By Kurt Soller
Did someone say summer Fridays? It’s three-day-weekend season, but a short trip is no time to tackle a giant like SF or NYC, where you won’t get your bearings before heading home. Instead, you want a smaller city, where you can hit every great restaurant without getting near a rental car or subway. (And it’s summer, so it’d be nice to see some coastline.) In 2016, that spot is Portland, Maine, which has all the crunchy fried clams and tugboats of a classic New England getaway, along with the dining chops of a larger place. You’ll get the lay of the land in a few hours, then build your own restaurant scavenger hunt from crudo to khao soi, with plenty of lobster rolls and natural wine in between. Everything is within walking distance, which comes in handy after you’ve had some cocktails. Still debating whether to take that day off? Portland has eight excellent reasons why you should.
The Honey Paw
The owners of Eventide created this modern pan-Asian joint next door, where handmade noodles or New England ingredients make it into every dish, whether it’s congee or Korean fried chicken. Restore yourself with smoked lamb khao soi, loaded with crispy egg noodles buried in coconut curry with fermented mustard greens.