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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 10 years before turning to journalism. 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 three dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: December 19, 2014

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 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. There will also be an ice luge, midnight toast and balloon drop. 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.


111 Middle St.
Chef-owners Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez will great guests with a glass of prosecco, the prelude to an 8-course tasting menu, with choices. Some featured ingredients are: Maine diver scallops, caviar, housemade pastas, local organic vegetables from Stonecipher and Dandelion Spring farms, and Niman Ranch beef. $110 per person, wine pairings additional. Reservations taken only 6-6:60 p.m. and 9-9:30 p.m.

Eventide Oyster Co.

86 Middle St.;
2nd Annual New Year’s Eve-‘NTIDE includes DJ Duke, ET bites all evening, bubbly toast at midnight and a funky dance party; 8 p.m. – 1 a.m., $50 per person

BaoBao Dumpling House

133 Spring St.;
Serving the regular, a la carte menu until 9:30. Starting at 10:30, a Chinese Street Food Party will feature favorite items such as Grandma Tang’s Roast Pork Buns, scallion pancakes, jian bing (Chinese street crepes), and sesame balls. Tickets are $28, which buys you a glass of bubbles and passed snacks all night. Buy tickets in advance at the restaurant.

Five Fifty-Five

555 Congress St.; 207-761-0555
Five-course menu $100 per person with wine pairings additional; live music and Champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. Seatings start at 5:30 p.m.

“Caviar & Champagne Lounge” in the restaurant’s third-floor event space (accessible by stairs only) will feature a caviar bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, sweets and Champagne cocktails. Veuve Cliquot is sponsoring the event, so you can expect their Champagne to be flowing. $50 ticket is good for unlimited caviar, hors d’oeuvres and Champagne cocktails during a 30 minute visit. Ticket is nonrefundable but may be transferred to another guest if your plans change.

Petite Jacqueline

190 State St.; 207-553-7044
A three-course menu with options for each course, $70 per person with oysters, foie gras, truffles and caviar for an additional supplement. Optional wine pairings. Begins at 5 pm.


404 Fore St.; 207-772-8242
Five-course chef’s tasting dinner, $70 per person; wine and tequila pairings $25 additional.


593 Congress St.; 207-653-8617
A special ten item tasting menu consists of five courses and five snacks with optional wine pairings. Seatings at 5 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. – later seating includes after party. $90 per person; $45 wine pairing; $90 all bubbly pairing.

Central Provisions

414 Fore St.; 207-805-1085
Beginning at 10:30 p.m., the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve party features a Bubbly Bar with 10 different kinds of sparkling libations. Tickets, $100 per person include a glass of welcome punch, two drink tickets, passed hors d’oeuvres and a midnight toast.


Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea

40 Bowery Beach Rd.; 207-799-3134
Four-course menu, seatings from 5 to 10 p.m. $85 per person; $115 with wine flight

The Good Table

527 Ocean House Rd.; 207-799-4663
Special a la carte menu, reservation-only; reservations taken for any size party.



189 Main St. 207-847-3250
Serving a special, a la carte menu featuring Maine duck, Farmer’s Gate pork & local diver scallops from 5 pm – closing. Bluegrass music by the Gather Rounders. Reservations encouraged.


The Frog & Turtle

3 Bridge St.; 207-591-4185
Raw bar, caviar, 4-course small plates dinner, chocolates, champagne, balloon drop and live music from Downeast Soul Coalition, 8 p.m. – 12:15 a.m., $65 per person.


Tao Yuan

22 Pleasant St. 207-725-9002
Chef/owners Cara and Cecile Stadler will serve a prix-fixe menu featuring local uni, pork soup dumplings, tea-smoked rack of lamb, and more. $68 per person with wine pairings additional.


Pier 77

77 Pier Road; 207-967-8500
12th-annual Dinner Dance Party with First-Class Band from Boston and a 5-course menu. Price is $100 per person including dinner and a champagne toast. One seating: reservations taken between 8 and 9 p.m.


Anneke Jans

60 Walllingford Square.; 207-439-0001
Special a la carte menu served beginning at 5 p.m.


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
6-course dinner, $295 per person. Wine pairings an additional $115.

Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn

208 Ocean Ave.; 207-967-4015
4-course menu served at two seatings: reservations taken at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.


Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn

83 Bayview St.;207-236-7008
Eight-course tasting menu, $175 per person; wine pairing $79 additional; Champagne pairing $125 additional.


Maine Huts & Trails Stratton Brook, Poplar and 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, Poplar and Flagstaff huts will host a special experience with a decorated dining room and a festive, 4-course meal. The menu will include soup, salad, main course, dessert, and a variety of sides will be served, along with Champagne, starting at 6 pm. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Price includes dinner, lodging, breakfast and a packed lunch for the trail. Members: $108/adults, $54/bed for kids 17 & under; Non-Members: $120 adults, $60/kids 17 & under.


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