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These 5 New Maine Restaurants Opened During the Pandemic

And they're bringing tasty food to unsavory times.

Photo by Picography from StockSnap

Dozens of Maine restaurants have permanently closed due to the pandemic-driven downturn, from snug pubs (Camden’s Drouthy Bear, Brunswick’s Pedro O’Hara’s) to decades-old breakfast counters (South Portland’s Uncle Andy’s Diner, Bangor’s Nicky’s Cruisin’ Diner) to date-night splurges (Kennebunk’s On the Marsh Bistro, Portland’s Vinland). And yet, a few new restaurants have managed to open amid the pandemic, including these five that have brought tasty food to unsavory times.

Craft Curbside 
Gray

A handful of indoor and outdoor seats, but specializing in takeout: ready-made (pulled-pork panini), meal kits (beef stir-fry), cocktail mixers (pineapple-lime juice with fresh herbs), and CSA-style boxes filled with local meat and produce. 81 West Gray Rd. 207-657-1087. 

Mu Noi Eats
Auburn

Brunch only, five days a week, fusing American breakfast with flavors of Laos, the Southeast Asian country that chef-owner Sav Sengsavang’s parents emigrated from: waffles topped with red-curry fried chicken and drizzled with chili-maple syrup, biscuits with Lao sausage gravy and pickled onion and peppers. 1056 Center St. 207-333-5012.

Sal de la Tierra
Portland

A culinary mash-up of Puerto Rican (fried pork chops), Mexican (tacos), and Salvadoran (bean- and pork-stuffed pupusas) from owners Carlos Sanchez and Isai Galvez. 581 Congress St. 207-761-1600.

Chez Rosa
Kennebunkport

Oh so Frenchy, from the cozy bistro vibe to the steak frites and duck cassoulet, it’s the work of husband-wife duo Kyle Robinson and Yazmin Saraya Jean, both alumni of Portland’s beloved (and recently shuttered) Five Fifty-Five. 2 Ocean Ave., Dock Sq. 207-204-0183.

Utopia
Bangor

Pan-Mediterranean food — moussaka (Greece), duck tagine (North Africa), baba ghanoush (Middle East) — stylishly plated in a dining room that owner and Bangor native Rachel Moyse gave a bright, airy feel. 96 Hammond St. 207-573-1136.