Fall Foliage Cruise — Lunch at DiMillo’s, Portland, Maine

Tour boat heading back into Portland Harbor

Our boat tour was almost at an end, and Ursula had planned for us a lunch at DiMillo’s by the Water. This floating restaurant is actually inside an old ferry that has quite the history: Built in 1941 as The New York (service between New Castle, Delaware and Pennsville, New Jersey); sold to Virginia in 1951 and renamed The Norfolk (service between Norfolk and Hampton); sold in 1958 to Rhode Island and renamed The Newport (service between Newport and Jamestown); Sold in 1969 to the city of Pawtucket, R.I., and used as a youth center art colony; changed hands yet again in 1977 to the Setaucket Yacht Club of Port Jefferson, N.Y. for use as a clubhouse and for boat storage; and, finally, sold in 1980 to the DiMillo family, and opened two years later as the restaurant you see here in today’s article.

DiMillo’s is housed in a former ferry

But before we get to lunch, let’s enjoy the final few moments of our tour boat excursion:

Portland by tour boat

Now let’s had back into DiMillo’s Marina:

DiMillo’s Marina (floating restaurant in the background on the left)

If you’re looking for DiMillo’s on the Water from Commercial Street, you won’t see the actual restaurant as it sits way back at the end of the marina. You will find on the street, however, this convenient landmark:

DiMillo’s on the Water by land

I neglected to photograph the interior, and in retrospect that was a major omission on my part. It’s beautifully appointed inside. But let’s get down to the food, starting with a look at DiMillo’s lunch menu as of October, 2019:

DiMillo’s on the Water menu

Ursula opted for her usual, which by now you know means seafood chowder. Her taste was starting to go, apparently from a head cold, but rich, thick with seafood, and quite good:

Ursula’s seafood chowder

I splurged and ordered off the dinner menu. I went with the ‘Admiral’s Portion’ of the ‘Lazy Lobster’, which is lobster already liberated from the shell and served in butter. Along with it I opted for the cheesy polenta, which was okay but not great (I prefer my own crispy polenta):

Doug’s “Lazy Lobster” (admiral’s portion) with polenta

There was nothing disappointing about the lobster, however. It was quite a good size portion, as you can see from this closeup:

Closeup of “Lazy Lobster” in butter

After lunch Adventure of the Seas was less than an hour from departure, and we really didn’t want to miss the boat, so to speak, so we started hoofing it back to the ship. As we approached the ship, I decided to take this photo of disused pylons protruding from the waters alongside the cruise ship dock:

Old, disused pylons in Portland Harbor


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