A Perfect Night in Portland, Maine in the Heart of Winter

To celebrate my wife’s birthday, we just spent a blissful night at Portland, Maine’s Pomegranate Inn and a sublime dinner at Fore Street. While the weather outside was frightful, we were cozy inside the Pomegranate Inn, warm near the fireplace. Few innkeepers can juggle modern art with 200-year-old antiques as skillfully as the Pomegranate Inn’s original owner, Isabel Smiles. Her eclectic tastes runs the gamut from faux marble columns and colorful mosaics in the living room to brightly painted walls created by local artists in the bedrooms. In fact, works of art cover the entire staircase and walls of the house, and remarkably, they all seem to fit together. It was hard to leave our room and face the blustery cold, but we didn’t want to miss Fore Street, the James Beard-award winning restaurant housed in a former wartime storage area. In the open-air kitchen, chefs busily sauté dishes on three long tables. Wood grilling local meats and seafood is Fore Street’s forte. We start with roasted Blue Hill bay mussels with chunks of pistachios. For our entrées, we shared Maine scallops, just off the boat, and tender arctic char. Happy birthday, Lis!