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Restaurants & Bars

Plse Advise: 5 Portland Dinners and Lunches Next Week

opinionatedchef | Oct 20, 201509:30 PM     7

O.k., i'm getting a little ahead of myself. Or, i should say, beHIND myself. At the beginning of Oct. we had a ~week away from home near Boston, in Bar Harbor and Pland( after having been away 3 years.) We are, hopefully, planning a re-visit for 5 days next week M-F, splurging to stay at the PPort Hotel . ("But it's our 33rd AnniVERsary!" is my comeback for any negative thoughts on this plan.) On the early Oct. trip my shining star was Bao Bao and we returned there the next week, after side-stepping up to BH. Petit Jacqueline and Hugo's both went into the 'not returning' slot(reasons in a nutshell: at PJ every dish oversalted; every dish lacked zing// and at Hugo's, finesse trumped flavor, and nothing wowed me.) Emilitsa was, like 3 years ago, excellent but too expensive. Bao bao was killer, as was Ciaola's comfort food brunch.

So onto the near future. I'm furiously reading through CH, Eater, P Food Map, but I also need your seasoned CH advice. M-F 5 dinners, 5 lunches.Currently dinner-thinking: Miyake, Central Provisions, Eventide, East Ender, Lolita or Union. Prefer robust flavors, innovative techniques and components ( all or one-of ). Burgers, hot dogs, bbq, clam shack fare-- need not apply.
Lunch: bao bao will have intro'd a new menu by then iirc; ten pan miyake; eventide; Empire ?; ____? I could live on oysters, as long as they're from nowhere south of duxbury MA, so i'm wicked psyched to try raw Damariscotta oysters and others(do any Pland raw bars offer less expensive oyster hours or does that translate, as in boston, as offering shallower cup/smaller oysters?) We had fantastic cake and sweets at Scratch but i just read BobB's raving their sandwiches(who knew?) and others raving Blue Rooster and Sonny's.
I gotta learn more about Slab (is that the baker who was at the M grocery?) because i love great pizza but that pretty much means thin charred crust for me and i am not a fan of sweet marinara. Is Lolita the Bar Lola people?(sadly, we never made it there.)and? Of course Little Big's will be our first stop off the highway, and this time I hope to at least look at the product at Holy Donut. We usually get the sublime tomato fennel soup to take home from Duckfat.

Is it, visually, really worth it to go out to the islands off Pland, or is it just as dramatic oceany at our newly discovered paradise, Fort Williams? We started to discover the So Pland area but want to see all of it on this upcoming trip. We'll also go to the Maine Hist. Soc. for a day. (Loved our recent visit to PMA.) Mostly I want to keep discovering historic neighborhoods and towns, gazing at great architecture, noodling along the ocean's edge, and eating well along the way! Thanks for all your advice! I love Portland and am so psyched to be returning before it snows. Hope we'll be able to catch some peak colors that we missed before because peak came late this year.

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