Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Restaurants You May Have Missed

Friday, September 4th, 2015

dispatch_ricchioJoe Ricchio has written an article for Dispatch magazine (page 40) listing the 20 or so restaurants he misses the most from the late 90s and early part of this century.

Mentioned in the article are Fresh Market Pasta, Mazza, Bandol, Haggarty’s, Go-Go Burger, Una, Perfetto, Village Cafe, Hu Shang, Carbur’s, Michaela’s, Ladle, Bodega Latina, G’Vanni’s, Portland Public Market, The Roma, Aubergine, Honey’s, Crab Louie, and Ruby’s Choice.

That era overlaps with when I first moved to the city, so many happy food memories….

The new issue of Dispatch also contains an interview with Alice Van de Water, bartender at Rosie’s (page 44).

Bar Review of Tempo Dulu

Friday, September 4th, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Tempo Dulu.

The Tempo Dulu bar experience will totally wow you. The cocktails are one-of-kind inspirations intended to pair with the Southeast Asian cuisine, using spices, flavors and techniques rarely used elsewhere in Portland. Housed in the Danforth Inn, Tempo Dulu will be a special-occasion place for most, and perhaps a weekly favorite for deep-pocketed patrons.

2 Star Review of the Old Port Sea Grill

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Old Port Sea Grill.

The Old Port Grill has at least three things going for it: a prime location in the shadow of the U.S. Custom House, a fine fish sandwich at lunchtime, and that delicious salmon spread at dinner. But walk into this seafood restaurant with high hopes of a great meal and you’re likely to head home with a sinking feeling.

Reviews: Terlingua, Central Provisions, Piccolo

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Portland Magazine has reviewed Terlingua,

Though not specifically a barbecue joint, (Terlingua bills itself as “boutique barbecue”), the house-smoked meats–daily preparations listed on a board at the bar–offer some mighty fine fare along those lines. Crossed off a second after we order, our St. Louis ribs appear, perfectly blackened on big bones ($14/$21). With these tender beasts are savory sauces (spicy vinegar and sweet-and-smoky), slices of ripe watermelon, a tangy mixture of house-pickled vegetables, and grilled pita bread.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Central Provisions,

Ending with a hot dish of seared wild black bass a la plancha, a festive and generous dish of white fish seared fast and furiously to retain moistness and flakiness.  Spread alongside was the sweet-sour fig agrodolce and batons of king oyster mushrooms, all of which was so right.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Piccolo.

Their small but unique menu gave us a different take on Italian. Their cozy restaurant is a little tight, but definitely well placed. Their service staff was prompt, courteous, and knowledgeable. Add this one to your list when you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, when you feel like every day is exactly the same, and you want to branch out and feel alive in the superunknown.

Reviews: Isa and Ebb & Flow

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Maine a la Carte has  reviewed Isa,

Entrees at Isa range from $15-22. My friend had the monkfish succotash and I had the pork chop with braised kale and green lentils, both $22 entrees. The pork chop was incredibly juicy and tender – one of the best I’ve had.

and the Press Herald has published a bar review of Ebb & Flow.

Ebb & Flow is a dazzling Mediterranean-inspired restaurant & bar in Portland’s Old Port. The bar area can easily seat about 50 people, not including standing room, and the bar itself is designed with plenty of room for patrons to enjoy a full meal, or a few drinks.

Down East: Tempo Dulu, Island Eats

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

sept2015downeastThe September issue of Down East includes:

  • A review of Tempo Dulu, “The main course of the tasting menu is presented family style, and the dishes – delicate banana-leaf steamed halibut, the smokey wok-chared squid, deeply spiced and sweet Beef Rendang Padang and exquisite medallions of Sumatra lamb in a complex curry – quickly cover the surface of the table-top food warmer.”
  • A guide to island eats on Peaks, Chebeague and Great Diamond island.

Review of Crooners & Cocktails

Friday, August 21st, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed Crooners & Cocktails.

Still Crooner’s and Cocktails has its charms–a good mood for something different.  This place has legs, and all it needs is a classic pump to lead the way.

Reviews: Vivian’s, Bar of Chocolate, Carts/Trucks

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Vivian’s,

It’s obvious that Vivian stays in business thanks to what I imagine are quite a few longtime, loyal customers, just like the Mr. Cranky Pants I encountered on the day I went. I can’t quite bring myself to officially rave about the place, but I sure as heck-fire appreciate that it’s there and that it’s been there for an eternity. What’s more, I am certain I’ll be back. Though I do wish they served french fries.

and has published a bar review of the Bar of Chocolate Cafe,

Bar of Chocolate is a laid-back martini bar serving house made desserts in the Old Port. A great place to hang after the theater, a concert, or just a low-key night out on the town, Bar of Chocolate offers terrific service and a cozy atmosphere. The martinis are very strong.

and the Portland Phoenix has published a survey of several newer food truck/cart options in town.

In the meantime, Portland’s new trucks let us get a taste of the future that awaits the plutocrats. It tastes pretty good.

Reviews of Terlingua

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

The Golden Dish and Eat Maine have both published reviews of Terlingua.

Review of Distilled in Maine

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

If My Coaster Could Talk has posted a book review of Distilled in Maine.

My latest book purchase was Distilled in Maine, written by Author and food blogger Kate McCarty, I enjoy Kate’s writing and was excited to pick up my copy, I didn’t expect to finish it over the course of a weekend but it was tough to put down. Having read Maine Beer: Brewing in Vacationland by Josh Christie, and doing a bit of my own research on Maine’s history with alcohol I knew what to expect and Kate still surpassed my expectations.

