Carmen at the Danforth Opens Friday

Celebrity chef Carmen Gonzalez returns with a New England eatery

The new Carmen at the Danforth has a salon, two dining rooms, and a chef's table.

Carmen at the Danforth, the first restaurant opening in several years for New York-based chef Carmen Gonzalez, who is known for her signature American cuisine with Latin influence, opens Friday.

Located in the Danforth Inn, in Portland, Maine, the seasonal menu introduces new dishes inspired by New England and includes updates of dishes from Gonzalez’s former award-winning Carmen the Restaurant in Miami. The menu is designed for guests to share small plates, like artisan manchego fritters and fish empanadas, with the table and then enjoy a three-course menu, all à la carte.

Croquettes are a house specialty.  Carmen Gonzalez

Menu highlights include monkfish croquettes with Romesco sauce, grilled Maine lobster, a fresh hearts of palm and grapefruit salad, La Cosecha sherry vinegar, and avocado cream, and warm mango bread pudding with blueberry salsa and rum-spiked crème anglaise.

Red snapper, clams and vegetables in chorizo broth is one of the
main dishes on offer at Carmen at the Danforth       Carmen Gonzalez

The 34-seat restaurant features a salon with a 1960s-style bar complete with live piano entertainment and complimentary passed snacks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., two dining rooms — one in a black-and-white color palette and the other with a brown-and-white floral motif — and a private chef’s table. Cocktail offerings include the parcha (passion fruit) martini. There’s also a boutique 50-bottle wine list with Carmen at the Danforth’s wine cellar located in the Danforth’s original safe that dates to the 1800s.