Broadening the scope a bit, here’s the latest restaurant news from beyond Massachusetts; we’re keeping an eye out for dining developments throughout the rest of New England. This piece is updated on a weekly basis, covering restaurant openings, closures, and more in Portsmouth, Providence, Portland, and elsewhere. (Find the archive of winter 2017-2018 news here.)
Check back for updates — the most recent ones will always be at the top — and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any tips pertaining to New England restaurant news beyond the borders of Massachusetts.
Note: Jump to the bottom of this page for a list of other links pertaining to New England dining, including a guide to Portsmouth and Kittery, an archive of Maine news, a map of the hottest new restaurants in Providence, and more.
June 19, 2018
PORTLAND, MAINE — A macaron cart will soon hit the streets of Portland: Suga Suga launches June 29 with a variety of macaron flavors including lemon, blueberry, and salted caramel, plus cookie sandwiches like oatmeal cream pie and cotton candy unicorn. There will also be giant chicken and waffles macarons topped with actual fried chicken, filled with maple-bourbon buttercream, and drizzled with spicy maple syrup.
In other Portland news, a dual-purpose cafe and yarn shop called Knitting Nook (124 Sawyer St.) will open soon. In addition to providing a space for people to purchase knitting supplies and receive guidance on projects, the shop will sell coffee, food, beer, and wine.
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Nantucket’s Cisco Brewers have established a mainland presence in Portsmouth, where they’ve taken over the Redhook Pub, which has been rebranded the Cisco Brewers Portsmouth Pub. It remains under the ownership of the Craft Brew Alliance. The pub will be temporarily closed from June 19 to the 21 for renovations, but the outdoor beer garden will remain open, and the inside will reopen with a new menu and Cisco beers at 11 a.m. There will be a party at 6 p.m. on June 22 with food trucks, games, live music, and wine and spirits.
June 12, 2018
AMHERST, NEW HAMPSHIRE — The recently opened Smokehaus Barbecue (278 State Rte. 101) serves up platters of barbecue meats, sides of mac and cheese and beans, and even pork tacos. The restaurant has beers on tap as well. Go early; items tend to sell out before closing.
BRUNSWICK, MAINE — Brunswick’s new coffee shop, Dog Bar Jim (90 Union St.), serves a simple but inventive menu. There’s coffee, pastries, and breakfast burritos, but look closer and see the shop’s own spin on these classics, such as a General Tso’s chicken scone. Other items include rosemary shortbread with lemon glaze and pecan sticky buns, while drinks include chai, Brooklyn egg creams, and a variety of coffee options.
CENTER HARBOR, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Osteria Poggio Italian Dining (18 Main St.) has opened for the season in New Hampshire, serving dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The menu features Italian dishes, including antipasti, salads, pizza, and entrees like squid ink ravioli, roast sirloin, and halibut.
June 5, 2018
KITTERY, MAINE — Coming soon to Kittery (as in, any day now): Festina Lente (1 Government St.) will serve a wide range of Italian dishes, from roasted carrots and minestrone to bucatini with clams, braised chicken legs, and spaghetti and meatballs. Owner Sam Ostrow is an alum of Black Trumpet, Black Birch, and Joinery. This new venture will seat 26 and feature house-made pasta.
LEWISTON, MAINE — Portland Pie Co. plans to expand to Lewiston, within the former firehouse at 188 Lincoln St. The local chain is currently working on its new Waterville location as well but has plans to open in the fall in Lewiston.
PORTLAND, MAINE — Portland Wine Week will take place from June 18 to 24 this summer, with sunset boat cruises and wine education classes. There will be featured wine dinners and information on local restaurants’ offerings, with a wine gala to end the celebrations.
In other Portland news, pastry chef Brant Dadaleares — an alumnus of several restaurants in the area (including Arrows, Eventide, and Roustabout) — will open Gross Confection Bar (57 Exchange St.), a coffee shop and dessert bar, with pastries and coffee available in the mornings and desserts, cocktails, dessert wines, and digestifs in the evenings. The bar will seat 37.