McCarty will be at New England Distilling today 2-5 pm for a book signing.

10 Best Desserts: Tandem Loaded Biscuit

Friday, August 14th, 2015

loadedbiscuitBon Appétit has included one of my local favorites, the Loaded Biscuit at Tandem, in their list of the Best Restaurant Desserts of 2015.

Reviews: Bramhall & Portland Patisserie

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Bramhall,

But the biggest surprise is the look. Clean and rustic, dark but attractively lit with dozens of candles and antique Edison wall sconces, Bramhall makes you feel like you’ve just entered a secret club.

and also reviewed Portland Patisserie.

But when I opened this sandwich, it looked like someone had ladled a heaping spoonful of onion soup with lots of caramelized onion and melted Gruyere cheese onto the bread.

It was a wet sandwich, but the wonderful crusty baguette held the moisture nicely. My sandwich also came with a little cup of onion soup broth, so I could dunk the sandwich for even more moist flavor.

Review of the Sea Glass

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Sea Glass restaurant in Cape Elizabeth.

Located just off the lobby of Inn by the Sea, the popular hotel in Cape Elizabeth, Sea Glass is a small, quiet restaurant with a spectacular view and a healthful menu introduced by the newly appointed executive chef Steve Sicinski. (He worked previously at two acclaimed spa resorts, and the menu features a good selection of gluten-free and vegetarian options.) Cooking can be inconsistent here, so follow the staff’s suggestions and try succulent lamb meatballs to start (served with a cool and creamy yogurt dressing, they’re deeply satisfying) or a bowl of ruby-red summer gazpacho…

Smokin’ Sausage Showdown IV

Friday, August 7th, 2015

After a 5-year hiatus, The Bollard has published the results of the 4th edition of their local smoked sausage review.

From 2007 to 2010, this was an almost-annual competition in which links from local butcher shops and markets vied for top honors in three categories: Hot Italian, Sweet (or Mild) Italian, and Wildcard. After a five-year hiatus prompted by my move out of state, the Showdown returned last month with some new competitors alongside seasoned veterans, as well as a couple new tasters to assist the usual officiating crew

First Review of Joy’s Crepe Cafe

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Joy’s Crepe Cafe.

And the Mr. Crabby itself? Once it came out of the kitchen, I didn’t really care anymore about the price. It was simple and delicious. The crabmeat comes from The Fishermen’s Net next door, and it’s mixed with just a little Japanese mayonnaise – enough to hold it together and add some flavor, but not enough to overwhelm the taste of the crab. The crabmeat was fresh, bright and left me wanting more.

I was very impressed with the crepes, which were ultra thin and the perfect texture. I could bite right through them easily, but they held together well. I would definitely order the Mr. Crabby again.

Review of Boone’s

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

The Blueberry Files has reviewed Boone’s.

When the boyfriend suggested Boone’s for his mom’s birthday dinner, my first response was, no way. Then I thought, ugh, don’t be such a B, give it a shot. It’s a nice restaurant on the water, and I wanted to have an open mind about the food there. I called and made a reservation for a Monday night – I asked to sit outside, but they don’t make reservations for the outside decks. So we crossed our fingers and went.

If you want to be all TL;DR about it, the takeaway is that the food is fine, the service was not so fine, and I was unfortunately not impressed despite trying to find a silver lining.

Bon Appetit Top 50: East Ender and Tandem Bakery

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Bon Appétit has included both East Ender and Tandem Coffee + Bakery in their list of 50 nominees for this year’s best new restaurants.

Every year, we announce the Bon Appétit Hot 10, our list of America’s Best New Restaurants. And it all starts with these 50 nominees. Over the last several months, Andrew Knowlton and Julia Kramer criss-crossed the country seeking out the truly original, innovative, and unexpected cooking taking place right now. These are the spots that killed it this year. The restaurants range from a quintessential French bistro to a place that serves pretty much only hummus, an eclectic brewpub to a vodka-soaked Russian joint. The one thing they have in common is this: flat-out deliciousness. Which ones of these 50 nominees will earn a spot in the Hot 10? Check back August 18 to find out.

Review of The Honey Paw

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed The Honey Paw.

A chef once told me that restaurants are a lot like relatives. There are those you visit frequently and always enjoy, a few you see only on special occasions, and several you tolerate. If you’re lucky, though, there are one or two you want to know better. Sure, they have a few quirks, but they’re bright, creative, known for their good taste, and filled with such energy that you look forward to your next encounter…The Honey Paw is that last kind of restaurant.

First Review of Crooners & Cocktails

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Crooners & Cocktails.

A classy joint with a major throwback vibe to the 50s and 60s era of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Crooners & Cocktails offers classic cocktails, beer on draft, a great happy hour, and a full dinner menu.

OAD Fresh List

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Central Provisions (30), Eventide (32) and Caiola’s (97) have made it on to the Opinionated About Dining Fresh List.

The FRESH List celebrates the 100 best American restaurants that feature; F – Farm-to-Table cuisine; R – Regional American Cuisine; E – Ethnic Cuisine; S – Sustainable Ingredients; served with American-style H – Hospitality.

The list is a response to readers who regularly ask for dining advice about where they can find reasonably priced restaurants that offer an interesting take on American regional and ethnic cooking. It’s the perfect list to use to help plan your summer vacations.