish so I wish it was bigger but it was still good. The place is older because it is located inside of an old B&B so the atmosphere was antiques and stale smells like most old houses, but you don’t mind that it’s good.

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OT
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Ate here twice during the week. Citrus crab ravioli were one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Great place overall, more for the high quality of the food and service than for the atmosphere. Definitely a keeper.

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KC
New England
4 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful night to sit outside. Our waitress, Betty Ann, was amazing. Food was delicious, drinks were tasty and dessert was delish.

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C
New England
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The menuits limited, but the lobster pot pie is wonderful.

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ST
New England
4 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed the rustic charm of the dining room at the inn. It clearly is a popular place as there were many seatings while we dined. The server was accommodating of my companions gluten allergy. Initially there was some confusion on what was GF (not the kung pap cauliflower made with soy sauce!) but she figured it out.
The crab stuffed ravioli with shrimp and mussels was outstanding and the salmon dish was prepared to perfection.
Save room for dessert. The salted caramel ice cream made on premises was delicious!

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M
New England
9 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Every time we are here, the experience just gets better. Food and service are wonderful. We will keep coming back!

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BM
New England
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Overall a nice experience. We live close and we’re happy to try it. The famous lobster pot pie was lacking enough of the main ingredient. It should have been called potato pot pie. The special shrimp scampi was very good.

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M
New England
8 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

One of our favorite restaurants in the area. Never a disappointment!

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JA
New England
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It is the first time that my wife and I have eaten at the Inn. We enjoyed our meal, and the service was very good. It is a little pricey, but I knew that going into it, and the portions are on the small side, given what you are paying. Overall, we enjoyed it, and would probably return.

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PR
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 2

Always good food and service. One of our favorite places. Could use a face lift in decor though. .

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TW
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 1

I made reservations for March 16, for my 50th birthday, and not one word was mentioned from the waiter or anyone in the place acknowledging it was my birthday. The food was way over priced, and not very good at all. It was down right awful.. The table next to us was so loud, I couldn't even hear the waiter speak. Not happy at all and will never go there again, and warn people to stay away. I was so excited about going to this place, but what a big disappointment..
The only good thing was the bread and our salads. We should of just got that instead of paying a fortune for bad food..

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JH
New England
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful Waiters and Bartenders. Great Valentines Day destination. See you next year.

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S
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The service was slow as the server had more tables than she could handle. The food was mediocre and the pomegranate margarita was awful. Considering what the dinner cost for our overall experience, we won’t be back.

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M
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently good service and food. Always great!

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JD
Naples
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Very enjoyable meal, service was excellent, and the staff very welcoming.

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BB
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a wonderful cozy dining experience. Sat in the bar for cocktails, ordered the nachos, as everyone seemed to be. Thought it was a little strange, boy were we wrong they were amazing. Ordered the fried paddock probably the best I ever had, very minimal breading, fresh and delicious, also had their famous lobster pie, not disappointed.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was one of the bet meals I had. The Lobster Pot Pie was outstanding. Also, the dessert sampler was a great end of dinner treat. I loved everything about this place.

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very nice atmosphere. We started with drinks on the porch and got seated at a very quiet table that over looked the street. Our server Betty Anne was amazing and so was the lobster pot pie! I would definitely recommend eating and staying here!

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OT
Montreal
34 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

From out of town, had a nice Sat evening meal with our two young kids. Chicken curry soup was delicious and arguably too filling. Salmon with kung pao cauliflower - fish is good and the veggie better. Wines by the glass were so-so, maybe we just ordered the wrong ones. Attentive and friendly staff.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a treat to eat at Academe. We brought friends from CT for first time dining. Everyone loves there meal.

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TR
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been to Academe at least 20 times and have always had a delicious meal, friendly service, and a wonderful time.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2017
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

A good time. Service was good, food very good. Ambience was fair.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2017
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

The lobster pie was very disappointing. The potatoes were very doughy. The Kennebunk salad was very good along with the salmon. The gazpacho soup tasted like it came from a can. The nachos were delicious.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed our dinner at the Inn. My husband, son and daughter-in-law all chose the lobster pot pie. They all loved their meals. I ordered the meat loaf. Our service was fantastic, the bread was warm and delicious. The only down side was that we all agreed that our meals were a bit expensive for the quantity. We can understand paying $25 for the lobster dish, as lobster is pricey, but the meatloaf was quite small for the price. Overall, we would return if we are in the area.

