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May 9, 2007 06:59 AM

Family dining in Portland/Ocean Park, ME

I'm hoping for some more recs from you fine folks for this coming weekend. We're staying in Ocean Park and will be trying out area restaurants to recommend to our family for a reunion this summer in Scarborough. The restaurants need to be able to accommodate 20 people, half of which are children from elementary through college aged. We definitely want a nice place for a sit down dinner on Saturday night. Somewhere that's not too upscale, but not as casual as Bailey's or the Clam Bake. We've tried The VIllage Cafe and Joseph's in the past and would like to try a different place this year. My wife and I did really enjoy Joe's Boat House, but I thought the tables were a little crowded and it was a bit noisy to recommend for the reunion.

I was also hoping for a Mother's Day rec for the four of us, two adults and two children, if it's not too late. My wife loves brunches. We could head into Portland or stop in Southern Maine on the way back to MA. I was hoping to avoid places like Blintiffs that normally have long waits. I figure they'll be even worse on Mother's Day.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Phil F.

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  1. Too bad Newick's is closing. If your family is not stuck on New England food, Mexico Lindo is very wonderful and has tons of room. It's also attached to the Howard Johnson hotel.

    Definitely check out Artemesia Cafe for Mother's Day. It's in Portland on Pleasant St right next to the playground.

    1 Reply
    1. re: the_MU

      So nice to have someone recommend Artimesia cafe on Pleasant street. I've always really enjoyed breakfast/lunch and brunch there.

    2. Thank you. I think New England food is the preference. I'll definitely look into Artemisia Cafe. Would you happen to know if their brunch is buffet or ala carte style?

      6 Replies
      1. re: PhilF

        Definitely a la carte. Really nice food, reasonable prices, pleasant atmosphere.

        1. re: the_MU

          Thanks, that does sound good but my wife prefers the buffet style brunch and I was hoping you could recommend a restaurant that serves brunch that way.

          1. re: PhilF

            You'll probably need to go to one of the hotels for that. I hear Harraseeket Inn in Freeport also has a nice one, but pretty expensive and bound to be mobbed on Mother's Day.

            1. re: the_MU

              I'd rather stick to Portland and save Freeport for another trip. Do you know if Artemisia Cafe takes reservations? If not, do you think the playground's close enough for me to take our children there to play while my wife waits for our table to be called?

              Thanks again for all your help.

              1. re: PhilF

                The playground is definitely close enough. I don't know if they take reservations, but even on Mother's Day I've never had to wait terribly long for a table there.

                1. re: the_MU

                  Thanks, that's encouraging to hear. I'll let you know how we make out.

      2. the MU,

        Thanks so much for recommending Artemisia Cafe. My family and I really enjoyed their Sunday brunch. We found your description of the cafe right on. They served nice fresh food at reasonable prices and we only had to wait a few minutes to be seated. The restaurant did have a pleasant atmosphere, but the funky decor added a nice upbeat feel to the place. I just wished you warned me that the portions were so generous. I could really relate to one of the diners that mentioned he could use a nap after that meal. Fortunately, with the park right next to it, our children helped us work some of it off so we didn't feel too guilty.(lol)

        Thanks Again,