Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Hidden Gems: 158 Pickett St Cafe

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Condé Nast Traveller recently called out 158 Pickett Street Cafe as one of their staff secret favorite destinations that they have, until now, kept to themselves. According to Managing Editor Paulie Dibner,

I usually keep this one to myself—it’s a ballsy move, as a New Yorker, to recommend a bagel outside of the city but the food (well, the bagel sandwich) at 158 Pickett Street Café is spectacular, and the coffee is fresh.

It’s totally out of the way, but is right near the water—as well as Bug Light, a charming lighthouse—so you can get sandwiches to go and sit outside or hang out in its backyard. It’s typical of coastal Maine, around South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough, where there are tons of wonderful food gems that are well worth a quick drive.

Reviews: The Honey Paw, Munjoy Hill Tavern, Rossobianco

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

The Press Herald has published a bar review of the Munjoy Hill Tavern,

Munjoy Hill Tavern has big shoes to fill, but seems to be off to a decent start with several beer selections on tap, Sutter wine, happy hour specials and a small but growing pub menu including French fries, chicken tenders, pizza and other snacks. There are three TVs that dominate the room, but if you’re looking for a place to watch the Olympics or a game, this is a good option. The bar only takes cash, but there’s an ATM inside.

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed happy hour at  The Honey Paw,

The tap wines are a Gruner, always a hit with us, and a rose. The special cocktail of the day was a delicious concoction of lime, cucumber, and gin. It was well worth the $7. They also have a great beer list so after the cocktail we ventured off the specials list to enjoy a Rosee de Hibiscus by Brasserie Dieu de Ciel.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Rossobianco.

Rossobianco offers a light, casual atmosphere that will be accessible to all types of eaters. Good for a snack and wine or a hearty meal of pasta or steak and beer, they are giving Italian cuisine a different look than anywhere else in Portland. If my first impressions are correct, Rossobianco is going to get busy and stay that way, because their food is absolutely magnificent. When you go – and go soon – start with a bunch of the risotto balls – everything there is a worthy offering, but one of those definitely won’t be enough.

First Review of Rossobianco

Friday, August 19th, 2016

The Golden Dish has reviewed Rossobianco.

As the newest restaurant to open this summer, I’m glad it didn’t get overhyped, giving it time to gain its footing.  But I think there’s much to expect from its very able chef, and the attentiveness of its co-owners who are set to make this place sparkle.

F&W Best New Mixologist: Andrew Volk

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Food & Wine magazine has name Portland Hunt & Alpine co-owner Andrew Volk one of their 2016 Best New Mixologists. The announcement includes a brief Q&A with Volk.

The next “big thing” in the cocktail world:
There is movement away from cocktails that are precious and only served in hushed, darken venues. I think the big thing we’ll continue to see is great drinks being served in all kinds of places – Negronis at chain restaurants and really creative cocktails at bars you may not expect to deliver such quality.

Reviews: Stroudwater, Arcadia, Tomaso’s, Caiola’s

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

The Blueberry Files has reviewed Stroudwater Distillery,

On my first visit, I had an Eastern Sour, made with Stroudwater’s bourbon, orange juice, lime juice, orgeat, and sugar. It was sweet and spiced, but balanced by the tart juices. A. tried the Kentucky Buck, with bourbon, lemon, sugar, strawberry, ginger beer, and bitters. It was also sweet, but the ginger provided a nice kick to keep it interesting. 

the Press Herald has reviewed Arcadia National Bar,

Stocked with both the latest arcade games and old school classics, Arcadia National Bar is Portland’s only 21-plus gaming spot that offers local craft beer, wine and house cocktails. Happy hour, mug club, weekly specials and themes offered at this whirring game stop on Preble Street.

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Tomaso’s Canteen,

Service is table side and at the bar which makes things flow nicely. We were greeted soon after taking a seat and our waitress was attentive without rushing us along. We ordered up a couple of Gruners which we love for their crisp tartness and a small order of their amazing wings for a snack. You can get a number of different sauces including buffalo, jerk and dirt.

and The Golden Dish has reviewed Caiola’s.

