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September in Portland, ME

jobrien109 Jul 21, 2011 06:53 PM

So my fiance and I along with a married couple are going up to Portland, ME for a long weekend. We need some things we can do and places to eat. I run into trouble with this because I am a foodie and my fiance is not. That said we've been to Portland before and our favorite place "so far" is Fore Street, I liked Local 188, she did not. I'm thinking Davids or Caiola's, what other places serve great food with some sophistication but without the pretensiousness?

Fore Street
288 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101

Portland, ME, Portland, ME

Local 188
685 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102

  1. g
    grittys457 Jul 25, 2011 05:47 AM

    Surprised nobody has said Grace yet. Most visually appealing restaurant with lots of a room and no pretensiousness at all. Plenty of options on the menu for people who aren't foodies like myself. I like going out to eat but I have the eating range of a four year old.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grittys457
      foodquest Jul 25, 2011 06:31 AM

      "... but I have the eating range of a four year old."


    2. b
      bobbert Jul 22, 2011 08:06 AM

      So far all pretty good choices. With a non-foodie along I might go with one of the "rooms". My favorite is probably The Front Room followed by The Grille Room. You can't go wrong with Caila's. For something to do combined with food take the ferry (casco Bay Ferry) to Peaks Island and eat at The Cockeyed Gull. For pub-ish food there's The Inn on Peaks (owned by Shipyard). The ferry is only about 20 minutes and cheap when compared to one of the tour outfits. Cockeyed Gull is pretty good and there's a good ice cream place for dessert. These places are all within a 5 minute walk of the ferry. Depending where you're from, it's pretty cool to take the boat to dinner.

      Cockeyed Gull
      78 Island Ave, Peaks Island, ME 04108

      Front Room Restaurant & Bar
      73 Congress St Ste A, Portland, ME 04101

      4 Replies
      1. re: bobbert
        LeRique Jul 22, 2011 08:22 AM

        The boat,the boat!

        1. re: bobbert
          HDinCentralME Jul 22, 2011 12:14 PM

          I was thinking Front Room too.

          Front Room Restaurant & Bar
          73 Congress St Ste A, Portland, ME 04101

          1. re: HDinCentralME
            mainemal Jul 22, 2011 12:30 PM

            While I also like Front Room, it has several disadvantages for the kind of event I'm imagining jobrien to be interested in: really, really noisy; and no reservations.

            Front Room Restaurant & Bar
            73 Congress St Ste A, Portland, ME 04101

            1. re: mainemal
              bobbert Jul 22, 2011 02:49 PM

              I'm guessing that with a fiance in tow we're talking about people in their 20's???, maybe 30's?? who might be able to deal with noise a little better than those of us who are a bit older (as in me). I agree that it is very, very noisy if full (picture cement floor, tin ceiling, brick and glass walls - lots of sound bouncing around) but if not totally packed it's not too bad - went for a late brunch a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to converse with my friends.

        2. s
          sciencediet Jul 22, 2011 07:09 AM

          How about Pepperclub? Varied menu, not fancy or pretentious at all. And there's always Silly's!

          Other options might be The Green Elephant (Asian-influenced vegetarian, but omnivores love it), Street & Co. (high-end seafood, but not stuffy), or various interesting Asian places: Pai Men Miyake (noodle shop), Boda (Thai street food), Kon Asian Bistro (hibachi room or the regular Chinese/Japanese restaurant), or Korea House (I've never been to that one).

          Really, you needn't be limited to the four or five fancy restaurants that get all the press.

          Korea House
          630 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101

          Street & Co
          33 Wharf St., Portland, ME 04101

          1. m
            mainemal Jul 22, 2011 07:02 AM

            One of my favorite spots (and I like Caiola's a lot, David's not so much) that I think would meet your preferences is Bar Lola in the East End: http://www.barlola.net/. Very amiable staff offering a great range of tastes in different sized plates, mix and match as you will. No pretence at all.

            58 Pine St, Portland, ME 04102

            Bar Lola
            100 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04000

            1 Reply
            1. re: mainemal
              foodquest Jul 23, 2011 06:47 AM

              Absolutely second the Bar Lola suggestion for the reasons cited by mainemal. The food is really, really lovely.

              Another thought might be The Well {at Jordan's Farm} for something different. The food is simple - great local ingredients, beautifully prepared and enjoyed on picnic tables at the farm. Its BYO. Definitely some sophistication with no pretense and abundance of charm. Something fun and different!

              Bar Lola
              100 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04000

              The Well {at Jordan's Farm}
              Cape Elizabeth, Cape Elizabeth, ME

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