No. 2 Top Restaurant in New England

By Steve Plotnicki

Portland, Maine, is the last place one expects to find progressive cooking. But that's what Rob Evans, a self-taught chef who originally trained to be an electrician, serves his customers, many of whom have traveled from out of state to eat there. In addition to a terrific in-house charcuterie program that is lorded over by executive chef Andrew Taylor, the daily menu features 15 different offerings, including creations like cornmeal-crusted soft-shell lobster with creamed corn gazpacho, foraged mushrooms, leeks and marjoram; confit of foie gras topped with salted and pickled cherries; and slow-cooked and honey-glazed Luce Farms pork belly with cabbage, apple, onion relish and charred rosemary. Even the desserts, like the house vanilla sundae with "usual and unusual toppings," get into the progressive act.