By morning, it's a breakfast hub known as The Good Egg Café. During lunch and dinner, the festively colored space, draped in twinkling string lights, turns into Pepperclub Restaurant. Entering the eatery is like stepping into a crayon box; the walls are painted in a lively palette of oranges, purples, blues and reds. Though the globally inspired menu draws on local seafood, beef, and lamb for Indian curries and Greek recipes, vegan and vegetarian dishes such as baked and stuffed jalapeños, veggie burgers, and asiago risotto cakes with portobello are also plentiful. After finishing off complimentary homemade bread, patrons ease sugar cravings with a handmade chocolate cake, or ease sunburns by applying cool vegan tapioca directly onto the sun.
Despite their tendency to end up boiled, GetMaineLobster.com's crustaceans somehow managed to keep one customer out of hot water. After waiting until the last minute to plan something for his fiancée's birthday, Emilio put together a next-day delivery of fresh lobsters that turned into an impressive dinner. His gratitude joins a chorus of praise for the company, whose flavorful foods have been featured on Rachael Ray and in the Wall Street Journal. Each of the lobsters is hand-selected from the coast of Maine, whose frigid waters are famous for preserving the meat's sweetness.
In addition to lobsters, patrons can order a menagerie of seafood cakes, marinated meats, and hearty side dishes. Full dinners take gourmet fare out of the restaurant and onto home dining tables with several-course feasts prepared by Chef Margaret Salt McLellan, who was named the 2008 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year. Customers that lack Margaret's culinary chops can reference the site's collection of recipes, which boast everything from Cajun shrimp to stuffed lobster bursting with crab, scallops, and emotion.
You might say that No. 10 Water screams old New England, but the phrase doesn't quite fit the restaurant's understated elegance. Tucked into Brunswick’s Federal-style Captain Daniel Stone Inn—built in 1819—the restaurant draws its upscale menu mostly from Maine's surrounding agricultural landscape. The state abounds with artisanal cheesemakers, organic beef farms, microbreweries, and lobster fisheries. Naturally, the culinary team revels in the chance to incorporate the fruits of these labors into their menu offerings, which change regularly according to what's in season.
The restaurant’s fireplace waves away chills in the winter months, and an enclosed brick porch soaks up the sunshine all summer. A tavern area relaxes the mood and invites guests to pull up a seat to a menu of tavern fare, a glass of wine, and a game broadcast on three HD TVs.
On The Marsh executive chef Jeffrey Savage has presented menus at the James Beard House in New York City, showcasing his flair for fresh takes on New England cuisine. On The Marsh's ever-evolving dinner menu teems with local, seasonal produce and the delicious denizens of land and sea, which come together in plates such as seared sea scallops and lobster risotto posing coyly beneath a veil of black-truffle vinaigrette ($33). A roasted half duck finds a happy habitat in celeriac foie-gras mash, local mushrooms, and cipollini onions ($28), and a host of starters, including a clutch of mussels pan-roasted with garlic ($9), stand ready to accompany main courses as harmoniously as dueling banjos. Desserts cosset the indecisive with tastings of crème brûlée in assorted flavors ($8) and house-made sorbets ($8).
In June of 2012, the Portland Press Herald lauded the recently opened Spread for bringing “urban couture to Portland” with a space where “every surface seems to twinkle.” A month later, the paper was still raving about the eatery, which it described as a “modern art gallery meets bar.” It’s easy to see why: chandeliers hang above lounge furniture and original artwork, while exposed brick and a backlit wine bottle display serve as the bar’s backdrop.
As upscale as the decor, the menu includes smoked local squash with creamy fondue, slow-cooked lamb shoulder, and seafood chowder with housemade bacon. To accompany meals, bartenders pour wine and mix classic or contemporary cocktails from a drink menu that the Portland Press Herald regards as “nothing short of spectacular.”
At Maine Dining Room, Chef Eric Flynn fixes up a colorful mix of New England and French fare using the regional, seasonal, and organic ingredients of Maine. Small plates send tongues on saltwater joyrides with fresh sea fare such as local Maine oysters ($2.75 each) or the savory lobster crêpe ($10+). Heftier eats, such as the 12-ounce whiskey rib eye, served with Hanh's End bleu cheese potatoes, sate the demands of serious stomachs ($29). Other entrees represent New England's esculent opulence as well, such as the 1 1/4-pound steamed Maine lobster (market price) and oven-baked cod rubbed down with orange oil and cardamom sauce and served with fennel-potato hash and local spinach ($28).