Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Road to the 38: Eventide, Fore Street, Slab, Vinland

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Eater’s national roving restaurant critic, Bill Addison, was in Maine back in August sampling his way across the state. He’s just published an article with his impressions of Eventide, Fore Street, Slab, Vinland as well as Five Island Lobster Company in Georgetown.

Reviews: Grill Room, Sebago, Great Lost Bear

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed The Grill Room.

Overall happy hour at The Grill Room wasn’t too bad.  Pros are a great location, good specials including food, and a patio.  Cons were the long wait and not having happy hour restrictions posted. These things can be worked on and it’s a solid place to enjoy a happy hour, especially if you miss out on the free buffet up the street at The Corner Room.

The Golden Dish has published a comparative review of the burgers at The Great Lost Bear and Sebago.

Lesson learned:  when you want a great burger at a reasonable price go to the source—no imitations, please.  The Great Lost Bear does it right.

Cheap Eats

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has assembled some cheap eats recommendations for the new crop of college students who have recently arrived for the fall semester.

But after a trip to the campus bookstore, the annual pilgrimage to Target, and let’s not even mention that first tuition installment, your bank account balance is starting to look mighty paltry in the face of anything truffled or sous vide. So here’s 13 options that will satisfy your inner foodie without causing you to decide between the omakase and your Econ text book.

Review of MJ’s

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed MJ’s Wine Bar.

Portland’s only wine bar, MJ’s offers a diverse selection of wine and a solid list of craft beer. Snacks such as cheese, olives and nuts are offered, but there is not a kitchen. Romantic and cozy, MJ’s is great for happy hour, a glass of wine before a show or an event or a private event.

Best Oyster Bars: Eventide

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Travel+Leisure has included Eventide in their list of the Best Oyster Bars in America.

Turquoise walls make a fitting backdrop for this overflowing oyster bar, where stakes in the ice categorize the bivalves as “from Maine” or “away.” The Old Port area restaurant does New England classics like lobster rolls and chowder along with creative offerings like Kim Chee Ice or cucumber ginger. Eventide’s Chinese-style steamed bun, filled with crispy fried oysters, tomato, and tart pickled daikon, red onion, and jalapeño, is a standout.

Top 100 Fit for Foodies List

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Hugo’s and Primo in Rockland are both on the 2014 Open Table Fit for Foodies list.

The list is based on “the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia”.

Review of Lolita

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Lolita.

These come with the local mushrooms and toast ($4) and an heirloom tomato salad ($9). I savor the freshness of the Black Kettle Farm cherry tomatoes with basil and the tang of the bleu cheese (that we left in this time), and find it goes well with the bite of the freshly sliced Bresaola, Crespone and Coppa salamis from Long Island and San Francisco. We also enjoy the warm, creamy sauce on the oyster mushrooms mixed with thyme and garlic, as well as the Jasper Hill Harbison cheese from Vermont and Lakin’s Gorges Prix de Diane from Rockport.

Review of Fishin’ Ships

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

The Blueberry Files has reviewed Fishin’ Ships.

The O.G. preparation of the fish and chips was certainly good – crispy batter, flaky fish, not unpleasantly greasy, with crunchy fries – but the taco was my favorite. Next time, I’ll explore the flavored batters and dipping sauces, as I’m more excited by the unusual flavors the rest of the fish and chips preparations have to offer. 

Reviews: Timber & Central Provisions

Friday, September 12th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Timber,

With two drinks, tax and tip–and no dessert—this meal was hardly a bargain at $90, but it was awfully good.  My next “budget” meal there will be the rotisserie chicken—half a bird for $19.  Add in all the sides, cocktails and more, well, Timber is a steak house extraordinaire and you have to pay accordingly.

and the September edition of Down East includes a review of Central Provisions.

There are other Asian accents. The yellowfin tuna crudo has a hint of sesame, radish, and mustard — just enough to complement the pink flesh dissolving on your tongue. The spicy beef (carpaccio) salad has a nice Sriracha kick. And the halibut — a beautiful hunk of fish, seared crispy on the top and beribboned with grilled garlic scapes — has just a hint of heat from garlic and jalapeño to brighten the flavor of this dense fish.

