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“Definitely off the beaten path but worth it”
Review of Earth

Earth
Ranked #11 of 51 Restaurants in Kennebunkport
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $50
Cuisines: Healthy
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Hidden Pond Lane
Description: **Earth at Hidden Pond is currently closed for the winter season. We thank our guests for another great year and look forward to welcoming you back in May 2018.** Simple yet innovative, Executive Che Joe Schafer's menu at Earth focuses on "farm to fork" freshness. In addition to local meats and seafood, ingredients are used from one of two onsite organic gardens-picked daily and incorporated into each dish to enhance the many flavors and provide a taste that only fresh ingredients deliver. Hand-made pastas, house-made charcuterie and wood oven fired pizzas are thoughtfully prepared and sure to impress your palate. Our wine program features selections from countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Lebanon, while inspired, signature libations are concocted with freshly muddled fruits and fresh herbs from the garden.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We ate dinner here one night while we were staying at the Cottages at Cabot Cove. It isn't easy to find at night - either you need to have the night vision of a predator or have faith in your GPS. The restaurant is part of Hidden Pond - a really pretty mountain resort with cottages, pools, and outdoor dining. Somehow, we managed to arrive pretty much on time and, frankly, I think the hostess was surprised that we were able to find the place. The first thing that came to mind was Twin Peaks - but in a good way. The interior walls of the restaurant are decorated with log crosssections of different dimensions - quite beautiful. The food was quite good - I had the Fried Chicken - which was a creative take on a summer picnic. Go there.

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Thank winston_smith_101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Danielle W, General Manager at Earth, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2012

winston_smith_101,

Although we are only five miles from downtown Kennebunkport, it can see like you are driving forever when you take the drive out to Earth. We are happy you found your way to us, and enjoyed your dining experience. Thank you for persevering!

Please come back and see us again next time your visit Kennebunkport.

Sincerely,

Danielle Walker
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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439 - 443 of 537 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2012

My boyfriend and I had dinner at Earth at Hidden Pond and all we can say is that we cannot wait to go back. The food was amazing, the service was spot on and the atmosphere was out of this world. Our waiter, Matt, had great recommendations, large smile and was super attentive. While making conversation with us, he was sure to be just as attentive to his other guests, so he didn’t miss a beat. The food was absolutely delicious and the décor was beautiful. Everything was very cozy with the large fireplace going and the comfortable chairs. We had a great meal that consisted of the Toro corn (a must try) to the peanut butter and banana sundae. After dinner, we sat outside by the heated saltwater pool and relaxed while sipping some wine. There were fire pits with Adirondack chairs and blankets set up; exceptionally cozy for everyone – this place is amazing and everyone must go there. We cannot wait to visit Earth and Hidden Pond again!

2  Thank Marissa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

When we were inquiring about good restaurants in the Kennebunkport area during our recent vacation, we were directed to Earth at Hidden Pond. Ken Oringer, famed Boston chef and James Beard award winner, created this "farm to fork" restaurant with a vision of forging a close knit community and relationship with local growers and purveyors of meats, produce and seafood.

We were told that the restaurant was supposed to be "experiential" with walls built from the trees cut to clear the site and outdoor dining by a lake complete with nightly bonfire. Alrighty! Outdoor dining by water and fresh food sounds good to us and we made a reservation. But, as it turned out, we sort of wish we hadn't.

The surroundings and decor are beautiful in a rustic, camping in the woods, sort of way. Lots of weathered wood and screens to keep out mosquitoes. But it really is pretty. We chose to dine early because we wanted to secure a table outside while there was still light so we made the reservation for their opening time of 5:30.

We arrived at what we believed was the exact time but were informed by a vacuous young blond at the hostess station that we were 4 minutes early and therefore could not be seated. Alrighty. We'll just stand here for the next 4 minutes. Another hostess overheard the exchange, informed her that she was an idiot (she didn't use that word) and led us to a lovely outdoor table by the lake.

Fortunately our waitress was friendly and experienced. But we felt sorry for her and all the other servers that had to tend to outdoor tables. Instead of solid ground, the designers had chosen to dump quite a thick layer of loose gravel everywhere. The result was that chairs became buried in it and walking through it was perilous. A warning to any woman choosing to dine here is to not wear shoes with heels under any circumstance. But our waitress persevered and gave her thighs and calves a workout by tending to our needs. We certainly always heard her coming!

While we were reconciling ourselves to the pretty environment and the ridiculous gravel, we ordered cocktails. A bourbon drink arrived in a watered down, undrinkable fashion with lots of extra chipped ice for good measure. Back it went, twice in fact, until it was reasonably made. A pear drink was fine but weak.

We were presented with menus tied to lacquered fake wood panels made to seem as if they were part of the earth. Experiential, huh? How about pretentious?

