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The Hottest Restaurants in Maine Right Now, December 2014

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More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends, and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right freaking now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot. And while the Eater 18 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the state, it is not a chronicle of the 'it' places of the moment. Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to always highlight where the crowds are flocking to at the moment. This month, we add Ebb and Flow, Mill 67, and Lolita.

Did we miss your personal favorite blisteringly hot restaurant? By all means, let us know in the comments. Know of a hot upcoming opening? Hit up the tipline. The anonymous tip form is also there for all forms of correspondence.

12/6/12 Added: Gather, Yarmouth; Tao, Brunswick; Zen Bistro, Buck's Naked BBQ and David's Opus Ten, Portland.
1/3/13 Added: Otto (Arts District), Portland
2/7/13 Added: Owen's Farmhouse, Kennebunk
4/4/13 Added: In'finiti Fermentation & Distillation, The North Point, Little Tap House, Blue Rooster Food Co., 
7/11/13 Added: David's KPT, Hugo's, Seabright
8/1/13 Added: Portland & Rochester Public House, MJ's Wine Bar
9/5/13 Added: Elsmere BBQ & Wood Grill, Salvage BBQ, Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room, Portland Hunt & Alpine Club
10/3/13 Added: Piccolo, Empire Chinese Kitchen, b.good
11/7/13 Added: Seaport Fish and Orchid Thai
12/5/13 Added: Verve and Otto (South Portland)
1/2/14 Added: Top of the East and Vinland
2/6/14 Added: Central Provisions, Miyake Diner, Blaze (Bangor)
3/6/14 Added: Easy Day
4/3/14 Added: Mill 67, Palace Diner and Fresh
5/1/14 Added: Ebenezer's Brew Pub and Small Axe Truck
6/5/14 Added: Lolita Vinoteca + Asador and Timber Steakhouse and Rotisserie
7/3/14 Added: Slab, Thurston's Wicked Good Burgers, Anju Noodle Bar
8/7/14 Added: The Lost Kitchen
9/4/14 Added: Tandem Coffee + Bakery, Ten Ten Pié, Van Lloyd's Bistro
10/2/14 Added: Sur Lie, Golden Lotus
11/6/14 Added: Bao Bao Dumpling House, Bramhall, Marché Kitchen and Wine Bar
12/4/14 Added: Ebb and Flow, Mill 67, Lolita

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sur Lie

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11 Free Street
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 956-7350
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Capitalizing upon the small plates trend sweeping the city, the newest addition to Portland won the Eater Award for So Hot Right Now 2014. The name refers to unfiltered wine "on lees," but that's not the only beverage of note; diners are buzzing about the cocktails on offer, as well, and there are local craft beers on draft. Expect to hear more about Krista Cole and Tony Alviar's spot once crowds catch on fully. [Photo: John Myers]

2. Central Provisions

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414 Fore St
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 805-1085
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Chris Gould's Old Port spot features a wide-ranging small plates menu, pre-Prohibition cocktails, an impressive wine program, and local craft beers on tap, all in a beautifully renovated space that captures the character of the historic building in which it resides. Bon Appétit took note, calling it one of America's top ten new restaurants in 2014. [Photo: Peter Frank Edwards]

3. Anju Noodle Bar

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7 Wallingford Square #102
Kittery, ME 03904
(207) 703-4298
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Owners Gary Kim and Julian Armstrong borrowed kitchen space from neighboring Black Birch to start Son-Mat Foods, which makes kim-chi now carried in Whole Foods. Their follow-up, a traditional noodle bar, is the latest worthy addition to booming Kittery Foreside, where hearty bowls of ramen pair beautifully with a variety of house-made ferments and sauces.

4. Marché Kitchen and Wine Bar

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40 Lisbon St
Lewiston, ME 04240
(207) 333-3836
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Recently purchased by wine whiz Susan Hall of The Vault, Marché now offers dinner Wednesday - Saturday in addition to lunch service. Chef Kevin Cunningham, formerly of Brunswick Hotel and Tavern, is in charge of the kitchen, which is putting out small plates and light entrees all for under $14. The non-wine side of the bar is managed by Tom Ardia, who's making waves with his local draft beer list and inventive cocktail program. Should you find yourself in Lewiston, this is a spot worth pulling up a stool.

5. Bramhall

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767 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04102
(207) 805-1978
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Mike Fraser revived the old Bramhall Pub, dropping the "pub" but attempting to keep the spirit of the neighborhood bar alive. With an affordable and focused food menu from chef Chris Beaulieu, with two-time Eater Award-winning bartender Guy Streitburger behind the beverage program, and with the haunting underground aesthetic finely polished, Bramhall is proving a welcome addition to its flourishing West End strip of Congress.

6. Ebb and Flow

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100 Commercial Street
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 780-0227
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A Mediterranean-style collaboration between Nova Seafoods fishmonger Angelo Ciocca and seafood-specialist chef William D'Auvray. They've truly revamped the former Spread space, and with a strong beverage program, great concept, and housemade everything, they're well on their way to lifting whatever curse may exist on that location. [Photo: Nancy Angela Ciocca]

7. Lolita

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90 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 775-5652
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Spiritual successor to Bar Lola, slightly more casual and a la carte-style Lolita Vinoteca + Asador was voted Restaurant of the Year 2014 by readers in the Eater Awards. Guy and Stella Hernandez and partner Neil Reiter have a hit on their hands with this paean to wood-fired cooking and local sourcing.

