Dining

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Portland's selection of restaurants is a varied and commendable one ranging from the most casual of outdoor eateries with a spectacular view to the more intimate with attentive service and memorable cuisine. All of Portland's restaurants are designated as non-smoking. In September 1999, restaurants statewide followed suit. A capsule of some of our favorites follows. Each is in Portland unless otherwise noted.
Jameson Tavern
Main Street, Freeport
207 865-4196

Is perhaps the only place in Freeport with a history as notable as L.L. Bean. Sitting directly next to Bean's, this white clapboard house with a broad lawn in front and a large red barn in back was a one-time stage coach stop and the site of the signing to separate Maine from Massachusetts. New England fare is served in the main dining rooms in the front of the house while the tavern is reserved for those with less lofty expectations. The wonderful tavern exudes old-world atmosphere and there is an adjoining flagstone terrace overlooking Bean's and Main Street. Reservations accepted for the dining room.

 

Pepperclub
78 Middle Street
207 772-0531

One of our longtime favorites. Located near the Old Port in a growing section of restaurants (Hugo's, Norm's, the Village Cafe). The decor is a little bit Caribbean (the giant oil drums acting as the bas for the bar look like they were snatched from the hands of a Crayola crayon meltdown) blended with the atmosphere of a a San Francisco coffeehouse. The menu is eclectic with items such as the Pepperburger made of organically grown beef served with wonderful red potatoes to more innovative dishes based on a vegetarian base with possibly scallops or salmon. They serve dinner only and do not take reservations.

 

 Fore Street
288 Fore Street.
207 775-2717

Arguably Portland's finest restaurant sharing top honors with Street & Company as providing a memorable dining experience whether it is simply for a night out or a special occasion. The unassuming building, near the old Custom's House, offers no hint of the culinary delights within. A cozy and sophisticated bar is at the entrance and the warm atmosphere enhanced by flattering lighting, original old beams, exposed brick, and a sizeable exhibition kitchen proffer a soothing environment to enjoy a wide range of fish dishes, enticing beef choices inventively prepared, or perhaps a choice from the chef's specials. Priced accordingly, it is still well below big city prices. Reservations urged well in advance but one-third of space is left to walk-ins.

 

Street & Company
33 Wharf Street
207 775-0887

Vying for top honors in Portland, Street & Company is often neck and neck with Fore Street competing evenly with exemplary food in an atmosphere that makes guests feel part of the preparation with cooking close by and a retinue of staff that keeps guests in glowing spirit. Count on a good selection of meat and seafood dishes where attention to detail makes the difference and the chef's skill is tasted at every turn. Dining here can be a destination for the evening and not simply a pitstop enroute to a Sea Dogs or Pirates game. Priced accordingly, this top flight choice is always booked and reservations are a must. They do however keep one-third of the tables open for walk-ins who arrive beginning at 5:30 p.m. to score a last minute table. You're better making a dinner reservation when you book your room

 

Harraseeket Inn
Main Street, Freeport
207 865-9377

A lovely New England inn in the shadows of L.L. Bean, is occupied in a white clapboard structure, in quintessential Yankee architecture. A warm, inviting Brunch, lunch, or dinner awaits in the Maine Dining Room or enjoy something more casual in the masculine-inspired Broad Arrow Tavern. Reservations suggested, especially for brunch.

 

Norm's Bar and Grill
606 Congress Street
207 828-9944

The original Norm's was a barbecue place on the fringe of the Old Port with a handful of picnic tables indoors but they closed leaving their follow-up restaurant, near the inn, in the shadow of the Portland Museum of Art, and opposite the State Theater. The expanded menu has staples such as memorable chicken BBQ sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, and more. The tapas menu ever-changes. Try to get seated before 6 p.m. or you can expect to wait. Reservations not accepted.

 

Joe's Boathouse
1 Spring Point Drive, So. Portland
207 741-2780

In the Spring Point Marina, this entry in the seafood market brings the outdoors inside with big windows, deck dining, and marina views tableside. The menu accents seafood appropriately and serves lunch and dinner, and is a choice selection for a cold libation on the deck. You don't have to sail into Portland Harbor or dock at the marina to appreciate the boathouse. This makes a fine stop going to or coming from Portland Headlight. Reservations accepted.

 

Jones Landing
The Boat Landing, Peaks Island
207 766-3040

Jones Landing is a landmark on Peaks Island and the first impression arrivals are greeted with on the island. It's an ideal place to enjoy a beer on the deck or perhaps a casual seafood entre when you want to experience a short ferry ride in Portland Harbor. Boats leave from the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal (parking garage adjacent) frequently and the fee is a marginal one. Jones Landing offers superb views of the Portland skyline, passing boats and the Scotia Prince cruise ship (nightly about 7:45 and 9:15 p.m. April-Oct.). Reservations not accepted.

 

 

"Owner Dale Northrup is a Portland native who has critiqued thousands of hotels for his work as a travel writer and definitely knows what he is doing..."

--Maine - An Explorer’s Guide

 

 

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