Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review of The Well

Friday, August 1st, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed The Well in Cape Elizabeth.

While new restaurants are popping up everywhere around Portland, one unique place leads the pack.  It’s not new. Instead it’s firmly established as a seasonal restaurant — and very special.

It manages to be farm-table without undue self-aggrandizement. The menu relies on local fresh food, though not strictly organic.  And the preparation of each dish epitomizes simplicity.

Bar Review of Timber

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Timber.

A new steakhouse is in town and the name is Timber. Just two months old, Timber is a popular place for a house-crafted cocktail, bar snacks or a fancy angus beef entrée. Happy hour Monday to Friday will be the best deal, and the patio is a nice alternative to the swanky bar.

Yahoo Food on Portland

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Yahoo Food checked in with Portland Phoenix food writers Brian Duff and Kate McCarty for their recommendations on where to eat and drink in Portland.

Bite into Maine, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Eventide, Salvage BBQ, Small Axe, Standard Baking, Tandem Coffee, The Maine Brew Bus, and The Well all made the cut.

Buffalo Eats: Portland

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Buffalo Eats visited Maine last week and published an article on their eating adventures in Portland.

For a city that only has a population of ~60K (200K in the greater area), they have an an incredible selection of restaurants. Most of which pride themselves on sourcing from local vendors, something that we absolutely love. We spent three days in Portland and this is where we ate…

Check out the post for their thoughts on: Bite into Maine, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Fore Street, Hella Good Tacos, Slab, Standard Baking, The Holy Donut and The Lobster Shack.

5 Stars for Vinland

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Vinland has received 5 stars from today’s review in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Vinland takes farm-to-table another step to use only ingredients grown or produced in Maine. Chef David Levi pulls it off with creativity and inspired dishes, but no lack of flavor. He uses yogurt whey in place of citrus, lardo and ghee instead of olive oil, and honey and maple syrup for sugar, in a small-plates menu that is entirely gluten free. All of the dishes are flavorful and familiar, from lobster and halibut to pork, steak, chicken and pork belly. The location is bright and welcoming, and the clientele is healthy and enthusiastic. Try creative cocktails and griddled cornbread and beet chips at the bar, or call ahead for an eight-course tasting menu orchestrated by Levi for $90, or five courses for $60. And don’t forget to try the homemade ice cream.

Review of Street & Co.

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Diningsense has reviewed Street & Co.

As long as the appetizers and main dishes continue to operate in different directions, it will be hard to see how much Street is capable of accomplishing. I think it tries to offer simple, rustic cuisine (these descriptors are referenced on the website, at least) and I respect this, but simplicity doesn’t preclude creativity and this is where the main plates disappointed. After a two-year hiatus, I’m glad to have returned to Street and Company, but the apparent struggle to construct a coherent plate of fish makes me wonder whether their skills have grown coarser than before.

Maine’s Best Lobster Roll

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

deaug2014For the 60th anniversary issue, Down East magazine intensively searched the state for the best lobster roll, trying “scores of lobster rolls served up by food trucks, lobster shacks, and restaurants from Eastport to Kittery.”

Greets Eats, a food truck on Vinalhaven, scored the top spot. Local Portland-area favorites Eventide and Bite into Maine were among the 4 runners-up.

The article includes the online ad-on video of chef Sam Hayward at Fore Street demonstrating how he prepares a lobster roll.


Reviews: Lolita, Blue Rooster

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Portland Magazine has reviewed Lolita,

On to “Large” ($24), as we share the evening’s asado–grilled hanger steak on a bed of zesty salsa verde surrounded by very good roasted vegetables which we request in lieu of fingerlings. Lolita is flexible–you can get what you want here.

and Chubby Werewolf has continued his Blue Rooster chef hot dog review series.