8. The Lost Kitchen

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Mill Street
Freedom, ME 04941
(207) 382-3333
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When Erin French shuttered her popular Belfast restaurant The Lost Kitchen, fans clung to hints that the concept would return in the future. It finally did, reopening this summer in an old mill building in Freedom (she also opened a wine shop below for BYOB purchases). French hasn't lost a step: She just won the Eater Award for Chef of the Year 2014.

9. Mill 67

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61 Washington Street
Sanford, ME 04073
(207) 324-6767
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Situated in the renovated Sanford Mill overlooking the Mousam River, Mill 67 offers a locally-focused menu of gourmet pub food in an industrial-chic setting. It gives the unheralded Sanford dining scene an exciting new option, and just won the Eater Award for Stone Cold Stunner 2014.

1. Sur Lie

11 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101
Capitalizing upon the small plates trend sweeping the city, the newest addition to Portland won the Eater Award for So Hot Right Now 2014. The name refers to unfiltered wine "on lees," but that's not the only beverage of note; diners are buzzing about the cocktails on offer, as well, and there are local craft beers on draft. Expect to hear more about Krista Cole and Tony Alviar's spot once crowds catch on fully. [Photo: John Myers]
11 Free Street
Portland, ME 04101

2. Central Provisions

414 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101
Chris Gould's Old Port spot features a wide-ranging small plates menu, pre-Prohibition cocktails, an impressive wine program, and local craft beers on tap, all in a beautifully renovated space that captures the character of the historic building in which it resides. Bon Appétit took note, calling it one of America's top ten new restaurants in 2014. [Photo: Peter Frank Edwards]
414 Fore St
Portland, ME 04101

3. Anju Noodle Bar

7 Wallingford Square #102, Kittery, ME 03904
Owners Gary Kim and Julian Armstrong borrowed kitchen space from neighboring Black Birch to start Son-Mat Foods, which makes kim-chi now carried in Whole Foods. Their follow-up, a traditional noodle bar, is the latest worthy addition to booming Kittery Foreside, where hearty bowls of ramen pair beautifully with a variety of house-made ferments and sauces.
7 Wallingford Square #102
Kittery, ME 03904

4. Marché Kitchen and Wine Bar

40 Lisbon St, Lewiston, ME 04240
Recently purchased by wine whiz Susan Hall of The Vault, Marché now offers dinner Wednesday - Saturday in addition to lunch service. Chef Kevin Cunningham, formerly of Brunswick Hotel and Tavern, is in charge of the kitchen, which is putting out small plates and light entrees all for under $14. The non-wine side of the bar is managed by Tom Ardia, who's making waves with his local draft beer list and inventive cocktail program. Should you find yourself in Lewiston, this is a spot worth pulling up a stool.
40 Lisbon St
Lewiston, ME 04240

5. Bramhall

767 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04102
Mike Fraser revived the old Bramhall Pub, dropping the "pub" but attempting to keep the spirit of the neighborhood bar alive. With an affordable and focused food menu from chef Chris Beaulieu, with two-time Eater Award-winning bartender Guy Streitburger behind the beverage program, and with the haunting underground aesthetic finely polished, Bramhall is proving a welcome addition to its flourishing West End strip of Congress.
767 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04102

6. Ebb and Flow

100 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 04101
A Mediterranean-style collaboration between Nova Seafoods fishmonger Angelo Ciocca and seafood-specialist chef William D'Auvray. They've truly revamped the former Spread space, and with a strong beverage program, great concept, and housemade everything, they're well on their way to lifting whatever curse may exist on that location. [Photo: Nancy Angela Ciocca]
100 Commercial Street
Portland, ME 04101

7. Lolita

90 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
Spiritual successor to Bar Lola, slightly more casual and a la carte-style Lolita Vinoteca + Asador was voted Restaurant of the Year 2014 by readers in the Eater Awards. Guy and Stella Hernandez and partner Neil Reiter have a hit on their hands with this paean to wood-fired cooking and local sourcing.
90 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

8. The Lost Kitchen

Mill Street, Freedom, ME 04941
When Erin French shuttered her popular Belfast restaurant The Lost Kitchen, fans clung to hints that the concept would return in the future. It finally did, reopening this summer in an old mill building in Freedom (she also opened a wine shop below for BYOB purchases). French hasn't lost a step: She just won the Eater Award for Chef of the Year 2014.
Mill Street
Freedom, ME 04941

9. Mill 67

61 Washington Street, Sanford, ME 04073
Situated in the renovated Sanford Mill overlooking the Mousam River, Mill 67 offers a locally-focused menu of gourmet pub food in an industrial-chic setting. It gives the unheralded Sanford dining scene an exciting new option, and just won the Eater Award for Stone Cold Stunner 2014.
61 Washington Street
Sanford, ME 04073

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