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RS
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Went there for the Lobster Pot Pie based on past experience and Food Network recommendation. Was disappointed this time. The sauce was not as buttery as I remembered and there were more chunks of potato than chunks of lobster. It's unfortunate, because the Inn itself is pretty quaint. But I'll definitely be getting my lobster elsewhere in the future.

Also had the wild blueberry crisp for dessert. The wild blueberries were very tasty, but the oatmeal "crisp" was pretty disappointing.

On the other hand, the house salad with goat cheese, cranberries, and pistachios, and the homemade gazpacho were both quite good.

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a
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A hidden gem that is worth giving a try. Some of the best fish and chips I have ever had.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent service, we plan to return for another special night in the future.

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m
Naples
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2017
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 3

Unnecessary scramble when seated, even at an early (and quiet) dinner hour.
Food was NOT GOOD and disappointing.
The beer-battered fried green beans appetizer was extremely oily. The batter did not adhere well to the beans because- my guess- the beans were wet when battered or the batter was too thin, and/or the oil wasn't hot enough.
Tasty rolls.
One in our party had the chicken meatballs entree w/ farro and feta cheese, and a (too large) serving of fried avocado wedges. Presentation was awful and unappetizing! The plate was about half the size of the table & all the food was a uniform grey! The fried avocado was a sickly color (&oily). The meatballs themselves were overly salty (even taking into consideration the prociutto and cheese in them) and tough (overworked). Too-dry farro and feta. No cohesiveness. Why not a light herb sauce of some sort? It is summer, after all.
The citrus crab ravioli with PEI mussels & shrimp entree was pretty due to the contrast of mussel shells and curry sauce (yummy), though again, a sprig of green would have enhanced it significantly. The mussels should never have left the kitchen! They were obviously frozen and the meat tiny, overcooked and unappealing, one of the four inedible. The shrimp quite undercooked, but tolerable. The ravioli was practically raw it was SO al dente! Tasty filling.
Skipped desert.
Uncomfortable chairs, tiny tables (really cocktail tables) and enormous menus. All out of proportion. The old air conditioning units hanging out of the windows above lent a rather dull depressing and dated atmosphere. Is their signature lobster pot pie all they succeed at? I wonder. But not for too long, because I see no point in returning.

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BD
New England
7 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Mrs. S. and I are seasonal campers nearby. We've eaten at Academe at least 3 times a summer and have done so for the last four years. Our last visit was this past Friday. As has always been our experience, it was absolutely fantastic!

The restaurant is located in The Kennebunk Inn, and there is parking around back. We made early reservations (5:30) and were able to get our favorite table by the windows that look out onto Main St. There was a lively crowd at the bar, but the Dining Room was still virtually empty (It filled up as the evening progressed). Our server was Charlie and he did an outstanding job! Personable and very professional, he reflected the type of service we have always had at Academe.

We shared the Chicken Croquettes for our appetizer. They are AMAZING! The creamy sauce is actually within the breaded and fried croquette (as opposed to being poured over top). This dish is crazy good and is served, essentially, with an entire salad as a garnish. Warning! This appetizer could serve as an entire entre!

Mrs. S had the Lobster Pot Pie which she loves! Tons of lobster in a creamy sauce covered by a home made puff pastry. Friday was no exception and the Lobster Pot Pie was, by her account, absolutely wonderful. I am a fan of the Personal Meatloaf. It's wrapped in bacon and what makes it absolutely fabulous is the truffle ginger BBQ sauce. I always ask for a bit extra on the side because frankly, I can't get enough! The mustard mashed potatoes are great and green beans are. . well. . . green beans. (Not generally a vegetable guy!) All in all, it was a fabulous dinner!

We were both full to the brim, but there's no going to Academe without having at least one Fried Oreo Cookie. . . Utterly fantastic!

If you are having dinner out in the Kennebunk area, I strongly recommend you give Academe a try!

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B
New England
12 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 2

We enjoyed a nice quite dinner last Wed. The staff was pleasebt and the food was good. I wish it had more windows. It is nice it has a front porch.

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J
Ottawa
2 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was an excellent dining experience! The lobster pot pie is second to none. The Maine Lemonade cocktail was delicious too. I grew up in Biddeford and never knew about this gem of a place. Go. Now!

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OT
Philadelphia
89 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Very disappointing. The lobster specialty was more like soup. Definitely not worth $22.

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