Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Map & Menu 2014

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Map & Menu has posted a list of their favorite Maine food and drink of 2014.

We’re finishing up our Best of 2014 posts with the most challenging to whittle down and write – our favorite food (and drinks!) from our home state of Maine. There are plenty of spots in Portland and beyond that we wish we could include on this list, these are simply the dishes and restaurants that stood out to us and kept us coming back for more in 2014.

Review of Sur Lie

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

The Golden Dish has published a second review of Sur Lie.

But with so many good restaurants in town, Sur-Lie has matured and can stand on its own merits as a fine place to have a wonderful meal casually or with as much pomp as you like.

Review of The Jewel Box

Friday, December 19th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of The Jewel Box,

The Jewel Box is mellow and classy, but not in a fancy way. There are moments when you feel like you’ve stepped inside a Wes Anderson film, and others when you might be on the set of Mad Men. Either way, Nan’l Meiklejohn, a.k.a. “The Bearded Lady,” and his staff will see to it that you have a well-crafted cocktail, some light snacks and a whole lot of good service.

Neighborhood Markets

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Golden Dish has put together a survey of Portland-area neighborhood markets: Fresh Approach, Smaha’s Legion Square Market, Pat’s Meat Market and Rosemont.

Neighborhood food shops are virtually a thing of the past, yet Portland has held onto a few. These neighborhood stores are not relics, rather they’re critical to their communities and where residents get the basics like meat, produce, groceries and even baked goods and avoid the hassle of congested supermarket lots or glacial waits at check-out lines.

Reviews: Tandem Bakery & The Jewel Box

Monday, December 15th, 2014

The Dig Portland site is now live with content from the first 4 issues including reviews of The Bearded Lady and Tandem Bakery.

But great drinks, made with homemade bitters and drams, are what made Nathaniel legendary before the Jewel Box ever opened…At the bar a short cocktail menu changes weekly. They are indeed well-crafted and beautiful in their glass. On a recent visit the best was the bourbon-based, turbid, and frothy-textured Lion’s Tail. An allspice dram adds some rum sweetness and warm spice, and lime gives it a sour bite. The Japanese cocktail had a candied lemon flavor, with a darker licorice underneath. A Boulevardier had a syrupy depth with orange and spice. And the Martinez, reddish and thin, in a lovely glass with curving ribs, sweetens and spices the martini with a dash of maraschino liqueur and various bitters.

Review of Street & Co.

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telwgram has reviewed Street & Co.

The cooking can be uneven at this noisy and popular seafood restaurant in the Old Port, so stick with standards: Mussels Provencal simmered in garlic, white wine and butter; Sole Francaise; and Scallops with Pernod and Cream are signature dishes that showcase the kitchen’s strengths. If you’re craving bivalves, go early and sit at the bar: It opens at 5 p.m. daily for drinks and oysters.

BA Best Meals of 2014

Friday, December 12th, 2014

palacetuna

Bon Appétit has included the Tuna Sandwich at Palace Diner in their list of the Best Meals of 2014.

Palace Diner is a 15-seat charmer located in a shiny red 1927 dining car in Biddeford, Maine, located a 30-minute drive South of Portland. The two former fine dining chefs/owners—Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell—do simple and nostalgic diner food amazingly well. Their bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast is perfect. And, damn, those Palace potatoes: boiled, smashed down, and then crisped with abandon on the griddle.

But it’s the tuna salad sandwich (with a side of crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside French fries) that I go back for. It’s not rocket science: just good ingredients executed with passion and precision. The bread is always toasted perfectly, the tuna to mayo ratio spot on, and the addition of dill and cucumber is just the way my mom used to make them for me back in grade school. Pair with a hangover and Coke and all is well with the world.

Review of Ruski’s

Friday, December 12th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Ruski’s.

