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Where to take my foodie boyfriend for his 30th bday?

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We live in Boston but he's been everywhere and I'd like to take him somewhere very special and cool. I'm looking for somewhere on par with TW Foods/Bondir, a place with unbelievable food but that isn't uptight. Any suggestions?

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  1. Where specifically are you looking? All of northern New England (i.e. Vermont, NH, Maine)?

    2 Replies
    1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

      Anywhere that is a 2h or less drive from Boston (VT, RI, ME, NH)

      1. re: stealingspoons

        Then I would vote for Portland, as I'm sure many others in here would. Probably the 2nd best dining scene in all of New England. As for specific restaurant recs, there are tons of postings on Portland already in here. You may want to be more specific on the food you're looking for so you get a "tailored recommendation".

    2. The best thing about Portland is that it's pretty laid back even in its best restaurants. On at least par with those Cambridge restaurants and with a similar m.o. would probably be Fore Street or Hugo's. Hugo's for the tasting menu though Fore Street is a little more laid back. I haven't been to Hugo's in a couple years but for the most part casual dress works anywhere in town. Now for my impersonation of a broken record: Miyake for the 7-course omakase. This will include much more than sushi. If you stay in one of the Old Port hotels these choices are all within a few blocks of each other. Lots of good drink options in the area as well.

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      Fore Street
      288 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101

      Old Port Cafe
      111 Main St, Winterport, ME 04496

      5 Replies
      1. re: bobbert

        We recently went on the Maine Foodie Tour which was a lot of fun because of all the food samples. Lots of walking is involved. It ended at the Shipyard brewery after which we went for a late lunch at Duckfat and ice cream at Mount Desert ice cream on Exchange Street (get 2 free tastes and then order the flight which is four 1-oz scoops of your choice).

        We did not like that the foodie tour did not include a map with descriptions so I don't even remember where some of the places were (scattered around Old Port area). We've been on food tours before and knew that there wouldn't be any shopping time. Enjoyed hearing some of the history of the area.

        I think you'll want this to be an overnight trip. The guide explained that there is a lot happening in Portland because it's affordable for new restaurants. There's also so much available and more on the way. Look into the incubator project. Someone mentioned it on a previous Portland thread.

        Do some food shopping and jointly plan some menus for home. Check to see if the local farmers market is still going on and do that as your first event of the day. Bring a cooler etc for your purchases.

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        Old Port Cafe
        111 Main St, Winterport, ME 04496

        1. re: bobbert

          Can't recommend Hugo's enough for a foodie. I live in Boston, but Hugo's is our favorite restauant in New England. Get the 6 or 8 course blind tasting w/optional wine pairings. Great, inventive food.

          1. re: kimfair1

            Rob Evans was just on Chopped last night, and said he went on the show in order to promote the Portland dining scene.

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            He won.

            1. re: the_MU

              I couldn't find the show in the web. Did run across a couple of other youtube pieces that might sway someone to come up north to eat. First one is just about Hugo's while the 2nd features some great Maine restaurants (Fore Street, Primo, 555, Arrows, etc.).

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xu3TH...

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHVQjW...

              Enjoy!

              1. re: the_MU

                He was great. Cool and collected, and I loved how he gave so many shout-outs to Portland. He did, however, make it sound like it's 50 below zero with 30 feet of snow every winter......

          2. http://www.lumiererestaurant.com/