Where to Grab a Drink in Portland, Maine Right Now, According to an Industry Expert
Just next door to Terlingua is Izakaya Minato. A small Japanese pub serving some of the most interesting sakes and highballs in town. When you first sit down, order the Wasabi Island, a tequila, wasabi and pineapple cocktail that is both savory and sweet, the perfect balance. The bartenders here are real pros, so chat them up and let them pair drinks to go along with your meal. When you order sake, your server brings over a tray covered with a variety of beautiful sake cups you can choose as your drinking vessel. However you choose your ideal cup, it makes for a fun moment for the whole table.
Where to Eat in Portland, Maine Right Now
The gist: Drawing on Japanese restaurant experience in San Francisco and Tokyo, husband-and-wife team Thomas Takashi Cooke and Elaine Alden opened this wildly popular spot on Washington Avenue in 2017.
The food: Izakaya Minato’s mix of small and medium plates are fun to share and make it easy for solo diners to enjoy a variety of bites. Pair garlic edamame; cucumbers with pickled plum paste; and fried tofu with jalapeño soy sauce and bonito with cocktails such as Plum Vesper (spicy plum sake, gin, vodka) or any number of sakes on Alden’s well-curated list. Add wild mushroom okonomiyaki (cabbage pancake), bacon-wrapped mochi, buta kimchi bento (pork, cabbage, and kimchi sauté), and Kamo Yaki Udon (stir fried udon noodles with duck breast and seasonal vegetables) to build a bigger meal.
The cost: Menu items run from $3-15, cocktails average $11, and beer, wine, and sake (by glass and bottle) go for $4-56. Gift cards, cool tees and totes, sake cups crafted by Takashi Cooke himself, and more are also available.
How to order: Email email@example.com or call 207-613-9939 to make a reservation for heated outdoor dining (BYO blanket!), or order takeout online or delivery via Carhop.