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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: June 24, 2015

Dining Guide: 5 great Portland-area places for outdoor dining

Written by: Susan Axelrod

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

Timber Steakhouse & Rotisserie

Owner Noah Talmatch on the Timber patio. Susan Axelrod photo

Owner Noah Talmatch on the Timber patio. Susan Axelrod photo

106 Exchange St., Portland | 207-805-1469 | timberportland.com | $$$$
Timber’s new patio is an oasis in the heart of the city, with a firepit and couches in addition to plenty of umbrella-shaded tables and chairs. The restaurant turns the steakhouse tradition on its head with a varied menu featuring fish, duck and pork as well as delicious beef and chicken, with an excellent wine list to match. At the bar, you’ll find the city’s largest selection of bourbons and inventive cocktails prepared with care by master mixologist Henry Jost.

Caiola’s

caiolas

58 Pine St., Portland | 207-772-1110 | caiolas.com | $$$
In the heart of Portland’s West End, Caiola’s charming, tree-shaded patio is a local “secret” that glows at night with twinkling strings of lights and flickering candles. This cozy neighborhood restaurant features local, farm-fresh produce and fish. The menu changes regularly. For Sunday brunch, choose from a variety of classic egg dishes or try an oyster po’ boy.

Yosaku

1 Danforth St., Portland | 207-899-3774 | no website  | $$$
If you’ve never experienced Yosaku’s serene, Japanese-style garden, complete with waterfall and pond, put it on your summer bucket list. The menu offers the usual line-up of sushi and sashimi, plus a long list of unusual rolls, tempura, noodle dishes, and other Japanese favorites. The bento boxes and lunchtime are especial popular; after spending a little time in the garden, you’ll head back to work refreshed.

Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea

The Deck at Inn by the Sea. Courtesy photo

The Deck at Inn by the Sea. Courtesy photo

40 Bowery Beach Rd., Cape Elizabeth | 207-799-3134 | innbythesea.com/dining | $$$$
Dog lovers take note: Your well-behaved pooch is welcome on the inn’s comfortable dining deck, with its stunning view across an expansive lawn and gardens to the ocean across. New chef Steve Sicinski has put his stamp on the menu with dishes that focus on local seafood, meat and produce: they include Maine mussels with blood orange curry, chorizo and basil bruschetta; monkfish with caramelized fennel, risotto carbonara, slab bacon and pea shoot salad; and a classic lobster bake.

Foreside Tavern & Side Bar

The patio at Foreside Tavern. Courtesy photo

The patio at Foreside Tavern. Courtesy photo

270 Route 1, Falmouth Foreside | 207-781-4255 | theforesidetavern.com | $$$
A welcoming, comfortable restaurant that’s equally suited to an evening out with friends or with the kids. In the summer, the pretty outdoor patio is a tucked-away oasis with birch trees, mossy boulders, a waterfall and even a kids play house. In the colder months, the Fireside Room is a cozy spot for relaxing over cocktails. The full menu is served at the bar, which boasts 6 large televisions for watching New England sports.

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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