If you primarily associate March in Maine with mud and the still real and present danger of snow squalls, you may want to recalibrate your thinking. Marking its fourth year of providing a late winter culinary pick-me-up, Maine Restaurant Week kicks off February 29th and runs through March 10th, offering the perfect opportunity to cozy up and flirt with all of those restaurants with whom you keep meaning to make a date.
Restaurant Week is more than just a celebration of the depth and breadth of Maine’s fantastic food scene. The buzz it generates gives restaurants a much-needed boost by getting people excited about eating out during what can be a slow time of year. Plus, thousands of dollars have been raised for local non-profit organizations since the inaugural Maine Restaurant Week in 2009.
A list of participating restaurants is available at www.mainerestaurantweek.com.The list will continue to expand through March 1, 2012. At this point, over 70 restaurants throughout the state are confirmed for this year from towns including Portland, Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, Lewiston, Auburn, Camden, Brunswick, Bangor and more. As in years past, the three-course dinners range in price from $20-$40 per person and some restaurants will be offering three-course lunches for $15. Restaurants also have the ability to identify vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options on their menus.
The Signature Event will launch Maine Restaurant Week on Wednesday evening, February 29th from 5:30-8:30 pm at the Portland Harbor Hotel, 468 Fore St., in Portland. This event will once again feature a People’s Choice competition for best cocktail and a People’s Choice competition for best dessert. New this year is the introduction of a professionally judged cocktail and a People’s Choice award for best table display. Tickets to The Signature Event start at $35.
The Incredible Breakfast Cook-off will take place Friday morning, March 9th at the Seadog Brewing Company, 125 Western Ave in South Portland, 7 am - 9 am. The Good Table, Cape Elizabeth, will return for the third year to defend its two-year title of People’s Choice winner with its decadent Crème Brulee French Toast.
For more information go to www.mainerestaurantweek.com.
Maine Restaurant Week is sponsored by the Swan Agency-Sotheby’s International, US Cellular, L.L. Bean, Down East Magazine, Shipyard Brewing Company, Native Maine Produce, Maine Today Media and Cumulus Radio.