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Portland, ME - Where to eat?

Portland, ME - Where to eat?

Old Aug 7, 12, 6:28 am
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Portland, ME - Where to eat?

Anyone know of good places to eat at/around Portland Maine? I'm going there for business in 2 weeks with some clients and we would like to find a nice place to get some good food/lobster rolls! Any help is appreciated ^
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Old Aug 8, 12, 8:23 am
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Check out this website - it gives you info on all restaurants in Portland.

http://www.portlandfoodmap.com/

For lobster rolls in town - you can try any of the places on Commercial St in the Old Port. For fish go to Street and Co on Wharf St. Fore Street is good wood grilled local food. Caiola's in the West Ends is Great!! For drinks go to Grace - a great grand space in an old church.

Upscale Mexican - El Rayo Cantino - http://www.elrayocantina.com/menu

Upscale Comfort Food - Caiola's -http://caiolas.com/

Fore Street - http://www.forestreet.biz/

Paninis and the best fries you will ever eat - Duck Fat - http://duckfat.com/

Sushi and Japanese - Miyake - http://www.miyakerestaurants.com/miyake/

Italian - Bresca - http://restaurantbresca.com/

Upscale greek - Emilitsa - http://emilitsa.com/

German - Schulte & Herr - http://schulteundherr.wordpress.com/

Fish - Street & Co. - http://www.streetandcompany.net/

Cocktails - Grace - http://www.restaurantgrace.com/

Great food with a Spanish influence - Sonny's - http://www.sonnysportland.com/
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Old Aug 8, 12, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by agp423 View Post
Anyone know of good places to eat at/around Portland Maine? I'm going there for business in 2 weeks with some clients and we would like to find a nice place to get some good food/lobster rolls! Any help is appreciated ^
Do a search in this forum. Restaurant favorites have been talked about quite a bit. Good luck with your business.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 1:21 pm
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I rely on chowhound.com and zagat.com for my dining recommendations. I used those sites for a recent overnight in Portland and ended up having a wonderful meal at The Salt Exchange.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 6:01 am
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Originally Posted by robertwcook16 View Post
Check out this website - it gives you info on all restaurants in Portland.

http://www.portlandfoodmap.com/

For lobster rolls in town - you can try any of the places on Commercial St in the Old Port. For fish go to Street and Co on Wharf St. Fore Street is good wood grilled local food. Caiola's in the West Ends is Great!! For drinks go to Grace - a great grand space in an old church.

Upscale Mexican - El Rayo Cantino - http://www.elrayocantina.com/menu

Upscale Comfort Food - Caiola's -http://caiolas.com/

Fore Street - http://www.forestreet.biz/

Paninis and the best fries you will ever eat - Duck Fat - http://duckfat.com/

Sushi and Japanese - Miyake - http://www.miyakerestaurants.com/miyake/

Italian - Bresca - http://restaurantbresca.com/

Upscale greek - Emilitsa - http://emilitsa.com/

German - Schulte & Herr - http://schulteundherr.wordpress.com/

Fish - Street & Co. - http://www.streetandcompany.net/

Cocktails - Grace - http://www.restaurantgrace.com/

Great food with a Spanish influence - Sonny's - http://www.sonnysportland.com/
Thank you! Street and Co will definitely be my first stop!

Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
I rely on chowhound.com and zagat.com for my dining recommendations. I used those sites for a recent overnight in Portland and ended up having a wonderful meal at The Salt Exchange.
Thanks, I'll check this one out too!
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Old Aug 9, 12, 10:24 am
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portland food map was going to be my first rec.

Also, eater (a national food blog) just started a maine edition:
http://maine.eater.com/

For historical reference:
Portland, Maine--America's Foodiest Small Town 2009
http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2...portland_maine
http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandfo...ll-town-2.html
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Old Aug 10, 12, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by robertwcook16 View Post

Italian - Bresca - http://restaurantbresca.com/
Bresca is one of my favorites but is certainly not Italian.

Also seek out Five Fifty-Five... a great all-around option:

http://fivefifty-five.com/
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Old Mar 21, 15, 5:07 pm
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Update this thread

Going to Portland this summer- need recommendations for best restaurants. My wife loves lobster but when it is prepared out of the shell (she doesn't like to see the creature she is eating-lol). Any must do list of current restaurants?
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Old Mar 23, 15, 9:38 am
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Eventide is a must do for oysters, their lobster roll, or creative seafood. Reservations not taken here, but you'll eventually get a bar seat (only 3 tables in the place, a 4, 6 and 8 top). Good beers and drinks while you wait. Currently my favorite place in Portland.

Duckfat for fries, poutine, shakes, sandwiches (or really anything they offer). Rob Evans won a James Beard award across the street at Hugo's before he sold it to the current owners (who are themselves perennial semifinalists). The guy is just too good at what he does.

Pai Men Miyake for ramen, hamayaki and anything on the chalkboard.

Central Provisions if you can manage to find a seat - they don't take reservations.

Paciarino if you want Italian, although this place is antipasto and pasta only. No true secondi on the menu.

The Front Room for upscale American. This is closer to the east end and a longer walk than a lot of the other places - might be worth a cab or Uber unless you're staying at one of the hotels on the east side of Franklin. This is a popular neighborhood place that doesn't take reservations, so be prepared to wait at the bar for a bit if you go Fri/Sat at 7 or something.

