Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Reviews: Maps Cafe, Bao Bao

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Maps Cafe,

But there’s a distinct charm to Maps that will compete with other Portland bars, no matter what. In addition to their on-the-money grilled cheeses, Walker wakes up early most days to bake one of her grandmother’s cake recipes. She’d often bake with her grandma as a girl, and cake at the bar was another European element Walker wanted to play up. The carrot cake has become a customer favorite.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Bao Bao.

After all was said and eaten, were quite pleased. Our food came to 46 bucks with tax and tip. It seemed quite reasonable for 24 dumplings, a slaw, and a glass of wine. I found the Kung Pau the most tasty, but all of our food was very good. I definitely recommend Bao Bao if you love dumplings.

Review of Ebb & Flow

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Ebb & Flow.

If looks could kill, Ebb & Flow would be slaying customers in the Old Port. The dining room is attractive, the presentation colorful and the tableware sparkling and elegant. But three months after opening, the Mediterranean-inspired cooking here remains uneven. Play to the kitchen’s strengths and order a selection of mezze (small dishes) served with the outstanding house-made pita. Or go for dessert and share a plate of sugary galaktoboureko, the chef’s lighter version of a traditional custard-and-phyllo confection that tastes like food for the (Greek) gods.

First Review of Tiqa

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

The Golden Dish has published a first look review of Tiqa.

Expansive space, beautiful design, and a bit of exotica coming from its pan-Mediterranean-inspired kitchen add up to Tiqa being one of the most unique establishments to grace the city in recent memory.

Review of Bao Bao

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Bao Bao.

Bao Bao bills itself as a dumpling house (you can order plates of six dumplings either boiled or pan fried, and the lamb dumplings are particularly good) but other items on the menu truly shine: Asian Slaw is a crisp, refreshing salad with a delicious soy and rice wine vinaigrette; “smashed cucumbers” are served icy cold but enrobed in a fiery sriracha chili sauce; and Taiwanese beef noodle soup blends chunks of super-tender brisket with ropes of noodles and chopped greens in a salty, satisfying beef broth. Don’t miss the red bean paste buns offered upon request for dessert. They’re a fried twist on a steamed Asian classic, and sweet enough to satisfy even your strongest cravings.

Bar Review of Taco Trio

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Taco Trio.

Taco Trio is an authentic Mexican taqueria in South Portland that caters to families, teenagers, twenty-somethings and beyond. You’ll likely get a mixed crowd on any given night – be prepared for a line and a wait on weekend nights. There’s a solid beer selection, a few drafts, and two house cocktails (margarita and mojito). While not a bar scene in the traditional sense, it’s a good place to go to drink and eat cheaply.

Brunch Survey

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

The 207 Foodie has posted a survey of her favorite Sunday brunch spots.

If you love the weekend, I bet that you love brunch just as much as I do. Weekends and brunch are the perfect marriage of food (and cocktails). So here’s the crucial question: where do you go? I have the answer, with Portland’s best brunch spots. You can thank me later.

Review of Walter’s

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed Walter’s.

Interestingly with so much going on in Portland’s varied dining scene, Walter’s remains in its own exalted sphere. It’s not Asian fusion, new-wave Chinese, small-plate incantations or regional American and European cuisines, but, rather, it takes the best of many cooking styles and artfully presents them in a universal approach that still has merit.

Good Food Awards: Black Dinah & Royal Rose

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Both Black Dinah Chocolatiers and Royal Rose Syrups medaled at last night’s Good Food Awards in San Francisco.

Review of Dutch’s

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Dutch’s.

The crunch was immensely satisfying and the bread had a sweetness to it that I found downright delicious, albeit likely not particularly healthy. The chicken salad was also cut from another cloth with the aforementioned ingredients. Despite the sizable olive pit, I’d order it again in a heartbeat. I also happily plunked down $2 for a bag of hand-cut potato chips which were fresh, crispy and addictive.

Draft 100: Novare Res

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Once again, Draft magazine has included Novare Res in their list of America’s 100 Best Beer Bars.

Review of Sur Lie

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Sur Lie.

The meal came to $156 with tax and a good tip. The service at Sur Lie was great. The visit from the chef was particularly fun. The food was super. This place knows what’s up and they got the right guy to put out food that will make peoples’ bellys sing a song of happiness. There’s just not anything about Sur Lie that wasn’t up to par. It was nice to be able to try a bunch of different foods and experience much more than a normal meal might offer. Sur Lie isn’t going anywhere. They clearly know what they are doing and they appear to keep switching things up to keep it interesting. Make a reservation and go. Quick.

