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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: February 4, 2014

Piccolo named a ‘Best New Romantic Restaurant’: Where do you dine for love in Maine?

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Shutterstock photo

Piccolo, the five-month-old Portland restaurant by chef Damian Sansonetti and his wife, Ilma Lopez, has just been named to Travel & Leisure’s list of “America’s Best New Romantic Restaurants” for 2014.

According to the editors at T& L, these 15 restaurants “not only offer seductive settings and intimate service, but also feature inventive, mouthwatering cuisine presided over by a host of renowned chefs.” Here’s what they had to say about Piccolo and Portland.

Piccolo, 111 Middle St., Portland Press Herald file photo

Known for its narrow cobblestoned streets and waterfront locale, the enchanting ’hood is a fittingly Euro-evocative backdrop for Piccolo’s masterfully pared-down country menu (think house-made ricotta and pork sausage with creamy polenta reminiscent of Abruzzi) and an exclusively Italian wine list boasting hard-to-find indigenous varietals like Refosco and Erbaluce.

Thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day, we’d love to know what YOU think are the most romantic restaurants in Maine. Let us hear your thoughts in the comments and we’ll publish our own guide to romantic dining.

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