Festive Flavors

Toast and taste the holidays with spirited food and drink pairings from Portland-area restaurants

The sunny days of frosty G+Ts and lobster rolls are behind us for a while; now we crave cocktails to warm and cheer us on Maine winter nights—with flavorful dishes to match. These inspired pairings are from some of our favorite places to say, “Cheers” in this season of celebration.

White Christmas + Chocolate Coconut Mousse Torte

The Armory Lounge

A subterranean hideaway in the heart of the Old Port, the Armory Lounge is especially appealing on a chilly night. While the welcoming space offers cozy corners for date nights, it’s also a favorite stop for groups of friends to meet over the Armory’s signature martinis. If you’re dreaming of a White Christmas, bar manager Ben Bragdon’s creamy blend of Stoli Vanil, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, and peppermint schnapps will put you in a festive mood, and the torte—dark chocolate brownie, layers of coconut cream and chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut—hits the sweet spot.

The Portland Regency Hotel & Spa 20 Milk St. | Portland 207.774.4200 theregency.com/dining

Pear-Balsamic Martini + Brown Butter Gnocchi

Tuscan Table

The stylish, relaxing environment created 
by designer Nicola Manganello and warm, earthy flavors of this food and drink combination will transport you to the Tuscan countryside—just where you want to imagine yourself after a day of shopping at the nearby Maine Mall. The martini, created by restaurant manager Allie Gagne, is a blend of pear-infused Ice Pik vodka, rosemary simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. The gnocchi is accompanied by a swirl of gorgonzola cream sauce, torched Seckel pears flambéed in Fernet Branca, and spiced smoked almonds, finished with aged Fernet-balsamic vinegar and fried sage.

390 Gorham Road | South Portland 207.536.0240 tuscantablemaine.com


Ginger St. Germaine + Beef Satay Skewers

Timber Steakhouse

Timber’s comfortable, expansive bar—which boasts an impressive selection of whiskeys—is a prime spot for settling in before or after checking out the holiday lights in the Old Port. Chef Bruce Lieberman’s revamped menu includes an enticing selection of plates to share (or not) such as flavorful beef skewers with a Thai peanut sauce. An ideal pairing is the bubbly, sweet/spicy Ginger St. Germaine—ginger syrup, St. Germaine, sugar cube, bitters, and prosecco, garnished with candied ginger. It’s become one of the steakhouse’s signature cocktails, says owner Noah Talmatch.

106 Exchange Street | Portland 207.805.1469 timbersteakhouse.com

Roasted Friar + Sticky Ribs


There may be newer, buzzier Portland restaurants, but Walter’s remains
 a haven for inventive cooking in a serene and sophisticated setting on the edge of the Old Port. The bar is a convivial spot for trying one of chef and owner Jeff Buerhaus’s boldly flavored small plates, such as his
 extra tender Memphis dry rubbed, slow roasted and deep fried pork ribs, slathered with Moxie barbecue sauce and topped with smashed macadamia nuts and scallions. To match those strong flavors, the Roasted Friar— Frangelico, Laphroaig and Moxie with a lemon twist—will warm you from the inside out.

2 Portland Square | Portland 207.871.9258 waltersportland.com

Rusty Scotsman + Foie Gras with Maple Cream

Local 188

Chef and owner Jay Villani’s artist background is evident at his popular West End restaurant, where a funky blend of furnishings and vintage finds provide a fitting backdrop for his artful food. The culinary bar is a prime spot for watching the kitchen team at work, while the lounge boasts comfy seats for settling in with a well-mixed drink like the Rusty Scotsman—Old Overholt bonded rye, Drambuie, lemon juice, honey, chai, and a dash or two of Laphroaig. An equally sophisticated snack layers foie gras 
with maple cream, puff pastry, pickled chanterelle mushrooms, plum jam, and toasted oats with orange and rosemary.

685 Congress Street | Portland 207.761.7909 

Crisp Apple + Honeynut Squash Pappardelle

Liquid Riot

At Liquid Riot, brothers Eric and Ian Michaud have created one of Maine’s most distinctive hospitality environments—the only brewery/ distillery/resto-bar in New England, where the gleaming brewing and distilling equipment is in full view. While beer and cocktails are a big draw, the food is equally noteworthy, and the menu invites inspired pairings. One example is the Crisp Apple—Liquid Riot Oat Whiskey, spiced sweet cider, Becherovka, Angostura bitters, and lemon, topped with a sugar cookie tuile and Maine oat streusel—accompanied by handmade pappardelle with roasted local honeynut squash, marinated beets ,and micro mustard greens.

250 Commerical Street | Portland 207.221.8889 liquidriot.com


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