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Mar 19, 2007 03:55 AM

Portland ME Date Restaurant ?

I'm going on a date tonight! :) I just moved here a little over a week ago and I am THRILLED about the restaurant scene here. So far I have been to Street and Co. and the Front room. I've been wanting to check out Barlola, Fore Street, Local 188, Vignola, Bresca.... any recommendations??? I don't want it to be be overly fancy (first date :) ) But I really like a nice relaxing atmosphere... although I was thinking the Front Room might be a nice first date spot??

Thanks guys!


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  1. I'm not from Portland, but I've been there a few times in the past year.

    Vignola is a great place to dine. Not eat. The food is amazing, good portions, is based upon taste and focuses on how preparation should be. It's a bit pricey, but worth it. Check with the wine list to get a good bottle. When I went, I had an excellent lamb crepinette, olive tasting and strawberry basil sorbet. Topping it all off was a bottle of Barolo. It's a relaxing place, not too haughty, but it'll give you a chance to know each other without too much interference from other diners.

    That's my vote. i'm not too sure of the other places on the list. I menu shopped before deciding on Vignola. I based my opinon on the creativity and relative price of menus around. To do afterward, is a great stroll a couple streets up running parallel to water st.

    good luck!
    Jumbo Lump.

    P.S. If all goes well, come for a second or third date to Persimmon in Bristol, RI!

    1. What's open on a Monday night? I would highly recommend Local 188, but I doubt they're open on Mondays. The Front Room is a good bet, and if you like sushi, my favorite is Yosaku.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sciencediet

        A few months ago Local 188 was a great disappointment. Not sure the family wants to go there again.

      2. Congrats on your move here. I was born here and have been here for 31 years. Wait until summer, it's a whole new city.

        I like Vignola a lot. Only really urban "upscale" restaurant we have. The prices aren't that bad and you can make reservations at
        Their cioccolato dessert is basically the best thing ever.

        What's Bresca all about anyway? Such a small space but I see it is open now. Does it have any connections to any other restaurants or chefs around here?

        Oh, and in the summer, you'll def want to take out the ferry to Peaks Island and go to the Inn on Peaks restaurant. Get a seat outside on a nice night, best place to be in the whole city. Food is okay, but you go for the other reasons.

        2 Replies
          1. re: grittys457

            I love Peaks Island as well, there is another great restaurant - Cockeyed Gull. Gets great reviews, has awesome sights of the Portland skyline and just a block up from the ferry. I ate there 4 times (breakfast, lunch and 2 dinners) because I loved their food so much. Some dishes have a korean flare - just very fresh and creative dishes.

          2. It's off Middle Street I believe... tiny and brand new but I've heard raving reviews :)... I've heard they have a good wine list, and a nice relaxing atmosphere. Would Vignola be too fancy for a first date?

            1. Consider David's in Monument Sq. It's a good date place because you can get just apps/small plates or full meals and is especially good for late dining after a movie, etc. or "just dessert".