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Readers' Pick
Best Best Italian Restaurant

Voters love  Cinque Terre for its food, a northern-Italian style not all that commonly thought of when most of us consider Italian food, especially in Portland, the home of the Italian sandwich, which, while certainly hitting the spot on a weekend afternoon, doesn’t often rise to the level we might call cuisine. By contrast, Cinque Terre does itself proud from the moment you step into the two-level dining room, with a wooden boat-frame model suspended from the ceiling. Sure, it has the open kitchen that’s become all the rage in boutique restaurants, but more important is its cellar, rarely viewed, but brimming with an unbelievable set of wines that make its wine list one of the best in southern Maine, even taking into account its necessary focus on Italian wines over other excellent vintages from other places. It’s a splurge restaurant, to be sure, but if you’re up for the challenge of eating — and drinking — like a real Italian, you’re home. Cinque Terre | 36 Wharf St, Portland | 207.347.6154 |

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