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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 3, 2015

Dining Guide: 5 places to warm up with a hot cocktail

The weather in Maine this fall has been especially glorious, with many more warm days than usual stretching well into November. Now that the seasonally appropriate chill has arrived, hot drinks are starting to show up on cocktail menus. Here are five places to enjoy them.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

For full listings and more restaurants, see our searchable Restaurant & Bar Guide.

Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea

Hot Toddy by the Sea. Courtesy photo

Hot Toddy by the Sea. Courtesy photo

40 Bowery Beach Rd., Cape Elizabeth | 207-799-3134 | | $$$$
Located just off the lobby of the hotel, Sea Glass is a small, quiet restaurant with a spectacular view and a healthful menu introduced by chef Steve Sicinski. The dining room is a chic, elegant space, and dogs are welcome to join their owners at tables on the deck, or at the firepit, one of two ideal spots to sip a Hot Toddy by the Sea: Makers Mark, tea, lemon, honey and cinnamon. The other is inside by the fireplace in the cozy lounge, which also allows dogs.


The bar at Tiqa. Claire Jeffers photo

The bar at Tiqa. Claire Jeffers photo

327 Commercial St., Portland | 207-808-8840 | | $$$
A beautiful and ambitious pan-Mediterranean restaurant the new Courtyard by Marriott on the edge of the Old Port, independently owned Tiqa boasts several contemporary and comfortable dining spaces, a large bar, and lounge. The menu features dishes inspired by a wide swath of the world – Italy, Spain, Israel, Morocco, Lebanon, to name a few. Warm up at the swanky bar with a Marin Pomme: Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum, warmed Maine cider, brown sugar cube and bitters.

Top of the East Lounge

Top of the East glows at night. Claire Jeffers photo

Top of the East glows at night. Claire Jeffers photo

157 High St., Portland | 207-775-5411 | | $$$$
Following a much-needed refurbishment, Portland’s sky-high cocktail lounge is once again the place to be, especially when the weather allows for a spectacular view of Casco Bay through windows on three sides. A variety of comfortable seating options are all designed to give as many guests as possible the view, and it may be the best spot in the city to watch the snow come down, while sipping a Hot Buttered Rum.

The Grill Room and Bar

The Grill Room on Exchange Street. Press Herald file photo

The Grill Room on Exchange Street. Press Herald file photo

84 Exchange St., Portland | 207-774-2333 | | $$$$
The Grill Room is all about beef, with rib-eye and sirloin topping the menu. There’s also wood-fired pizza and a great variety of wood-grilled fish and meat. The space has a touch of Old World character and a comfortable, welcoming feel, with an exposed kitchen, long polished wood bar and friendly staff. The cocktail list includes the Maple Hot Toddy: Bulleit Rye, maple liqueur, black walnut bitters and lemon juice.

Tempo Dulu

The bar and lounge at Tempo Dulu. Claire Jeffers photo

The bar and lounge at Tempo Dulu. Claire Jeffers photo

163 Danforth St, Portland | 207-879-8755  | | $$$$
The stunning, Southeast Asian restaurant at the uber-chic Danforth Inn wows dinner guests with distinctive dishes from chef Lawrence Klang, who uses flavors and techniques you won’t find elsewhere in Portland – or even in Maine. Trevin Hutchins presides over a matching bar program, creating one-of-a-kind cocktails that are as much about presentation and performance as they are about taste. On the new fall menu: The Fourth Gentleman — Barr Hill Tom Cat barrel-aged gin, Strega liqueur, Carpano Bianco vermouth and lemon, heated and infused with chrysanthemum blossoms, mint, pink peppercorns and coriander seeds.

Key to prices

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

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