I don't have a favorite "traditional" lobster roll, but the lobster roll at Eventide is my current favorite. It's lobster tossed in some brown butter on an Asian-style steamed bun. It's ridiculously good with an Allagash White.

I recently went back to 555 and it's still a good restaurant, but I'd take it down a tier. For the price, it was good but not great. I'd rather an evening at Hugo's if you're into a tasting menu with pairings.

Hugo's and Fore Street are the two best in the city, IMHO, for high end dining. Fore Street might have a dress code, but Hugo's is probably still the most casual place in the city to drop $300 if you're inclined.

Let me know if you have anything specific you're trying to find, or if you plan to venture outside of Portland. I limited myself to a few places that are walkable from anywhere in the Old Port.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 8:13 pm
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I'll second Duckfat for being worth the hype. We had a significant wait when we went, but it only served to strengthen the appetite. Fries, shake, panini (duck confit) and doughnuts are all worth it. BYO-Angioplasty

If you're interested in a French Bistro, I rather enjoyed Petite Jacqueline. The marrow was top notch, and of course another stellar duck entree. Good bistro vibe and service too.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by EricTheNerd View Post
I'll second Duckfat for being worth the hype. We had a significant wait when we went, but it only served to strengthen the appetite. Fries, shake, panini (duck confit) and doughnuts are all worth it. BYO-Angioplasty

If you're interested in a French Bistro, I rather enjoyed Petite Jacqueline. The marrow was top notch, and of course another stellar duck entree. Good bistro vibe and service too.
PJ is very good, but it's hard for me to be on that block and not go to Pai Men Miyake or Boda. Agree the marrow bones are great. Not a bad place for a steak frites and a beer, either.

Oh, I forgot Boda. Best Thai in Portland. Not of the Americanized carryout variety. That aside, if fried chicken is on that day, order it.

We moved here from the DC area. We were spending a lot of weekends up here pretty much being food tourists. I'm kind of ashamed to admit that the food scene here was at least part of the decision It was primarily a career move and a better place (to us) to raise a family, but food definitely factored. I'm not sure there's another city of 60k people out there with this many good restaurants.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 8:55 pm
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Wow sounds like an exciting town for restaurants.

In terms of planning ahead- (we only have a few nights) what are the top choices for places that actually take reservations!!?

Would love a recommendation for a place with killer lobster risotto?
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Old Mar 24, 15, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by off2rome View Post
Wow sounds like an exciting town for restaurants.

In terms of planning ahead- (we only have a few nights) what are the top choices for places that actually take reservations!!?

Would love a recommendation for a place with killer lobster risotto?
If you're planning one (expensive), high end meal and are reasonably adventurous eaters, I recommend Hugo's. They're on OpenTable, but calling is better. They do tasting menus only - it's been that way for a long time, before they were trendy, even. Used to be one blind tasting menu each night, but now they give you a choice of 2-3, but you could go with a blind tasting if you want. Last I was there, I think it was $90. Add $60 if you want to do wine pairings. If you like wine, it's definitely not an afterthought here, and it's all paired per course. So that's $300 for two before tax, tip, and any other drinks you order. Still, if I'm going all out around here, I can't recommend it highly enough.

As far as lobster risotto, it's not regularly on the menu of any place I've been recently. I see it, but usually as a special. I don't want to promise you it'll be somewhere and then have it not show up. The truth is, Portland restaurants rotate menus frequently - some do it daily. The Salt Exchange usually had lobster risotto, but they closed and I'm still not sure why, it was a good restaurant.

I forgot one place, no reservations but you won't need one. Fishermen's Grill. It's not walking distance, but close enough to cab. It's more of a seafood shack, and the lobster rolls here are traditional style and VERY good. Also recommend the chowder or anything else on the menu, really.
http://www.fishermensgrill.com

A lot of the places I like don't take reservations, which is kind of a pain since I have a 2 year old! I'd say it's still worth trying to eat at some of them - specifically Duckfat, Eventide, Pai Men Miyake and Boda, as well as Hugo's if that's your thing. Since it's just two of you, go a little on the early side and the wait shouldn't be bad. Those are the 5 places I'd take friends coming to visit me if it were their first time in Portland.
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Old Mar 24, 15, 9:01 am
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Thanks! I liked the look of the menu at 555 is that still good??
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Old Mar 24, 15, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by off2rome View Post
Thanks! I liked the look of the menu at 555 is that still good??
I thought it was good but not great the last time we went (maybe 2 months ago). Petite Jacqueline has the same owners and exec chef, and I think it's a better restaurant if I were to pick one of the two.

If you were interested in the tasting menu at 555, Hugo's is a better option on all 3 fronts - food, wine and service. If the a la carte menu was more interesting to you, PJ would be my recommendation if you're not wanting to chance Eventide or Central Provisions.

I don't mean to come off as 555 being a bad restaurant. It's not bad, it's just that there is so much competition in that space and they end up being kind of average for Portland in their segment. I can name a lot of places where it'd be a really good restaurant. IMHO, they need to drop the tasting menus and focus more on the seasonal menu. My wife and I last visited and did two different tasting menus, and both of us liked it enough, but for $300 (with drinks/wine pairings), we agreed there were better options. You've really got to justify $150pp in this city, there's just too much talent.

Just curious, are your dates firmed up?
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