Since the cocktails were a bust, we were hoping for some great fresh food. We started with a Caesar salad with farm lettuces and which was very tasty.

Our other appetizer was a Peekytoe crab toast with avocado, French cocktail sauce and garden greens. It was quite delicious and had a very interesting balance of flavors.

For an entree, Brian chose the Bigoli pasta with confit of tuna, olives and sweet tomatoes. It was an enticing combination of ingredients but he couldn't taste any of them due to the overwhelming amount of salt in the dish. He didn't send it back but should have.

I'd noticed an entree of fried chicken with potato salad, watermelon, crispy pickle and spicy ranch on the menu and it was just too irresistible to pass up. I rarely eat that way and this just seemed like the perfect time for a treat. The waitress also commented that it was well worth having. Alrighty. But "fried" is apparently a synonym for "baked" at chez Earth because that is certainly what the chicken was. The batter was tasty over over-salted and it fell completely off the chicken. The best part of the dish was the fried pickles or, rather, pickle pieces. Little, tiny pickle pieces. I got three little tiny pickle pieces. Brian ate one and then I had two little tiny pickle pieces. Rats! We decided to skip dessert in favor of a walk through town with ice cream cones.

When we got home from our vacation we checked this restaurant's reviews and found rather a lot of complaints about over-salted food. I'm assuming that Mr. Oringer, too busy with his restaurant empire, was not actually the one cooking our dinner. Were I in his position, however, I would note the large number of similar complaints and have a strong word with my chef. As for us, next time we'll skip "experiential" dining in favor of better cooking. Because the only experience we had was to have been separated from about $200 of our money.

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4  Thank HungryCoupleNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Danielle W, General Manager at Earth, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2012

HungaryCoupleNY,

A picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you for posting some pictures of your experience here at Earth. Many of the items you commented on are in your photos, so those individuals reading your review have a visual to go along with it.

We are sorry you did not enjoy your experience here. We do read and review our TripAdvisor guest comments and use them to better our team. We try and take something positive from each review and learn from those comments that are not.

We have brought your comments to the attention of our culinary team. Please reach out to us at Earth if you would like to speak about your individual comments, I would be happy to speak with you.

Sincerely,

Danielle Walker
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

You would be wrong. Earth, associated with the lovely Hidden Pond Inn, is a wonderful surprise.with a menu and wine list that mirrors an upscale urban kitchen, this gem is an energetic island in a rural oasis. The staff is charming and knowledgable and the food is a delight, from the subtle flavors from the organic garden behind the restaurant down go the home-made catsup for the cheeseburger. The wine list includes some uncommon and excellent non-California/French choices from spots like South Africa. Reservations can be hard to get so plan ahead for this treat.

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1  Thank texasrambler_62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Danielle W, General Manager at Earth, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2012

Texasrambler_62,

Perhaps we Mainers do have a few tricks up our sleeves. My father is a lobsterman, but I don’t think even he would take offense to you “If you think all they have in Kennebunkport is lobster…you would be wrong”. I couldn’t help chuckle when I read that. Thank you!

Good food is good food, and even a twist on catsup can bring a smile to your face if done right. I am tickled we gave you an unexpectedly good experience, and will continue to work hard so that we can do it again next year!

Sincerely,

Danielle Walker
General Manager
Earth Restaurant

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Reviewed September 14, 2012

My wife discovered "Earth" while searching the web, looking for a new place to try while on our yearly New England vacation. Traveling at night, Earth is not easy to find but make the effort you will very surprised and impressed. There is an exclusiveness about the place that makes you feel like you've just entered an 5 star private resort. We found the staff to be very friendly and knowledgeable of all that Earth, and Hidden Pond Resort have to offer. We were a bit worried at first, as the four of us sat at the bar for quite sometime trying to get the bartenders attention. The bar was not full by any means, but we soon realized we could not compete with the two cute blondes sitting several seats away. We got our drinks,which were made perfectly and not overly pricey. The menu displayed a lot of culinary versatility from the staff in the kitchen. I love when it's difficult to choose because of great choices! Kudos. There is a unique feature here (aside from the totally fantastic design of the dinning room) in the form of a outdoor fire pit with very comfortable seating in which we all enjoyed our after dinner drink. We had to leave earlier than we would have liked, since we were not staying near Kennebunkport. Earth will be on our list of 'must do' during our next visit.

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1  Thank vdas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Danielle W, General Manager at Earth, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2012

Vdas,

What a delightful review. I say this because not only did you highlight some of the things that truly make Earth unique and special, but you offered gracious constructive criticism that I promise you will be put to good use.

Thank you for your kind words, for delighting in the menu, and for taking the time to write a review. We are thrilled to be on your “must do” list for your next visit. Please let us know when your are coming…

Sincerely,

Danielle Walker
General Manager
Earth Restaurant

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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