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Portland - want to try something new

My wife and I will be up from Boston on March 16th/17th. We plan to hit the usual spots of Novare Res for lunch & beer on Saturday and Duckfat for lunch on Sunday. We're looking to find a new spot for dinner that we've never been to. We've already hit Miyake, Bresca, 555, Fore Street, Hugo's and Street & Co - with Street & Co being the only place we did not enjoy. What have we missed? Is Petite Jacqueline a good option? We'd rather stay down in the Old Port if at all possible, which is a big negative for PJ. Bar Lola doesn't really interest us (get our fix of Spanish tapas at Toro). Price isn't an issue, but we tend to lean towards more casual spots

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  1. If you're willing to walk the less than ten minutes up the street to go to Congress Street, you'll find a wealth of options. Try Emilitsa. You won't regret it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockblogsterbdn

      +1 on Emilitsa. If I was going to say there was a name missing from the places you've been to, it would be Emilitsa. It's also a different genre and probably something they don't really have in Boston - upscale Greek.
      I like Petite Jacqueline a lot but I think you have many French Bistro options in Boston that are in the same league.
      Eventide Oyster (next to and owned by Hugo's) is also a great lunch option.
      Edit to add: the 17th is a Sunday and many places do not serve dinner on Sunday night. Also happens to be St. Patrick's Day - the Old Port will be a shit show (possibly on Saturday night as well).

    2. Lola is not anything like Toro. its casual and offers a good variety of meditteranen plates of all sizes.Agree with bobbert that Emilista has great food but I think they are a little full of them selves.You might like P Jaquiline. Casual Bistro food. great steak frites and affordable wine!Have fun..

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeRique

        Good to know re: Bar Lola. Was simply going by the menu that's posted online. There are quite a few similar dishes (paella valenciana, gambas al ajillo, croquettes, empanadas, mini burgers, dates wrapped with bacon etc.) Was not expecting the Toro atmosphere - ie deafeningly loud and probably violating the fire code with the # of people they pack into that place.

        Sounds like Emilista will be the winner. Looks very good. Some overlap of flavors with one of our favorites, Oleana. Will also try to sneak in an Eventide visit. That has been on the list for quite some time. Might have to do lunch there Saturday before Novare Res.

      2. +1 on Eventide. Have had some nice meals at Caiola's- their excellent cannelloni is worth checking out.

        1. I definitely like Petite Jacq, and it's really not that far a walk! I agree that Emilitsa would be a fine choice.

          1. I really liked my first visit to Zapoteca a couple weeks ago. I never eat mexican food at all but we loved everything we had there. Drink selection was no joke either. Really a nice looking spot and right in the old port and a block from Novare.

            Paciarino is near there too and if you like pasta, you gotta try it. Casual but you def feel like you're going out for dinner, at least at night.

            I'll throw Walter's in there too. Hmmm, all places near Novare. It's almost like I like that place too.

            http://www.zapotecarestaurant.com/

            http://www.paciarino.com/

            http://www.waltersportland.com/

            3 Replies
            1. re: grittys457

              Grittys wears one of those ankle bracelets that they put on convicts. If he gets more than 100 yrds from Novare he gets zapped.

              1. re: grittys457

                I hate to be a naysayer, but I never see what people see in Walter's ....I find it unremittingly average. Nothing to write home or Chowhound about...

                1. re: Shooley

                  I totally disagree....
                  Food, service, atmosphere, location, bar,& selection is all excellent. Besides, I would say its the cleanest restaurant in Portland. I believe the owner is in the kitchen and it shows.