Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review of Caiola’s

Friday, October 17th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Caiola’s.

A luscious chocolate cream filled a buttery pastry tartlet, slathered with the peanut butter sauce and pretzel streusel.  The ice cream was rich and creamy, but I was expecting to find chunks of pretzel in it but didn’t.  I learned they were ground to a fine powder and blended into the frozen custard base. That, I realized, was the undefinable flavor that I couldn’t pin point and the final, special touch to one of the best dinners I’ve had in months.

Review of Grace

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has published a bar review of Grace.

I nibbled, crunched, and devoured every last crumb on my plate. Then I finished my drink. I wanted more, but by some miracle, I settled down and stopped ordering since I had somewhere else to be. My wife finished her sangria. We rejoiced. Even though we didn’t order much, everything we had was superb.

Reviews: Bramhall, The Front Room, Foley’s

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

The Blueberry Files has published a first look at the Bramhall,

There’s a great food menu too – which is very different than my recollection of the old Bramhall! We tried several items – the loaded crips were a standout. Thinly-sliced potato chips were topped with bacon, green onions, and cheese curds ($8). They disappeared fast. We also ordered several dishes for the table to share meat plate, a cheese plate, and the Caribbean jerk wings. The bite I had of a friend’s burger was outstanding – it was medium-rare, perfectly tender, with bits of bacon inside the burger. 

Drink Up and Get Happy has published a bar review of The Front Room,

Despite the rumors we had heard that you need to get there early to snag a spot for happy hour, we found it very empty when we arrived just after 4pm and had no trouble ordering ourselves a couple of glasses of white wine and relaxing at the bar. As other patrons came in many were greeted by name, enhancing the feel that you were gathering in a friend’s kitchen rather than in a restaurant. Overall it’s a great spot for a delicious drink at a great price and is out of the hustle and bustle of the Old Port. We can’t wait to go back!

and The 207 Foodie has reviewed Foley’s.

1. Eclairs- Is there anything better than an eclair, especially a fresh one? A pastry that’s covered in chocolate and filled with custard. I think the only thing better is the act of actually eating it, and getting that perfect bite of pastry, chocolate and creme all at once. Now, at Foley’s you’re in for a real treat, because their eclairs are huge, and definitely too big to eat at once. So either save it as a delicious treat for later, or just share it with someone special.

First Review of Sur Lie

Friday, October 10th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Sur Lie.

Don’t miss the cream of corn, either.  It’s simply described on the menu as sweet corn, buttermilk biscuits and mushrooms.   It’s really a corn soup of the richest broth enriched with cream poured over sautéed corn kernels, mushrooms  and biscuit cubes.  Add the extra element of head-on shrimp or pork belly and it’s a splendid dish.

Reviews: Back Bay Grill & Oscar’s

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Maine magazine has published a review/profile of The Back Bay Grill.

All of this is what Matthews, Stratton, and the whole crew at Back Bay Grill have been trying to achieve since the beginning: a level of consistency and value that keeps their clientele coming back again and again.

As Stratton tells me, “The overall feel and heartbeat of this restaurant will not change. Every day we set the tables exactly the same. That’s what our guests like, and the way I see it, we are very lucky to have them.”

and the Press Herald has published a bar review of Oscar’s New American.

Oscar’s is a great option for people looking for upscale food and drink without the huge price tag. If Krunkkala keeps running specials like the $5 wine and appetizers, there’s really no excuse to feel like there aren’t affordable options for quality food.

First Review of Bonfire

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

The Blueberry Files has reviewed Bonfire.

Bottom line: If you’re interested in going to check out Bonfire, I’d recommend eating elsewhere, and going on the early side if you wish to avoid the crowds and resulting noise. (Unless you’re in Bonfire’s target demographic, and then have it. I’ll be home by then anyways.)

Boston Globe: Culinary Boom in Portland

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

The Boston Globe has published a report on the restaurant boom in Portland.

I had heard about a few great places to nosh in Portland, but for the love of Jenny Craig, the number of good restaurants in a city this size is absolutely criminal. Several more bars and eateries are expected to open in the coming months.

“There are so many things that are happening here in Portland,” said Shannon Bard, executive chef and proprietor of Zapoteca. “There’s a huge influx of chefs coming here from out of state; they’re leaving bigger cities to see what’s going on and opening here.”

Venues mentioned in the article: Blue Rooster, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Eventide, Hunt and Alpine Club, Lolita, Piccolo, Sea Glass, Slab, Standard Baking, Sweetgrass, The Holy Donut, Vena’s Fizz House, Zapoteca.

First Review of Maps Cafe

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Maps Cafe.

So you might expect the worst from a new Old Port grilled-cheese and wine/beer spot run by two music industry folks—one of Lady Gaga’s handlers and a Mumford and Sons merchandise guy, no less. But instead, their Maps Café, tucked away in a downstairs space on Market St., is the rarest of things in today’s Portland food scene: a genuine pleasant surprise. There was no Kickstarter, no big PR push, no pop-up tie-ins, no menu or remodel plans leaked to Portland Food Map. Owners Vikki and Kyle went low-key…

First Review of Golden Lotus

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Golden Lotus.

With bold strokes, The Golden Lotus opens on the heel’s of Empire Chinese, offering a menu of Cantonese specialties that are carbon copies of Empire’s menu but not nearly as fine–yet.

