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You’ll find lobster on the menu at practically every turn in Portland, Maine, but this city has more than seafood to whet your palate. Forbes Travel Guide picks the best restaurants to eat at in this coastal city:
1. Grace. This fine-dining spot is housed in a 1850s Gothic Revival church on the National Register of Historic Places. The menu is modern American and often regarded as the finest in all of Portland. Meat from local farms and seafood, of course, are featured nightly, as well as a flavorful charcuterie plate and some inventive cocktails.
2. Fore Street. Also in Portland’s Old Port District, Fore Street’s menu is built around local fish, produce and cheese. If that wasn’t enough to make your taste buds water, this will up the ante: Chef-partner Sam Hayward has been named Best Chef - Northeast by the James Beard Foundation.
3. Five Fifty-Five. A two-story restaurant on Congress Street, Five Fifty-Five celebrates the region with each and every dish. Expect decadent dishes like truffled lobster mac and cheese, a menu favorite. Other items like the pan-seared pepper-crusted diver scallops further prove the point: local seafood in Portland is a specialty, and one that Five Fifty-Five does exceptionally well.
4. Hugo’s. Located in Portland’s Old Port District, Hugo’s is a destination for traveling foodies. Opened in 2001, the dining experience has been labeled as unforgettable by farmers, locals and visitors alike. The restaurant is dedicated to serving fresh and local fare, so look out for dishes like Maine pork (with rhubarb, peppercress and baby daikon) and Atlantic salmon (with beach rose, faro, radish and asparagus).
5. Duckfat. A small sandwich shop in Portland, Duckfat was inspired by hand-cut Maine potatoes fried Belgian-style in duck fat, tossed with seasoning salt and served with eight homemade dipping sauces. From the same people behind Hugo’s, Duckfat also focuses on local, quality ingredients. Expect a range of menu options — from those tasty Belgian fries to a range of paninis, soups and salads. They also have a great wine and beer list, too.