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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 On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: December 21, 2015

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

Written by: Susan Axelrod

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 news flash: New Year’s Eve is just a WEEK 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 for additions and updates.

More NYE EVENTS: Bring on 2016: New Year’s Eve events in Maine

NYE for Kids: New Year’s Eve events for families and the early-to-bed set

NYE Music: Live Music on New Year’s Eve in Portland


Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room

6 Custom House Wharf, Portland | 207-774-5725 |
Chef Harding Lee Smith is once again throwing a bash to help hungry kids. Boone’s 3rd annual New Year’s Eve Charity Gala will benefit Full Plates Full Potential and The Good Shepherd Food Bank. Reservations for the four-course dinner start at 5:30 p.m. The Jason Spooner Band will entertain starting at 8:30 p.m. in the restaurant’s second-floor event space, overlooking Casco Bay. There also will be an ice luge, midnight Champagne toast and a balloon drop. Tickets are $25 per person for 8:30 p.m. admission and the band; dinner only $85 per person; dinner and music $105 per person.

Eve’s at the Garden

At the Portland Harbor Hotel, 468 Fore St, Portland | 207-775-9090 |
Enjoy a three-course dinner, with choices like lobster chowder, chicek liver pates, yellowfin tuna, beef short rib and a berry parfait or Nutella pudding, among other dishes. $65.


327 Commercial St., Portland | 207-808-8840 |
The pan-Mediterranean restaurant offers a 4-course menu for $55 per person, $75 with wine pairings. Seatings at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. There also will be an ice bar outside on the patio and a complimentary bubbly toast at midnight.


111 Middle St., Portland | 207-747-5307 |
Chef-owners Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez will greet guests with a glass of prosecco, the prelude to an 9-course tasting menu, with choices. Some featured ingredients are local duck, New England seafood, Wagyu beef and local organic vegetables from Stonecipher Farm. $115 per person, wine pairings additional. Seatings 5:30-6:30 p.m. and 8-9:30 p.m.

Eventide Oyster Co. and The Honey Paw

78-86 Middle St., Portland | 207-774-8538 |
The adjoining restaurants cohost a celebration, with DJ Duke taking over the turntables at 9 p.m. Passed appetizers will be served all night and a midnight Champagne toast is included in the ticket price of $53.74.

Evo Kitchen + Bar

443 Fore St., Portland | 207-358-7830 |
Evo’s first New Year’s Eve celebration is sponsored by Veuve Clicquot and Moet champagnes, so expect bubbly glass and bottle specials all night. A 5-course tasting menu is served from 5 to 8 p.m. or 8 to 10 p.m. for $75 per person, with wine pairings an additional $35. At 10 p.m., the party gets going with a DJ and free Champagne toast at midnight – $20 entry fee.

Five Fifty-Five

555 Congress St., Portland | 207-761-0555 |
Four-course menu $85 per person with wine pairings additional; balloon drop at midnight. Three-course children’s menu $35. Seatings start at 5:30 p.m.

Petite Jacqueline

190 State St., Portland | 207-553-7044 |
The French bistro will be closing as it searches for a new home, and New Year’s Eve is the send-off. A 3-course special menu with Champagne toast is $75 per person, with wine pairings and supplements available. From 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., bid the PJ crew adieu with a cash bar and light snacks.

Tempo Dulu

163 Danforth St., Portland |
The New Year’s Eve Extravaganza at Tempo Dulu is a dinner that begins with a welcome reception of champagne cocktails and ends with a midnight champagne toast with party favors. In between, enjoy eight courses that include aged duck breast, cured salmon and curried chocolate.


593 Congress St., Portland | 207-653-8617 |
Join chef David Levi for a 100 percent local food celebration, featuring a 5-course tasting menu and a bubbly toast for $108 per person including gratuity. Wine pairing $40; Champagne supplement $15. Seatings at 5 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 10 p.m. After-party with full bar and wine. TICKETS

Central Provisions

414 Fore St., Portland | 207-805-1085 |
Chef Chris Gould’s 14-course tasting menu is designed for 2 – $220 per couple including tax and gratuity. Add drink pairings for an additional $55 per person. Seatings at 6 and 10 p.m.


