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The Maine Restaurant Headlines of 2016, Predicted by the Writers

Here's what you might be reading about in the new year.

Tiki bar Rhum is on everyone's mind.
Tiki bar Rhum is on everyone's mind.
Adam H. Callaghan/Eater

As is tradition at Eater, we close the year with a survey of food writers, bloggers, and industry experts. We posed eight questions, from meal of the year to top restaurant newcomers. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of 2015. Responses have been cut, pasted, and largely unedited. Readers, please add your survey answers in the comments.

Q: What are your headline predictions for 2016?

Paul KoenigOld Port magazine:
"All-You-Can-Eat Chicken And Waffles Returns To Portland" (I hope).

Rachel ForrestSeacoast Online:
I'm lobbying for aquavit to be the new absinthe (or St. Germain) so I hope to see "Nordic — it's now in your glass" soon. Italian cuisine was last year and this year so I think we'll see more Eastern European food. So "Goulash — it's what's for dinner."

Claire JeffersMaineToday:
"Longtime Grumpy Portland Resident Condemns Restaurant Trend, Dines Out Nightly."
"Surge of Maine Visitors Sport Island Clothes Thinking 'Tiki' Bars Denote Warmer Temps."
"Portland Housing Crisis Spurs 'Restaurant Industry'-only Apartment Complex."
"Restaurant Champions Buddhist Cooking Practices, $200 Per Person."

Emily BurnhamBangor Daily News:
I think we see a slowing-down of the restaurant explosion in Portland, as more buildings become occupied and real estate prices continue to go up. Though we might also see places begin to close as overhead becomes too high. Other places in Maine continue to produce exceptional food, under the radar.

Rob SchatzEating Portland Alive blog:
Mocktail renaissance.

Kathleen PierceBangor Daily News:
Rhum makes drinking barefoot a hot winter trend in Maine.
Sam Hayward and Dana Street finally open on the pier. Harding Lee Smith says "brang it."
Food and Wine magazine declares Portlyn the new Portland. Nine out of 10 hipsters agree.

Don LindgrenRabelais Books:
"North Yarmouth Becomes Dining Destination with Opening of the Purple House."
"Michelin Three-Star Chef Opens Restaurant in Maine."

Karen WattersonMaine magazine:
"Petite Jacqueline Takes Over Portland Patisserie Space." (Just a thought....)

Kathy Gunstcookbook author:
Maine will continue to be a world class eating destination. 
Farm-raised food will prevail.
It will continue to matter where your food came from.
Flavors borrowed from all over the world will meld with New England cuisine.

Susan AxelrodPortland Press Herald:
More Portland bar owners turn to tiki.
Seaweed goes from exotic to mainstream on Maine restaurant menus.
Otto further expands empire with hot dog eatery.

John GoldenThe Golden Dish blog:
"Bayside will see the biggest surge in new restaurants in 2016."

Joe RicchioDispatch magazine:
Probably something that will piss me off, can't wait!

Petite Jacqueline

190 State Street, Portland, ME 04101 205 530 7044 Visit Website

Portland Patisserie and Grand Café

46 Market St, Portland, ME 04101 (207) 553-2555

Otto Pizza

576 Congress Streeet, Portland , ME Visit Website