Five Maine Restaurant Week hacks

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Attend a food and cocktail pairing at Maine Restaurant Week.

Some say restaurant weeks have jumped the shark (and the sashimi). This winter we need as many tantalizing excuses as possible to ditch our PJs and hit the town. All Maine restaurants (even Fore Street) bleed in the lean season. So over the next two weeks, starting March 1, do your part to help the state’s #foodenomics flourish till spring by attending Maine Restaurant Week. Snow or no snow. Here’s how:

1.) Bring your wallet. “Maine Restaurant Week is not a deal event,” says co-founder Jim Britt. So don’t confuse this with Living Social or Groupon. “There are some deals in the lineup of restaurants for sure, but the idea behind MRW is to celebrate Maine’s restaurant community and boost business during Maine’s harsh winter.” So, spread the green!

2.) Three part harmony: Expect to pay from $25 to $55 for three or more courses. “Dining on three course meals feels downright decadent,” says Britt. Tight budget? Go midday for affordable lunches starting at $15. Best deals: Wood fired pizza from Bonobo with salad and dessert for $25; Fish Bone’s $15 lunch in Lewiston.

3.) Pick a winner. Always wanted to try the romantic White Barn Inn, but your bank account cried “waaaaah!”? The posh Kennebunkport dining destination lays out the braised oxtail, fish and chips and chocolate fondue for two tasty weeks. Or take a chance on a newcomer like Blaze in Bangor and the trendy Ebb and Flow in the Old Port. Eat out of your comfort zone.

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Courtesy of Maine Restaurant Week

4.) Make it eventful: Pairings are all the rage this year. What’s new in the culinary combo world? Get up to speed at the food and cocktail pairing competition March 8th at Prime Mercedes Benz in Scarborough. Chefs and bartenders from 40 Paper, Academe and Timber (among others) rev your engines as you sip, scarf and select the best twofers in the 207. Cast your votes and lift your spirits. Get tickets here.

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Lawrence Klang, courtesy of Maine Restaurant Week

5.) Pop up: Foodies who like to be first will be motoring to the Camden Harbour Inn March 5 for a sneak peek at Tempo Dulu. Executive chef Lawrence Klang, who is helping to transform Portland’s refurbished Danforth Inn this spring, lays down a  five-course tasting menu at Natalie’s. Make friends with this guy now, so come June you stand a chance of scoring a table at the West End hotspot. The dinner is $75 per person. More details here.
Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.