Plus, Maine Oyster Company (38 Portland St.) could open this July with seating for 30 to enjoy a menu of oysters, seafood rolls, and clam chowder. There will be combo options, including three oysters, a lobster roll, and a cup of soup. The forthcoming restaurant plans to open for dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — Updates from the acclaimed North restaurant family: The restaurant’s cozy offshoot North Bakery (70 Battey St.) closed its doors last week after about a four-year run; read owner James Mark’s note of thanks to customers on Instagram. Meanwhile, Mark and partner John Chester will open a new restaurant on Thursday, June 7, in the space that North used to occupy before moving to the Dean Hotel last year: Big King (3 Luongo Sq.), named for Mark’s grandmother. The menu focuses primarily on smaller plates that showcase individual ingredients, the majority of which come from Rhode Island. Read more about the restaurant and sneak a peek inside on on Eater.com.
May 29, 2018
PORTLAND, MAINE — There’ve been a lot of new restaurant openings in Portland in recent days; here’s the rundown: Sagamore Hill (150 Park St.), a Teddy Roosevelt-inspired bar with presidential-themed cocktails — scroll down for more details on how the team is handling their boozy homage to the current president; the Greeks of Peaks, a Greek food truck vending around Portland and beyond (try the seasonal soft shell crab gyro); Eaux (90 Exchange St.), a New Orleans-inspired bistro; Definitive Brewing Company (35 Industrial Way), with a food truck- and dog-friendly patio; Locally Sauced (4 Thompsons Pt.), serving burritos, tacos, and barbecue right near the Bissell Brothers taproom; Cape Whoopies and Rwanda Bean Co. (185 Cottage Rd., South Portland), a partnership between the two businesses that includes a bakery, coffee shop, and roastery; and Legends Rest (855 Main St.), featuring beer, burgers, and tots — and co-owned by Eater Maine alum Tom Minervino.
WELLS, MAINE — For a second summer, Congdon’s Doughnuts Family Restaurant & Bakery is hosting a food truck park called Congdon’s After Dark (1100 Post Rd.) — and it’s bigger this year. It’s now open for the season, featuring up to 10 food trucks at a time (rotating through a total group of 14) — everything from beer brewed with doughnuts to pizza burgers to lobster rolls to Grateful Dead-themed poutine to truffle-topped Italian cuisine. Plus, there’s (non-doughnut-infused) booze, it’s open late (2 a.m. some days), and it’s dog-friendly. To start, it’s open Thursday through Sunday, but it’ll segue into daily operation in late June.
May 22, 2018
EXETER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Capital Thai Kitchen and Bar (97 Water St.) opened earlier this month, and it’s serving items like chicken satay, corn fritters, tom yum soup, pad see ew, mixed vegetable tofu, papaya salad, and khao soi. There are also weekday lunch specials.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — Honeyfish Poke (1 Providence Pl.) opened a couple months ago in the food court at Providence Place, bringing Hawaiian raw fish bowls to Rhode Island. The restaurant is part of a chain that operates other locations in Southern California, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
Also in Providence, O’Boy (333 Westminster St.) is now open, serving “seasonal Asian-inspired European” food, which includes dishes like cabbage rolls, braised salmon, goat cheese and Brussels sprouts, charred octopus, and bona cake for dessert. The restaurant also serves wine, beer, and cocktails.
SOUTH WINDSOR, CONNECTICUT — Flatbread Co., a pizza-focused chain with locations in Massachusetts and beyond, has a new location in Connecticut (500 Evergreen Wy.), serving its familiar menu of pizzas, salads, and beer.
