The weather this fall has so far been pretty spectacular, with plenty of sun and days when you can shed a jacket by noon. Still, the days when we can dine al fresco are numbered; these five places are extending the season with heaters and fireplaces on their patios.
327 Commercial St., Portland | 207-808-8840 | tiqapm.com | $$$
A beautiful and ambitious pan-Mediterranean restaurant in the Courtyard by Marriott on the edge of the Old Port, independently owned Tiqa boasts several stunning contemporary dining spaces, a large bar, and lounge. The patio is equally impressive, decked out with couches and other comfortable furniture, firepits and heaters. The menu features dishes inspired by a wide swath of the world – Italy, Spain, Israel, Morocco, Lebanon, to name a few, with a section devoted to kabobs (another word for which is tiqa).
86 Middle St., Portland | 207-774-8358 | eventideoysterco.com | $$$
One of Portland’s most popular restaurants, Eventide’s modestly sized dining room is usually packed. The sliver of sidewalk seating helps to reduce what is almost always a wait to get in (reservations are taken only for parties of 6 or more), and thankfully, those sidewalk tables are flanked by sculpture-like propane heaters. Named by Food & Wine magazine as one of America’s best oyster bars, Eventide serves its inventive dishes on handmade oyster shell-inspired dishes from Yarmouth ceramic artist Alison Evans — just one of the distinctive elements that define this hot spot.
86 Commercial St., Portland | 207-774-5725 | boonesfishhouse.com | $$$
Boone’s is the fourth “room” from Portland chef Harding Lee Smith and the only one of his restaurants on the waterfront. On the first floor, an open kitchen and large stone fireplace form the backdrop for a seafood menu that includes both Maine standards and more inventive dishes. Upstairs is the oyster bar and a chef turning out stir-fries from a wok station. There are two outside decks offering a harbor view — the larger one on the ground floor is heated.
88 Main St., Freeport | 207-865-9835 | lindabeansperfectmaine.com | $$$
Across from LL Bean in the heart of Freeport’s busy retail thoroughfare, Linda Bean’s ground-level patio has fire pit tables, making it a perfect spot for people watching (make a game out of guessing what’s in all those shopping bags). Warm up while tucking into lobster dishes that range from the traditional to the more unusual – such as the signature “Lobstickles” (lobster tails on a stick brushed with tarragon sauce) or lobster-stuffed beef tenderloin.
10 Cotton St, Portland | 207-774-6044 | kennebunkportinn.com | $$$$
In the heart of bustling Kennebunkport, One Dock’s deck boasts heaters and a large stone fireplace, giving it the feel of an outdoor living room. The restaurant has recently been rebranded as a steakhouse with a menu of traditional starters, classic cuts of beef and sides ordered a la carte (people rave about the tater tots with Parmesan and herbs). Even if you choose to eat in the beautifully appointed dining room, start your evening on the deck with a drink an appetizer, looking up at the stars.
The approximate cost of two breakfast entrees (not including drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up