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Portland ME Food and bev

Will be in Portland for a long weekend and need some neat out of the way places. I've looked on this blog and so far all I see is Grill Room, Front Room and Eve's at the Garden. I'm traveling with 15 wine/whiskey professionals and their wives and need somewhere that has outstanding drinks and interesting food. Please help!

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  1. Not meaning to be critical, but you must not be looking very hard! This Board is loaded with Portland reviews. Given that it's summer, you'll have a hard time booking a place for that many people: all our best places (Hugo's; 555; Fore Street; etc.) are usually booked months in advance for this time of year. I'll hope others can make suggestions in addition to the following, but you've got your work cut out for you!
    For outstanding wine list, and decent bistro food, plus outdoor space you might be able to reserve on a weekend, try driving about 10 m. north of Portland on I-295 to Conundrum on Rt. 1 in S. Freeport (Yarmouth line): possibly one of the best cellars in the area
    Given the size of your party, I'm stuck for further recommendations. Portland Chow locals, any thoughts?

    5 Replies
    1. re: mainemal

      So after I posted that, I realized that I had searched through only 1 month of postings. Whoops. Oh well. Thanks for the recommendations- will try Conundrum.
      Is Duckfat worth the hype?

      1. re: LauraMick

        Duckfat is worth the hype, but with 30 of you, you need to eat in multiple shifts, or get stuff to take out, the place can't have more than 20 seats. Great fries, poutine, paninnis (some don't like them, but I loved the duck confit one), awesome home made sodas (the lime-mint being especially delish), and great churros and beignets for dessert.

        1. re: LauraMick

          DuckFat is better than the hype. Just ate there this past weekend and wow - still so good! I split a large order of the french fries with 3 different dipping sauces (horseradish, thai chile and garlic aioli), a watermelon and arugula salad (the house salad with pumpkin seeds is much better), a duck confit panino that was insanely rich, and two of the house made sodas (I like the strawberry hyssop, but the rootbeer is nice as well).

          Their tables only sit 6 at the most, so 30 folks would be hard to accommodate.

        2. re: mainemal

          What does anyone think about the Sea Grass Bistro in Yarmouth? Haven't been there in a long time, so hopefully someone has more info. Know alot of people who LOVE it. www.seagrassbistro.com
          Just think you're going to have more luck outside of Portland, but maybe this weekend is in the future.
          As to my post about the Falmouth Sea Grill - couldn't say about whether their drinks are outstanding. Food can be fine, though it's no Street & Co.

          1. re: Tipatina

            The Sea Grass Bistro can't accommodiate a party of 30, unless they close down the whole restaurant. Besides, its a very very limited menu, limited wine selection, and no booze...............

        3. If you can get into 555, I'd go there. The food is locally sourced and inventively prepared. I'm a NYC foodie and my wife and I both agreed that 555 could hold its own against any of the top NY locavore restaurants.

          1. Another resource for you: http://www.portlandfoodmap.com/

            It provides info on everything food and/or drink related in Portland, along with links to articles, reviews, etc.

            1. Back Bay Grill

              www.backbaygrill.com

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              Back Bay Grill
              65 Portland St, Portland, ME 04101

              2 Replies
              1. re: HDinCentralME

                I think our group is scheduled for a meal here...I'll report back

                1. re: LauraMick

                  Please do. It's always been one of my favorite places, and I often recommend it, but I haven't dined there for a while.

              2. Holy Toledo! Is this soon? If you don't mind a schlep to beyond Bath, you might see if Robinhood Meeting House could accommodate. http://www.robinhood-meetinghouse.com.
                They do have a large space upstairs.