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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 mainetoday.com 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 saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Things to do This week





Posted: May 28, 2014

Island dining in Casco Bay: Portland’s offshore restaurants offer casual to fine fare

Written by: Susan Axelrod - staff writer - saxelrod@mainetoday.com

One of the cool things about living in, or visiting, Portland is that as amazing as the city is, it’s so easy to escape it — by water. Hopping on a Casco Bay Lines ferry to spend a day on one of the outlying islands can make you feel like you’ve been far, far away.

Whether you go for a bike ride, flop on a beach or wander island trails, you’re bound to get hungry. Here’s a guide to dining options — from places for a quick bite to white-tablecloth restaurants — on Peaks, Cliff, Chebeague and Great Diamond Islands. All are accessible via Casco Bay Lines.

Peaks Island

The Peaks Island House. Courtesy photo

The Peaks Island House

Casual, family friendly dining on a large deck just a short distance from the ferry landing, a favorite spot to watch the sunset with a view of the Portland skyline.
20 Island Ave. | 766-4400 | thepeaksislandhouse.com
Lunch and dinner 7 days

Inn on Peaks Island. Courtesy photo

The Inn on Peaks Island

Popular for weddings, this classic New England Inn has a cozy dining room offering a contemporary American menu with plenty of local seafood. They also brew their own cask-conditioned ale.
33 Island Ave. | 766-5100 | innonpeaks.com
Spring hours: Lunch Saturday and Sunday; Dinner Thursday – Saturday. Starting in early June, the restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily.

The Cockeyed Gull. Courtesy photo

The Cockeyed Gull

The island’s most casual dining option has a good-sized deck and a wide-ranging menu from burgers to dishes with an Asian influence.
78 Island Ave. | 766-2800 | facebook.com/CockeyedGull
11:30 a.m. to 9/9:30 p.m., 7 days. Sunday brunch offered Oct. 14 – April.

 

Great Diamond Island

Diamond’s Edge Restaurant & Marina. Courtesy photo

Diamond’s Edge Restaurant & Marina

Sit outside on the lawn rolling down to the water or inside the historic brick building that was once part of Fort McKinley. The menu focuses on seafood and local produce.
766-5850 | diamondsedgerestaurantandmarina.com
May 30 – June 19: Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday
June 19 to Sept: 27: Open Tuesday – Sunday
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 – 9:30 p.m

 

Cliff Island

Pearl’s Seaside Market & Cafe. Courtesy photo

Pearls Seaside Market & Café

Homemade cinnamon rolls, lobster BLTs, fried red hot dogs and pizza are offered at this cornerstone of the Cliff Island community. This summer, it will offer take-out service only. Pearl’s is owned by Johanna and Steve Corman, who also own Vena’s Fizz House in Portland.
11 Wharf Rd. | 766-2312 | pearlsseasidemarketandcafe.com
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days

 

Chebeague Island

The Chebeague Island Inn. Courtesy photo

The Chebeague Island Inn

Old-World graciousness — without stuffiness — defines this beautifully restored, circa-1920s inn, lovingly maintained by its owners, the Prentice family. White linens drape the tables in the dining room and on the broad porch; you’ll want to dress accordingly for new chef Brandon Hicks’ stellar cooking.
61 South Rd. | 846-5155 | chebeagueislandinn.com
Lunch 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday
Cocktails and hors d’0euvres on the porch 2:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily
Dinner 5:30 – 9 p.m. daily
Sunday brunch 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m daily. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres can be enjoyed on the porch from 2:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. Lunch is served from 11:30am – 2:30pm everyday of the week, except for Sundays, when we serve brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  – See more at: http://www.chebeagueislandinn.com/dining#sthash.pQ8UJj5p.dpuf
Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m daily. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres can be enjoyed on the porch from 2:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. Lunch is served from 11:30am – 2:30pm everyday of the week, except for Sundays, when we serve brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  – See more at: http://www.chebeagueislandinn.com/dining#sthash.pQ8UJj5p.dpuf

Calder’s Clam Shack. Courtesy photo

Calder’s Clam Shack

Nothing fancy, no tables, just a place to grab a sandwich or an ice cream cone.
108 North Rd. | 846-5046 | caldersclamshack.com
Tuesday-Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Slow Bell Cafe. Courtesy photo

Slow Bell Cafe

A changing, locally sourced dinner menu, accompanied by live music, gives islanders and visitors a place to relax on summer weekends.
2 Walker Rd. | 846-3078 | chebeague.org/slowbell
Open for dinner Friday and Saturday 6-10 p.m.

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