WEST HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT — The recently opened Nummy (1160 New Britain Ave.) — and yes, that’s intentionally a play on the word “yummy” — serves a selection of Asian fusion dishes, including soup dumplings, Korean fried chicken, meat skewers, and a variety of noodle and rice bowls. One owner is also behind a New York City restaurant called Bao Bao Cafe.
May 15, 2018
PORTLAND, MAINE — Thursday, May 17, is opening day for a new food truck in Portland: the Truffle Truck, serving Italian dishes that feature truffles, fresh pasta, and more. Catch it in various parts of Portland and beyond — the schedule is on the truck’s website. The team is hoping to franchise it out to other cities as well, so fill out this form if you want to operate a Truffle Truck of your own.
Also in Portland, Otto Pizza recently renovated its 225 Congress St. (Munjoy Hill) location, adding more beer taps and some special menu items not available at other locations, including Detroit-style pizza. Never had Detroit-style pizza before? Here’s the definitive guide.
SACO, MAINE — In other Otto Pizza news, the chain plans to open a new location on Rt. 1 in Saco (779 Portland Rd.) on June 1; find it next to the Imax theater and across from Funtown and Splashtown. This is number seven for Maine Otto locations — and the largest of the bunch — and it’s number 13 for the chain overall. It’ll have a quick-service counter as well as a full-service dining room, plus a full bar, featuring 12-20 local beers on tap, and there will be a seasonal patio. Takeout and delivery will be available.
WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND — Iconic New Haven pizza destination Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana has continued its beyond-Connecticut expansion with a new location in Warwick that opened earlier this week. It’s the first Rhode Island location for the growing chain, which mostly remains concentrated in Connecticut but also has a New York location (Yonkers) and a Massachusetts one (Chestnut Hill). Frank Pepe Warwick is at 21 Universal Blvd. and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, serving the usual assortment of pizzas, salads, and of course, Foxon Park sodas, along with a small selection of beer and wine. Pepe purists will tell you to get the white clam pizza, but non-clam enthusiasts will be plenty happy with the original tomato pie or any of the other options.
WATERVILLE, MAINE — This summer or fall, watch for the debut of Money Cat Fried Chicken and Donuts at 173 Main St., from longtime friends Kevin Sandes (Eighty 8 Donut Cafe) and David Gilbert (a 2013 Beard semifinalist in the Best Chef: Southwest category). The 40-seat restaurant, located in a building owned by Colby College, will combine Gilbert’s Thai street food-style fried chicken with Sandes’ doughnuts.
May 8, 2018
EAST FALMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS — The Buffalo Jump (277 Hatchville Rd.) has reopened for the season on the Cape, with Brandon Baltzley and Laura Higgins-Baltzley at the helm. The restaurant is open for walk-ins for breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with dinner reservations available starting at 5 p.m. The menus change daily depending on ingredient availability, but sample dishes include braised collard greens with pork shoulder or tofu, aged turkey, salt cod, and flatbread.
MASHANTUCKET, CONNECTICUT — Caputo Trattoria is now open at Foxwoods Resort Casino (350 Trolley Line Blvd.) with a menu of Italian dishes, including lobster fra diavolo, “tableside” cacio e pepe, baked clams, and a hybrid chicken parm pizza. There’s also a full bar with cocktails, wine, and limoncello flights.
PORTLAND, MAINE — Sagamore Hill (150 Park St.) will be ready to open in June, bringing with it plenty of nods to Teddy Roosevelt. It aims to be a neighborhood bar, with local beer and wine on the menu, in addition to presidential-themed cocktails, including one to recognize the sitting president. Owner Ryan Deskins described it in a release: “Basically, we’ve got a beautiful gold martini glass, full of nothing but hot air, with an elaborate orange twist garnish (emphasis on orange). This lovely assemblage will set you back $2,500, but you can keep the glass! The drink should — appropriately — leave you feeling regretful and unsatisfied, with hints of existential horror.” (The release adds: “The current plan is to have all proceeds from the sale of the drink go to charity, but that might just be an alternative fact.”)
