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Sep 3, 2012 07:43 PM

Emilitsa in Portland, ME

We're spending one day and night in Portland, Me while on our way to Acadia National Park. We'll definitely go to Duckfat, but would also like to hit up another restaurant or so while there. Is anyone familiar with Emilitsa? Any other suggestions? We plan on getting our fill of lobster while in Southwest Harbor.

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  1. I'm a fan. I always include it in the top tier of Portland restarants. Along with Back Bay Grill probably the most underappreciated restaurant in town. Very nice room. Small but nice bar where I tend to sit.
    Disclaimer: I'm no expert on Greek food and before Emilitsa opened never had anything close to upscale Greek but the food really is extremely good.
    The staff is very knowledgeable and are happy to help with the menu and especially the wines which are all... duh... Greek. I need help with wine in general, more so when the names are 15 letters long with some backward and some upside down letters and throw in a squiggly sign or two and you get the picture.
    Best thing I've had was the whole fish which can be filleted tableside for a little show. Nice amuse. Great apps. James Beard nomination a couple of years back. Definitely it's own genre on the Portland scene.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bobbert

      We just returned from a trip through Portland and thoroughly enjoyed our first dining experience at Emilitsa. Very attractive interior with well designed lighting, and textured brick walls the space is open and flows from the storefront with bar through a couple dining areas. We were seated in the middle room fitted with half banquette tables for 2 along one wall....which was a great room. While Emilitsa's has arelatively small footprint, their layout affords a reasonable amount of space per table, unlike Street&Co where table spacing is akin life in a sardine can.

      Service was impeccable; friendly, gracious, helpful but always polite, prompt but never pressured or rushed. The food was excellent; from the amuse bouche to their trio appetizer spreads, roasted beet salad, grilled lamb loin chops and a roasted sea bass special, everything was delicious and very well prepared. We started with a very well made house martini and ended with an excellent Greek coffee. Comfortable pace through the meal, we enjoyed the entire dining experience....although a bit of a challenge finding parking. Truly look forward to our return visits.

    2. Emilitsa is a fabulous restaurant, really can't go wrong with it.

      1. Thanks, Bobbert and Miradan. I'll make a reservation.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Mauiwood

          mauiwood, did you like emilitsa? we're headed to portland next wk and then, also, to sw harbor. (Did you stay at the Claremont, and if so, what did you think of their food? )Any other recs? We really liked Havana, Cleonise, Burning Tree and Red Sky when we were up there 6 yrs ago.

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            We didn't go to Emilitsa after all, but chose to eat at Street and Co instead. We had a great meal ( oysters on half shell, lobster bread pudding, scallops and swordfish, with Maine blueberry pie for desert.). We loved the fries at Duck Fat so much that we stopped there for lunch on our way from Southwest Harbor to Olgunquit. We didnot stay at the Claremont socan't comment on their food. We really liked both Red Sky and Fiddler's Green, but were disappointed that XYZ was closed for the season. Have a wonderful trip!

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              Just back from an evening on MDI. SO and I made a return trip to Mache Bistro in Bar Harbor, and having eaten earlier this summer at Red Sky, I can emphatically say that there's no comparison: Mache is hands down the better, more creative, tastier, and (interestingly) less expensive. So wave goodbye to SW for one evening and head across the island: you'll be glad you did!

              1. re: mainemal

                wish i had seen this before; we went to Red Sky when we arrived tonight w/ some good eperiences and some o.k., but for our other nights, we will be going to burniing tree and cleonise, and mache unless we return to Havana (I have read meh reviews of H here, but we just loved it 6 yrs ago....)

          2. Just had a great meal at Emilitsa. This was my first time here, and definitely not my last.

            Dinner started off with amuse bouche of pureed yellow lentils with crispy pieces of toast and an olive oil sauce. Great way to start the night.
            As a starter we we shared the scallops in ouzo-cream sauce. This was a very rich dish in all the best ways. Scallops were well cooked, but it was the feta that made this dish exquisite.
            For the main course my SO had the roasted duck breast, which was a good sized portion with great flavors. Expertly cooked, the crispy duck skin was very tasty, and the sides of potatoes and asparagus were on par.
            I had the lamb chops, also a good sized portion. These were layered with awesome flavor, and cooked perfectly to my request of mediam rare. I have had greek lamb chops many times, and this one is up there with the best, mostly because of how well the flavors in the herbs blended with the grilled taste. Sides were spinach (I liked these a lot) and mashed potatoes which complimented the meat well.
            For dessert we shared a baklava and greek coffee. I am a huge fan of greek coffee, and this hit the spot. I'd go back here just to get the baklava and greek coffee combo.
            With a glass of wine each, our total was about $60 per person, and I felt we really got our money's worth with the flavors and quality in all our dishes.