Friday, August 27, 2010

Good Eating in Portland, Maine

I think I promised to do a post on all the amazing food we consumed during our June visit to Portland, Maine but then July got crazy busy and I never did. Now, with so many of my crafty friends going up to sell at Picnic tomorrow in Portland, I thought I should share some of my faves. (I'll be in New Jersey celebrating my grandmother's 90th birthday.)
Every trip to Maine seems to start with lunch at Robert's in Kittery on our way up to Portland. By this point, D is desperate for a Maine lobster fix and I love the water view from the deck. Good place to break up the trip, and their onion rings are amazing.
Our first dinner that trip was at The Corner Room, the newest restaurant by Harding Lee Smith. Diverse menu, perfectly sized portions and wine by the carafe made this a delicious meal.
The next morning we went to Local 188 for brunch. For my crafty buddies, I would highly recommend this one. The walls are covered with awesome art, and it's eclectic vibe made us feel right at home instantly. (Across the street is a pretty cool used book store, and also the delicious Evangeline that we went to on a previous trip.)
Also good for breakfast, but also for lunch is The Porthole. This one is located right on the water and has a very Maine coast vibe to it. For D, who needs a daily lobster fix while in Maine, this is often a place we hit for a lobster roll. I had an incredible beet salad there, while David had his lobster club. I loved that the cornbread I ordered was served in the cast iron skillet it was baked in.
This past trip we were determined to have dinner on the East End of town. We had been shopping there before (faves such as Eli Phant, Ferdinand, Angela Adams are all on this side of town) but had never eaten. This was a Sunday night, so 2 of our contenders were actually closed, making our decision easier, so we sat outside and ate at The Front Room, another Harding Lee Smith restaurant. (His third one in this town is The Grill Room, also awesome.) Our meal here was amazing, and the vibe was great. The fried oyster tacos were incredible and the bacon and mushroom risotto that was part of D's meal was out of this world.
I'm a big fan of breakfast, and we'd heard about Bintliff's for awhile. There was always a line though, so since this last visit we were there on a Monday, we were able to go without a wait. D had lobster benedict and I went blueberry pancakes.
Our final dinner of this trip was at the legendary Fore Street. Ever since we started going to Portland about 4 years ago, everyone seems to tell us they went and it was amazing, and is shocked we've never been. Why hadn't we? Basically because we always got a bad vibe when trying to go. Still, we felt like we had to. The food was definitely great, and it's got a great look, but I still wouldn't wait 2 hours to eat there in that good of a food town. I've had plenty other meals in Portland that were as good or better. (I was also a little turned off by the open kitchen. Granted, I'm not a fan of them anyway, but it made the dining room really loud.)
Definitely my favorite summer beer to have when I'm up there is Allagash White.
Also, no visit to Portland would be complete without a visit to The Top of the East, the bar on the top floor of the Eastland Hotel. Perfect for a nightcap after dinner, or for a glass of wine before heading out. It's got a great view of the city.

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