In other Portland news, a Lewiston-based bagel shop, Forage, will add a second location in Portland’s East End by June, featuring a custom-built Spanish bread oven for baking the bagels. Stay tuned for an address and official opening date.
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Raleigh Wine Bar + Market (67 State St.) is now open and has a special brunch planned for Mother’s Day, with lunch service debuting later on in May. The restaurant has a full liquor license and a menu that includes items like white asparagus, charcuterie, gnocchi, and more.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — Knead Doughnuts (135 Elmgrove St.) now has a new location. The shop opened in April with a wide array of old fashioned, brioche, cake, and filled doughnuts, including vegan and flourless varieties. Flavors range from Boston cream to vanilla glazed and passion fruit.
Also in Providence, Mercer’s Delicatessen has opened (485 Angell St.) with a full lineup of meats that have been cured, brined, smoked, and cooked in-house. The menu includes sandwiches on a variety of breads, plus pickles and chips.
April 17, 2018
HAMPTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Shane’s Texas Pit (61 High St.) is now open, serving barbecue. Brisket, pork spare ribs, sausage, turkey, and more are available with assorted sauces, including a blackberry barbecue sauce. There are also sandwiches, sides (cole slaw, beans, etc.), and sheet cake and peach cobbler for dessert.
PORTLAND, MAINE — Blue Lobster Wine Company (219 Anderson St.) held a test run of its tasting rooms over the weekend, ahead of an official opening on April 20. Self-described as “not your typical winery,” Blue Lobster offers wine in cans and kegs, calling it a “convenient, sustainable, economical” way of delivering wine with little waste. The winery will offer several varieties, including chardonnay, zinfandel, rose, and other red wines. In four separate tasting rooms, customers can also buy wine by the glass and by the flight.
Maine Lobster Shack (425 Fore St.) is now open in Portland, serving items like lobster rolls and fish and chips. There’s also wine on tap and oysters available. The restaurant debuted on Friday, April 13.
RYE, NEW HAMPSHIRE — The Carriage House (2263 Ocean Blvd.) debuts today in its newest form from owners James Woodhouse, RJ Joyce, and executive chef Brett Cavanna. The partners were forced to close their Portsmouth restaurant, Louie’s, due to a fire in April 2017, but they have taken on the task of rebooting this historic restaurant, which opened in 1931. They’ll serve a mix of New England fare, operating Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Lunch service will arrive for the summer, and the Carriage House will serve Sunday brunch starting April 29.
STRATHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Lexie’s Burgers in Portsmouth (212 Islington St.) has three additional locations in New Hampshire (one is seasonal) and one in Massachusetts, plus a couple food trucks, or “burger buses,” as they’re known. Now, the business has signed a lease for the former Eastern Burger Co. space at 157 Portsmouth Ave. in Stratham, where it will operate a commissary kitchen and food truck catering site. Eventually, there will be a restaurant at the Stratham space, though it may not be under the Lexie’s name. In other Lexie’s news, the Exeter location (56 Lincoln St.) will relocate to the former 3 Brothers Marketplace space (82 Lincoln St.), where it will have 42 seats. And in other Lexie’s news, it will also open at Seacoast United’s Epping complex — possibly by June 2018 — with an eye towards a partnership that could ultimately put it in another Seacoast United locations as well.
April 10, 2018
AUGUSTA, MAINE — This week, the Boston Globe tells the story of the Red Barn in Augusta, which bounced back from financial struggles by offering free food and donating proceeds to charity. Through the process of giving away money, owner Laura Benedict began to make it back and has been able to keep the restaurant running — and it’s become an institution.
PORTLAND, MAINE — Two Fat Cats Bakery (47 India St.) opens its second location on April 14 at 740 Broadway in South Portland, featuring the same menu of pies, pastries, and more sweet treats as at the India Street location, but this one will have ample seating for patrons. On opening day, the bakery will be offering free slices of cake while supplies last and will donate a portion of its proceeds from the day’s pie sales to the South Portland Food Cupboard.
