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Overall ratings and reviews
4.6based on all time ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Reviewed on April 1, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Service was over the top! The meals were hot and full of flavor. The specialty drinks were perfectly made and are exactly what a 5 star restaurant should have. The four of use had a very nice experience and will return again soon.

JP
vipJohnP
New England
59 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2017
Overall3food3service5ambience3

This restaurant was pretty interesting in the respect that it has an all natural wine list and basically menu. I am not sure that it represents itself that way on your site, that would be my complaint.

RG
RonG
Las Vegas
19 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have made several visits to Drifters and it never fails to impress.
Great Food, Wine and People.
Like going to a friends house, but with food you could never imagine, create or prepare as well.

There are so many exceptional restaurants in Portland and yet we can only go so long without another visit. All of our friends and relatives we have visited with have had the same reaction, WOW.

They are moving to a larger space next door from their original spot, take advantage of the extra seats and GO. You will not be disappointed.

j
vipjlbh
New England
11 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a wonderful date night meal! All the courses were great, especially the dessert. and of course, we visited the wine shop to purchase all the tasty wines we had during the meal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s always amazing and surprising. Ben Jackson is a genius!

BK
BrettK
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best in Portland, especially when considering the limited kitchen they're working with. The food is exceptional. My wife commented after our last meal that every time we eat here she leaves feeling like we had something truly special. This place is truly special and the owners are genuinely nice, caring folks. Also, one of the best and unique wine menus in town. A real Portland gem. Looking forward to their new location soon.

v
vipvalueformoney
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Interesting menu and unusual wines

WB
vipWalterB
New England
10 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always excellent, and the owners and staff are exceptionally attentive, genuine, and just amazing. Love this place.

MO
MOKO
New England
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great funky vibe. Love the whole neighborhood feel to the place. The staff was incredibly enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable. The food was amazing and a great addition to the Portland food scene.

E
Ernie
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2017
Overall3food4service4ambience3

I genuinely enjoyed my meal at Drifters Wife. Peter who runs the wine shop is a great wine geek, very affable and friendly, extremely knowledgeable. The dining area is tiny, not a problem. Music was TOO loud for such a small room, that detracted from the experience. Menu is tiny by design, not a problem for me. Had a fantastic Bass dish that I would surely order again.
I would recommend this place to foodie friends to sit at the bar, enjoy finely crafted food and challenge themselves with the amazing selection of wine by glass or bottle. I would not take my parents there nor would I recommend it for a first date. Tiny spot run by committed folks, I hope they can make it.

SP
StephanieP
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Although the menu is limited, you really can't go wrong with the food here. Everything we ate was unique in its own right, but each dish seemed to compliment the next. Worth a visit/detour if you're in Maine.

RG
RonG
Las Vegas
19 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Drifters Wife is amazing, from the incredible food and wine to the people who create and serve it, the experience of dining there is always special.

When you go take advantage of the staff's knowledge for pairing wines with Chef Ben Jackson's incredible, always changing food selections.

Great people, delicious food and wine.........doesn't get any better.

S
Satya
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This tasting menu was amazing. The chef is a genius. Loved everything about it. Will definitely return.

d
vipdocrcf
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2017
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Somewhat disappointed. Excellent wine selection. Basically two salads and two entrees to choose from (one of which was just “fair”). Fish was delicious.

LB
LindaB
New England
5 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a delicious dinner enjoying many of the items on the small menu. Very creative food, delightful service and great wine selection.

s
sandywink
New England
10 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing wine. Most inventive chef. Cool yet warm vibe. They are just the best.

f
vipfeeding5
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2017
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Small restaurant with limited but delicious choices. 2 options for entree, and same for appetizer and salad. Good wine and lovely waitstaff. We will return!

NH
NancyH
New England
5 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional service, so friendly and accommodating.
Loved the food, really loved the wine!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
7 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Intimate setting for a very personalized experience. The food was creative, the wine choices inviting and the service delightful. Highly recommend.

d
vipdla911
New England
136 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The menu is limited and change every day...a few apps and two or so entrees. Our selection was grilled tuna and Moroccan lamb, bot delicious. Their wine list is full of interesting wines selected by the owners from their wine shop in back. The bar was constantly full of locals, both enjoying wine and eating. Reservations a must...

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was a lovely evening. Brought fun, worldly buddies from Colorado. I had reservations and they arrived ion town having seen a review and were tickled we were going. Our friend Harry enjoyed talking wine with Peter. Very nice. We will be back!

Ps. Corsican wine!! So many great wines to chose from.

M
Marie
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2017
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Exquisite , casually refined, singular wine list, innovative plates.

SD
SuperDave
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent meal, well prepared, and the flavors were fantastic. The wine was super expensive, and the menu limited. Be prepared for a culinary adventure!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just the best wine. Food always interesting and inventive AND delicious. Chef is great all around but a genius with veggies! You'll leave feeling satisfied. Full yet healthy. Mmmmmm.