The burgers were textbook good. They were perfectly grilled to medium rare and had the essential outer charred crust that gives the beef so much texture and flavor.  The restaurant has many cooks, and that night Will was in the kitchen and did his job very well.  For $8.95 you get a half pound burger on a big hefty roll with a mound of fries.  Cocktails like premium vodka on the rocks are $6.50, and beers are often on special from $2.50 for PBR to premium drafts at $3.75. With tax, tip and drinks the $20 each spent on dinner was a satisfyingly cut-rate night on the town worth repeating many times over.

Reviews: Pai Men, Empire, Boda

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Pai Men Miyake,

In the end, our meals came to about $55 before tip which I thought was very reasonable. The food was great and while I’m very particular about soup in general, their noodle bowls were not only delicious, but they offered a copious amount of food. Pai Men Miyake is the perfect place to quell your winter weather blues and satisfy your craving for Asian food at the same time. Go slurp down some delicious ramen immediately. Your brain freeze will thank you.

and The Golden Dish has posted a joint review of Empire and Boda.

While pork buns of various kinds can be found at Miyake and Bao Bao, Empire’s char siu bao are superb. The soft steamed buns are filled with a sweet hoisin sauce that makes the barbecued pork sweetly luxurious. Other dishes like the honey walnut shrimp coated in a citrusy mayonnaise are a lip-smacking delight as are the classic stir-fry of green beans wrapped in roasted garlic that emerge bright green and crisp from the wok.

Bar Review of Lolita

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Lolita.

Lolita is Munjoy Hill’s newest neighborhood bistro with its own unique and modern flair. A third of the restaurant seating is at the bar, so expect to find a classy bar-going crowd who enjoys craft cocktails, artisanal wine and local craft beer. Open from 11-11 six days a week, Lolita is a great place for lunch, a late-afternoon snack, dinner, or after-dinner drinks and dessert.

Review of Artemisia

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

The Bollard has reviewed Artemisia Cafe.

Although the prices at Artemisia are admirably moderate, especially for the quality of the food, I wouldn’t say it’s easy for a twosome to dine there on a fifty-dollar budget. Still, we managed to have an intimate, inviting and satisfying dining experience for about $49 (again, before Uncle Sam and the waitress got their due). It was worth every penny.

The review is the first of a new Bollard series called Fifty Dollar Dinner where the reviewers seek out and experience “local restaurants where a soul- and belly-satisfying meal for two can be had for 50 bucks or less (before tax and tip).”

Survey of Grocery Stores

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The Golden Dish has published a survey of Portland area options for grocery shopping.

As the food scene continues to grow in Greater Portland, where to shop now is an essential question: Hannaford, Shaws, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Rosemont or the two fledgling markets, The Farm Stand and the Portland Food Co-op–or all of the above and more?

Bao Bao Review & Maine Cookbooks

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Portland Magazine has published a short review of Bao Bao,

On to the dumplings. Our first indulgence, Steamed Hake, Burdock ($8.08), is like nothing we’ve seen anywhere. “Thread-cut” dumpling wrappers are ribboned layers enveloping the tender fish. Happily devouring our six pieces, we accelerate into our next plate of dumplings: the absolutely essential Lamb, Black Bean, Chili, Peanut ($8.08).

and an article about Maine cookbooks.

Some of the great Maine cookbooks are out of print but hardly out of sight in a city and state with such a good used-book network of stores and used sections within stores. “Saltwater Seasonings is one of the very few that really catches the spirit of Maine,” says Don Lindgren, owner of Rabelais Books in Biddeford, probably the center of the universe for vintage and rare cookbooks.

Down East Review of Lolita

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Down East has reviewed Lolita.

An array of small plates, served with careful attention to flavor and texture. Local, seasonal ingredients used to maximum advantage. Well-balanced cocktails and a confident, savvy wine list. The sense that you’re the only diner who really matters in a small but bustling dining room. You could use all of these phrases to describe both Bar Lola — Guy and Stella Hernandez’s Munjoy Hill institution, which the couple closed in November 2013 after seven years — and Lolita, the intriguing new restaurant they’ve opened just a few doors down on Congress Street. But while both restaurants’ broad outlines are similar, Lolita feels quite new — as if your dear friend got a chic haircut, a killer pair of shoes, and a fascinating new career to discuss over drinks.

