March 18, 2013

Dine Out Maine: At LFK, name is elusive, but food is easy to love


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LFK occupies the former home of Cunningham Books in Portland’s Longfellow Square.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer



188 State St., Portland 899-3277


HOURS: 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Friday; noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Kitchen closes at 12:30 a.m.; brunch is coming.


PRICE RANGE: Starters and sides, $5 to $12; entrees and sandwiches, $10 to $16

VEGETARIAN: Yes, more choices that you'd expect in a pub


KIDS: Welcome

RESERVATIONS: Only for very large parties

BAR: Central and large, full service, 10 taps that turn over frequently, even daily. Specialty cocktails, fine spirits, wine by the glass


BOTTOM LINE: The atmosphere at this gastropub is laid-back and open; the unfussy, reasonably priced food is excellent. It's contemporary, comfort-style fare. Look for Portland's creative types in the mix, but visitors and even children (in the earlier hours) will feel like they belong.

Ratings follow this scale and take into consideration food, atmosphere, service and value:

*Poor  **Fair  ***Good ****Excellent *****Extraordinary.

The Maine Sunday Telegram visits an establishment twice if the first dining experience was unsatisfactory. The reviewer dines anonymously.

"Liquor for Kids," said the tall, ponytailed bartender, making a joke out of a query he probably gets nightly. "Longfellow Fellowship of Knights," he says next.

"We encourage people to make what they want of it," he says, finally.

On that Tuesday, we were at a table by the window, pigging out and feeling silly at our excess while our waitress left us alone until she noticed we needed attention (such as take-out boxes for all those hearty dishes we couldn't finish). She calmly addressed any query with a friendly, here-if-you-need-me approach. Much appreciated.

For "dessert," because we hadn't thought of it earlier, we ordered a Brass Flower -- a flute of Hendricks gin, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice and prosecco.

This tart and fizzy drink with a faint hint of the liqueur was something to start the hearty and unfussy meals you'll find at LFK. It would be great with a savory Sunday brunch (and it's coming).

Don't let the muted exterior and draft-blocking curtain discourage you from ducking into LKF for supper or a cocktail. The atmosphere is laid-back and literary boho without feeling forced, and the unfussy food is excellent and priced reasonably enough to make this an easy place to stop in and sup.

Nancy Heiser is a freelance writer and editor. She can be reached at:


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