JR
JanR
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved everything about it!
Drank too much wine, but other than that.,.

DM
vipDonaldM
New England
11 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very few items in menu, so we got one of each! Extremely thoughtful and delicious.

B
Beware
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2017
Overall1food2service2ambience2

We went with great expectations and were sorely disappointed. Bread basket listed as "small plate" for $6? Add pickles? Charge for those too!!!

One entree is hake with eggplant and a few other incongruous ingredients. Just couldn't get a feel for that one........Another choice? Roasted chicken breast. A "make at home special" but I will concede a sauce with some professionalism.
Dessert? Fresh berries, take it or leave it.

Their higher side pricing is not consistent with what they offer and deliver. One can spend less in Portland and get better quality and creativity.
Eat first....then stop in for a nice glass of wine if you must.

MB
MinneapolisB612
Minneapolis
9 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We found this on the James Beard nominee list, and it was a wonderful, cozy, intimate and delicious dining experience. We were visiting from our own foodie town of Minneapolis, and we fell in love with the place. Thank you for a memorable evening!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dinner for a quiet conversation. The wine selection was unusual and inventive, but the server was knowledgeable and helpful. Get one of everything on the (small) menu.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Really unique 1-man kitchen operation that was firing on all cylinders.

BK
BrettK
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Drifter's wife is easily one of the best restaurants in Portland. The food is exceptionally good, and it's doubly impressive as the chef works with minimal equipment at his tiny station adjacent to the bar. The owners are exceptionally nice and have cultivated an incredible wine selection with adjacent wine shop. Top 5 meal in Portland for sure.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was the best meal I have had in a long time. I wish I could dine here every month, but I'm an out of towner, so I plan to recommend it to everyone I know amd return one day to enjoy the fabulous food and say hello to the kind staff.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2017
Overall2food2service4ambience2

The menu had seven items total, bread and pickles comprising two of the choices. That left two salads, two entrees, and one dessert to choose from. The pickles were well done; one of the salads was lovely, the other was too vinegary; the chicken entree was tasty (but at $26, not that good), and the dessert was tasteless (which when I pointed out in a politic way that I didn't care for it because of its "spareness of flavor" to the waitress who asked if I liked it, she just commented, "oh, yes!"). With a glass of wine and a bottle of wine that was less than $50 (a pleasant surprise in a "good" restaurant), we still ended up with a bill of more than $200 for the two of us. Although I appreciate the intention of the restaurant and was glad to have the opportunity to drink some unusual wines that were well priced, the food was just not worth it and the lack of choice made it such that I would not return again.

F
vipFoodie
New York Area
217 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2017
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Omni present and gracious owners working the dining room was nice. Light seasoning on the salads and entrees was perfect, if not a bit heavy on the acids. Overall, very fresh flavors, warm service and the single most interesting wine list in Portland.

Be forewarned however, this is like eating at someone's house, so loud / large parties would not like it nor would they be welcomed. This spot is for parties of 4 or less and there is nothing for children thank God...leave them home.

NS
NoahS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Drifter's Wife was excellent. The menu is small, but I liked that as I did not feel overwhelmed. The owners have run a wine store for 2-3 years that is attached to the restaurant so as you can imagine the wine list is extensive. I had an exceptional natural wine with my meal, which was inventive and extremely delicious. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting or living in the Portland area.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food - with a party of four we tried everything on the very limited menu - every dish was interesting, fresh and perfectly composed. Wine was unusual (in the great way) and a real addition to the meal. Atmosphere was serene, relaxing and a bit quirky. We were on a 10 day vacation and this was my favorite meal in Maine! Also bought some wine to take home from the back store.

MV
vipMeganVD
Cancun
16 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

One of my favorite meals in Portland. Food was interesting, and each dish was incredible.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Montreal
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A very special, intimate restaurant with a beautiful menu that changes daily and a stunning wine program. A restaurant is a favorite among restaurant industry professionals in the northeast.

CN
ChristopherN
New England
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Drifter's Wife was a stupendous dining experience. The limited menu was well thought out and executed. The service was excellent and the staff knowledgable about both the menu and the wine list. It's situated in a quieter part of town and there's a wine shop in the back. Simple, uncluttered dining area, and the bar was full of noshing young locals. The room was relatively quiet, even with a full room. I would not hesitate to return and would reccommend a visit for anyone with an adventurous palate.

M
Mandy
New England
6 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Drifters Wife exceeds my expectations every time. I'm so enamored with the small dining area, the staff, the wine, and the seafood dish. The staff is so wonderful and everyone is focused on you having the best dining experience. So polite and they seem like genuinely kind people. My favorite place, probably ever.

FAQs

Drifters Wife is rated 4.6 stars by 79 OpenTable diners.