The Portland Dining Scene – Fall Foodies in Maine

copy-copy-portland-headlight.jpgCalling all Maine foodies for the Harvest on the Harbor

Fall in Portland Maine is a great time to check out new restaurants. The crunch of crisp fall leaves under your feet on the Old Port’s cobblestone streets as you search out delicious new food offerings in Portland’s best restaurants. Portland has become quite a hub for top chefs, definitely the epicenter of the Maine cuisine scene, with Kennebunkport, Camden, Ogunquit, York and Kittery raising the bar in Maine with great dining spots.

Gorde and pumpkin displayA highlight to fall in Portland is the Harvest on the Harbor, an annual event of toasting Maine’s best culinary chefs, and flaunting the best Maine beers, wines and food.

Every year, Portland‘s Harvest on the Harbor benefits local charities, food banks and provides scholarships, so it’s an eat well, feel good deal. The mission of Harvest on the Harbor is “to promote Maine as a top culinary tourism destination to food-savvy travelers from Maine and around the world, and extend the traditional tourism season while increasing the economic impact for Maine businesses.” Sounds brilliant right, we can all raise a glass and a fork to that!

Allagash Brewery freezerHarvest on the Harbor takes place Oct 22-25, and the signature event is the Grand Tasting on the Harbor where guests have an opportunity to taste dishes from Maine’s best restaurants and meet the chef owners while sampling and sipping local Maine beers, wines and spirits with each chef creation. The venue is the very scenic Ocean Gateway building overlooking Portland harbor and the passing ships, ferries, even a view of Bug Light!

Another big draw is the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition since every Maine chef worth his or her salt wants to prepare the best lobster dish, especially in front of their peers! Union Chef Josh Berry won Maine Chef in 2016. Nonantum Resort of Kennebunkport won Maine Chef in 2015. Chef Stephen Richards of The World is Mine Oyster in Boothbay Harbor was named Maine Lobster Chef 2014. In 2013 Chef Chris Long, line cook at Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn won last, beating out his boss, and exec chef Jon Gaboric. Chef Chris Long made a winning dish of lobster poached in butter, served with grilled maitake and oyster mushrooms and a corn-and-parsnip ragout. Kerry Altiero from Café Miranda won in 2012.

Many of the Grand Tasting and Entertainment events sell out before the festival even starts. If you don’t get ticket to Harvest on the Harbor, then go enjoy dinner out at one of Portland’s amazing restaurants.

lobsterMaine top chefs participating in the Harvest on the Harbor Top Maine Lobster Chef Competitors are:

Alysia Zoidis -East End Cupcakes
Abby Freethy -Northwoods Gourmet Girl
Brandon Blethen, Robert’s Maine Grill
Brandon Hicks, Prentice Hospitality Group
Dwayne Whitelocke, Rocktide Inn & Restaurant
Chris Long, Natalie’s at The Camden Harbour Inn, 2013 winner
Chef Isaac Aldrich, Sebasco Harbor Resort
Lindsay Bradeen, The Phat Boys Café
Luke Cordes, The Porthole Restaurant & Pub
Margaret Salt Mclellan
Steve Richards, The World is Mine Oyster, 2014 winner

Plan you Maine foodie vacation and come to the coast to sample lobster, walk the beach and enjoy “the way life should be.”

See our Maine Lodging Guide and the Maine’s Top Restaurants

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