Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Food & Wine: The Maine Event

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

The August issue of Food & Wine includes an article about Portland.

Portland’s reputation as the foodiest, friendliest small town in America is undeniable, but the restaurant scene is now officially in overdrive. From noodle bars to natural wines, fried chicken to cocktails, we’ve got 14 reasons to visit Maine this month.

The article highlights: Drifters Wife, Figgy’s, Rhum, Rossobianco, Roustabout, Scales, Solo Italiano, Tandem Coffee and Bakery, Terlingua, The Honey Paw, The Press Hotel, and Thompson’s Point as well as Custom Deluxe and The Velveteen Habit.

The article isn’t online yet.

Crime Writers Guide to Portland

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Author Chris Holm has written a guide to what to eat, drink and do in Portland for the Maine Crime Writers website A Day In… series.

Dutch’s, Standard, Otto, Ten Ten Pie, Nosh, Woodford, Terlingua, Central Provisions, Miyake, Hunt &  Alpine and several brewers and distillers get mentioned.

Reviews: Drifter’s Wife, Foulmouthed Brewing

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Drifter’s Wife,

Most of all, they’ll encourage you to drink whatever you like, rather than steer you toward traditional pairings, and because of executive chef Ben Jackson’s thoughtfully versatile, constantly changing menu, it all works beautifully. Start with something green like the Red Russian kale salad with breadcrumb topping, or the broccoli with harissa-spiced almonds. And if beef tongue in a rich, herbal broth is on the menu, take a leap and order it, no matter how you feel about tongue; Jackson’s version will make you a convert.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Foulmouthed Brewing. For some history on Foulmouthed and thoughts on their beer see this article by the Beer Muse.

Foulmouthed Brewing turned out to be more than just a brewery. They’re a brewery. They’re a bar. They’re a restaurant. They’re a Brewbararaunt. And they’re a really good one. With excellent food and top notch brews it’s like going to your favorite eatery that makes everything from scratch, including the beer. Plus, the prices are very reasonable. South Portland most certainly has a new go-to location and you’d be doing yourself a favor if you get there soon.

Summer Visiting Guides: Zagat, Bloomberg, Washingtonian, Saveur

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Summer is here and along with the influx of visitors to Portland is a flurry of articles about where to eat, stay, shop and visit:

  • Zagat has posted their list of the Hottest Restaurants in Portland along with video interviews with Rob Evans, Sam Hayward and Andrew Volk. On the list are: Blue Rooster, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Eventide, Fore Street, Lolita, Outliers, Piccolo, Slab, The Holy Donut, Timber, Vinland
  • Bloomberg has posted an article highlighting Maine’s Best New Hotels.
  • Washingtonian magazine has assembled a guide to visiting Maine that highlights a number of shops and restaurants in Portland.
  • Saveur has published a travel piece about visiting Funky Bows in Lyman which it calls “the must-visit brewery tour that’s really a backyard party in disguise”

Review of Zapoteca

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Zapoteca.

…Try the El Pepino margarita if you’re a fan of cucumber, orange and slow-burning peppery heat – it’s a perfect match for a plate of Bard’s precisely plated guacamole, served with hot, freshly fried tortilla chips. Order the jalapeños rellenos stuffed with local cheese, and if you’re not a lover of spice, you can get away with sticking to the tip-end of the peppers. We found both the flat-pressed carnitas and the mole half-chicken to be overcooked and dried out, but fell head over heels for the halibut cooked Veracruz-style in a luscious, almost Mediterranean pan sauce of green olive, tomato, capers and raisins…

Reviews: Lolita, Saltbox, Sur Lie, Drifter’s, LFK, Petite Jacqueline

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

The Bollard has reviewed Saltbox Cafe,

We spread out on a nearby picnic table to eat. I’d chose the Crab Cake Croissant ($8.95), a rich and well-seasoned homemade crab cake served, on this particular day, with extra-sharp cheddar and ginger-hollandaise sauce on a split-and-grilled croissant. I added a farm egg and fresh, peppery greens ($1.20) for what turned out to be a near-perfect breakfast sandwich.

and Lolita.

I had the torchio pasta with ‘nduja sausage ($16), a soft Italian sausage with a sharp spiciness that would have been overly aggressive had it not been toned down by the creamy sauce. This is one of Lolita’s most popular dishes, for good reason. My husband had the Marmitako ($16), a Basque fishermen’s stew. Other than more hunks of bread to soak up the rich fish stock, this dish lacked nothing. The thick chunks of red tuna, roughly chopped potatoes and pile of briny mussels made for a satisfying meal.

