Portland, Maine is known for its great food and drink scene, but many restaurants' wine programs are often overlooked in favor of the city's robust craft beer and spirits industries. So we're highlighting three of our favorite Portland restaurants with great wine—upscale places that serve unique wines and great food with which to enjoy it. Next time you're on a lark to our boutique Portland hotel The Pomegranate, make a reservation at one of these three Portland wine restaurants for a night of good food and perfect wine pairings.
Lio is the newest restaurant from Chef Cara Stadler, who also runs Bao Bao Dumpling House and Tao Yuan in Brunswick. Stadler is known for her Asian cooking, but at Lio, she explores European cuisine with small plates and wine. Dishes like potato chips and caviar and foie gras parfait are a playful take on high-end ingredients. The wine list includes nearly 40 wines available by the glass, mostly from Europe and a few from the Americas. You'll love this chic wine bar and its inventive take on European fare.
If you've followed any of the national news about Portland's restaurant scene, then you know Drifters Wife, named one of Bon Appetit's 10 Hot New Restaurants of 2018. Drifters Wife is located in Portland's East End, on the rapidly developing stretch of Washington Ave. (https://www.pomegranateinn.com/travel/portlands-washington-avenue-restaurants) that is home to many great restaurants, breweries, and distilleries. Drifters serves natural wine, so you won't necessarily find your favorite, familiar varietals on the menu, but the knowledgeable staff will help you select a wine you'll love.
Also in Portland's East End, Lolita specializes in house-cured meats, wood-fired grill cooking, and great wines. Owner Stella Hernandez is a certified sommelier and has curated a selection of Italian, Spanish, and French wines. Monday nights bring tapas night, where a half glass of wine with a small plate pairing is available for $5 each. Enjoy a night out at one of Portland's best wine restaurants for an unforgettable meal.