49 Lisbon St., Lewiston | 333-3835 | fuelmaine.com | $$$$
Housed in a swanky space in the historic Lyceum Building, Fuel’s bent is classic French cuisine, but the fare is more country than Paris. The house specialty is balsamic-braised pork shank — with the cheeky note, “think wicked fancy BBQ” — fondue, soupe a l’oignon and hangar steak frites. Yet owners Eric and Carrie Agren are not purists; the menu also includes three varieties of mac and cheese, including, yes, one with lobster. In addition to the Wine Spectator-awarded wine list, Fuel offers carafes of small-batch wine on tap.
49 Lisbon St., Lewiston | 333-3836 | marchmaine.com | $$$$
A popular lunch spot, Marche has new owners in Susan and Gary Hall, proprietors of The Vault wine and beer shop just up the street. They’ve changed the restaurant’s name to include “kitchen & wine bar,” added regular dinner service and hired chef Kevin Cunningham, formerly of The Brunswick hotel and restaurant in Brunswick. He has put his stamp on the small plates, adding contemporary American dishes to the line-up of French-inspired fare — but the signature crepes, both sweet and savory, are still served at lunch and dinner. Revamped wine, beer and cocktail lists are also a part of the transformation.
68 Main St., Auburn | 376-2739 | grittys.com | $$
The third location of this popular Maine brewpub is naturally popular with the Bates college crowd, but plenty of other locals flock here for Gritty’s signature brews, burgers, pizzas and more good pub grub. The setting, in an historic building overlooking the Androscoggin River, is another draw.
70 Lincoln St., Lewiston | 333-3663 | fishbonesag.com | $$$$
In the renovated Bates Mill complex, Fish Bones gets high marks for both its design and food. The building’s industrial heritage remains visible in the brick walls and rustic beams that define the space, which is framed with large windows. The menu features standards such as lobster bisque and pan-seared haddock, while less-expected sauces and sides add interest. Theatre patrons can make reservations for special prix-fixe dinners: Two courses for $24 or three courses for $29.
The approximate cost of two dinner entrees (not including appetizers, drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up