I’m usually wary of fruit—in any of its forms—as a condiment, but I found that I really liked the contrast the sweet cherry jam against the hot dog’s more savory ingredients, so much so that I’ll consider trying the Apocalypse Now burger the next time I’m at Nosh. And what a neat visual: that smear of very-dark purple jam almost resembles caviar. (Less aware was I of the foie gras mayo but, on this edible ode-to-excess, I can’t tell you that I missed it for a second.)

Review of Bresca and the Honey Bee

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Bresca and the Honey Bee, Krista Kern Desjarlais’ snack shack in New Gloucester.

The review also shares that “[Desjarlais] tells us she has a location lined up in Lewiston-Auburn, but needs to decide if she’s ready to get back into the scene”. Should she decide to go ahead I imagine there a lot of Bresca fans, myself included, who will be making regular treks to Lewiston-Auburn this Fall.

Food & Wine: Zimmern’s 10 Plates in Portland

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

fandwaug2014For the August issue of Food & Wine magazine Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern has assembled a list of 10 of his favorite dishes from Portland restaurants.

In my childhood, I passed through Portland every year on my way to Camp Moosehead. Since then it has become one of America’s great restaurant cities. My parents retired here years ago, and I’m hard pressed to think of a small town with as large of an impact on the country’s food scene. I am here often, baseball cap on my head, enjoying a great meal.

Featured in the article are the following:

  1. Meat Coma Platter at Salvage BBQ “best sliced brisket in recent memory”
  2. Seared Foie Gras at Central Provisions “the foie gras is superb”
  3. Crab Salad at Vinland “the Scandi-style fits the natural landscape of Maine perfectly”
  4. Steamed Lobster Roll at Eventide“the kitchen is jamming on all cylinders”
  5. Lobster Dumplings at Empire “This place is mobbed, even in winter, when other places aren’t”
  6. Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog at Blue Rooster “awesome sandwiches”
  7. Cheeseburger with Gochujang at Small Axe “from the playful minds of chefs Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy”
  8. Poutine at Duckfat “the menu is loaded with winners”
  9. Mussels with Almond and Garlic at Fore Street “the mussels…are legendary”
  10. Grilled Swordfish Belly at Miyake “the wait is worth it”

Update: The article is now online.

Review of Becky’s

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Living, Eating and Aging has reviewed Becky’s.

…For food, your basic breakfast is as good as any basic breakfast in town, better than many.  The menu contains all the essentials – eggs, bacon, pancakes, fresh fruit, etc. and not one word on the page is in French. I’m sure many respected foodies might now question my foodie bona fides but I’m gonna just throw it out there: it’s 6:30AM and I’m hungry, I’m going to Becky’s.

Review of Scarborough El Rayo

Friday, July 18th, 2014

The Golden Dish has published a review of the Scarborough El Rayo.

The salsa was made from fire-roasted tomatoes, giving it a rich burnished taste.  The chips were made  from Tortilleria Pachanga tortillas, the local artisanal provider from Bayside.  Also impressive was the restaurant’s listing on the back of the menu of local purveyors, something that you don’t often see on the typical Mexican menu here.

Tasting Table: Portland City Guide

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

tastingtableTasting Table has assembled an eating and drinking guide to Portland.

It might not have the cachet of a New York or Chicago, but Portland, Maine has quietly emerged as one of the country’s most progressive dining cities. Farm-to-table is a given here; chefs in this oceanside town savor access to regionally caught fish as well as sustainably raised meat and local produce. Wrestling for attention is the area’s vibrant drinking scene, which spotlights equally local beers and spirits. And it almost goes without saying, but bears repeating: Portland’s lobster rolls simply cannot be beat.

Highlighted are: Bite into Maine, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Empire, Eventide, Fore Street, Great Lost Bear, Hugo’s, Hunt & Alpine, In’finiti, K. Horton’s, Local 188, Lolita, Novare Res, Portland Lobster Company, Salt Cellar, Slab, Standard Baking, Street & Company, Sweetgrass, Vervacious.

Review of The Thirsty Pig

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Fill the Steins has reviewed The Thirsty Pig.