That is until we dug into Sansonetti’s veal Parm.  The veal was tender and buttery with a delicious crisp breading, a masterful Sunday sauce and—for once—pasta that was cooked perfectly al dente.

BA Best Pasta Dishes

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Bon Appétit has included the Chicken-Liver Ravioli at Drifters Wife in their short list of best pasta dishes they had in the past year.

A study in pasta simplicity: housemade ravioli filled with brandy-spiked chicken liver, served in a brown-butter sauce infused with a hint of rosemary. Less is more.

T+L Best Cities for Food

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Portland has clocked in at #10 on the Travel and Leisure list of the Best Cities for Food in the United States. The ratings are based on a poll of the T+L readership.

Major cities, including Chicago and San Francisco, are hardly surprising. The latter has a crop of new restaurants that are dynamic and adventurous—but also just really, really good. Yet our readers found fantastic, world-class meals even in quiet Savannah, Georgia, and far up the coast in Portland, Maine.

“I was amazed by the food scene here,” admitted one reader of their trip to Portland. “Even the food trucks were unexpectedly exceptional. [You] can get the best fish and chips in Maine!”

Reviews: Rhum, Local 188, Lolita, Dewey’s, Lunch & Lobster

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Rhum,

Other dishes put a variety of Pacific cuisines new twists. A creamy hamachi tartar was like a finely chopped poke with lots of sesame. The kim-chi croque madame offset the sour cabbage with runny egg yolk and melted American cheese. The little bahn mi, with pork jerky and some sort of siracha-touched mayo, unleashed enough umami to encourage more drinking. The fois gras loco moco attempts to take low cuisine pretty high – with delicate eggy pillows filled with the rich liver meat and spam.

the Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Local 188,

One place where this approach has paid dividends is on the dessert menu, where you’ll find …pastry chef Pat Tubbs’ literally named take on a Black Forest cherry dessert, the Bosque Negro ($8), a dense triple chocolate brownie dripping with slow-melting charred vanilla ice cream and dotted with deep red pickled cherries. Tubbs ties sweet and savory elements together with a Spanish-accented sherry pastry cream, soft raisin fruit jellies that echo aromas in the sherry, and a sprinkling of fried pine nuts that have been tossed in paprika. There’s a lot going on here, but apart from needing a little more vanilla char flavor in the ice cream, it all comes together in this remarkably inventive dessert – even the plating, which is aptly Picasso-esque.

the Press Herald has published a bar review of Local 188,

Local 188 has been a fixture in Portland’s West End for nearly two decades serving up Spanish-inspired tapas, one-of-a-kind cocktails, local beer and a comprehensive wine list that caters to everyone. Lively, relaxed, eclectic and fueled by the local art scene, Local 188 has helped create the city’s foodie foundation.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Lolita,

But it was well worth it because the food is so good here—tremendous flavors, gutsy preparations.  I had been several weeks prior to dine at the bar and had a wonderful meal of small plates: a piquant tuna tartare, a bracing grilled squash with a garlicky pistachio aioli and a robust stew of mixed shellfish.

The Bollard has reviewed Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster,

The Lobster Delight ($24.95) was indeed delightful: a one-pound lobster, an ear of corn and a dozen steamed clams, served with plenty of melted butter. While my husband made short work of that plate, I dug into another classic, the lobster roll with fries ($16.25). Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster’s version is the Platonic ideal: big hunks of fresh meat dressed in mayo and nestled in a grilled New England-style hot dog bun. The sole garnish is a leaf of lettuce.

and the Press Herald has reviewed Three Dollar Dewey’s.

Three Dollar Dewey’s is comfortable, the food is affordable and there’s zero pretense. We all know that Portland is a hardcore foodie town with new places opening almost every week all with something different to offer. I’m not knocking this, it’s part of what put and keeps Portland on the map. But it’s also good to remember the places that have stood the test of time. Three Dollar Dewey’s is one of those places for me.

First Look at Rossobianco

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Eatcentric has published a first look at a few of the menu items from Rossobianco.

The risotto was the highlight was the meal with delicate lobster meat and oyster mushrooms providing slight chewiness while the risotto still had a tiny bite in each grain to contrast against the creamy sauce.