The long-planned Lio (3 Spring St.) — from chef Cara Stadler and her mother, Cecile, who are also behind BaoBao Dumpling House (Portland) and Tao Yuan (Brunswick) — is under construction. When it opens, the restaurant will have a heavy focus on wine, and its menu will change daily based on available ingredients.
Paciarino (470 Fore St.) will open a new location in the former Zapoteca space down the street at 505 Fore St. Owners Enrico Barbiero and Fabiana de Savino plan to serve the restaurant’s pasta, brick oven pizza, and other Italian classics at the new space, while converting the original location into a retail space. The new Paciarino is slated for a May opening.
April 3, 2018
DANBURY, CONNECTICUT — Barrister’s Coffee Co. (1 West St.) opened earlier this year, and it serves coffee and tea, plus pastries, bagels, and baked goods brought in from New York. The shop is spacious with seating at tables, in leather chairs, and in cubicle nooks.
GORHAM, MAINE — Portland’s Bier Cellar, which has been around since 2012, now has a second location in the works for 593 Main St. in Gorham. “We are incredibly excited to bring our love of beer, wine, cider and mead to the rapidly growing community of Gorham,” the owners wrote in a blog post on the website. “We want to be a part of making Gorham a craft beer mecca just like we have watched the City Of Portland became one of the best craft beer destinations in the United States since we opened in 2012.”
PORTLAND, MAINE — Kittery’s famous Bob’s Clam Hut is in the process of expanding to Portland, at 111 Cumberland Ave. The restaurant has been in business since 1956, and owner Michael Landgarten hopes to open the new location in time for summer. Bob’s is known for its fried seafood baskets, fish sandwiches, burgers, and sides.
Union Bagel Co. opened a second location in the East Deering neighborhood of Portland (46 Veranda St.), serving its familiar variety of bagels, spreads, and breakfast sandwiches. The restaurant also offers vegan spreads.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — “It’s time to meet the waffle of your dreams,” and Providence’s Waffle (45 Weybosset St.) is ready for introductions. The restaurant, which opened about two months ago, serves a variety of waffles, including liege-style, gluten-free, and in the form of ice cream sandwiches. There’s also a pizza waffle topped with marinara sauce, cheese, crushed red pepper, and basil.
The Lotus Garden (223 Atwells Ave.) is open in Federal Hill with a selection of Southeast Asian dishes, including pho, sushi, stir fry noodles, rice bowls, and more. The restaurant also offers cocktails, beer, and wine.
SEABROOK, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Brown’s Lobster Pound (407 State Rd. 286) at long last has reopened following a fire in August 2017. This week, the restaurant will operate Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 6, 7, and 8), and then starting April 13, Brown’s will be open for the summer season, per a post on Facebook. Brown’s first opened in 1950 and serves a menu of fried seafood boxes and platters, sandwiches, and more.
WETHERSFIELD, CONNECTICUT — Kaliubon Ramen is now open at 1323 Silas Deane Hwy., serving a menu of shoyu, tonkotsu, and miso ramen, along with assorted bao filled with pork, lamb, or tofu. There are also wings, dumplings, lettuce wraps, and salad.
March 27, 2018
HOPKINTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Lakehouse Tavern (157 Main St.) has opened with some sustainable practices in place. In addition to serving a broad selection of dishes ranging from wings and lobster fritters to wraps, sandwiches, burgers, and steaks, the restaurant roasts its own turkey, ham, and prime rib and recycles its cooking oil with Newport Biodiesel.
PORTLAND, MAINE — A restaurant and bar at the Danforth Inn (163 Danforth St.) will close at the end of the month, as the business prepares to file for bankruptcy, per the Portland Press Herald. Tempo Dulu and Opium — the restaurant and bar, respectively — shut down for good on March 31. Co-owner Raymond Brunyanszki cited the niche of the Southeast Asian restaurant as a contributing factor to the closure, along with profitability. Opium also drew ire for its name upon opening. When the business makes it through the bankruptcy filing, the bar will resume operation, perhaps under a new name.