Reviews: The King’s Head & El Rayo Scarborough

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of The King’s Head,

On a recent night, Amager Envy and Gluttony IPAs from Denmark were on tap, as well as Thornbridge Halcyon IPA out of England, Dieu du Ciel from Quebec, local brews like Bissell and Banded Horn, and even Prosecco.

Binet says “there will be no comfort beer” on tap, which means if you’re looking for Pabst Blue Ribbon and the like, you won’t find it here.

and has reviewed the new El Rayo in Scarborough.

There are lots of great starters on the menu, including fried plantains with chipotle mayo ($4.95), fried shisisto peppers dusted with sea salt ($7.95) and one of my favorites from the other El Rayo, Mexico City-style corn on the cob basted with chipotle mayo and dusted with cojita cheese ($4.95). I went with the corn-jalapeno fritters served with jalapeno jelly for those who want more kick. The small, thin fritters were nice and crunchy on the outside, soft inside with whole kernels of corn hidden throughout. These were as good as I remembered them, but at $5.75 for an order of about a half-dozen, they seemed a bit pricey.

Yahoo Travel: Non-Beer Drinking in Portland

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Yahoo Travel has assembled a list of recommendations on where to go in Portland when you want to drink, but you’re looking for something other than beer.

It’s no secret that Portland, Maine, is a haven for beer drinkers, thanks to the omnipresence of breweries, such as Allagash and Banded Horn, in the area. In fact, a number of companies will even take you on beer-tasting tours throughout the city. But what if you’re (gasp!) not a beer person? Or simply want to take a day off from hoppy brews and try out some of Portland’s other liquid offerings.

T. Edward: Hugo’s Central, Vinland

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

NYC wine importer T. Edward was recently in Portland. He’s posted impressions of his meals at Hugo’s, Central Provisions and Vinland.

With an urban appetite and a farmer’s flair, Portland’s dining scene has come of age and is ready for courting. From Hugo’s on Middle Street that first opened in 1999, to Central Provisions and Vinland, both opened just this year, Portland has become a destination for everything local on the plate from umami to briny, to supple creams and tart berries.

Review of Blue Spoon

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Blue Spoon.

A main course of pan-fried flounder was perfectly cooked–flakey, fresh and well-seasoned.  What drew me to the dish, however, was the accompanying side of caramelized green beans. These, however, were merely sautéed and remained al dente but not glazed whatsoever.  The fish had a further garnish of crispy fingerlings and olive oil poached sun gold tomatoes with basil—a pleasing Mediterranean touch, though overall too much oil on the dish.

Review of Lolita

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Lolita.

The medium dishes are the most intriguing on the page, and they deliver on it. In one dish, black trumpets brought out the earthy side of mackerel filet. Lentils, served with just pickled beets, could not have been more perfectly tender or expertly seasoned. Torchino pasta enlivens a simple creamy tomato sauce with the spice and texture of crumbled nduja sausage and the pop of fresh peas.

Review of Slab

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Portland Magazine has reviewed Slab.

Craving more of that insanely delicious bread–which is nothing like pizza dough–we’re captivated by the Sausage Raab Shoe Bianca ($9) served with a side of “slab gravy.” Crumbled, tender sausage meat is mixed with lots of quality cheeses and tasty, bright green broccoli raab, all tucked into that dreamy pillow of luna lusciousness.

Review of El Corazon, Taco Trio, Hella Good

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed El Corazon/Taco Trio/Hella Good.

With relief I instead got the Corazon burrito (on Spring St. near downtown) for half the price. It was great—the tortilla grilled but still spongy, the carne ground up, juicy and infused with spices. The tacos ($2.50) are also quite good. The pork is almost bellyish in its fatty tenderness. The fish has a great tart sauce and just-bitter cabbage crunch. The pulled chicken was tender and herbaceous. The truck itself is a red beauty.

Review of Tandem Bakery

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed the new Tandem Bakery.

The custard of the chess pie was flawless, thick and rich with the tang of citrus and buttermilk.  The bottom crust wasn’t soggy, either, though the overall shell was a bit unusual.  It’s an all butter crust, but I’d like to know what Holt is doing to it?  It’s not flakey but crisp instead.

The blueberry crumble-topped pie was another perfect piece of pie.  The filling wasn’t overly sweet but just right and I loved the crunchy, candylike topping.

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.