Quintessential New England at Every Turn
Does the image of quaintness appeal to you? If so, get ready to be enthralled by the old Port with it’s cobblestone walkways, botique shops and galleries, covered passages and gastronomic delights. An east wind carries a tangy hint of marine life and keeps the area feeling cool and clean. You may choose to shop at Edgecomb Pottery, known for both their pottery and unique jewelry.
Company C is nearby, exhibiting their millennial design esthetic in the reclaimed lobster trap furniture that graces their entrance. K Colette embraces high end imported textiles and unique household design products. If you are thinking of soapstone for your kitchen, check out their antique sink. LeRoux Kitchen specializes in gourmet food products and tools. They present a huge number of flavored vinegars, delicious for all aspects of cooking. And yes, there is even a Starbucks on Commercial Street.
Restaurant Scene on Par with that of other Culinary Capitals
So, if you want to eat in Portland – take your pick. The Portland dining scene is considered on par with Nantucket and New York City. Gourmet Restaurants, such as Fore Street, Scales, Grace, Portland Hunt and Alpine Club utilize local produce and proteins to create meals that will not be forgotten; I can still taste my first dinner at Fore Street! Roasted Cod finished by a chocolate torte that still makes my mouth water. I have returned many times since.
If you are looking for something less formal, try Duck Fat, with it’s hand cut fries, or Zapoteca for upscale Mexican. Portland is home to many Italian Restaurants, but you might like to try Vignola’s hand cut pasta or the Corner Room, for fried squid and a hand tossed arugala and prosciutto pizza.
Dutch’s on Preble Street has created a line-up of delicious and unique breakfast sandwiches. Or try their other pastries. They are so delicious you might have to have two – just take a long walk after breakfast!
Boasting an Innovative Craft Beer Scene
Portland is also a mecca for the brewing of craft beer. Tiny microbreweries have sprouted up amid the manufacturing and warehouse buildings near the waterfront. Each microbrewery has its own specialty. Book a trip on the Maine Brew Bus for a wonderful overview of establishments such as the Oxbow Brewery, with its farm style brews or Rising Tide Brewery, famous for their Zephyr IPA. You can catch the bus at the Craft Beer Cellar on Commercial Street, but I would advise making a reservation. The seats on the bus fill up quickly!