Lots of Portland-area restaurants are hosting Halloween parties or are making special eats and drinks to give you thrills and hopefully not chills. Here’s a sampling:
The Dogfish Bar and Grille, 128 Free St., will launch its Halloween bash at 8 p.m. Saturday with music from the Yellow Roman Candles.
There is no cover charge, and costumes are encouraged.
El Rayo Taqueria is holding a Day of the Dead celebration 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Children’s Museum of Maine, 142 Free St. The restaurant will provide food samples and sugar skull cookie decorating, and the museum will have traditional sugar skulls on sale.
Entrance to the museum is $9, but the festivities are free.
If you just want to buy sugar skulls and cookies, they are on sale now at El Rayo, 101 York St. The skulls and cookies were made by the restaurant’s baker, Tracy Burke.
Gaucho’s Brazilian Steakhouse, 100 Commercial St., is making a special Halloween drink called “Whipped Chocolate Death.” It contains Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, which tastes like whipped cream, and hot cocoa.
Grace Restaurant, 15 Chestnut St., will hold its second annual Halloween Bash Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. The $3 cover charge will be donated to PROP’s Heating Assistance Program. There will be a DJ, and costumes are encouraged. For more information, call 828-4422.
If you’re a fan of “Mad Men,” Havana South’s “Before Fidel: A ’50s-Era Halloween Fiesta” is a can’t-miss event.
Wear your best 1950s-era costume and head to Havana South, 44 Wharf St., between 7 p.m. and midnight for live music from Primo Cubano and hors d’oeurves. There will be prizes for the best costumes. The party costs $15 at the door, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Sustainable Harvest International.
Hugo’s, 88 Middle St., will have a special six-course Halloween tasting menu Friday and Saturday night made up of “peculiar” dishes in a “ghoulish” dining room decorated by a local artist. The cost is $90 per person. The restaurant opens at 5:30 p.m., and reservations are recommended. According to Hugo’s staff, there’s still plenty of availability. For reservations, call 774-8538.
Take a (haunted?) ferry ride over to the Inn on Peaks Island Saturday for a Monster Ball that will be held from 6 to 10:30 p.m.
DJ Kidbilly will provide the music. The best costume wins an overnight stay and dinner for two at the inn, a $185 value. Guests must be 21 or older to attend.
There is no cover charge, but the 15-minute ferry ride will cost $4.10 round-trip. The inn is a three-minute walk from the ferry landing. The Casco Bay Lines ferry leaves Portland at 5:35 and 7:15 p.m. The ferry departs Peaks at 9:40 and 10:55 p.m.
The Frog and Turtle and the French Press Eatery will hold a Halloween Bash Saturday at 8 p.m. at the French Press Eatery, 855 Main St.
The Travis James Humphrey Band will provide the music.
The cost is $25, and includes a food buffet and chocolate table. Guests must attend in costume. The person wearing the best costume will win $100. There will also be prizes for most original costume and sexiest costume. The best couples costume will win an overnight stay in Vermont and a tour of Long Trail Brewery.
For more information, call 591-4185.