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Portland - Help in Choosing!

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maxwellsmart Jun 2, 2009 07:36 AM

We'll be visiting Portland in mid-June and will be there for two dinners. Looking for help in choosing two of Fore Street, Bresca and Evangeline. How would you compare the three? We're looking for great ingredients, some local flavour, price no more than $200 including wine. All look great from their websites so we suspect we couldn't go wrong!

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    sopobungalow RE: maxwellsmart Jun 2, 2009 10:47 AM

    I haven't tried Evangeline yet (though I've heard incredible things). Of those three, I'd say Bresca is the one that's can't-miss. Locals love to gripe that Fore Street is coasting on its reputation; I haven't eaten there in a few years but have never had a bad - or even so-so experience.

    If you wanted to do a little armchair psychology, you could do Bresca & Evangeline - since the chef-owners are married to one another. (Krista Kern at Bresca and Erik Desjarlais at Evangeline.)

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      Mainegal RE: maxwellsmart Jun 2, 2009 10:52 AM

      If you haven't made reservations yet, go with where you can get them. You can't go wrong with any. I'd add 555 to your list, though. That's a must, too. Or try my method, grazing: appetizers at one, entrees at another, dessert at the third (Evangeline for apps, Fore Street for entrees, Bresca for dessert).

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        mainemal RE: maxwellsmart Jun 2, 2009 11:32 AM

        I'm with the other responders: you can't go wrong with any of them, and I think your price range is entirely appropriate, provided you stay on the lower end of the wine lists (and any of them will have some fine and interesting choices for $40 or less). And should you strike out on reservations, there are plenty of other choices very similar to your top 3.

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          StevensAve RE: maxwellsmart Jun 2, 2009 12:22 PM

          My two cents: Evangeline is indeed delicious but the quantity of the food served makes the minimalist food movement seem like gluttony. If you go, over order or you risk leaving hungry; Bresca is better than the hype; and Fore Street may be past its prime. Consider Hugo which seems to be on a roll. My favorite high end restaurant is Caiola's.

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            kimfair1 RE: maxwellsmart Jun 2, 2009 01:59 PM

            My wife and I had a fantastic meal last Saturday at Hugo's. We went for the 6 course tasting ($80 pp with wine pairings $30 pp) which is just slightly over the OP's price point (the meal was actually 7 courses, not 6). I love Fore Street, and have always had good meals there. Looking forward to trying 555 and perhaps one other in August when we return to Portland.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kimfair1
              BostonZest RE: kimfair1 Jun 3, 2009 12:19 PM

              The Portland Chowhound crew helped me a lot over Memorial Day. Here's that conversation.
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/621152

              We loved Hugo's and will add it to our Portland Rotation. We also enjoyed Fore Street-- that is our Porland favorite. We've had to begin taking longer trips so we could still have a couple of meals at Fore Street and still try other places.

              I did a review of our evening at Hugo's with some photos here:
              http://www.bostonzest.com/2009/06/hug...

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              mminmaine RE: maxwellsmart Jun 3, 2009 01:29 PM

              Bresca, Bresca, Bresca.

              Although, I've not been to Evangeline. But I wouldn't give Fore Street another thought if Bresca was an option.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mminmaine
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                maxwellsmart RE: mminmaine Jun 4, 2009 01:42 PM

                Thanks to everyone for the great responses. We have snagged a reservation at Bresca for one night and will play it by ear for the second night, maybe try the grazing approach you suggested, Mainegal.

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