Monday December 30, 2013 | 07:18 AM

Dare I make predictions for 2014 on how Maine’s restaurant scene will shape up in the upcoming year?  A few facts, however, are now certain.  Vinland has finally opened and the earth is still spinning.  It will be interesting to gauge the significance of Chef Levi’s principles of following a strict locavore regimen as his restaurant unfolds. 

And one of these days Masa Miyake’s “bar” on Spring St. will grace our dining scene as will the nearby Cara Statler’s dumpling house, making that disparate stretch of avenue a true Asian axis.

Beyond that a few new restaurants in Portland are due to open soon.  There’s Central Provisions--another stab at small plate menus--but this one promises to be an international representation.  And then there’s King’s Head at Merrill Wharf that will be opening sometime next year with a pub-style menu and snippet-views of the waterfront. 

Now that Empire Chinese has given Portland real Chinese food, the time is right for more high-quality Chinese restaurants to come to town.  Hunan, Mandarin, Szechuan would all be welcome.  Fusion style would be good too a la Danny Bowien’s Mission Chinese.

As for the year that was and will be here are a few photo highlights from my travels in Maine’s food land that I haven’t shown before. 

And I do promise this.  I will buy a new camera.  When my trusty point and click fell into a bowl of chocolate sauce I replaced it with a high-tech Nikon that I’ve yet to figure out.  The focus is supposed to be automatic but it isn’t always so! 

The tallest hamburger in Portland (even higher than the Nosh burger) at Dogfish Cafe

Mood lighting at Kon Asian Bistro

Stir-fry at Kon Asian

Mighty fine looking blueberry pie  and cupcakes at Aurora Provisions

For a hit of American-Italian red sauce, Casa Novello still does it right

 A double-handed nibbler at Eventide

Opening week at Damian Sansonetti's Blue Rooster

 Off the radar for now, but here's the scene this past fall at Salt Water Farm in Rockport

Alas, it's a calf's life


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About the Author

John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.

In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.

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December 2013

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