The 200-seat Fantail Pub is a clam's throw from Frenchman Bay, trickling into the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It's easy to spot with its parasol-lined veranda, housing what Fantail staff call "The Lobster Pound"—a light-catching fish tank where patrons can pick their own live Maine lobster to be sautéed in butter, or they can opt for a pre-chosen lobster for quesadillas and gooey mac ‘n’ cheese In the dining room, lights hang like overturned martini glasses over two 8-foot billiards tables, each covered with red felt. Bar-side flat-screen TVs display NFL Sunday Ticket games, letting patrons watch as many as three games at a time as they quaff beers. After two-handing a burger with pulled pork, patrons can admire the Fantail's wall mural, which shows rippling currents, a color-drenched sunset, and an astronaut falling from space in the background.
When she's developing a menu, executive chef Rae Hebert doesn't start with the dishes. She starts with the people around her. What do local Maine farmers and artisans have in store? she asks. What did they grow, craft, or raise this season, and what do they anticipate having in a few weeks? That's why the menu at Wild Duck Pub changes with the seasons, just like the color of tree branches' mood rings. Hebert's lunch and dinner menus each average seven entrees and just a handful of smaller dishes, which lets the kitchen team home in on—and perfect—every bite. Even the burger, for instance, features a Maine-raised grassfed beef patty. And the BLT, that humble American staple, gets an upscale reboot with basil mayonnaise and fresh mozzarella.
Exposed-brick walls and reflective, azure floors decorate MyTie Lounge's laidback space where patrons savor specialty martinis, sushi, and Asian-inspired small plates at intimate tables and clusters of chairs. Orders of gyoza and shu-mai ($5) gather pan-fried dumplings insulated with edible linings of shrimp, pork, or veggies. Chefs glaze the paper-thin tuna or beef carpaccio ($11) with olive oil, red-wine vinegar, and hunks of arugula, arranging slices on plates or stuffing them in envelopes addressed to diners. A concise selection of seven sushi rolls builds from tempura sweet-potato roots in the idaho roll ($5) and to bold bites of the dynamite roll ($11) filled with deep-fried salmon, asparagus, and cream cheese. Patrons sift through the selection of specialty martinis ($8+) and order from an internationally articulate service staff that speaks eight different languages verbally and in Morse code. MyTie Lounge also hosts live entertainment on weekends, including jazz, blues, and reggae.
Live music floats over the din of conversation and toasting pint glasses at Irish Twins Pub while chefs prepare classic bar bites in the kitchen. Onion rings fried in Guinness batter kick off the menu, which also includes buffalo chicken salads, Reuben sandwiches, pizzas, and subs stuffed with bangers, or savory irish sausages. Soft drinks and a collection of beers complement each dish, poured into 22-ounch imperial pint glasses, or 16-ounce American-style glasses.
Modernity has permeated both Thistles Restaurant's cuisine and decor, and helped earn it a Certificate of Excellence in 2013 from TripAdvisor. The restaurant is helmed by Chef Alejandro, whose kaleidoscope of culinary skills includes dishes popular in Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Contemporary fixtures shine light down on the smorgasbord of selections, and red, black, and white accents fill the dining space just as accent marks fill the menu.