True to it’s independent nature, Deering Center features restaurants that range from the traditional to the ethnic with appealing twists. A neighborhood favorite, especially in the summer, is JP’s Bistro (496 Woodford Street, 207-899-4224). On warm summer days, diners can be seen relaxing on JP’s outdoor patio, enjoying intimate conversation around black, wire café tables surrounded by fragrant flowers and candles. The menu features light fare including burgers, sandwiches and salads that are done to perfection. Of special note are JP’s chocolate-hazelnut martini, crème caramel bread pudding and their signature seafood marinara. Contrary to its name, Haggarty’s (849 Forest Avenue, 207-761-8222, www.haggartys.com) is not an Irish pub. However, it does feature a distinct British Isles influence in its offering of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Many of its menu offerings have their roots in colonial sensibilities and tastes. Standouts include Chicken Tikka, chicken tenders marinated in Indian yogurt and char-grilled; and Malaidar, rich spinach puree simmered in native spices, ginger, garlic and light cream. Another choice dining spot is Seng Chai Thai Cuisine (803 Forest Avenue, 207-773-1001, www.sengchaionline.com) with its diverse, tasty selection of homemade Thai recipes. All the favorites are here including Rama Garden with grilled, marinated chicken, steamed vegetables and creamy peanut dressing; as well as Thai Chicken with stir fried chicken or flank steak, white onions, mushrooms, pineapple, carrots and red and green peppers in a tasty, rich special brown sauce.