These Portland, Maine eateries might not be top of mind when choosing a date night dinner location yet, but they will be with a quick glance at these photos. These four restaurants may be a little to the left of the well-beaten path with smaller dining rooms and thinner menus, but they're not small or short on stellar culinary delights.

1. Izakaya Minato

Izakaya is a style of restaurant popular across Japan, a place to go with friends, family and co-workers to relax and enjoy a night of eating and drinking. Much like an intimate gathering at a friends house, food is meant to be shared and cups never left empty. With our open kitchen and bar concept as well a communal table, the front room of Minato is the lively center of what we do. reviewers love their JFC (Japanese Fried Chicken), miso soup, and Kani Dashimaki (crab omelette).


2. Woodford Food & Beverage

Woodford Food & Beverage is a neighborhood bar & dining room serving thoughtfully prepared regional fare... Birch Shambaugh and Fayth Preyer are the husband & wife team behind Woodford Food & Beverage. Working their way through varied hospitality posts in San Francisco, Washington DC, Manhattan & Brooklyn, NY, and Portland, Maine, the two found each other somewhere in between over oysters & a few bottles of rose.


Menu favorites include the brussels sprouts, crab cakes, and mussels with fries.


3. Terlingua

Our small batch BBQ, smoked by owner Pliny Reynolds, comes off the smoker around 5:00 PM daily! If you are coming to Terlingua specifically for the BBQ get here early for the widest selection of available smoked meats... We sell out nightly.


Crowd favorites include their brunch selections, anything from the smoker, and the chili.


4. Isa

Isa is a cozy neighborhood bistro serving an eclectic yet seasonally driven menu. The dishes are influenced by the places we've been and the things we love.


What should you order? Yelp reviewers rave about the Tagliatelle Bolognese, meatballs with marinara, and the lobster tacos.