Where can I get a delicious dinner and/or cocktails in Portland, ME?
April 22, 2013 10:37 AM   Subscribe

I'm traveling to Portland, Maine, in late May and will have at least one free evening which I hope to spend eating and drinking something delicious. I haven't been to Portland in a few years so I'm looking for some restaurant/bar recommendations. I like fancy cocktails (as my posting history will indicate) and pretty much any type of food providing it's not super-duper expensive. Bonus points if you know of anything else fun going on in town as well!
posted by mlle valentine to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

If you like oysters, Eventide is the place you should go.
I am also a huge fan of Bar Lola, Boda, and Local 188. Both of the Miyake restaurants are also exceptional, though I haven't had cocktails at either.
posted by dizziest at 11:01 AM on April 22, 2013

I can highly recommend Bresca.
posted by nicwolff at 11:21 AM on April 22, 2013

I'll recommend Pai Men Miyake as well... yum yum.

If by chance you're a tequila fan, Zapoteca has a LOT of tequila varieties to try.

I like to go to Bar of Chocolate down on Wharf Street for dessert/drinks/dessert drinks from time to time, and it's a cool, friendly place.
posted by selfnoise at 11:21 AM on April 22, 2013

Response by poster: This all sounds fantastic! I can't wait to decide where to go. (And if any of you are in Portland the 23rd-26th, especially the 23rd, feel free to drop me a memail...)
posted by mlle valentine at 11:28 AM on April 22, 2013

Local 188
American Flatbread
posted by unreasonable at 11:30 AM on April 22, 2013

(Except no fancy cocktails at the last two)
posted by unreasonable at 11:31 AM on April 22, 2013

You should have oysters at J's Oyster Bar, on Portland Pier, i.e, on the water. It's authentic, and the oysters will be fresh. I recommend their bloody marys. You can have dinner there, but I would proceed onward for dinner. I like the Front Room (Congress Street, up Munjoy Hill) and the Corner Room(Old Port, Exchange & Federal) a lot, and just had a terrific meal at the Blue Spoon, though I doubt they have cocktails. Any possibility of a meetup? We're overdue.
posted by theora55 at 11:57 AM on April 22, 2013

I'm jealous! Miyake was crazy good. Here's a review at Serious Eats. I also find Hugo's in Portland to be crazy good; you could get out for a moderate price, or you could do the tasting menu with the pairings and spend a lot but also try some amazing wines/port/madeira. It looks like they're being refurbished right now though. If you are there in the day there is a little sister restaurant to Hugo's called Duckfat which serves amazing salads and sandwiches and duckfat fries.

You said cocktails but if you ever happen to like fancy beers, Novare Res is great.

If your itinerary isn't already set I would recommend you stay in the Old Port and do the evening on foot. There's a lot to see!
posted by ftm at 11:59 AM on April 22, 2013

Seconding Duckfat - we had a really fantastic meal there, particularly the charcuterie board. We tried to eat at J's but the wait was over an hour, so we picked some lobster rolls up from Portland Lobster Co. and made a picnic. It's slicker than J's so I think it gets chalked up to being "touristy", but it was one of the best lobster rolls we had in the two years we lived in the area. We didn't have the chance, but maybe you would like the Maine Mead Works?
posted by theuninvitedguest at 12:12 PM on April 22, 2013

Definitely, Duckfat. Mmmmmmm, those fries! Yes, great sandwiches and salads too!
posted by littleredwagon at 12:48 PM on April 22, 2013

Becky's for breakfast.
I liked the cocktails at the bar at the Portland Regency.
posted by brujita at 4:10 PM on April 22, 2013

In addition to the previous recommendations, a few new interesting places have opened up recently

The North Point


The Porthole has re-opened with new owners. It was closed last year due to sanitation issues, but I have been there since the new owners have taken over and it is spotless. It's a great place to have drinks and watch the working waterfront.

A meetup would be fun!
posted by suki at 6:34 AM on April 23, 2013

Meetup link.
posted by JanetLand at 8:57 AM on April 23, 2013

If I could only go to one of these places, I'd choose Caiola's. In addition to the two-tops and larger tables, they have a nice little bar on one side of the main dining room, and if the weather's nice, the private patio in back will be open. Every time I go to Caiola's, someone at the table has a cocktail that's so unexpectedly well-balanced and delicious that it gets passed around for admiring sips.

For breakfast or lunch, I suggest Hot Suppa. (They also do dinner, but I haven't loved it as much as breakfast or lunch. By the same token, Caiola's does Sunday brunch, but I don't think it's a knock-out like their dinners and cocktails.)
posted by Elsa at 7:20 PM on April 27, 2013

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