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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 saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: May 20, 2015

Dining Guide: 4 Portland restaurants for a prix-fixe lunch

Food fans in big cities like New York and Chicago know that a less-expensive way to enjoy big-ticket restaurants is at lunch. Our list includes three of Portlands top restaurants, where the prix-fixe lunch is a deal.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

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

Sur Lie

Sur Lie on Free Street. Press Herald file photo

Sur Lie on Free Street. Press Herald file photo

11 Free St., Portland | 207-956-7350 | sur-lie.com | $$$$
One of the city’s hottest new restaurants offers a prix-fixe lunch Monday – Friday starting at 11 a.m. For $15, you get soup, salad (and not just any old salad – one of the choices is arugula and toasted walnuts with apricot vinaigrette — one of seven entrees, including a local beef burger and fried oyster po’boy, and a dessert to-go. Sur Lie’s regular menu of inventive small plates is also available.

David’s

22 Monument Sq., Portland | 207-773-4340 | davidsrestaurant.com | $$$$
Chef David Turin’s prix-fixe lunch buffet is a perennial favorite for people who work downtown. Offered Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the selections include soup, a variety of salads and antipasti, sandwiches and David’s famous thin-crust pizza — attractively displayed next to the open kitchen. The menu changes daily, but just like the rest of David’s contemporary American menu, everything is fresh and inviting. $12 per person.

Miyake

This Lunchtime Bento Box contains, clockwise from top left, braised and seared octopus with kinome miso, fingerling potatoes and pickled fennel; mixed greens salad with miso dressing; foie gras glazed with Japanese honeycomb, confit turnip with hacho miso and wilted spinach; ceviche roll; lobster and matsutake chawanmushi with mitsuba and gold leaf; and bluefin tuna, yellowtail, snapper, salmon toro and fluke sashimi, with a dab of wasabi at Miyake Restaurant on Fore Street in Portland. Press Herald file photo

This Lunchtime Bento Box contains, clockwise from top left: braised and seared octopus with kinome miso; fingerling potatoes and pickled fennel; mixed greens salad with miso dressing; foie gras glazed with Japanese honeycomb; confit turnip with hacho miso and wilted spinach; ceviche roll; lobster and matsutake chawanmushi with mitsuba and gold leaf; and bluefin tuna, yellowtail, snapper, salmon toro and fluke sashimi, at Miyake Restaurant on Fore Street. Press Herald file photo

468 Fore St., Portland | 207-871-9170 | miyakerestaurants.com/miyake | $$$$
Chef Masa Miyake’s flagship restaurant is well beyond Portland, but the dining experience here does not come cheap. A more budget friendly way to enjoy the chef’s superb Japanese food is at lunch, when the James Beard Award nominee offers a bento box for $18. It includes miso soup and six different small tastes, from sashimi to meat and vegetables. Sit at the sushi bar to watch the chef at work.

Golden Lotus

The dining room at the Golden Lotus overlooks Congress Street. Press Herald file photo

The dining room at the Golden Lotus overlooks Congress Street. Press Herald file photo

511 Congress St., Portland | 207-747-5322 | No website | $$$
Conveniently located downtown, Golden Lotus offers a choice of 10 lunches for $9.25 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. What makes these a bit different from standard Chinese restaurant lunches is the variety: The selection includes Kung Po chicken with 2 siu mai and white rice, spicy beef lo mein with 2 dumplings and kale chow fun with a spring roll. Window tables in the large comfortable dining room are prime people-watching spots.

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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