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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. By day, she is an online content producer for and the Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: December 15, 2013

Maine restaurants serve up special menus, good times for New Year’s Eve

Written by: Susan Axelrod - staff writer -

Photo: Shutterstock

Just in case you’ve been too wrapped up in holiday shopping, tree trimming and cookie baking to check the calendar, here’s a newsflash: New Year’s Eve is less than two weeks away. Which means, if you’re thinking of doing anything more exciting and organized than throwing back a few beers at home and watching the ball drop on TV, it’s time to get busy. As in, make reservations. Here’s our guide to Maine restaurants serving special menus and offering entertainment on New Year’s Eve. Check back for updates.


Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room

86 Commercial St. 207-774-5725
Chef Harding Lee Smith is once again throwing a bash to help hungry kids. Boone’s Second Annual New Year’s Eve Charity Gala will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry a national charity with a big presence in Maine. Entertainment will be by the Jason Spooner Band, starting at 8:30 p.m. in the restaurant’s second-floor event space, overlooking Casco Bay.  As for food, choose from a special menu of small plates, oysters and wood-fired pizzas or go for the chef’s 5-course tasting menu. Dinner reservations start at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25/$40 per couple for 8:30 p.m. admission and the band; dinner only$85 per person; dinner and music $105 per person.

David’s Opus Ten

22 Monument Square
Nine-course chef’s menu with Champagne toast at midnight: $65 per person with wine pairings additional.

Eventide Oyster Co.

86 Middle St.;
Closed to the public at 10 pm to 1 pm for just 45 guests. An impressive sparkling wine list, cocktails, local brews on draught, bumping music, $1 oysters and snacks for $25 per person.

Five Fifty-Five

555 Congress St.; 207-761-0555
Five-course menu and live music in the lounge $100 per person.


88 Middle St.; 207-774-8538
Party like it’s 1963: Sip Champagne and nibble canapes with the ghosts of Julia Child, Craig Claiborne and James Beard as the chefs present their favorite retro gourmet dishes Hugo’s-style. Five-course tasting menu: $120 per person; wine pairings an additional $75. Menu will include vegetarian options. Seatings between 5:30 and 10 p.m. Reservations being taken by phone only.

Petite Jacqueline

190 State St.; 207-553-7044
A three-course menu with options for each course, including fresh truffles directly from the Perigord region of France. $65 per person. Optional wine pairings and a champagne menu. Begins at 5 pm.


404 Fore St.; 207-772-8242
The five-course menu offers a chance to preview the dishes chef Shannon Bard will be cooking at the James Beard House in January. $50 per person; $75 with wine pairings. Seatings at 5, 7 and 9:30 p.m.

Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

75 Market St.; 207-747-4754
Special menu all night with punches, bottled cocktails, Champagne and more. Reservations accepted for anywhere in the bar until 10 pm.


Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea

40 Bowery Beach Rd.
Four-course menu, eatings from 5 to 10 p.m. $85 per person; $115 with wine flight



189 Main St. 207-847-3250
Serving a special, a la carte menu from 5 pm – closing. Reservations encouraged.


The Frog & Turtle

3 Bridge St.; 207-591-4185
First seating 4:30-7:30 pm, 3-course menu: $40 per person. Second seating 8 p.m-12:30 am. Raw bar, caviar, 4-course small plates dinner, chocolates, champagne, balloon drop and live music from Downeast Soul Coalition: $65 per person.


Tao Yuan

22 Pleasant St. 207-725-9002
Chef/owners Cara and Cecile Stadler will serve 9-course, prix-fixe menu featuring several varieties of dim-sum, crystal shrimp, Shanghai soup dumplings and more. $68 per person with wine pairings additional. Two seatings: between 5 and 6:15 pm; 7:30 or later.


The Gothic

108 Main St.; 207-338-4684
Special menus served at two seatings: 5:30 pm, four-course menu; 8 pm five-course menu with surprises from the chef. Vegetarian options and complimentary glass of champagne served at both seatings.


Pier 77

77 Pier Road; 207-967-8500
Special menu, with dancing between courses to live music from a 6-piece band out of Boston. Price is $100 per person including dinner and a champagne toast. Reservations are being taken at 8, 8:15, 8:30, 8:45 and 9 p.m.


Spring Hill

117 Pond Rd.; 207-384-2693
New Year’s Eve prime rib and seafood buffet served 5-9 p.m. $47 per person


The Black Birch

2 Government St.; 207-703-2294
Seatings at 6 and 9 pm. 4-courses for $65 per person; $24 optional beverage pairing.


The Kennebunk Inn

45 Main St.; 207-985-3351
Academe chef/owners Shanna and Brian O’Hea offer a menu of New Year’s Eve Comfort Classics. Food served from 5-10 p.m.

One Dock at the Kennebunkport Inn

182 Port Road; 207-967-2621
Five-course menu, live entertainment $75 per person

The White Barn Inn

37 Beach Ave.; 207-967-2321
Incudes a 6-course dinner, live piano entertainment until 10:30 p.m., followed by a Broadway-themed show with a ‘masquerade flair and romantic Great Gatsby fee until 11:30 p.m. $290 per person includes food, entertainment, avant-garde masks and top hats. Wine pairings an additional $115.

Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn

208 Ocean Ave.; 207-967-4015
‘La Belle Epoque, Paris’ is the theme of the 6-course menu, which begins with hors d’oeuvres and Perrier Jouet Champagne. $90 per person.


Jonathan’s Ogunquit

92 Bourne Lane; 207-646-4777
Four-course menus. Early seating: 4-6:15 p.m. $65 includes tax, gratuity and live jazz. Late seating: 7-10 p.m. $95 per person includes tax, gratuity, champagne toast and DJ for dancing.


Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn

83 Bayview St.;207-236-7008
Eight-course tasting menu beginning with a welcome reception and live jazz. Following dinner, with wine and champagne pairing, the countdown party includes passed hors d’oeuvres, live music and party favors.


Maine Huts & Trails Flagstaff Huts

All four eco-lodge huts within the Maine Huts & Trails system will be serving champagne to overnight guests on New Year’s Eve, but both the Stratton Brook (update, Dec. 11, Stratton Brook is SOLD OUT) and Flagstaff huts will host a special experience with a decorated dining room and a festive, 4-course meal. The menu will include soup, salads, beef bourguignon, dessert, and a variety of sides will be served, along with champagne, starting at 6 pm. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Members: $94/bed for adults, $54/bed for kids 12 & under, $269/private room. Non-Members: $109/bed for adults, $64/bed for kids 12 & under, $329/private room.


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