The word "tavern" might make you think of a dark and rowdy pub with tired people in need of a heavy drink. And even though Wayside Tavern is snug and dim, this restaurant in a boutique hotel in a historic Portland building is a far cry from what we described in our first sentence. There’s a simple neon sign outside, and a green glowing interior with a fireplace for amped-up coziness inside. The staff is always friendly, and everything on their menu is expertly made and comforting—including pastas, beer-battered cod cheeks, and an eggplant terrine with housemade mozzarella. Wayside is good for dinner with friends, a celebratory Sunday lunch, or just a regular Monday night.