We were staying at a B & B in Kennebunkport. I examined the menus of all the restaurants in the area. When I saw that Federal Jack's offered paella, this became a must stop.
The restaurant is a casual brew pub. You walk in to the smell of brewer's yeast. We were seated at a window table. We decided to share the full 11-beer sampler with our meals. My companion ordered the Mediterranean salad topped with skewered steak tips and artichokes. The salad was a redoubtable portion.
I ordered the paella. It was very good, loaded with plenty of mussels and cherrystone clams (they were advertised as littlenecks, but cherrystones were quite satisfactory), as well as spicy chorizo, shrimp, chicken, and peas. The dish resembled more a bouillabaisse than a paella, considering the ratio of seafood and meat to rice.
The beers were interesting, to say the least. One was a vanilla porter, something neither of us had ever encountered before. The cask-aged beer went well with the paella. Selections ranged from the Goat Island Light, a pilsner, to a couple of stouts, the vanilla porter, and some IPAs in between. Our server noted that all the beer they serve in the restaurant is brewed on site. The Shipyard beers and ales shipped to distributors and stores are all brewed in Portland.
The menu is quite extensive and encourages a diner to return to try something else.
The view of the Kennebunk River is pleasant. The dining room is noisy, TV sets are always tuned in to some sporting event, so this is not a place to mellow out and relax. But if you like fresh, unpasteurized craft beer and some great food, and lots of it, stop in and dine at Federal Jack's.
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