Kudos to Maine’s 2016 James Beard Award semi-finalists

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The James Beard Awards have released the semi-finalists for the 2016 restaurant and chef awards, and once again, Maine is well represented. Here’s where you’ll want to make reservations and score a table now, before the from-away crowds return. And if you’re from away, visit now and also reap off-season rates.

Here are the 2016 James Beard Maine semi-finalists:

Best New Restaurant: The Honey Paw , Portland

Outstanding Restaurant: Fore Street, Portland

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional: Rod Tod, Allagash Brewing Company

Rising Star Chef: Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan Restaurant, Brunswick

Best Chef Northeast: Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, of Suzuki’ s sushi bar, Rockland: Erin French of The Lost Kitchen, Freedom; Brian Hill of Francine Bistro, Camden; and Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor, of Eventide Oyster Co., Portland.