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Special Dinner--Portsmouth to Portland

I'd appreciate suggestions for a special dining experience anywhere from Portsmouth to Portland. Looking for fine dining, professional service, and nice atmosphere for a special evening. Any cuisine is fine except Asian. Thanks for your help.

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  1. Anneke Jans (Kittery)
    Joshua's (Wells)
    The White Barn Inn (Kennebunkport)
    Provence, Clay Hill Farm, Arrows, MC Perkins Cove (Ogunquit)

    Fore St., 555, many others (Portland)

    1 Reply
    1. re: rcburli

      My first though was The White Barn Inn. Very fine dining. Beautiful spot. Impeccable service. Special place. Smack dab in between Portsmouth and Portland.

    2. Thanks for the ideas. I've been to all of these. Wasn't impressed with White Barn Inn. Food and service were mediocre. It was a few years ago, so maybe we should try it again. FYI Provence in Ogunquit is closed and opening and a new restaurant is opening there in June. Does anyone know of a great restaurant with a chef's table (party of 4) on a wine dinner. Looking for June.

      1. I recommend CAVA in portsmouthhttp://www.cavatapasandwinebar.com

        definitely special, although not snooty special - can be a little cramped, but pretty outdoor seating, nice inside, definite focus on wine

        1. You could come to Portland and dine at one of the usual fine dining suspects--(grudgingly, as I'm not a huge fan but so many people love it--) Fore St., 555, Hugo's (closed for renovations but they'll be reopening--), and my favorite Bresca. Miyake is launching a new concept this June that may also meet your needs, even though you specify you don't want Asian--. But I get the feeling all of these may be more casual for what you're looking for? Unfortunately, I can't think of any chefs tables in Portland. I believe we've had this question before and couldn't come up with any. Portland seems to be more open kitchen than chef's table--

          Maybe go further south and book a chef's table at L'Espalier in Boston?

          3 Replies
          1. re: sultanaboudreau

            I tend to agree with you about the usual suspects. For outstanding food and impeccable service, I'd suggest the Back Bay Grill.

            I think Miyake's new concept is Japanese comfort food, which sounds awesome to me, but not what ogtfoodie is looking for.

            1. re: sciencediet

              I always forget about the Back Bay Grill!

              Miyake's Web site blurb on the new concept is: "Chef Masa Miyake will be restructuring the menu to combine the Japanese knowledge of food for which he is so well known with a variety of international cuisines from his extensive culinary background." --which sounds like they're expanding beyond Japanese. I would say Pai Men Miyake--his diffusion restaurant--is Japanese comfort food.

              1. re: sultanaboudreau

                Everyone always forgets the Back Bay Grill. I also like the Bresca suggestion. With the cut back in dinner hours to only twice a week and the tiny size of the space it is actually becoming more special just based on how hard it is to get a seat.
                As for Miyake, there's two new things in the works: the restructuring of the menu at the flagship restaurant on Fore St and then there's the new concept of Japanese comfort food at the original Miyake location on Spring St. I think they hope to open that location in the next month, maybe two.

          2. White Barn Inn..
            Had amazing meals and sad to hear your experience wasn't what we all have enjoyed.
            Hope you mentioned that to management.

            1. Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I think we'll try Back Bay Grill.