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“Discover Big Taste in Small Plates”
Review of Central Provisions

Central Provisions
Ranked #7 of 617 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Discover Big Taste in Small Plates”
Reviewed 9 August 2014 via mobile

My third visit this week (twice for dinner, once for lunch) to Central Provisions cemented its status as one of my favorite restaurants in a city full of amazing restaurants. From the plaid-wearing, bearded hipsterish serving and hosting team, to the rustic decor, Central Provisions emits a unique vibe.

My reco is that you plan to arrive 45 minutes to an hour before you wish to dine so you will enjoy the wait in the lower-level bar and not resent the time between your arrival and being seated.

I've sampled many of the craft cocktails and have yet to be disappointed. While the bar-service could benefit from additional staffing, your wait will be rewarded if you explore the many unique options on the drink menu. I've found ordering an app or two while in the bar area also keeps my dining companions from getting grumpy.

Once seated, I've enjoyed the knowledgeable, engaged service team and the opportunity to order an array of small plates to share. The hush puppies and suckling pig are popular go-to's in the mix. I definitely recommend ordering the larger portion of the meat dishes (priced more as entrees, but worth it) if you are a party of more than two since they are a flavorful foundation for the tapas-style dining experience.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank SwiftyLives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
120 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Delicious lunch”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

This restaurant was recommended to me by a friend for a great place for lunch. I was not disappointed in the least. The portions were perfect and the taste was out of this world. The owner/chef really knows what he's doing. I had the spicy beef salad and the smoked carrots. The beef salad had thinly sliced beef, peanuts, cilantro and sriracha - and it was delicious! My mouth started watering before I started to eat it! The smoked carrots were served on goat cheese and topped with cinnamon and pistachios, which was a great combination of flavours. There were many items on the menu that I wanted to try, but with limited time and a full stomach, I will have to come back another time.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank hardern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Tapas and other sharing delights.”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

While visiting Portland, we found this place based on being able to get some gluten free options. The chef accidentally included something with gluten and immediately caught it and recalled my dish. Great customer care. The food was wonderful and different and service was excellent.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Smartinellicpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fun food at Central Provisions”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

While visiting Peaks Island Maine last month, my brother in law suggested Central Provisions in Portland, that he had read some good reviews. Wow was he right! Eight of us arrived early (5:15) as recommended by the restaurant if we didn't want to wait. The place was packed by 6:00!
It is pretty small…..
Anyway, everything is small plate. So we ordered a few at a time, and everyone got a bite of each dish. The waitress was knowledgable in every way; wine, flavors, portion sizes, and never steered us wrong. The suckling pig plate consisted of a square about 2" x 2", and was delicious!
We spent almost 2 hours there and never felt rushed. It wasn't cheap, but honestly, worth every penny! I have always liked visiting Portland, and now I have one more thing to look forward to next year!

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank moxiecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
44 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Cool Bar, Great Vibe, Creative Food”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We stumbled into Central Provisions after a brutal early morning flight into Portland and gratefully accepted the offer to sit at the bar instead of wait for a table. The bar turned out to be in the basement with low-hanging timbers and a great intimate atmosphere. The bartender was attentive and friendly. We were starved, so ordered several different small plates items off the menu. The plates came out when they were ready, one at a time, adding to the informal feel of the place. We had plenty to eat, and the beer drinkers in the group were happy with the good selection of local beers. Apparently many other people approve of this place as well, because there was a continual line waiting for tables and seats at the bar, and we were there in the middle of the afternoon. It was a great introduction to Maine and gave us a good feel for Portland in the short time we were in the city.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelingLight421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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