Every year, I have high hopes and desires for where I’ll visit during Maine Restaurant Week. I try to treat it as an excuse to go to new restaurants, or at least expose myself to something new. This year, I’m trying to stay realistic while still indulging myself. Easier said than done, right? Check out the places that are on my list for this year!
The Good Table: Dinner, $35/person, Cape Elizabeth
One thing that I know I struggle with is making it out of Portland for fine dining options. Restaurant week is one of those rare opportunities when my boyfriend will actually venture out into a different town. This year, his pick is The Good Table, and I’m in. Any restaurant that claims it has good honest food is certainly worth trying in my book, and The Good Table is no exception. The menu for Maine Restaurant Week is right up my alley, especially the Grilled All Natural Pork Chop, and the Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcake for dessert.
Tempo Dulu: Dinner, $45/person, Portland
Okay, assuming we can get a reservation, going to Tempo Dulu for Maine Restaurant Week has kind of become a tradition with my friends and I. Each year, it’s now something that we look forward to. It’s an excuse to get together and eat amazing food. I have no doubt that this year, it will be better than ever. The menu for Maine Restaurant Week sounds delectable, and I can’t wait to try Lapis Daging Beef Shallot Macadamia Risotto Wok Fried Spinach (try saying that five times fast!) and the Strawberries and Vanilla Limequat Sorbet Mint Pistachio Creamex for dessert. More than just the food though, Tempo Dulu serves an impeccable experience, each and every time.
Solo Italiano: Dinner $35/person, Portland
Somehow, I might be one of the only people left in Portland who has yet to try Solo Italiano. For whatever reason, I haven’t made it in since it was still Ebb & Flow way back when. The timing hasn’t been right, or it just didn’t feel right, but for whatever reason, it’s been on my must try list for at least a year now. Take a look at the 5 courses that are being served for Maine Restaurant Week:
1) Chiavarine con Prosciutto: Lightly-fried safe foccacia with burrata and prosciutto
2) Misticanza del Campo: Organic farm greens and chicories, shaved pecorino, rosemary and garlic olive oil, balsamic
3) Maccheroncelli al Pesto Corto: Handmade pasta tossed with Paolo’s revered basil pesto
4) Pesce alla Ligure: Fresh fish from local fish market prepared in a traditional Ligurian style with pine nuts, tomatoes, white wine, garlic and potatoes
5) Tiramisu: handmade daily dessert
I mean, just reading this, my mouth is already watering. This is going to be the year that I finally make it in, I can feel it!
Union Restaurant: Dinner, $45/person, Portland
Although I haven’t officially “dined” at Union, I have tried a few small plates at happy hour, along with a glass of bubbly. What I tried was absolutely delicious, and like Solo Italiano, it’s been on my list to stop in for dinner for quite some time. Had I gotten my way, this would have been my Valentine’s Day dinner spot this year, but my boyfriend insisted it was his year to pick, so we went to Noble BBQ for tantalizing barbecue instead. The point is, people have been raving about Union since they opened, and Chef Berry was named the 2017 Maine Restaurant Association Chef of the Year, which is no small feat. And of course, let’s not forget things on their Maine Restaurant Week menu like a Confit Pressed Local Pork Shoulder or Maine Maple Pudding!