I love Maine Restaurant Week. It seems like every year, more restaurants participate and more of my wallet mysteriously gets lighter! Or I’m going to more restaurants than ever before.
I think we all know it’s the last statement. The funny thing about Restaurant Week…it’s turned into more like 2 weeks! So keep reading to find out where I’m going for week 1 and week 2!
Maine Restaurant Week: Week 1
Okay, so the first week, I didn’t actually make it anywhere until Tuesday. It’s difficult to plan a week of fine dining out while still going on with your regular life.
But my first stop was Local 188. As you read this, know that they are participating until March 12th, which is when Restaurant Week ends.
In honor of their 20th anniversary and Restaurant Week, they are offering a 10 course tapas tasting menu with beverage pairings for $55 per person. Now think about that. Even the beverage pairings alone make this deal worth it. But 10 courses? It’s serious!
So what do you get? A lot of food!
- Tinned Fish
- Red Wine Octopus
- Braised Beef Empanadas
- Goat Cheese Croquettes
That’s just a taste of what you’ll get. And for dessert…the most perfect flan and way to end the evening. Get a reservation if you’re feeling like traveling to Spain without leaving the state of Maine.
Now, if you’ve been following me for the last few years, you’ll notice I went to Tempo Dulu every year for a fancy dinner with my friends.
Sadly, they closed when the Danforth Inn went bankrupt last year. So, to make up for it, I’m planning on hitting up Hugo’s this year. As far as I’m aware, this is the first year that Hugo’s has participated in Restaurant Week.
I’m excited to finally knock this one off my bucket list! Somehow, Hugo’s is the only “fancy” restaurant left in Portland that I haven’t been to yet. And considering the hype, their Restaurant Week deal is too good not to try! For $55 per person, you get 4 courses.
The next place on my list for MRW week 1 is an old classic, Elsmere. Rather than a 2 or 3 course meal, Elsmere is offering basically all the meat:
Our Maine Restaurant Week menu starts with an order of our slow smoked chicken wings, followed by “The Works,” featuring all five of our slow smoked meats: Brisket; Bell and Evans BBQ Chicken; Sausage; Ribs; and Pulled Pork.
Yeah, you get all that for just $35! Talk about a steal!
Maine Restaurant Week: Week 2
Okay, so I know it’s not actually a full week for “week 2” but let’s just say that the first week ends on Friday. The weekend of Restaurant Week, I’m basically just eating and drinking until I fall over. It’s going to be great!
Saturday night, I’ll be at Roma Cafe for their 3 course dinner deal. Here’s what you get for $35 per person:
Not going to lie, I love that the dessert option is cannoli, cannoli, or cannoli. A lot of Restaurant Week, I’ll be trying new things and new places, so it’s nice to have some comforting Italian food right in the middle!
Unfortunately, as you’re reading this, the Spirit Quest has already sold out. But if you got tickets, you’ll see me there! Spirit Quest is an amazing event.
Each spot that’s participating serves a drink and a paired bite.
Even better, it’s happening on Sunday from 2-5 pm. If you like eating (which I do) and you like drinking (I like that as well) then the Spirit Quest is for you. Well, next year it is.
Monday night, you’ll find me at Petite Jacqueline. Full disclosure: I haven’t been to Petite Jacqueline since they moved from their old location on State Street.
I know, it’s been a while! I’m looking forward to a classic French dinner. For $35 per person, you get the following:
Fried Brussels Sprouts – roasted tomato vinaigrette, almonds
Simple Salad – red wine vinaigrette
Soup du Jour
Cassoulet – red and white beans, jus, lardon, duck confit, quail egg
Roasted Mushrooms – demi glace
Braised Pork Shoulder – roasted onion, fried polenta, red pepper coulis, pickled spring carrots
Black Cherry Pot de Creme with Cocoa Nibs
Salted Caramel Creme Brulee with Citrus
My final meal for Restaurant Week will be at Sur Lie. Since its opening, it’s definitely become one of the most consistent restaurants in Portland.
It probably helps that Executive Chef Emil Gonzalez is a genius in the kitchen. It’s fitting that I’m ending Maine Restaurant Week on a high note. Check out the dinner menu, for $35 per person:
*Black Eyed Peas Escabeche; fire roasted peppers, crispy red onions, parsley, lavash
Pastrami Salmon Spread; pickled red onion, everything bagel spice, cured egg yolk, toast points
Maine Board; Smith’s Log Salami, Balfour Farm beer washed gouda, house pickles, roasted garlic, toa
*Curry Sweet Potato Empanada; green onion, cashew-dipping sauce
Celery & Fennel; roasted pecans, Pineland Farm cheddar, Maine maple syrup vinaigrette
Fried Oysters; little gem lettuce, spicy mayo, bacon dust
*Red Dragon Udon; bok choy, Chinese broccoli, coconut chili sauce
Captains’ Cut Cod; celeriac puree, salsa verde, garlic chips
Milk Braised Pork Loin; roasted apples, lemon potatoes, redux
As you can see, this is probably my most ambitious Restaurant Week yet but I love it! Though I’ll probably hide from society and eating out for a bit to give my wallet some time to recover. Let me know in the comments where you’re planning on going for Restaurant Week!