Archive for July, 2009

Saigon Restaurant

Friday, July 31st, 2009

A new restaurant is planning to open in the space at 795 Forest Ave formerly occupied by Acropolis. The new business, Saigon Restaurant, plans on serving a menu of both Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. To see a draft menu take a look at page 37 of the agenda for Monday’s meeting of the Portland City Council.

Brown Paper

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The windows of 83 Exchange Street are covered in brown paper, and it looks like a new restaurant is already being planned for the former O’Naturals space. Given the prime location in the heart of the Old Port, it’s no surprise that it hasn’t remained vacant for long.

A Vegetarian’s Review of Bresca

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Diet for a Small City has written a review of Bresca from a vegetarian’s point of view.

I do wish there had been a few more choices on the vegetarian front, but what we did have was delectable.  In the end, our bill came to around $150.  It was a pricey meal.  Yes, there are places in Portland where one could have a comparable meal for less money, but I’ll be honest: this was an excellent dining experience.  I’ll be back.

Grace & The Corner Room Reviews

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Soooo…You Really Don’t Like Cats, Do You? has published a pair of reviews for The Corner Room

Overall, the dining experience was lovely with only the minor salt snafu with the veal. The waiter and hostess were incredibly friendly and professional and as the night went on with more diners filing into the room, the waiter never forgot us. Chef Smith did a great job with the old documentary institute space, using the airy, spacious feeling to his advantage…Oh, and yes, the authenticity was mostly on par with the real deal in Italy. Maybe it was a good idea to go to The Corner Room right after coming back from Italy after all!

and Grace

I’m not sure why my expectations for food was so high, but since The Corner Room and Grace opened on the same night, I guess I expected the level of food quality to be exceptional, especially since Grace received an extra 3 weeks after my visit to Chef Smith’s new establishment. But Chef Eric Simeon may just be ironing out the kinks in his new digs…Nonetheless, the experience was quite enjoyable, the setting breathtaking, and the food still delicious.…At $45 for my meal of only an entree and dessert (plus 20% gratuity added in), Grace may be worth it as soon as they work out their issues with the dishes, but I’m not quite sold on it yet. I wouldn’t mind another visit to monitor their progress.

Otto Pizza Get’s it’s First Review

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Otto Pizza received 4½ stars from the weekly Eat & Run column in today’s Press Herald.

If I had thought about it very long, I might have decided that a pizza with mashed potatoes and bacon was not really my idea of pizza.

Thankfully, as with most food-related queries, I did not think. I just ate.

So for $3, I bought one of the best slices of pizza I’ve ever had – from the new Otto Pizza on Congress Street, about a block from Congress Square. The place opened in June.

Food for Thought Review of Grace

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Food for Thought has published a review of Grace. While the author acknowledges, “Perhaps it’s too early in its 3-week history to assess such a place”, he does write about the issues he feels “that just don’t pass muster at the moment.”

Portlandtaps in the Sun

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

The Portland Daily Sun has published enthusiastic praise for, “Brilliant. Folks, is Einstein-level brilliance.”

Hot Suppa! Review

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Portland Food Heads has reviewed Hot Suppa!.

Regardless, I did decide to walk through the door at Hot Suppa one day and haven’t turned back since. Sunday brunch is a prized commodity to me, and I don’t think I’ve ever turned it down when mentioned or offered. I’ve eaten at just about every spot in town that does Sunday brunch (or just breakfast in general) and I have to say that Hot Suppa is up near the top of my list.

Siano’s Review

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Portland Bar Guide has published a review of Siano’s.

Entering Siano’s Pizzeria for the first time, I didn’t really know what to expect. The dark tables compliment the cobblestone floor and the red ceiling with yellow trim screams Italian eatery, welcoming large groups that my Nana would love to serve. Located in the heart of Deering, Siano’s was buzzing with energy, even though it was Monday night. Old friends were meeting at the bar, families were seated sporadically and later a kickball team met in the back room.

Dweller on Opening Night

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Down East‘s Tips from a Dweller column has posted some observations on the double opening night at Grace and The Corner Room earlier this month. (via Psst!)

$1.3 Million to Develop Local Wheat

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

There’s in an article in today’s Food & Dining section on a grant to support wheat farming in Maine and Vermont.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will fund a four-year project that brings together scientists, farmers, bakers and millers from both states to expand organic wheat production in New England, once a bread basket of the nation.

Ellen Mallory, a sustainable agriculture specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service who is leading the project, estimates that Maine produces 200 to 500 acres of organic wheat. Vermont produces about the same.

“It’s hard to get a handle on what the demand really is, but we know that we’re well below supplying that demand,” Mallory said.

Inside Immigrant Kitchens: Maili Kern

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

In the new installment of Inside Immigrant Kitchens Lindsay Sterling learns how to cook Estonian Roast Beef and Root Vegetable Salad from Maili Kern.

Maili Kern learned this from her mother in a village on the Baltic Sea in Estonia. It’s a popular dish served on buffet tables at celebrations. The color, bright pink from beets next to bright yellow and white hardboiled eggs, is a stunning example of how powerful simple things can be in the right hands.

Breakfast Club Review of Miss Portland Diner

Monday, July 27th, 2009

The Breakfast Club has made an “epic comeback reunion” to review the Miss Portland Diner. They praised the “quite exceptional for a diner” coffee as well as the “friendly and attentive” service, and recommend “waiting (if necessary) for a table in the train car” because it has “way more atmosphere than the addition that was built”

Evangeline Review

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Portland Food Heads has reviewed a recent meal at Evangeline where he had the clabber-fed whole roast chicken.

The family-style, Sunday dinner feel of this meal was exactly what I had been hoping for, and, at this point, I wasn’t sure things could get much better.

That is, until I took a bite of the chicken. I’ll spare everyone the wasted time and say that this was flat out the best chicken I’ve ever had in my entire life. I probably roast about 20-30 birds a year, and never have I tasted a chicken with such buttery, “chickeny” flesh.

The clabber-fed roast chicken is now available at Evangeline provided you call ahead and give them 24 hour advance notice.

Bonobo Ice Cream Window

Monday, July 27th, 2009


The ice cream window at Bonobo reopened last week. The operation is being run by Sara Lemieux and Kellen Tucker (shown above) who are leasing the space from the pizzeria. The ice cream they’re serving is from Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook.