Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Reviews: Ruski’s, Buck’s

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The Press Herald has posted a bar review of Ruski’s,

And this ease-of-attitude – there’s absolutely no pretention or bar brawl disorder – seems to be a vibe everyone catches when they step through the door at Ruski’s. There’s a sense of respect whether you’ve been coming here for decades or just stumbled upon the corner bar for the first time.

While not a place to find a craft cocktail, Ruski’s is a fully stocked bar with 12 taps and a number of nightly cheap beer specials that are available until 1 a.m.

and a review of Buck’s Naked BBQ.

The brisket was served on a soft brioche bun, and I added a healthy dose of the house barbecue sauce. I don’t need a lot of heat with my meat, but I enjoy a mild kick. The meat was tender and came apart easily in sandwich-sized bites. A knife and fork were not necessary.

Reviews: Central Provisions & Boone’s

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Tufts Now has reviewed Central Provisions,

Duck liver crostini have been finding their way onto a number of menus. This version, complemented with kumquats, fried shallot and fresh oregano, set the bar for elevated expectations. Our follow-up of caramelized Miticana sheep cheese from Spain with peaches and 15-year aged balsamic nearly prompted an immediate encore.

and Drink-up and Get Happy has reviewed Boone’s.

Overall it was a great evening enjoying some of the best that Portland has to offer.  While the specials at Boone’s sister restaurants may be a little better, you can’t beat Boone’s for ample patio space, good drinks, and great views!

Review of Duckfat

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Duckfat.

I find the fried onions, pork belly and ham (which Ben recently delivered here), delectable eaten straight up with my fingers, while Ben cuts the Sorella’s Bakehouse brioche rolls in half to fill with various combos of ham and fried onions or duck terrine and pickles. His works of art look like the perfect highbrow sandwich, though still providing lowbrow delight.

Review of J’s Oyster Bar

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed J’s Oyster Bar.

J’s has the distinction of being one of the finest dives in Portland – a place where moderately low class and culinary arts class intersect to make a burping, bubbling cauldron of absolute awesome that is as entertaining as it is delicious. Everything about the restaurant says “party like is 1983 and feel free to drink like it’s the prohibition.”

Zagat: 10 Hottest Restaurants in Portland

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Zagat has published their list (and the above video) of the 10 Hottest Restaurants in Portland.

On the list: Blue Rooster, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Eventide, Fore Street, Hunt & Alpine, Lolita, Piccolo, Slab, Timber, Vinland

BA Best New Lists: Central Provisions & Hunt & Alpine

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

BA201409Bon Appetit recognized a pair of Portland hot spots as two of the best new venues in the country.

Review of The King’s Head

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has review The King’s Head.

After drinking my Rob Roy, I smeared some after shave on my face, donned my vintage fedora, built a massive bonfire, and started a fight. Then I asked for the bill. It came to just under 70 bucks after tip. What a great place The King’s Head is.  I actually really loved it. The food was very good, the drinks were great, and the atmosphere had me fired up. As masculine as I felt The King’s Head was, there were plenty of women there who seemed to be enjoying themselves. This is a place for everyone. Get down there now and down some whiskey and a beer so you too can experience The King’s Head.

Reviews: The Good Table, Slab

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Slab,

The cocktail menu is a compact list of six rotating drinks — given how new Slab is, the bartenders are still collaborating on drink specials and house cocktails. Recently, the Fly Right was served as a special. Made with Luxardo, lemon juice, Art in the Age Sage (a sage liqueur), shaken with blueberries and then topped off with Kellerweis from Sierra Nevada, this “beer cocktail” is a bargain at $9.

and The Golden Dish has reviewed The Good Table.

That pie alone made the whole dinner worthwhile.  I may have had some quibbles with the food, but it was tasty enough, served in an absolutely gracious and friendly atmosphere.  And sometimes that’s just enough to deem dinner satisfying.

Review of 2DineIn

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Chubby Werewolf has reviewed 2DineIn.

Overall, I’ve found ordering from 2 Dine In to be a very positive experience…There is, without question, a lot to be said for the dining-out experience, and you certainly miss a lot of it—ambiance, presentation, etc.—when ordering delivery food. That said, the ability to enjoy the occasional restaurant meal—in your underwear, while watching “Shark Week”—without having to endure some of the headaches of downtown dining, can be quite a nice thing…I’m a fan overall, and would love to see more Portland restaurants (are you listening, Silly’s?) get involved with the 2 Dine In in the future.

Review of Clark Street

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed Clark Street Deli.

The roll was more like a small loaf of bread in size, and also in its combination of chewy crust and a fluffy inside. The white meat chicken was very tender, in a batter that while not light, was not greasy either. The chicken was still hot from the fryer when I got my sandwich. The ham and Swiss cheese were of a better-than-average quality.

Review of East Ender

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Eating Portland Alive has reviewed East Ender.

I chose two ‘du jour’ items from the board, a poptart and donut.  The poptart was a savory one, which I think is a killer idea. The lamb meat could have used a touch more seasoning as it had a lot of dough (which was a perfect consistency) to compete with. The double-stacked donuts were extremely tasty, though when I cut through some parts it was a bit custard-like and not as fluffy. Any textural issues were completely overshadowed by the amazing combination of the blood orange &  blueberry topping.

Blue Rooster Chef Series: Eventide Dog

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Chubby Werewolf has reviewed the Eventide Dog at Blue Rooster.

That said, the reason you absolutely must try the Eventide dog is the impossibly soft, delightfully chewy bun, which is the same one used in Eventide’s lobster rolls. (I seriously want to buy this stuff in 50 pound bags and take a nap in it.) The ratio of bun-to-meat was perfect, and the textural contrast of the spongy bun against the grilled hot dog made this thing a joy to eat…

Telling Room Project: Vena’s Fizz House

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has published a set of food, music and art reviews produced by students taking a summer workshop with The Telling Room. Four student reviews of Vena’s Fizz House by Sierra Aponte Clark, Elinor Hilton, Cori Green and Otto Wolyniec were included in the Phoenix article.

