Dive bars are a crucial component of any urban bohemian’s personal mix of high and low culture. Within the paradigm of upscale drinking, however, we considered a different type of high/low juxtaposition: MJ’s Wine Bar at the bottom of One City Center, and the Top of the East Lounge, located on the top floor of what is now the Westin Portland Harborview hotel. The former allows you to drink under 13 stories of home-grown bankers and lawyers; at the other, you’re lounging above a dozen floors of business travelers and tourists.
Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
The Press Herald has published a bar review of The North Point.
Brothers Dan and Noah Talmatch have created a cavernous wine and cocktail bar in the Old Port with excellent food and exceptional service. Their nightly drink specials are some of the best you will find.
Daigle Baked Goods (207.331.0167;email@example.com) sticks to two hand pies — each a fat round of lovely pale golden crust, big enough that you need two hands to hold it. Each is classical in approach. The pork version resembles a traditional shepherd’s pie. The finely ground meat is mildly seasoned, so you can taste the sweet green flavor of the tender peas. The chicken pie featured bigger chunks of tender meat, along with carrot and potato, in a rich, comforting sauce made from its own juices and touched with sage.
The Press Herald has published a bar review of Emilitsa,
Co-owned by brothers Demos and John Regas, Emilitsa is a modern Greek restaurant in Portland’s arts district. While known for its exceptional food, Emilitsa is a good place for a more intimate bar experience – perhaps for a date or a quiet evening with a friend. The wine list consists solely of Greek wines and while the beer list is selective, it boasts some true quality brews. The service is outstanding – some of the best in Portland – and your server will be knowledgeable about the wines and cocktails.
Perusing Portland has reviewed MJ’s Wine Bar,
MJ’s has a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. There is a wide wooden bar, long narrow table ideal for a large group, smaller tables and leather furniture. The wine selection must be the best in town. And, they are always changing the selection to reflect the season.
and Otto Pizza,
We have been to both Congress Street locations. Pizza from both location have been equally satisfying. Otto’s mashed potato pizza with bacon and scallion is as good as it sounds.
and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Paciarino.
Paciarino makes food that is top notch and serves it in portions fit for a hungry guy like me. They also sell some items to go if you want to bring it home and heat it up. If you like Italian, this is definite must-try restaurant in Portland.
The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Joe’s Boathouse.
The best part of Joe’s Boathouse Restaurant is the view. Beyond that the food is challenging, and politely calling it basic comfort food would be a stretch. The menu hasn’t changed in years nor the décor – a happenstance collection of tables and chairs. Yet its dockside setting gets better with age as if urban renewal has kept the marina shipshape while the cuisine at Joe’s remains woefully uninspired.
The Golden Dish has reviewed Ruski’s.
Strips should be banned from the deep fryer anyway. It’s half the clam and the least interesting part. The batter might as well have been filled with bread cubes; there was no discernible clam flavor whatsoever. I reluctantly finished them off because I was hungry.
Serious Eats has posted a single dish review of the Chirashi at Pai Men Miyake.
No surprise, the chirashi at Pai Men Miyake is particularly nice—and, frankly, well portioned for the price. The deep bowl is well padded with rice, on top of which sits a trio of sashimi: salmon, tuna, and bronzini, all impeccably fresh. The bronzini might be some of the best I’ve had—delicately sweet, rich, and clean.
The Press Herald has published a review of Thai 9,
This time I colored outside the lines of my so-called healthy eating and order Lo Mein with chicken ($8). The portion was generous and the egg noodles were pan fried with snow peas, napa cabbage, carrot, mushroom, onion and bean sprouts. Ah, the sweet taste of redemption.
and a bar review of Enio’s.
Enio’s Eatery in South Portland is the relatively new restaurant of Laura and Bob Butler. Laura is the sole cook and Bob manages the dining room, in addition to selecting the impressive wine list. If you’re not sure where to try next, put Enio’s at the top of your list.
Today’s paper also includes an article about Geary’s new gluten-free beer Ixnay.
Sleeping Hedgehog has published a review of Galley Goodies.
I’ve been working my way through some samples from Galley Goodies, a small gluten free bakery in Portland, Maine. In the bag dropped off by our fearless editor-in-chief were 2 bagels, 4 little pie minis (chocolate chip, caramel and coconut), and a peanut butter cupcake. Galley Goodies is the brainchild of Cara Cribb, a veteran restaurant chef who discovered her headaches and other medical issues were due to a severe reaction to gluten.
