February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day dining specials for Maine lovebirds

From Damariscotta to York, chefs are planning romantic ways to celebrate.

Cupid will be busy at southern Maine restaurants Feb. 14, when couples descend on local dining rooms to spoon with each other and sample the special dishes chefs have prepared for this romantic night. Here's a sampling of what restaurants have in store. All dinners will be held on Valentine's Day, unless otherwise noted.

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Bar Lola on Munjoy Hill in Portland will offer a five-course prix fixe dinner with three choices per course, including a vegetarian option.

Press Herald file


The Good Table, 527 Ocean House Road, will have a new a la carte menu. Start with special cocktails, including blood orange and hibiscus margaritas. For appetizers, the choices will include fried oysters on yucca chips with habanero honey aioli and pico d'gallo, and beef carpaccio with fried goat cheese and arugula. Entree choices will include herb- and mustard-crusted rack of lamb with cherry demi, grilled diver scallops with Champagne vanilla butter sauce, a grilled filet, and a pistachio-crusted salmon with raspberry sauce and stacked potatoes. For dessert, there will be baked alaska, Guinness Stout chocolate cake, maple pudding cake and panna cotta with a blood orange soup. For reservations, call 799-4663. thegoodtablerestaurant.net

Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea, 40 Bowery Beach Road, will have a four-course menu for $65. After starting with oysters served with a rose Champagne mignonette, dishes will include a crispy goat cheese croquette, pan-roasted scallops, braised lamb bourguignonne and, for dessert, chocolate and raspberry marjolaine. For reservations, call 799-3134. innbythesea.com/sea_glass_dining_new


The Damariscotta River Grill, 155 Main St., will offer both a prix fixe menu as well as a la carte choices. There will be five or six starters, five entrees (including macadamia nut-crusted haddock) and a dessert trio. The regular menu will also be available. For reservations, call 563-2992. damariscottarivergrill.com


Ricetta's Brick Oven Ristorante, 240 U.S. Route 1, will offer dinner for two with an appetizer, entree or pizza and dessert for $29.95. There will also be wine specials available. 781-3100; ricettas.com


DiSanto's Restaurant, 322 West Gray Road, will serve three special courses for Valentine's Day, starting with a seafood-stuffed portabello for $10, followed by blushing vodka tomato scallops served with sauteed baby spinach and linguine for $24. Finish with red velvet cheesecake -- red velvet cake layered with vanilla bean cheesecake and cream cheese frosting -- for $6. Call 428-4300 for reservations.


Academe Brasserie, 45 Main St., will offer a three-course tasting menu for $45, which includes a complimentary intermezzo. Choose from five appetizers, seven entrees and a "couple's dessert." Call 985-3351 for reservations. View the menu online at: thekennebunkinn.com/dining-academe-restaurant

On the Marsh Bistro, 46 Western Ave., will offer an a la carte menu of appetizers and entrees. Start with fresh Maine lobster toast or Damariscotta River oysters on the half shell, then choose from an array of appetizers ranging from grilled center-cut beef tenderloin to Cajun fried sole or pan-seared scallops and lobster. Call 967-2299 for reservations. View the entire menu at: onthemarsh.com


Bar Lola, 100 Congress St., will serve a five-course prix fixe dinner for $55 per person. There will be three choices per course, including a vegetarian option. Seating is limited; call 775-5652 or reserve online at barlola.net.

The Cantina at El Rayo, 85 York St., is taking Valentine's reservations for the first time. The restaurant will be serving a three-course menu of aphrodisiacs for $35. There will be rose petals on the floor to add to the romance in the dining room. 780-8226; elrayocantina.com

Five Fifty-Five, 555 Congress St., is offering a chef's tasting menu for $88 per person, with wine pairings an additional $35 or $55. Start with peekytoe crab bisque, and move on to your choice of dishes such as vadouvan curried shrimp, beef tenderloin, organic Scottish salmon and pine nut-crusted rack of American lamb served with rosemary-scented white beans and caramelized branch brussel sprouts. Call 761-0555 for reservations. fivefifty-five.com

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