Review of Sur Lie

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Sur Lie.

Sur Lie is far from a typical tapas bar. The kitchen specializes in inventive riffs on local favorites including poached haddock with parsnip puree, hanger steak with caramelized onions and fried oysters with garlic. If you’re hungry, try three or four of the shareable plates per person – and don’t miss pork cheeks with Yukon gold foam. What this kitchen does to plain potatoes will knock your socks off.

Bar Review of Congress Squared

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Drink Up and Get Happy has posted a happy hour review of the Congress Squared.

Hotel restaurants are usually not known for stellar specials that can get the locals talking, but Congress Squared has turned that on it’s head. Their happy hour runs daily from 4-7pm. Already that puts them ahead, great hours and a reliable spot for weekend happy hour observing. They then pair that with $4 specials on Maine beers, a $5 wine of the day, a $7 sage brush cocktail, and 1/2 off the bar food menu. That’s some decent savings!

Opinionated’s Top 25 Dishes: Hugo’s, Tao

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Opinionated About Dining publisher Steve Plotniki has included Hugo’s and Tao in his list of his Favorite Dishes of 2014.

What happens when you give Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley a pasta extruder? They make thickly cut, exceptional tasting wide noodles. Cook them al dente. Then add a series if ingredients that turn it into what might be the best American pasta dish ever made.

Alton Brown: Eventide, Duckfat, Vena’s (Updated)

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Alton Brown included Duckfat and Eventide in his list of the Top Savory AB Road Eats of 2014.

I was in Portland for less than 24 hours and I visited Eventide twice. And there wasn’t just one good thing on the menu. There were multiple, including the best varieties of oyster I’ve ever had (all from Maine waters). If you twisted my arm and made me choose one thing, I would probably have to go with the Fried Oyster Bun or perhaps the Brown Butter Lobster Roll. Who am I kidding, I’d go with both and so should you. Oh, and the dirty martini is ridiculous.

Earlier in December Brown also highlighted his visit to Vena’s Fizz House.

Vena’s Fizz House (Portland, ME): I’ve never seen anything like Vena’s before. When you walk in you’re greeted with countless bitters, some I’ve never heard of. After you’re done browsing the shop, head up the stairs to a bar serving some of the best mocktails around. I suggest ordering a Lumberjack Love if you’re in the area.

Review of Street & Co.

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed Street & Company.

Just as the menus of steak houses never go out of style, the seafood mantra at Street and Company is as vital as ever, showing that archetypes of such definitive cuisine are ageless.

Reviews: West End Deli, White Cap Grille

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of the White Cap Grille,

White Cap Grille has prime real estate in Portland’s Old Port but not so much in the minds of locals. Good for tourists who need a decent meal or a work crowd looking to accommodate fussy eaters, White Cap gets the job done. In the long run, it’s a restaurant that is more or less forgettable.

and an Eat & Run review of the West End Deli.

The turkey had a smoky flavor that I could taste through the dressing and cheese. The sauerkraut, to me, was more like a crunchy slaw, very fresh. The bread was toasty on the outside, chewy on the inside. And the whole sandwich was warm when I got it, since I got there at exactly the seven-minute mark.

The Coolest: Bard Coffee

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Business Insider has included Bard Coffee in their list of the 50 Coolest New Businesses In America.

Why it’s cool: Not only will you enjoy a healthy selection of small-batch single-origin brews at Bard, but the baristas are more than happy to share each batch’s backstory, as well as their vast knowledge of brewing styles. Bard also hosts monthly latte pouring competitions, with proceeds from each event benefiting a local charity. This shop isn’t just for coffee drinkers, but also for those who truly love the geeky ins and outs of coffee preparation.

Also on the list is A Gathering of Stitches in East Bayside.

Review of Timber

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Timber.

Timber Steakhouse & Rotisserie turns tradition on its head with a dramatic dining room and a varied menu featuring fish, duck and pork as well as delicious beef and chicken. Don’t miss the Tuna Tataki starter, a fine introduction to the kitchen’s skill and artistry. Do watch your wallet, though: With filet mignon priced at $41 and New York Steak at $49, memorable meals here may take a bite out of your savings.

Bar Review of El Rayo

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of El Rayo in Scarborough.

Expect to find parents, kids and grandparents at El Rayo in Scarborough, but a young, professional crowd at the bar area. The service is super quick, the drinks are tried and true, and what better bar food is there if not fish tacos and Mexico City-style corn on the cob?