Miyake (#38) and Hugo’s (#45) are both on the Opinionated About Dining 2014 list of the top 100 restaurants in the United States.
Last year OAD rated Miyake #53 and Hugo’s #57 in their top 100 list for the US.
The Bollard reviewed Mi Sen.
At $11, my friend’s chicken massaman curry, also on the special menu, was our biggest splurge. A Thai dish of Persian origin, this curry is slow-cooked, making for meltingly soft potatoes, onions and carrots, and a tender cut of chicken that my friend pronounced “so amazing.” But the sauce itself was the highlight, with its creamy coconut base and undertones of tamarind.
Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed C-Squared,
…the C Square Restaurant and Top of the East Lounge offer chic trappings in which to have stylish American bistro fare and expertly crafted cocktails. The kitchen strives to use locally sourced ingredients and prepares them simply and thoughtfully. Standout starter dishes at dinner include the charcuterie board, oysters three ways, panko crusted goat cheese and a good New England clam chowder. Entrees include pan-seared duck breast, day-boat scallops, brined pork tenderloin, sautéed Maine lobster and grilled beef tenderloin.
and The Golden Dish has reviewed Eventide.
All gushing aside, Eventide is as good as ever, and maybe one day they can expand next door or upstairs or somewhere so one can get in, sit at a table and eat in a civilized manner. On the other hand, shoulder to shoulder with everyone else clamoring to wine and dine there also makes the intensely delicious food seem just right.
Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Walter’s.
Walter’s continues to impress me every time I go. They’ve been rock solid over the long haul and that consistency keeps bringing me back. Don’t hesitate to go there and sit at the bar either. If you’re looking for a night out with some awesome cocktails, you can’t go wrong with their drinks. They are delicious and pack both flavor and a potent punch inside your glass. Regardless of why your going though, Walter’s is sure to please even the most discerning foodie’s pallet.
The Press Herald has published a bar review of Vinland,
Vinland isn’t just a restaurant or a bar – it’s an experience. Adjacent to Congress Square in Portland, Vinland might look unassuming from the outside, but you’re sure to leave feeling at least a little more educated about food, drink and the possibilities of a 100 percent local menu. The cocktails are playful and artistic, and the service is first-rate.
and a review of the South Portland Otto.
When I tried the mashed potato pizza, which I had before and loved, its potatoes were more smashed than mashed, with chunks of potato sitting atop the pie. The bacon was smoky and crisp. Overall a very nice pie.
The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Vinland.
Vinland’s myriad ideas are most eloquently expressed when the food itself speaks for them. And the restaurant lets that happen — the menu and the service offer few hints of the righteousness that has become Vinland’s public persona. The handsome room is spare and well lit, the better to appreciate the presentation of the cuisine — which remained true to its astringent-aesthetic from that beet chip beginning to a delicious dried-parsnip crumble for dessert.
Blueberry Files has reviewed the Fishermen’s Grill.
This place isn’t sexy, but the food is the real deal. The seafood is ordered fresh daily and sourced locally. Once there weather warms up, I could see sitting outside or getting food to go and enjoying it in Baxter Woods across the street. It’s not necessarily cheap, but portions are big and easily feed two. The Fishermen’s Grill is cash only. Go check it out and enjoy the “locals only” feeling.
Star Chefs has announced their 2014 Coastal New England Rising Stars list and on it are several Maine chefs and food purveyors:
- Ravin “Bas” Nakjaroen from Long Grain in Camden
- Andrew Taylor and Michael Wiley from Hugo’s/Eventide
- Ilma Lopez from Piccolo in the Pastry Chefs category
- Eli Cayer from the Urban Farm Fermentory in the Artisans category
- Will Pratt from Tandem in the Coffee Roasters category
- Nathan Sanborn from Rising Tide in the Brewers category
- Andrew Volk from Hunt + Alpine in the Bartenders category
The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Gather.
For a unique, thoroughly charming dining experience, Gather offers gracious dining in a country village type of setting in a historic circa 1860 former Masonic hall. The vast dining room and its dramatic space are the scene for stylish farm-to-table fare. Standout dishes include their house-made Neapolitan-style pizza, rosemary-spiked French fries, wonderfully prepared appetizers and a good selection of hearty entrees like grilled meat loaf, braised chicken leg, local pork using a rotating selection of cuts that changes periodically, grilled and poached fish, soups, hamburgers and such delicious specials as their poutine of rosemary french fries with duck. Desserts are homemade.