Diners might wish the low-overhead would lend itself to a few more affordable bottles on the wine list, but by the glass there is plenty to like at a reasonable price. In the evening, with this sort of menu, the Artemisia décor appears a bit less pleasantly eclectic and a bit more early-1990s precious. All the hanging plants and knick-knacks strike you differently, as does the hum of the wall-mounted air conditioner.

Despite the male chef, named Guy no less, Artemisia still has a feminine vibe that seems right for a place named after the goddess of fertility, the queen who defied Greece, and the painter of Judith beheading her people’s tormenter. Too much masculine posturing regarding the appealing new dinner would have been out of place. Instead the new chef seems to have quietly found just the right spot.  ^

$$ ARTEMISIA CAFÉ for dinner | 61 Pleasant St, Portland | 207.761.0135

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