A friend of mine had gone on a date to Maria's Restaurant and loved
the Italian food and the ambiance there. He suggested I go there with
my husband one night. So, Saturday, October 1st my husband and I had a
babysitter and I called in the afternoon for a reservation. I spoke to
a polite gentleman who advised me that they had a table for two open at
5pm or at 7pm. I took the 7pm reservation.
As my husband and I were driving on Cumberland Avenue to the
restaurant we heard a gun shot ring out. That was a little unnerving
and then we drove around the corner by the homeless shelter and saw
people were lined up for dinner smoking cigarettes. No one seemed to
notice that a gun had just been fired? As we rounded the corner,
another shot rang out. I wasn't sure if we should stay to eat or if we
should take cover. However, in the spirit of adventure we decided to go
eat anyway. As we parked on Cumberland Avenue an ambulance pulled up to
attend to some folks who appeared to be having a bad night sitting on
the floor in an empty parking garage.
We walked a block to Maria's in the rain and were greeted as we
entered by a portly gentleman who was the host/ bartender. He told us
that our table was almost ready and we could have a seat at the bar.
The bar area is small but does have some tables along the wall behind
the bar stools. The decor is interesting with rose pink walls and red
patterned rugs. I was a little thrown off by the stuffed monkeys I saw
hanging around the bar area. I assumed that the owner has a thing for
The bar seats have cushions like the ones at Grandma's house. We
both ordered a drink and there are several wines by the glass to choose
from and the beer selection is limited. Beer is poured from the bottle
or can. I chose Prosecco and my husband had a Guinness. Our table was
ready shortly after we were served our drinks. We went to the dining
area and were seated at a corner table. There are 10 tables in the
dining room and I saw that there was a larger room in the back which I
assume is for private functions.
Our waitress Stephanie seemed very busy covering five tables of
guests in various stages of dining. We had to wait quite a while for
water. We were having a nice time chatting, so the wait was not a big
deal. There was an eclectic group of customers in the dining room,
which is dimly lit and cozy. Customers were dressed in anything from
jeans and long sleeve t-shirts to a nice black dress and pearl necklace.
The menu has plenty of choices and everything sounded good. We
ordered Caesar salads to start and garlic bread. The salad was
delicious with nice long thin slices of parmigiano cheese and freshly
made Caesar dressing. The garlic bread was delicious as well and the
top of the bread had just the right combination of garlicky goodness.
For his entree, my husband ordered the pollo parmigiana that came
with a side of spaghetti. It was a large piece of chicken breast that
was lightly hand breaded and cooked with just the right amount of sauce
and cheese. I tasted it and thought it was very good.
I ordered the lobster and cheese ravioli. The ravioli was freshly
made and the cream sauce had chunks of lobster claw meat in it. The
meals were reasonably priced and the servings were a good size. Prices
are around $20. per entree. Unfortunately, we did not have room for
desert but our waitress did remind us that we could get desert to go and
eat it later at home.
Maria's is a family owned and operated restaurant in Portland, Maine
that has been serving fine Italian food for years. In my opinion it is