Big J’s Chicken Shack (4 Thompsons Pt.), perhaps best known for providing sustenance in the form of Nashville hot chicken and waffles to visitors at the neighboring Bissell Brothers Brewing Company, will close down at the end of the month. It will be replaced by Locally Sauced, which has six years under its belt as a food cart. It serves burritos, tacos, and barbecue, and it will arrive this May.
Ice It Bakery (502 Stevens Ave.) now has a new location up and running to go along with its original location in Yarmouth, Maine. The bakery serves specialty cupcakes, cookies, pastries, coffee cakes, and gluten-free concoctions, and it offers decorating parties for kids.
Sagamore Hill (150 Park St.) is coming to Portland with the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt. The restaurant takes its name from an area of New York the president called home. The space is currently under construction, and when it opens it will accommodate 100 people inside with 40 on a patio outdoors.
SEBAGO, MAINE — Sportsman’s Kitchen & Keg (46 Sebago Rd.) is on the way to Sebago Lake, courtesy of father-and-son team Paul and Rocco Severino, slated for a summer 2018 opening. The restaurant labels itself an “homage to Portland’s old Sportsman’s Grill,” which previously operated at 905-911 Congress St., according to the Portland Food Map.
March 20, 2018
BIDDEFORD, MAINE — A new arm of the Big Tree Hospitality group — which runs the acclaimed Eventide restaurants, Hugo’s, and The Honey Paw — has made its official debut. Little Spruce Baking Co. has taken croissants to a new level, appearing at Elements: Books, Coffee, Beer (265 Main St.) in Biddeford on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, along with the Saco River Farmers Market on Saturdays. There are several types of croissants available, most notably a pizza version made with tomato jam, ricotta, and pepperoni. There’s also a Moonstruck version with egg, mushroom, and mustard greens, a PB&J version, and more.
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Cup of Joe (31 Market St.) has opened in Portsmouth with a lengthy lineup of beverages, pastries, and other snacks. The shop serves all kinds of coffees and espresso beverages, plus kombucha on tap, chai lattes, and more.
SACO, MAINE — The Lady and the Mensch (172 Main St.) has a selection of cocktails, craft beer, and more on the menu in Saco. The recent opening is pegged as a community hangout spot, with a lounge area and a central location in the neighborhood.
YORK, MAINE — First Hill Restaurant (369 US Rte 1.) is now open in York and serving a varied menu including brunch. Dishes range from avocado toast and a Greek yogurt waffle to salmon burgers, sticky Thai fried chicken, and steamed mussels.
- New England’s 38 Essential Restaurants: A guide to the best of the best throughout New England, compiled by Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison with the help of food writers from around the region.
- The 9 Hottest New Restaurants in Providence, Rhode Island: Updated in October 2017, this map highlights some of the hot new spots to hit the Providence dining scene in 2017.
- Eater Maine: Eater Boston’s sister site to the north has been largely retired, but stop by the homepage now and then for updates to major maps, such as the Heatmap, which tracks some of the hottest new openings.
- Maine Restaurant News Archive on Eater Boston: While most Maine news going forward will appear right here in this New England news round-up, older stories are archived at the Maine Restaurant News Archive link.
- A Guide to Dining and Drinking in Portsmouth and Kittery: Take a trip up to the New Hampshire-Maine border.
- Eater Recommends: What to Eat and Drink in Portsmouth and Kittery: Don’t have time to read the whole guide mentioned above? Skip to this map, which highlights some of the Eater Boston team’s Portsmouth and Kittery favorites.
- Where to Drink Beer in Portsmouth, New Hampshire: And here’s the beer-specific accompaniment to the above two links.