Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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.

Review of Bao Bao

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Down East has  reviewed Bao Bao.

You are going to have dumplings — served either boiled or pan-fried — so start there. The pork and cabbage are the most traditional; the most imaginative are those stuffed with succulent lamb, black bean chili, and whole peanuts and served with a tomato sauce for dipping. Seasoning is generally subtle in the dumplings, but each table has decanters of black vinegar and soy sauce and a pot of arbol chili oil for mixing (in your own personal ramekin) a sauce tempered to your desired heat, saltiness, and umami.

Review of The Honey Paw

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Eat Maine has reviewed The Honey Paw.

The Honey Paw is like no other restaurant I know. The new Portland restaurant’s unique personality completely defies any attempts to group it into traditional restaurant categories or even vague ones like “contemporary American” or “fusion.” Its menu and ambience unapologetically combine a staggering number of elements into a streamlined dining experience while circumventing any kind of identity crisis by keeping the offerings as concise as possible.

Reviews: Lolita, Artemisia, Corner Room

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

The 207 Foodie has reviewed lunch at Lolita,

If you’re looking for a quiet lunch (available every single day except Tuesday’s) then the East End’s Lolita is a perfect spot. Sit inside and get a taste of how the busy kitchen works, or sit outside and enjoy the beautiful summers that Maine is so well known for.

and the Press Herald has posted a bar review of The Corner Room,

The Corner Room is one of restaurateur and executive chef Harding Lee Smith’s four restaurants in Portland. In its sixth year, The Corner Room is going strong, with a vibrant crowd every night, especially during happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. The cocktail list is unique and a collaborative effort with the bartenders and chefs. This is the perfect place to visit for an after-work drink with a friend or two, and certainly a reliably good place to grab a bite at the bar.

and a review of Artemisia Cafe.

The Pollock delivered on its unspoken promise of perfection by being many things at once: succulent, gooey, savory, multi-dimensional and immensely satisfying. The plan was to eat half now and save the rest for dinner. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. It was served with coleslaw that I didn’t love because it was on the sour side; perhaps it was the choice of cabbage? Or vinegar? Either way, no love lost, I didn’t go there for the slaw.

Reviews: Lolita, Ebb & Flow

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

The Blueberry Files has reviewed lunch at Lolita.

One of the $10 lunch specials was an open-faced sandwich with a speck, arugula, and smoked tomato aioli on grilled sourdough bread. It’s like Lolita in a sandwich: sliced Italian meat and a smoky flavor from their wood-fired grill. The sandwich came with a side of seared Shishito peppers, and I did encounter a few delightfully spicy ones. 

Drink Up and Get Happy has done a happy hour review of Ebb & Flow.

We liked the happy hour at Ebb and Flow so much, that we’ve already been back before getting this review done. The second visit just proved that it was no fluke. Delicious wines and free bites, albeit not quite as plentiful as the first time, make for an enjoyable happy hour. This time we were given a bite of brie topped with compote and a small basil leaf. 

Review of Muthah Truckah

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed The Muthah Truckah.

First, my teeth sank into the slices of griddle-fried ciabatta bread. Then came the layers of bacon jam (bacon literally pulverized into jam), bright orange BBQ potato chips with ridges, turkey, cheddar cheese, pickles and BBQ aioli. There were some pretty strong flavors in there, yet no single one shone above the rest.

It was crispy, buttery, chewy, crunchy, tangy, sour and creamy, all at the same time. It was like a blockbuster Broadway musical, dancing in my mouth.

Review of Otherside, Dutch’s, Muthah Truckah

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed the sandwiches at the Otherside Delicatessen, Dutch’s and The Muthah Truckah.

As [Otherside’s] corned beef sandwich reveals, they do it well. The meat is on the lean side, and tender enough but not melty soft. The slight chew lets you appreciate the meat’s richness and subtle spice — which stand up to the sharp flavors of sauerkraut and mustard, as well as a thick cut of rye. A pork schnitzel sandwich was served on a soft white puff of a roll, swirled like a cloud. It contrasted with the chew of the pounded meat, thick-breaded and fried. It was topped with an appealingly complex bitter-sour slaw — a finely diced mélange of egg, caper and cabbage.

50 Top Takeout

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Dispatch has posted their list of the 50 best takeout dishes in Portland.

OAD 200: Hugo’s, Miyake, Eventide, Central

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Four Portland restaurants were included in the 2015 Opinionated About Dinning list of the 200 best restaurants in the US: Hugo’s(#38), Miyake(#107), Eventide(#142), Central Provisions(#196).

Review of Union

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

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

As a main course I had the coulotte steak, one of my favorite steaks from the new order of cuts that butchers now favor. It displays a deliciously rich wallop of beef flavor so typical of the tenderest parts  cut from the sirloin cap. My dinner mate had the halibut with clams that was a classic preparation.