Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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.

Review of Evo

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Portland Magazine has reviewed Evo.

Chef de cuisine Matthew Ginn (executive chef is Brendan Hicks, also chef at Chebeague Island Inn) calls Evo’s menu “refreshing–less butter and cream, more olive oil and sumac.” Succulent sautéed chicken livers ($10) from nearby Sumner Valley Farm are prepared with fresh pomegranate and lemon juices, olive oil, and sumac and served with bite-sized crackers inspired by a 10th-century recipe involving crushed walnuts, pomegranate, and vinegar.

Review of The Honey Paw

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed The Honey Paw.

The Honey Paw, a third contiguous Middle Street restaurant from the folks behind Hugo’s and Eventide, hews closer to the latter strategy. Like Roger in full flight, Honey Paw seems willing to try anything, certain they have the talent to pull it off.  The menu has a lot of noodles, and the flavors lean toward Asia. But these serve as basic ideas, not rigid constraints, and many of the dishes pleasantly surprise you with unexpected combinations of approaches, textures and ingredients.

Food Republic: Eating in Portland

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Food Republic has set of 5 restaurant recommendations for Portland: Bao Bao, Lolita, Salvage, Union, Vinland.

During the summer months, Portland, Maine, is as irresistible as a destination gets. The weather is comfortably warm, with low humidity. The skies are crystal-clear, and the water is, well, right there. Aside from the postcard-perfect backdrop of the city and its natural surroundings, there’s plenty of good eating to be done.

Fine Cooking: Sam Hayward

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

haywardFine Cooking magazine talked with chef Sam Hayward to get his Portland tips on where to eat and go in Portland. His suggestions include: Browne Trading, Central Provisions, East Ender, Eventide, Harbor Fish Market, Hugo’s, Scratch Baking, Standard Baking and The Lobster Shack.

The article also includes Hayward’s recipe for beer-steamed mussels.

The August/September issue of Fine Cooking isn’t online yet.

Reviews: Terlingua, Marcy’s, Glass

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Pig Trip has published a first look review of Terlingua,

So far, so good. Latin meets barbecue in an interesting menu with that rare combination of ambitiousness and approachability. Strong flavors, strong smoke and mostly reliable textures are good signs going forward.

the Press Herald has reviewed Marcy’s,

…when I need something reliable, without any pretense and certainly affordable, Marcy’s is my go-to place. I hadn’t been in about four years and now have been twice as of late. I’m sure they’ll see me there soon and though I’ll have to stay away from the Twix Muffin (I am not making this up) on their specials board, I am likely to visit the “Pancake Corner” part of the menu…

and the Press Herald has also posted a bar review of the Glass lounge.

Glass Lounge at Hyatt Place is a swanky hotel bar with a retro vibe and great craft cocktails. Good for a daytime drink with friends or coworkers, or a fancy night on the town, Glass’s central downtown location creates a buzzing metropolitan atmosphere, where you will find exceptional service, impressive bourbon and scotch offerings, and imaginative cocktails.

MJ’s Wine Bar in Top 20 List

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Wine Enthusiast magazine has included MJ’s Wine Bar in their list of the Top 20 Wine Bars in America.


Review of Tempo Dulu

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Tempo Dulu.

I give Tempo Dulu my highest recommendation. I assure you that it is not just a meal, but a complete culinary experience highlighted by both eating and learning about first rate Asian cuisine using lots of local ingredients in the best and most elegant of locations. Like most Maine restaurants of any quality, there is no dress code, so you can go and relax while feeling like king for a meal. Save your money and make this place your very next special occasion go-to. You can thank me later.

Reviews: Ten Ten Pié, Back Bay Grill, Tempo Dulu

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of The Back Bay Grill,

A Portland dining institution for 27 years, Back Bay Grill is one of the finest restaurant experiences in the state. Known for exceptional guest services, top-notch American cuisine, and a comfortable, white linen atmosphere with an open kitchen, sitting at the bar is a great way to get to know the long-standing servers and bartenders. You’ll be planning your next visit in no time.

and has reviewed Ten Ten Pié.

The pickled radish pieces were a little sweet, and crunchy. The chicken was a little savory, and still warm, and the egg strips were fluffy. The combination of flavors, and of crunchy, chewy and soft textures was an amazing treat. There were so many ingredients in the dish I would never have ordered. But in this preparation, I loved them all.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Tempo Dulu.

The melding of courses offered stunning contrast as in the crispy duck leg enriched with curried foie gras, pickled ramps for contrast, fried garlic and fried shallots. As in the preceding dish we could have stopped there fully sated. But why when lobster meat is served with a fried egg on top, pickled vegetables and crab rice relish? My favorite two dishes were the Thai smoked sausage and the tempura of shrimp with mango lime relish. 

Review of Taj

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The Bollard has published a  review of Taj in South Portland.

