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One Day (and Night!) in Portland, Maine

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Hey all. I will have one day, and one evening in Portland, Maine in early October. The city's culinary reputation preceeds it, and I am looking for suggestions. If you had one lunch and one dinner to eat in Portland (for a party of two) what would it be?

Dining preferences are: fresh, healthy and genuinely local dishes served by warm, professional staff. Value is a consideration, but this just might be the place to swing for the fences. I have a hunch that seafood should be a priority here, but anything done well with local ingredients is always welcome.

Thank you for your help and I'll let you folks know the review when we get back. Cheers!

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  1. Do the six course tasting menu at Hugo's. It runs about $80 pp, and is blind, so you won't know what you'll get until it arrives at the table, but I've never had a bad meal there doing the blind tasting. Generally 2-3 courses will be seafood.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kimfair1

      Where would you go for not quite as over the top a dinner? Would 555 be better priced? Would we be able to walk in at 9PM this coming Sat. the 17th? Have enjoyed Fore St., Street & Co., Norm's, looking for another place this time but Bresca may be too tiny. thanks.

      1. re: Joanie

        Open Table shows availability at Evangeline and 555. Also look at Caiola's and Back Bay Grill in that top-tier group. In second tier, consider Walter's.

    2. I highly recommend Bresca. This is a small, chef-owned restaurant which matches your stated preferences perfectly. In addition to seasonal, local, delicious food, they offer a huge selection of wines by the glass and will happily pair wines with the food upon request. Desserts are a special delight. We ate there in June when visiting Portland and would definitely return. You have many wonderful choices in Portland though so good luck choosing!

      1. Dinner: Caiola's or Street & Co.
        Lunch: Paciarino

        1 Reply
        1. re: StevensAve

          Ditto, but then I find that StevensAve and I almost always agree!

        2. Try Susan's Fish and Chips. Excellent.

          Right in the Downtown/Arts area try Bankok Thai Rest . a great and
          inexpensive lunch buffet.

          1. Quick bump. Thanks all!

            1. You're right, there are many good places in Portland, but since you are thinking seafood:

              Susan's Fish & Chips for lunch (still mourning the loss of Scales)

              For dinner, Street & Company, which consistently serves up fresh, fresh seafood prepared in both simple and creative ways. Also excellent salad/vegetable dishes, recently had a perfect panzanella, and a plate of interesting local summer vegs and aioli with our meal.

              1. Just wanted to give a quick thanks to all of you for the advice. We did get the opportunity to eat at Street & Co. while in Portland. After four days in Baxter, just soaking up the warmth and excellent service was worth it. And, then, there was the food. The bluefish filet with squash and poblano peppers was amazing, as was the crab-pastry-brown butter appetizer. I couldn't give the restaurant a higher recommendation.

                Thanks again!