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LauraMick Aug 1, 2008 08:19 AM

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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    mainemal RE: LauraMick Aug 1, 2008 08:27 AM

    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
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      LauraMick RE: mainemal Aug 1, 2008 12:27 PM

      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
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        kimfair1 RE: LauraMick Aug 5, 2008 05:03 AM

        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
          gini RE: LauraMick Aug 26, 2008 09:19 AM

          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
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          Tipatina RE: mainemal Aug 1, 2008 01:55 PM

          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
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            irwin RE: Tipatina Aug 2, 2008 04:51 AM

            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...............

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          daddybbq RE: LauraMick Aug 1, 2008 10:23 AM

          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.

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            Mainegal RE: LauraMick Aug 1, 2008 11:27 AM

            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.

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              HDinCentralME RE: LauraMick Aug 1, 2008 12:31 PM

              Back Bay Grill

              www.backbaygrill.com

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              Back Bay Grill
              65 Portland St, Portland, ME 04101

              2 Replies
              1. re: HDinCentralME
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                LauraMick RE: HDinCentralME Aug 4, 2008 11:21 AM

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

                1. re: LauraMick
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                  mainemal RE: LauraMick Aug 4, 2008 12:21 PM

                  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.

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                Tipatina RE: LauraMick Aug 1, 2008 01:00 PM

                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.

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                  Tipatina RE: LauraMick Aug 1, 2008 01:19 PM

                  Also, closer to Portland and on the water, The Falmouth Sea Grill http://www.thefalmouthseagrill.com in (duh) Falmouth. The grilled options are usually excellent.

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                    Mainegal RE: LauraMick Aug 1, 2008 01:31 PM

                    Two other possibilities, both of which might be able to accommodate you in a private room, if not the main dining room.

                    I haven't been since the inn reopened after a compete renovation this spring, but you might look into the Inn by the Sea, in Cape Elizabeth, an easy drive, 15 to 20 minutes from downtown Portland. http://www.innbythesea.com/dining/

                    Nor I have I dined at the rather exclusive Black Point Inn, in Scarborough, since it revamped. It's about half-hour from Portland. http://www.blackpointinn.com/inn/bpi1...

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Mainegal
                      johnnydj RE: Mainegal Aug 4, 2008 10:28 AM

                      Probably too late on this one, but Bull Feeney's has a function room on the second floor facing the bustle of the Old Port. Decent menu and could possibly have the most comprehensive single malt whiskey collection around - it's arranged by geographic location on the two top shelves of the downstairs bar. Owner's name is Doug and would be happy to help you.

                      1. re: johnnydj
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                        LauraMick RE: johnnydj Aug 4, 2008 11:20 AM

                        Thanks very much-it's NEVER too late for whiskey. We'll be sure and check it out!

                        1. re: LauraMick
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                          grittys457 RE: LauraMick Aug 4, 2008 07:06 PM

                          I was going to mention Bull Feeney's. I thought their sign at the bar said that they have every single available whiskey or single malt whiskey that you can buy in Maine. Great atmosphere too and for pub food, not that bad.

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