Best Waitstaff/Service: Silly’s
Having expanded and smoothly
transitioned into a two-room restaurant (adding the equally ridiculous Silly’s with a Twist annex in 2012), this staple of Portland cuisine now has twice as many servers to throw at us when we dine there. And that’s fine by us — some of the weirdest and most wonderful people we know in town either cut their teeth at Silly’s or are presently in their employ. Not only do they know that Seussian menu inside and out, but they’re down-to-earth, patient (a plus with all those kids!), and free of the pretentiousness that can creep into local food circles. They play a different game than anyone else, and they’re kinda winning.
40 Washington Ave, Portland | 207.772.0360 | sillys.com
Best Wine List: MJ’s Wine Bar
MJ’s burst onto the Portland scene last spring, and by summer their tables (indoor and out!) were brimming with tourists and locals eager to sample their vast selection of wines. We like that they’re not snobbish about it, and their stated mission — “it’s about fun and connecting over a glass” — shows that they know wine-drinking is about bringing people together, not separating them from those who deign to guzzle ales or ryes (they also serve beer, no big). With plenty of tastings, service industry nights, and jazz shows, plus snacks to nibble while you imbibe, they’ve become a lovely spot to see, get seen, and drink.
1 Free St, Portland | 207.772.1400 | onecitywines.com