52 Washington Ave., Portland | 207-808-8502 |
The casual Latin BBQ joint jazzes it up for the holiday with a special menu including caviar and truffles — 5 courses for $75 or 3 for $55, both include a Champagne toast. Seatings are at 5, 7 and 9 p.m.

Sur Lie

11 Free St., Portland | 207-956-7350 |
The festivities get underway at 4 p.m. with chef Emil Rivera’s inventive tasting menus starting at $75 per person, drink specials and a complimentary bubbly toast at midnight.



Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea

40 Bowery Beach Road, Cape Elizabeth | 207-799-3134 |
A Veuve Clicquot Champagne toast kicks off chef Steve Sicinski’s four-course menu, seatings from 5 to 10 p.m. $110 per person; $150 with wine flight.

The Good Table

527 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth | 207-799-4663 |
The dining room gets dressed up with white linens and the staff gets decked out, too, for a special a la carte menu, cocktails and desserts, reservation-only; reservations taken for any size party. More info



189 Main St., Yarmouth | 207-847-3250
Serving a special, a la carte menu featuring Damariscotta oysters, Maine rabbit and pan-seared halibut, plus the regular menu, from 5 p.m. to closing. Live jazz/folk by Ron & Wendy Cody and Mike Arciero.


The Frog & Turtle

3 Bridge St., Westbrook | 207-591-4185 |
4:30-6 p.m. seating: four-course tasting menu with choices, glass of Champagne, $50 per person. 8 p.m. seating: five-course tasting menu, Champagne and chocolates at midnight, live music from Downeast Soul Coalition, $75 per person. Both seatings are 21-plus and proper dress is requested.


Tao Yuan

22 Pleasant St., Brunswick | 207-725-9002 |
Chef/owners Cara and Cecile Stadler will serve a prix-fixe menu featuring local uni, smoked duck, rack of lamb and more. $78 per person.

The Brunswick Hotel and Tavern

4 Noble St, Brunswick | 27-837-6565 |
Dinner is served between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. at The Brunswick Hotel and Tavern. The menu includes ahi tuna, roasted duck and stuffed portobello mushrooms. And for dessert, how about housemade apple crisp or a limoncello mascarpone cake? $48 per person. Reservations required.


Anneke Jans

60 Walllingford Square, Kittery | 207-439-0001 |
In addition to the regular menu, a special a la carte menu will be served beginning at 5 p.m. Complimentary valet parking.


One Dock Prime at the Kennebunkport Inn

182 Port Road, Kennebunkport | 207-967-2621 |
Five-course menu served 5-10 p.m., $95 per person; live music 8 p.m.-midnight

David’s KPT

21 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport | 207-967-8225 |
Chef David Turin gets the party started at 7 p.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres and food stations, cocktails, dancing and a photo booth – $135 per person in advance; $160 at the door (if available).

The White Barn Inn

37 Beach Ave., Kennebunk | 207-967-2321 |
Six-course dinner, midnight toast, canapes at every table, a cabaret performance, unlimited Champagne after midnight and a kitchen tour by chef Derek Bissonette, $295 per person. Wine pairings an additional $115.

Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn

208 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport | 207-967-4015 |
Five-course menu and Champagne toast served at two seatings: reservations taken for first seating at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m., $95 per person; reservations for second seating taken at 8, 8:30 and 9 p.m., includes live entertainment until midnight, $130 per person.

Academe at The Kennebunk Inn

45 Main St., Kennebunk | 207-985-3351 |
cademe has crafted a menu filled with comfort food classics, from slopy joe nachoes and grilled pizzas to lobster pot pie, Swedish meatballs and fish tacos. Not to mention the make-your-own sundae option.



Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn

83 Bayview St., Camden | 207-236-7008 |
Eight-course tasting menu, $195 per person; wine pairing $79 additional; Champagne pairing $125 additional.




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