Reviews: Slab & Blue Spoon

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Slab,

But the bread seems even better when paired with ingredients that work harder to stand up to it—as in the caponata with its thick layer of near-bitter eggplant in a dark, winey sauce; or in the meatloaf-meatball sandwich, where a crunchier bread encases huge portions of tender beef and pork, mingling with sauce and cheese. One of last week’s specials featured rich pulled pork and soft white cheese between slices of focaccia so delicate and flakey it approached filo. Its accompanying sauce was almost meaty with tomato and pepper.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the Blue Spoon.

Everyone finished their food and happily tapped out. There were no looks of disgust on anyone’s face. In fact, everyone enjoyed their meal greatly. Despite the fact that I ordered a meal where I wouldn’t normally like half the components, it was damn good and the main part of it – the chicken – was superb.

Blueberry Files: Geary’s, Eventide, The Well

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

A new post from The Blueberry Files combines a report from the grand opening of the Geary’s tasting room, a review of Eventide and a review of The Well.

My connection to the food scene was obvious in thinking about what makes Portland my home. My love affair with Portland was ignited by the incredible food and drink scene I discovered upon moving here. And nowhere is that sense of place through food expressed better than at Eventide. Local this, local that; in tune with the seasons, the land, and the ocean…and of course, tasting great at every step.

5 Stars for Fore Street

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Fore Street.

[Fore Street] remains Maine’s signature five-star restaurant. The ever-changing menu reflects top-notch foraging and sourcing from farms around the state and beyond, with favorites from the wood-grilled oven and turnspit including mussels, quail, black bass and pork belly, as well as fine salads, house-made pastas, unique desserts and well-paired wine list.

An Editor’s Note indicates that this was interim reviewer Melissa Coleman’s last review and that the sunday review will “go on a short hiatus and return with a new critic soon”.

Bar Reviews: Timber & Buck’s

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Timber,

Timber has a great happy hour and can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu. We  look forward to taking advantage of the specials to explore their wine list further as well! As fall approaches, they do have a beautifully decorated interior to sip those wines in as well.

and Future Fun Stuff has reviewed Buck’s Naked BBQ.

The consensus on Buck’s is that it has a damn good Happy Hour. It lasts a long time, the drinks deals are good (so good you might want to get several drinks and get nekkid…. woohoo!), and you can get a mountain of fried food for cheap.

Rob Evans: Maine’s Best Bites

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Chef Rob Evans has assembled a list of his favorite local eateries for Serious Eats.

On his list are Boda, Eventide, Gorgeous Gelato, Green Elephant, Hunt and Alpine, Otto, Oxbow, Pai Men, Piccolo, Portland Lobster Company, Rosemont, Thanh Thanh,  The Lobster Shack, Tandem and Tu Casa.

Review of Yosaku

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Yosaku.

Ultimately, I can recommend Yosaku because of the genre it’s as good as we get in Portland.  The service is attentive, the wait staff is knowledgeable and the traditional choices well prepared.  The décor is pleasant and if my honest thoughts about this kind of cooking in general will make followers shake their heads, take it from whence it comes.   In the end, one should stick to what one knows!

Bar Reviews: Sonny’s & Old Port Sea Grill

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Sonny’s,

…The drinks were great and the fries were excellent except for the lack of crisp. In truth, I haven’t been there for dinner in a while as I’ve never been super impressed with their food, but Sonny’s has had some menu changes and it does look better. Maybe I’ll try it again in the future. For now, they get two thumbs up on their drinks.

and the Press Herald has reviewed the Old Port Sea Grill.

But if you can look beyond the somewhat characterless decor, past the blue hue of the tank’s chemical-treated water, and crack open a menu, you’ll likely discover a proper eatery, in line with Portland’s creative and culinary flair.

Road to the 38: Eventide, Fore Street, Slab, Vinland

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Eater’s national roving restaurant critic, Bill Addison, was in Maine back in August sampling his way across the state. He’s just published an article with his impressions of Eventide, Fore Street, Slab, Vinland as well as Five Island Lobster Company in Georgetown.

Reviews: Grill Room, Sebago, Great Lost Bear

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed The Grill Room.

Overall happy hour at The Grill Room wasn’t too bad.  Pros are a great location, good specials including food, and a patio.  Cons were the long wait and not having happy hour restrictions posted. These things can be worked on and it’s a solid place to enjoy a happy hour, especially if you miss out on the free buffet up the street at The Corner Room.

The Golden Dish has published a comparative review of the burgers at The Great Lost Bear and Sebago.

Lesson learned:  when you want a great burger at a reasonable price go to the source—no imitations, please.  The Great Lost Bear does it right.

Cheap Eats

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has assembled some cheap eats recommendations for the new crop of college students who have recently arrived for the fall semester.

But after a trip to the campus bookstore, the annual pilgrimage to Target, and let’s not even mention that first tuition installment, your bank account balance is starting to look mighty paltry in the face of anything truffled or sous vide. So here’s 13 options that will satisfy your inner foodie without causing you to decide between the omakase and your Econ text book.

Review of MJ’s

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed MJ’s Wine Bar.

Portland’s only wine bar, MJ’s offers a diverse selection of wine and a solid list of craft beer. Snacks such as cheese, olives and nuts are offered, but there is not a kitchen. Romantic and cozy, MJ’s is great for happy hour, a glass of wine before a show or an event or a private event.