Any suggestions for Portland, Maine?

Maybe a wine store as well to pick up a bottle of champagne.

Been many times although never stopped into a wine store. That said, try out Vina’s Fizz House for excellent cocktails. You’ll also be up in NE IPA country with several breweries nearby - if that’s your thing, I’d definitely recommend. As far as restaurants, check out Central Provisions, Blythe & Burrows (only had their cocktails, not food), Eventide Oyster (a must IMO), Duckfat, and Fore Street (pricey but chef is a James Beard award winner). If you’re bored and want to subject your palate to something unique, go to Maine Mead Works.


I have always enjoyed Scales and other folks I have sent there had similar experiences. I have heard great things about Fiore Street but haven’t personally been.

Agree with the comment above regarding craft beer if you have any interest. There are so many great breweries up that way. I am particularly fond of Bissel Brothers.

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There are a couple of good wine shops in Portland.

Browne Trading is arguably the country’s greatest fishmonger, with an excellent wine department. Old Port Wine Merchants, a block down the other side of Commercial Street also has a very good, eclectic selection.

Restaurants: There are recent threads. This is a great restaurant city. Fore Street, Scales and Street and Company share ownership but are completely separate restaurants, all outstanding. If I had to pick one, it would be Fore Street but other board members have other preferences. Reservations on short notice in the summer are very hard, but Fore Street reserves 1/3 of seats for walk-ins. Show up at 5 and they give you a time slot.

Central Provisions has been mentioned many times. Benkay, Duck Fat, Pen Miyake, Empire, Petit Jacqueline, Local 188, Chaval… the number of good to great restaurants can be daunting. For breakfast, Hot Suppa and Becky’s Diner are standouts. Be sure you get at least one byob lobster shack.

Dan Kravitz

Looking to come up with three or four stops for craft or imported draft beer on a walk/crawl in Portland on a Friday night. We have Novare Res inked in. Any other ideas for us?

NR is indeed a great pub and worth visiting. Allegedly there are terrific beer pubs in town but we tend to be repeat offenders at Novares.

Brewery stops depend on what kind of beer you enjoy. Bissel Bros is my favorite if your focus is IPA. If (like me) you like Belgian and more intricately fermented brews, then Allagash and Oxbow are fine choices. Both have the added advantage of great food attached to them. Allagash has a Bite into Maine food truck (seasonal) for outstanding Lobster Rolls. Oxbow has a concession of Duckfat (might be seasonal).

Across the street from Allagash is a brewery incubator that house four small (usually start-up) breweries. The choices are generally very good (Bissel started here). On last visit, Foundation was fine.

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If (like me) you like Belgian and more intricately fermented brews,

I like many beer styles, but I absolutely LOVE these.

Thanks for the great suggestions, Greg. My mind is already working on the possibilities . . . lunch time visit to Allagash + dinner time crawl in the city?

I drink some beer, but I hosted family up here earlier this year and some of them are craft beer geeks. Among the places they dragged me to and really liked are Belleflower, Lone Pine and Rising Tide. Shipyard is one of the great old classics. If you can work your way up to Freeport, there’s Maine Beer Company, Mast Landing and old-timer Gritty McDuff. Maine Beer features Lunch (one of the best names ever for a beer and it tastes good). Mast Landing is beloved by the geeks. Last but not least, a little farther up in Brunswick is Flight Deck. They are good. But if you make it up there, the real benefit is you can go five minutes farther and get a good glass of wine at my house.

Dan Kravitz

Dan, thanks for the beer tips. It would be a real pleasure for me and Jacqueline to drop by and say hello. I will Email and/or PM you. Hope we can make it happen. -Jim