Two weeks ago, the organization hosted Review Camp, a week-long forum where greater Portland students (aged 10-14) learned to write critically about arts and cultural activities in the area, training their sights on a music video by indie-pop singer-songwriter Sara Hallie Richardson, the newish soda parlor Vena’s Fizz House in the Old Port, and art shows at SPACE Gallery and the Portland Museum of Art.

Reviews: Grace, Maria’s

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Grace,

Dining in a former church is a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be had at a handful of establishments across the country, Grace being a notable example. While the restored 1850s historical landmark is stunning and awe-inspiring, the menu holds its own with local and exotic ingredients, steaks, seafood, whimsical touches and a nice selection of cheeses and sweetbreads, as well as cleverly named cocktails. It’s also a great space for events and weddings.

and The Golden Dish has reviewed Maria’s Ristorante.

In the final analysis, is Maria’s just a memento of the past?  No, it’s more than that – a primeval forest that Portlanders are not ready to give up, a dining shibboleth that still struts along without the help of a striving chef or plates of vertical food and foam.  Instead go for the rivers of saltimbocca and scaloppini and other comfy relics from a kitchen that we secretly adore.

Review of Central Provisions

Friday, August 8th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Central Provisions.

Among the best were radishes roasted until some caramelized sweetness emerged, but still retaining the bite of bitter. Roast onion complemented the sweetness, while nori and miso deepened the savory side. Another dish caramelized sheep cheese until dark with crunch and chew, and sandwiched it around barely sweet roasted peach. A salad paired chewy-crispy pieces of pork with a funky sour dressing. Duck liver was creamy and mild on crostini, animated by the salty crunch of fried shallots and a hint of kumquats sour-sweet.

Review of Bogusha’s

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed Bogusha’s.

Overall, the food was interesting, but not exciting – there’s only so much you can do with cabbage and smoked meats. It did feel like the kind of lunch your grandmother or favorite aunt would prepare for you, especially on a cold winter’s day.

Bogusha’s is worth checking out, but only if you’re the kind of person who likes quirkiness and can forgive a place for not being a hipster hangout…

Jay Villani & Salvage BBQ

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The August issue of Maine includes a profile of Jay Villani,

Villani’s decision to return to the kitchen at Local 188 comes after an extended absence, a time he spent opening and maintaining the operations of his other two successful Portland outposts, Sonny’s and Salvage BBQ. Though nearing 50 (which, as he tells me, is like “300 in chef years”) he has grown as a cook, learning new methods and old tricks, and discovering a new appreciation for the art of plating dishes. He has also grown wiser, learning one of the most important lessons in the restaurant world: how to delegate responsibility when necessary.

Barbecue Rankings was recently in town and paid a visit to Salvage.

I greatly enjoyed my visit.  These guys are doing things right and Salvage BBQ comes with my stamp of approval.

Reviews: Blue Rooster, Slab

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Slab,

With our food finished, we talked about how great it was. I was shocked. I thought Slab would be a run-of-the-mill pizza place with nothing to offer me. It turns out that the original Sicilian slab is insanely popular for a very good reason – it’s made by the Italian God of pizza. The band was fun, the outdoor area was nice, and the indoor area is great too. Without a doubt, this place will be a go-to year round for a lot of people.

and Chubby Werewolf has reviewed the Joe Ricchio designed hot dog at Blue Rooster.

Although the Happy Ending dog’s pedigree is distinctly Asian, biting into this hearty and satisfying sandwich with its grilled ingredients brought to mind the experience of eating a stadium sausage topped with peppers and onions, the type you’d find outside Fenway Park or Wrigley Field.

Review: Slab vs Micucci’s

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

The Bollard has published a review comparing the slabs at Slab and Micucci’s.

Which brings us to the slab itself. Brushed with sauce and topped with a scattering of shredded provolone and mozzarella, its simplicity is its beauty. The hand slab at Slab ($6) is a thick pillow of dough that weighs a full pound. Compared to the slabs at Micucci’s these days, Slab’s dough is ever so slightly tangier and lighter, with the bouncy chew that makes this crust such a delight. It also spends a little longer in the oven, emerging with a perfectly crisp crust and bubblier, deliciously browned cheese.

That said, Micucci’s continues to pull off an accomplished rendition of Lanzalotta’s classic. The slab here ($4.50) is a little heavier on the sauce, which also tastes a tad sweeter than the sauce at Slab…

Reviews: Annapurna’s, Bayside, India Bazaar, Lolita

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Annapurna’s Thali and India Bazaar,

These two Indian spots are both unique in Portland and appealing in their own way. The many paths to greatness is perhaps India’s deepest lesson. As Krishna told Arjuna in the Gita: “if you be something still, be the Himalaya; if you be a cow, be the cow of wonder.” Here in Maine, if you will be chaos, be India Bazaar; if you will be calm, be Annapurna.

Eating Portland Alive has reviewed Lolita,

Overall, I was very pleased with my meal at Lolita and I’m looking forward to another visit. Lolita offers an attractive space, warm attentive service, and solid food. I will make good on this promise of returning and not allow opportunity be squandered as I had done with Bar Lola!

and Drink Up & Get Happy has reviewed Bayside Bowl.

Bayside Bowl has always been a great spot to hang out with friends.  They’ve got a great bar, tasty food, and if bowling isn’t your thing, often host live music in the restaurant area.  When we heard they were adding a happy hour to their summer schedule we were very excited.  When we learned what it entailed, we knew we just had to check it out.