Also just right? The Pig’s commitment to fresh, local brews and housemade sausage. Two handfuls of taps pour out some of the best beer Maine has to offer, from Bunker to Maine Beer Co. and more. Because, what goes better with sausage than beer?

Nothing. The answer is nothing.

Blue Rooster Review: Erik Desjarlais Hot Dog

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Chubby Werewolf has continued his excellent coverage of the Blue Rooster guest chef series with a review of this week’s dog created by Erik Desjarlais.

I’m loving so many things about the Choucroute Dog. It is such a clever adaptation of regional French cuisine to what is arguably the most American of foods. And while nothing feels forced or out-of-place, the inclusion of the duck confit and the sausage imbue the hot dog with a sense of rustic decadence.

Desjarlais is the former chef/owner of Bandol, Ladle and Evangeline, he currently runs of Weft & Warp Seamester.

Review of The Porthole

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed The Porthole.

The chef has done with the menu what the owner did with the place—elevating things without changing them fundamentally. So despite the server’s predilections, it’s worth veering from the burgers and fried fish into the more interesting dishes. The fish tacos, for example, break from common practice by opting for a crunchy blue-corn shell rather than soft tortillas. There are lots of tender, blackened pieces of some whitefish or another. On top sits a pile of crunchy slaw and juicy-sour pico de gallo. The pinkish aioli has a kick of sriracha (a company whose factory was nearly shut down by a zero tolerance policy on noxious odors in Irwindale, California). On their purple plate, the blue goopy tacos look both messy and appealing—sort of in the spirit of the Porthole itself. 

Review of Dancing Elephant & News from Empire

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Dancing Elephant in Westbrook.

But here’s the good news: The food is actually pretty good and probably the best example of Indian cooking in Greater Portland.

The review also reports a bit of unrelated news about Empire.

Empire Chinese, known for its dumplings and Cantonese stir fry,  has  announced the hiring  of a new stir-fry master, Wei Sook, who hails from the world-class kitchens of Hakkasan MGM Grand in Las Vegas…New stir-fry dishes will be introduced in the coming weeks at Empire Chinese.  This is truly exciting to have such a master Chinese chef cooking in Portland.

Maxim: A Man’s Guide to Portlandia East

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

maximThe new issue  of Maxim includes an article about visiting Portland. It recommends Eventide, Fore Street, Hunt & Alpine, In’finiti and The Great Lost Bear.

Maxim also checked in with Joe Ricchio who suggested a day of noshing that starts with Saigon followed by stops at Miyake, Central Provisions, Hunt & Alpine and the Snug.

The article isn’t yet available online.

Blue Rooster Review: Vinland Hot Dog

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Chubby Werewolf has continued his excellent coverage of the Blue Rooster guest chef series with a review of the Vinland hot dog.

The surprisingly substantive corn tortilla—the first departure from a standard hot dog bun in the Summer Chef Series—gets points not only for being locally sourced, but also for originality. Bun substitutes can sometimes turn out to be gimmicky failures, but not here. As a vessel for transporting meat and toppings, it was more than up to the task, staying intact right up until the last bite. And while I love my hot dog buns, I’d argue that the tortilla functions better than the regular bun in that it lets the meat itself play a larger role in the sandwich, which is great when you’re using a premium-quality hot dog.

Saveur’s Portland Grocery Mile

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Saveur has posted a eating  tour of some of the author’s favorite Portland destinations.

You could (and should) plan a week-long itinerary around the city’s great restaurants, as many do. But the simple pleasure of selecting ingredients and enjoying them at their freshest shouldn’t be overlooked by visitors; whenever I have friends coming into town, I send them on my favorite Saturday morning grocery itinerary, to make like a local and gather the fixings for a perfect afternoon picnic. Because, after all, the same resources that attracted ambitious chefs to Portland—abundant seafood and an equal abundance of local produce—are available to you and me.