My friend Andy Clurfeld, restaurant critic and food editor of the Asbury Park Press, has been imploring me for years to go to Portland, Maine, where she claims there is much incredible food to be had. I may go this summer, spurred on by Andy and the Food & Wine story Kate Krader just wrote. I've eaten with Kate, and she has pretty good taste buds. Here's Kate's short list along with a few comments by me (you'll know they're mine when you see my initials).

Fore Street
Address: 288 Fore Street
Phone: 207-775-2717
Woodfired, seasonal cooking by Beard Award winner Sam Heyward. Heyward's other food endeavors include The Standard Baking Company featuring hand-crafted breads & pastries, Street and Co., Scales Restaurant and Seafood Mkt., and the below-mentioned Two Fat Cats Bakery. —EL

Browne Trading Company
Address: Merrill's Wharf
Phone: 800-944-7848
Rod Mitchell's incredible seafood market is useful to know aboutif your hotel room has a fridge and/or a kitchenette. —EL

Five Fifty-Five
Address: 555 Congress Street
Phone: 207-761-0555
Fennel-crusted Casco Bay monkfish.

Caiola's
Address: 58 Pine Street
Phone: 207-772-1110
Grano and carrots in a creamy tomato sauce. Greek wines by the glass.

Bar Lola
Address: 100 Congress Street
Phone: 207-775-5652
Warm bread salad, Maine shrimp on soft polenta.

The Cheese Iron
Address: 200 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough ME
Phone: 207-883-4057
Local cheeses, wines by the glass, sandwiches.

Two Fat Cats Bakery
Address: 47 Indian Street
Phone: 207-347-5144
Apple pie, cherry pie, marshmallow buttercream-filled whoopee pies.

There is an extremely opinionated website devoted to Portland restaurants. I have no idea how discerning its reviewers are, but they are certainly passionate and populist in their orientation.—EL

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