Reviews: Slab, Ebb & Flow

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Slab,

Skip breakfast and over-indulge in the flavorful Sicilian street food at this informal lunch-and-dinner restaurant. Named for the gargantuan servings of thick-crust pizza created by chef/owner Stephen Lanzalotta, Slab also offers delicious open-faced oven melts, braised meats and lasagnas. Make sure to ask your server about the day’s specials – and don’t skimp on dessert: The baci (chocolate) and ricciarelli (almond) cookies are extra rich and satisfying.

and Eating Portland Alive has posted a first look review of Ebb & Flow.

The za’atar-spiced pita was the perfect vessel for the cold eggplant salad. I was definitely still tearing away at the flatbread after the salad was long gone…The cauliflower soup took savory to another level with the inclusion of rock crab and chorizo. The server who delivered my lamb keftedakia declared it “the king of dishes.” I may have to try a few more items for comparison, but I’m a pretty happy camper with lamb meatballs especially with such a nice char on them.

Reviews: Bao Bao & Timber

Friday, November 21st, 2014

pArts has reviewed Bao Bao,

Next up, my single order of dumplings (which come boiled, steamed or pan fried, I chose the last). Six beauties stuffed with a sausage ball of lamb, black bean, peanuts, and chilis, served with a homemade tomato relish/ketchup. I will likely order these every time I return. I was sorry I didn’t order the Hake dumplings which looked amazing . . . but I need something to look forward to next time.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Timber.

My verdict on Timber is to go there for happy hour. The mac and cheese is half price and there are some cheap drinks – all of which I loved. For the price, I can’t say I was pleased with the main courses. Our meal came to over $100 with tax and tip, so it wasn’t cheap and we didn’t get any steak which would have upped the price significantly.  Nonetheless, the restaurant has an allure under the right circumstances, but it’s not for an entire meal.

Review of DiMillo’s

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of DiMillo’s.

DiMillo’s is a Portland institution. A floating restaurant since 1982, this 701-ton yacht can seat up to 600 in the summertime. The bar scene in the winter is more mellow but the place can still get crowded on weekends and Tuesday nights. Expect to find excellent service, a jovial atmosphere and strong drinks.

Review of Dutch’s

Monday, November 17th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Dutch’s.

Lucy’s time with Tartine might account for the exquisiteness of her breads and pastries.  Layers of butter define their incredible croissants or the brioche dough for the sandwich rolls.  The all-butter fruit Danish would remind you of one from a Parisian patisserie. Speaking of butter, they make their own, taking pasteurized local cream, mixing it with buttermilk to form a culture until it cures several days later into a rich high-fat spread that they use on everything.

Review of The Good Table

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed The Good Table in Cape Elizabeth.

The best of The Good Table is old-fashioned, hearty fare – from nicely grilled beef burgers with fried onions to moist and flavorful fish and chips with cole slaw. Start with a pail of fresh mussels served in a broth infused with butter and garlic. Move onto a rich standard such as rib eye steak with horseradish cream, or a lighter, Greek-style baked fish. All the food here is comforting – and filling.

First Review of Ebb & Flow

Friday, November 14th, 2014

The Golden Dish has published a first look review of Ebb & Flow,

The “mezzes” are delightful and perhaps my favorite part of the menu and offer such other choices as taramasalata (whipped roe and almond milk) and fire roasted eggplant, which are served with the wonderful pita. And choose one of the hearty appetizers or skip that course and go straight to other main dishes like tomato-based braised lamb shank with pistachios or chicken roasted in the wood oven.  Then you easily enjoy the simplicity of the fine cooking–sometimes a relief from  the fine madness elsewhere.