 

Drifters Wife on Bon Appétit Top 50 List

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Drifters Wife was selected Bon Appétit for their list of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America.

Chef Ben Jackson—whom the couple met while working at Andrew Tarlow’s Williamsburg restaurants—relies on local veg and fresh-caught fish (get whatever cod special he’s serving) to put out elegant shareable plates from a tiny kitchen: beef tongue consommé one night, clam toast with horseradish aioli another. Add in a roster of eccentric bottles, and Drifters Wife effortlessly nails that date-night wine-bar vibe that city dwellers know so well.

Check back on August 16th to learn if Bon Appétit selects Drifters to be in the top 10.

Portland area restaurants have featured prominently in the 50 Best list for the past few years:

  • 2015 – Tandem Bakery and East Ender
  • 2014 – Central Provisions and Palace Diner
  • 2013 – Eventide Oyster Co.

Review of Nosh

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Nosh.

Today, the restaurant is all about outrageous offerings and its bar. And the bar is genuinely good. Cocktails, especially the cucumber-flavored Garden Gimlet ($11) and the sharply tart and tangy gin-based Nosh Blossom ($10) are very solid, as is the respectable selection of local beers offered on tap…When you do grab your server’s attention, be sure to order the crisp, cheesy polenta fries topped with arugula, as well as the “nachos” made with sweet potato tater tots. Thick-cut, Belgian-style french fries ($6) are also generally crisp and well-seasoned here – especially the salt and pepper variety. Beef patties at Nosh are well-prepared, but steer clear of the mammoth burgers with preposterous foods-as-buns like the Nosh Mac ‘N Stack and stick with the cheeseburger, which executive chef Noah Leether has down to a science.

NY Times: 36 Hours in Portland

Friday, July 29th, 2016

The New York Times has visited Portland for their 36 Hours in… travel series.

Portland’s reputation as a great dining town is well-deserved, but no one here rests on his or her laurels, least of all the chefs and restaurateurs behind renowned spots like Fore Street and Eventide Oyster Co.; both parties have recently opened new restaurants, adding to the quandary of travelers already stymied by an abundance of choices. Meanwhile, a new generation of Portlanders and newcomers is pushing the boundaries with a fresh take on everything from doughnuts to kombucha.

The restaurants highlighted in the article are: 3 Buoys Seafood Shanty, Becky’s, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Emilitsa, Eventide, Fore Street, Hugo’s, Liquid Riot, Portland Lobster Co, Scales, The Holy Donut, The Honey Paw, Two Fat Cats, Urban Farm Fermentory, Vena’s Fizz House.

40 Best Bars for Food: Hunt & Alpine

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

The Food Network has included the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club in their list of the 40 Best Bars for Food Lovers.

Try the Norseman cocktail — an aquavit old fashioned that’s been fat-washed with brown butter and garnished with apple slices — alongside the bar’s signature Smörgåsbord, which overflows with meat, fish, local cheese, steamed clams and breads. Other must-try items from the small but mighty kitchen include gravlax sandwiches, popcorn spiked with green-chile powder and a butterscotch budino with whipped creme fraiche.

Food & Wine: The Maine Event

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

The August issue of Food & Wine includes an article about Portland.

Portland’s reputation as the foodiest, friendliest small town in America is undeniable, but the restaurant scene is now officially in overdrive. From noodle bars to natural wines, fried chicken to cocktails, we’ve got 14 reasons to visit Maine this month.

The article highlights: Drifters Wife, Figgy’s, Rhum, Rossobianco, Roustabout, Scales, Solo Italiano, Tandem Coffee and Bakery, Terlingua, The Honey Paw, The Press Hotel, and Thompson’s Point as well as Custom Deluxe and The Velveteen Habit.

The article isn’t online yet.

Crime Writers Guide to Portland

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Author Chris Holm has written a guide to what to eat, drink and do in Portland for the Maine Crime Writers website A Day In… series.

Dutch’s, Standard, Otto, Ten Ten Pie, Nosh, Woodford, Terlingua, Central Provisions, Miyake, Hunt &  Alpine and several brewers and distillers get mentioned.