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Sep 2, 2012 10:10 AM

Looking for Chef's table/Tasting menu in Portland Maine

My best friend is honeymooning in Maine and I'm searching for a superb chef's table or tasting menu that will blow them away. They are foodies so the type of cuisine isn't as important as the quality of the food/experience. I came across the chef's table at davids388 (it looks great) I'm just wondering if there are some other options in town. Thanks a ton and any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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  1. Off the top of my head I'd say Hugo's 6 or 8 courses with wine pairings. Miyake for their 7 course omakase. It's much more than sushi. Also sake pairings. 555 does a tasting menu with 24 hours notice gives you a chance for some input. Any of these has the potential to blow someone away.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bobbert

      I think my choice would be 555

    2. Definitely Hugo's 8 course tasting. I have been twice since Chef Evans sold the restaurant to his employees, and while there is less molecular gastronomy than there used to be, both my wife and I found it to be just as delicious as when Chef Evans was in house. I am not a fan of 555. I've never tried the tasting there, but I was completely underwhelmed by my one meal there. I don't get to Portland as often as I'd like to, and usually have only one night to have dinner. Since that disappointment at 555, we've been sticking with Hugo's which has never disappointed us.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kimfair1

        I'm agreed on Hugo's or Miyake--
        555 is fine for a drink and a snack at the bar, but dining in the dining room has been underwhelming in the past couple of years.

        I don't believe there are many proper chef's table situations (at least publicized ones) in Portland (despite a recent cookbook published with that name...) The Salt Gallery advertises a 4 seat chef's table but I've only eaten lunch there so I couldn't comment on how it is.

        Davids388 is a bit staid--I'm not sure if that's because it's in the suburbs or what... My husband and I dined there a year or so ago (we're in our late 30s/early 40s) and we were the youngest people in there by decades-- It was a tiny and cute space with potential, and the food was acceptable, but nothing standout.

      2. Thanks so much for the input. With so many restaurants in Portland its tough to differentiate the good and the Great. I just really want to knock their socks off with a meal to remember.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ksave

          There is a bit of a price difference between Hugo's and Miyake. Hugo's 6 course will run around $90 and the 8 course $120 pp before drinks. Wine pairings add about $50 pp on the 8 course. Miyake will run $75 for 7 courses - I don't know the cost of the sake pairings. If money is not a factor I'd go to Hugo's but I'd be almost as happy at Miyake. I really don't think you could go wrong either way though I will say that when Hugos is on their game there are few places anywhere that can beat it.

          1. re: Ksave

            One more to consider, not mentioned thus far: Bar Lola in the East End also has a tasting menu, and you'll find that the prices are very moderate in comparison: have a look!