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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: October 30, 2014

Dining Guide: Five Portland-area restaurants with fireplaces

Now that there’s a distinct chill in the air, fireside dining is a welcome treat. Here are five places where you can cozy up.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

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

Twenty Milk Street in the Portland Harbor Hotel. Press Herald file photo

Twenty Milk Street in the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa. Press Herald file photo

Twenty Milk Street

20 Milk St., Portland | 774-4200 | theregency.com | $$$$
This swanky dining room is more intimate than you might expect in a hotel – The Portland Regency. The room’s centerpiece is an Arts & Crafts-style brick fireplace; nestled into a comfortable armchair at your table you might imagine you’re in an English manor house.For American bistro-style fare, the kitchen excels with simple yet well-prepared dishes. Their unique stone-heated bread basket holds a delicious house-made cranberry wheat bread. Valet parking is offered free to dining room patrons and the full menu is also available in the Armory Lounge downstairs (which does not have a fireplace).

Eve's at the Garden in the Portland Harbor Hotel. Courtesy photo

Eve’s at the Garden in the Portland Harbor Hotel. Courtesy photo

Eve’s at the Garden

468 Fore St. | 523-2075 | portlandharborhotel.com/portland-dining | $$$$
Eve’s at the Garden is in the Portland Harbor Hotel, just a stone’s throw from the Portland waterfront. A double-sided fireplace separates the bar and lounge from the traditionally appointed dining room, where chef Timothy Labonte offers a sophisticated seasonal menu and diners have a view of the courtyard garden. Complimentary valet parking is a plus in this busy part of town.

A salmon entree at Walter's. Press Herald file photo

A salmon entree at Walter’s. Press Herald file photo

Walter’s

2 Portland Square, Portland | 871-9258 | waltersportland.com | $$$$
The sophisticated modern design of Walter’s bar, lounge and dining room, which includes a striking gas fireplace, make it a popular choice for locals and visitors from away. Chef-owner Jeff Buerhaus is inspired by the flavors of Asia, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. His menus are seasonal, accented by daily specials that add unique twists to traditional Maine ingredients. His wife, Cheryl, oversees the polished service staff.

The main dining room at DiMillo's. Press Herald file photo

The main dining room at DiMillo’s. Press Herald file photo

DiMillo’s on the Water

25 Long Wharf, Portland | 772-2216 | dimillos.com | $$$$
DiMillo’s family-owned restaurant and lounge specializes in fresh Maine lobster, local seafood, choice cuts of beef and traditional Italian fare. The restaurant is a renovated car ferry docked in Portland Harbor that’s been a popular dining destination and gathering place since 1982. Lobster mac & cheese is a signature item, as is the crab-stuffed haddock. Before dinner, or during the Happy Hour (4-7 p.m. Monday – Friday), warm up with a drink next to the fire in the lounge.

The dining room at Snow Squall. Press Herald file photo

The dining room at Snow Squall. Press Herald file photo

Snow Squall

18 Ocean St., South Portland | 799-0811 | snowsquallrestaurant.com | $$$
There aren’t views from Casco Bay, but the warm and friendly scene inside will make up for it. A popular watering hole for South Portland residents, the Snow Squall keeps people coming back with a locally sourced menu, inventive drinks and a casual atmosphere that’s good for large groups or a quiet meal for two. A three-sided gas fireplace cozies up the modern dining room.

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

Note: The original version of this story included an incorrect number for Twenty Milk Street at The Portland Regency. The mistake was corrected at 9 a.m. on Nov. 12.

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