Portland Weekend - culinary itinerary advice?
I'm heading up to Portland for a quick visit to sample all the culinary delights I have heard so much about. I have my dining itinerary -advice/comments would be welcome, esp if I'm missing an obvious must eat restaurant or have inadvertently added a tourist trap. I'm trying to get as broad a sampling as possible, so perhaps I ought to try something besides Bresca (555 or Fore street?) if I'm planning to go to Evangeline since it's a husband/wife team? Hesitate to book Fore Street as I don't know what the prices are and am trying to have just one expensive meal while I am up there (Bresca)
Sat Lunch - Duckfat
Sat Dinner - Bresca
Sun Lunch - need casual lunch rec for White Mtns, NH (Conway or N. Conway area)
Sun Dinner - Local 188
Mon Lunch - Cockeyed Gull on Peak Island
Mon Dinner - Evangeline
I had the prix fixe at Evangeline a couple/few weeks ago and it was lovely. I'm not sure of the date exactly but there was a skate wing involved. It seems to still be going on--opentable.com will allow you to make Monday night reservations.
I would choose Bresca over 555 or Fore Street (I live in Portland and it's one of my favorite local restaurants...) but it's not for everyone. It's small, crowded, loud, and perfect... If you can't translate the former three attributes into a feeling of pleasant intimacy, then it probably isn't for you (as I learned on a visit with my in-laws...). 555 and Fore Street are both lovely (although Fore Street is feeling like a place that thrives on its exceptional public relations rather than food...) but seem less Portland-ey to me.
I would ditch the Cockeyed Gull on Monday and go to Miyake for a sushi lunch, then take the ferry to Peaks Island for a walkaround after.
Local 188 is also fantastic for brunch/lunch/people watching. But dinner is still quite good.
If you are imbibers, a few good locations for drinks/bar snacks/people watching/taking in of local color would be Grace, Sonny's, Novare Res, and Havana South (the Portland location is new and the food is still a bit of a work in progress but the bartenders are awfully good!)
Enjoy your trip!
288 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101
78 Island Ave, Peaks Island, ME 04108
111 Middle Street, Portland, ME 04101
685 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102
The Evangeline website says they do prix fixe menus on Mondays and I was able to make a reservation so they must be open? I'm really looking forward to it - tried the prix fixe at ad hoc in Napa and enjoyed the fun of not knowing what I would get until I showed up for dinner.
Thanks sultana - I'll remove cockeyed gull. BTW, how expensive is lunch at Miyake? It looks really nice but also pricey? And how loud does it get at Bresca? I don't mind a lively atmosphere but not when the noise reaches bar scene/nightclub levels. My husband is a beer lover and he already has Novare Res on our list. I'll tell him about your other drinking spot reccs.
I think I'd have to second everything Sultana had to say and might add a thing or two for a beer lover. For local flavor, you should at least stop in at Gritty's as it was one of the first micro brews... anywhere. If your heart is set on a ferry ride to Peaks, then a stroll up the hill from the terminal and, if it's nice out, have a Shipyard at the Inn on Peaks (owned by the owners of Shipyard) so you still get your boat ride and add a beer or two. Novare Res is a cool place with a gazillion beers to chose from.
For Sunday lunch, drive out to the New Gloucester Country Store - homemade breads, great sandwiches (www.ngvillagestore.com). My wife and I stopped there Aug 31st; it was a nice surprise. The attached photo gives a good feeling for the place.
The night before we dined at 555 - can't say enough good about it! Great monkfish for me.