Taj is not flamboyant, and the dishes are not perfectly executed (some were too salty). It’s a modest Indian joint out by the mall. It has funny blue movie-theater carpeting and placemats depicting the 44 Presidents of the United States (which is also funny, and fun). But my parents weren’t wrong: for what it is, Taj is a good restaurant serving modestly priced food. If you’re in the mood for Indian comfort food, give Taj a shot.

Review of Terlingua

Monday, June 29th, 2015

The Golden Dish has posted a first look review of Terlingua.

I did.  And this included the cold smoked fish dip alive with pungent flavors of sour orange, Vidalia onion and sweet peppers. It was served with commercial taco chips, which were good, but they need to replace those with homemade, something that’s in the works, according to management.  Another good preparation was, as mentioned,  the grilled shell-on shrimp ( fresh from the Gulf coast or previously frozen?), though the otherwise winey, sweet flavors of the guajillo chili sauce in which it was bathed could have been more prominent.  I liked the smoked brisket—meltingly tender–and the honey coated flat breads served with it were delicious.

You can take a look at Terlingua’s menu on their website ( and follow them online on instagram and facebook.

Review of East Ender

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the East Ender and given it 4 stars.

East Ender may look simple and casual, but the food at this two-story restaurant in the shadow of Munjoy Hill is creative, sophisticated and super flavorful…start with the lobster tostada, a novel riff on Maine’s favorite shellfish that pairs cool chunks of lobster with crispy vegetables and Latin-inspired sauces; or try the outstanding grilled octopus with crunchy fennel and golden fingerling potatoes. All entrees here are good (and generous), but the smoky roasted lamb shoulder is exceptional, as is whole grilled trout with seasonal vegetables and béarnaise. Leavy and Deuben have worked in some of Portland’s finest restaurant kitchens and it shows.

First Review of Evo

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed Evo.

Some 10 dishes later, I relished every bit of Evo’s fusion fare that spans the region from Mediterranean to Middle Eastern cuisines in stunning clarity. And the space—all 1,500 square feet that can accommodate about 50 diners—is fashioned like a modernist temple, its two-story atelier evoking playtime in a cathedral.

Review of Home Catering

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed lunch at Home Catering.

Home’s version of a club sandwich was made on the requisite squishy white bread (untoasted) and contained excellent Home-roasted white turkey meat, shredded romaine (not the ubiquitous and often ill-suited mesclun mix) and “our famous candied bacon,” a happy update for the 21st century. The club was generously – but not too generously – spread with mayonnaise.

Review of Figgy’s

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Figgy’s.

Once you’ve downed all that fried chicken and a couple of carby sides, might as well destroy your diet completely and order dessert. I was thrilled to see they have a decent banana pudding (or as we call it back home, nanner puddin’), complete with Nilla wafers and whipped topping. The other dessert option is a homemade ice cream sandwich, with flavors changing daily.

What have I left out? Oh yes, there are a couple of salads on the menu, but if I were you I’d save the self denial for another day and another dinner. Don’t visit Figgy’s without trying the fried chicken.

Reviews: Lolita & Ribolita

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Newish food blog Eatcentric has published a review of Lolita,

Another thing that was immediately apparent about Lolita was how relaxed and calm the entire restaurant was. You can watch the entire kitchen and bar staff work, and at no point was anyone frenetic or rushing. Service was fantastic, and everything came out in a timely manner that seemed effortless but based on the quality of the food, obviously was not. Husband and wife owners, Guy and Stella, were there throughout dinner service and greeted each guest warmly. Nothing seemed saccharine; just genuinely friendly and welcoming…

and Eat Maine has published a review of Ribollita.

In the case of Ribollita, the fact that the dining experience has changed so little is a very good thing, as it remains on the corner of Middle Street amidst of flurry of new restaurants, confidently turning out delicious Italian cuisine time and time again. If you’ve ever met Kevin Quiet, you know that this embodies both his demeanor and commitment.

Review of The Honey Paw

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Wok-Fried-Wide-Rice-NoodlesMap & Menu has reviewed The Honey Paw.

As for that shared kitchen, we’ve yet to try a bite at The Honey Paw that hasn’t left us craving our next. The creative flavor combinations of dishes like the octopus poke with watermelon and cucumber are delightful, and plates and bowls of charred pork shoulder and wok fried rice noodles are savory and comforting enough that we hope they never leave the menu…

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

Bar Review of Isa

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Isa.

Isa is the newest bar and restaurant in Parkside. Refined yet casual, Isa is a 40-seat bistro featuring an eclectic menu, much of which is the comfort food owners Suzie St. Pierre and Isaul Perez love the most. No detail has gone unnoticed here, especially the long and narrow enclosed patio that seats 20. Expect the great service, superb drinks, the best beer Maine has to offer and an array of delicious options for bar eats.

Taylor & Wiley’s Guide to Portland

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Andrew Zimmern’s website has published a Portland eating/drinking guide by chefs Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley.

Their list includes: Tandem Bakery, Central Provisions, Hunt & Alpine, The Armory, The Porthole, Gorgeous Gelato, Sonny’s, Novare Res, Slab and Boda.