John Golden gives a shout out to Back Bay Grill, Caiola’s, Five Fifty-Five, Fore Street, Grace, Walter’s among others as having some his favorite restaurant bars to dine at.
A Portland couple I know who eat out most nights only dine at bar seatings–and they’re not even drinkers! But they do it because it’s cozy and familiar; as regular they’re fussed over and served well. One advantage is you never have to worry about finding your waiter because he or she is right in front of you behind the bar.
Greater Portland restaurants offer plenty of options mixing and matching fine dining with a polished bar at which to eat.