I have gone to multiple events in Portland, and surprisingly, a lot of chefs are not that willing to help vegan diners. It can be really difficult to find a quality restaurant that will equally satisfy both the omnivore and herbivore. I was actually dreading going to 555 until I saw on their menu to call ahead for vegan meal accommodations.
I’m not writing a full restaurant review because I was gravely unprepared for the evening to blog. Also, I had enjoyed most of my courses before I convinced myself to take pictures. I always think it's rude to bust out the iPhone in the midst of dinner. Our group of eight people indulged in a 7-course meal at Five Fifty-five in Portland, Maine. I will say that if you ever want to impress a vegan client and you have a large group, 555 is a great place to go.
First, I was the only vegan and/or vegetarian of the bunch and felt like my vegetable dishes had just as much consideration as the meat dishes. Second, when we arrived the atmosphere was quiet and our table was strategically placed on the second floor. Third, every meal option was unique and paired with a complimentary wine.
Another thing that made the dinner so interesting, and something I think they only do for large groups, was that they presented the “feast of forty flavors”. Which is a list with all of the noted ingredients. After each course you go through your list and select the different items you thought you tasted. It’s fun and interesting and actually kind of hard for a food commoner. The list is more extensive with meat options.
The service was great, the food was delicious, and overall it was a wonderful business dinner. I highly recommend 555.
I honestly liked it so much that Joe and I are planning to make reservations for Petite Jacqueline during Maine Restaurant Week, since it is owned by the same people as 555! The menu is not usually vegan friendly as it highlights most traditional French food, but it did note that their will be vegan options for restaurant week. I really hope it has the same quality and pleasing atmosphere. Can't wait!