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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: May 22, 2014

Dining Guide: 5 great outdoor restaurant spaces

Written by: Susan Axelrod

For full listings and more restaurants, see the new searchable Restaurant & Bar Guide.

Courtesy of Robert's Maine Grill

The deck at Robert’s Maine Grill overlooks Spruce Creek. Courtesy of Robert’s Maine Grill

Robert’s Maine Grill

326 Route 1, Kittery | 439-0300 | robertsmainegrill.com | $$$
Attracting tourists and locals, Robert’s Maine Grill is a large, contemporary, casual restaurant with an emphasis on well-prepared seafood served efficiently. Don’t let the faux lighthouse outside trick you into thinking it’s a place of gimmicks and assembly-line fare — Robert’s bustles with individuality. Its spacious covered deck, overlooking bucolic Spruce Creek and the surrounding marshland, is a shady spot to spend a summer afternoon.

Courtesy of Kennebunkport Resort Collection

Nighttime at David’s KPT at The Boathouse Hotel. Courtesy of Kennebunkport Resort Collection

David’s KPT

21 Ocean Ave. (at The Boathouse Hotel), Kennebunkport | 967-8223 | boathouseme.com/dining | $$$
Opened in summer, 2013, this is chef David Turin’s third restaurant; he also owns David’s in Monument Square, Portland and David’s 388 in South Portland. Decorated in a nautical palette of deep blue and white, sleek, swanky David’s KPT offers plenty of wow factor indoors, and on its large, wraparound deck at the edge of the Kennebunk River. The menu wows, too, with raw bar offerings, small plates, pizza and entrees that range from Maine classics to more sophisticated choices. No reservations.

innbytheseadeck

The dog-friendly dining deck at Sea Glass in Cape Elizabeth has a spectacular view. Courtesy of Inn by the Sea

Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea

40 Bowery Beach Rd., Cape Elizabeth | 799-3134 | innbythesea.com/dining | $$$$
For stylish seaside dining in one of Maine’s premier inn resorts, Sea Glass offers a menu of admirable dishes that are well prepared in a kitchen overseen by chef Mitchell Kaldrovich. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the lounge and on the outdoor deckThe wine list is extensive and offers superb choices in all price ranges. Best dishes include gaucho steak, mushroom tart, roast chicken under a brick and any of the desserts by pastry chef Karen Voter.

The outdoor dining patio at Caiola's. Press Herald file photo

The outdoor dining patio at Caiola’s. Press Herald file photo

Caiola’s

58 Pine St., Portland | 772-1110 | caiolas.com | $$$
In the heart of Portland’s West End, Caiola’s charming, tree-shaded patio is a local “secret” that glows at night with twinkling strings of lights and flickering candles. This cozy neighborhood restaurant features local, farm-fresh produce and fish. The menu changes regularly. For Sunday brunch, choose from a variety of classic egg dishes or try an oyster po’ boy.

foresidepatio

The patio at Foreside Tavern is a pretty, tucked-away oasis, with a “crooked play house” for kids. Courtesy of Foreside Tavern

Foreside Tavern & Side Bar

270 Route 1, Falmouth Foreside | 781-4255 | theforesidetavern.com | $$$
A welcoming, comfortable restaurant that’s equally suited to an evening out with friends or with the kids. In the summer, the pretty outdoor patio is a tucked-away oasis with birch trees, mossy boulders, a waterfall and even a kids play house. In the colder months, the Fireside Room is a cozy spot for relaxing over cocktails. The full menu is served at the bar, which boasts 6 large televisions for watching New England sports.

Key to prices

The approximate cost of two dinner entrees (not including appetizers, drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up

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