Pronounced "kay-o-las," this restaurant in Portland's tree-lined West End area specializes in down-to-earth New American food with splashes of Mediterranean influences. The space, though fairly small, packs a punch, with handcrafted wooden tables, antique light fixtures, and brightly painted walls adorned with rotating works by local artists. A private dining room seats parties of up to 10. The menu changes daily, but may include dishes like lobster pudding, spicy scallops, and, most notably, polenta fries topped with paprika and cheddar cheese. A proponent of the farm-to-table concept, chef Abby Harmon sources most her ingredients from local farmers.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.