The Press Herald has reviewed LFK,

LFK is a casual neighborhood bar in Longfellow Square that offers craft beers and cocktails, appetizers and mains, and an eclectic mix of writerly relics, such as typewriters, vintage books and poems etched in glass. Paying ode to the space’s former tenant, Cunningham Books, LFK lures a creative crowd that likes reading at the bar, talking about their love of pork belly or both. Drinks are strong, beer is cold.

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed happy hour at Sur Lie,

Overall happy hour at Sur Lie was great! Good drinks served up by friendly and attentive bartenders paired with tasty food will always win us over. The prices might keep it out of the regular rotation but when we want a bit of a treat we will definitely be back. The sweet pea hummus alone would pull us back in! Seriously, get it.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the new Petite Jacqueline,

At $100 bucks before tip, I was certainly pleased with Petite Jacqueline. I always am. They really make food the right way – fresh, with hearty portions, intense flavors, and no overcomplication. The service is excellent and the new atmosphere is a little more modern. While not quite as cozy as the last iteration, it’s less cramped and there’s definitely something to be said for that. The menu hasn’t changed much, if at all, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the foods always been top notch and interesting.

and a review in the Portland Phoenix of the Drifter’s Wife elicited a response from BDN food writer Kathleen Pierce.

Draft 100: Novare Res

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Draft magazine has recognized Novare Res in their annual list of the 100 Best Beer Bars in the nation.

The 33 draft lines give diverse attention to hoppy American gems from Night Shift and Sierra Nevada, German classics like Einbecker Pils and Kultbücher Monchshof Schwarzbier, plus Belgian darlings and “best of” Maine breweries. You could also go for the 500-deep bottle list, or the seasonal proprietary beer brewed by Liquid Riot…

Maine’s Best Lobster Rolls

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

The Portland area captured 3 of the 20 top slots on The Daily Meal list of Maine’s Best Lobster Roll: Fishermen’s Grill, J’s Oyster Bar and Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster.

In order to assemble our list of the best lobster rolls in Maine, we consulted with several native authorities on the subject, as well as major publications and other trusted lists. While everyone who lives in Maine has their favorite lobster roll place, we believe that the spots on our list really stand apart from the pack.

First Review of Foulmouthed

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

The Blueberry Files has published a review of Foulmouthed Brewing.

I loved the crowd-pleasing variety of styles, and in particular, enjoyed the Golden Bullet and the Malcontent. The Dark & Foamy was really interesting too, since most ginger beers I’ve encountered are very light. This one had a nice backbone that stood up to the spice of the ginger. 

For more info on Foulmouthed see their website, and accounts on facebook, twitter, instagram

Reviews: Red Sea, Oxbow, Milly’s Skillet

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Red Sea,

At Red Sea, a tiny restaurant on Washington Avenue in Portland, chef Akbret Batha and general manager Yemane Tsegai serve traditional Eritrean and Ethiopian dishes, all prepared from scratch. While the dining room itself, sporting vivid lemon-yellow paint, plastic tablecloth covers and posters, feels a bit like a travel agency, the food is generally terrific. Start with an order of the crisp, crunchy beef sambusas – if you opt for the vegetarian version, the lentil sambusas, ask for them with a little extra of chef Batha’s dynamite berbere spice mix. Nearly all the stews at Red Sea are good, most especially the cabbage, potato and carrot alicha, the spicy and complex Eritrean-style haddock, the red-lentil tsebhi birsen and the tomato-based okra stew.

the Press Herald has reviewed Milly’s Skillet,

Milly’s Skillet is certainly helping with that. The egg rolls were deep fried but not greasy, crisp on the outside with tender chunks of chicken and corn within. They tasted like having a forkful of really good fried chicken, with corn, and the honey mustard dipping sauce added just the right amount of tang. They were hot out of the fryer when I got them, and stayed warm during lunch.

and the Oxbow tasting room.

Oxbow’s Blending & Bottling tasting room in Portland is about more than beer. The expansive space, where wine, whiskey, and even non-Oxbow beers are served, is a veritable bar with up some 40 seats, plenty of standing room, and frequent music, art and design events.

Top 50 Diners: Palace Diner

Friday, July 1st, 2016

The breakfast specialists at Extra Crispy have included Palace Diner in their list of America’s Best Diners,

…The hash brown potatoes are whole red potatoes that have been blanched, then crushed, then fried so that the skin is crispy and the interior is creamy. The locally-sourced eggs are rich and have yolks the color of saffron. Perfectly crispy strips of thick cut applewood bacon are so long that they snake around your plate (but the Taylor ham is what you really want). The toast is made from bread from local bakeries instead of packaged brands, and they serve it correctly by not stacking the pieces on top of each other so that they steam and get all soggy…

Reviews: Tiqa, Taco Trio, Back Bay Grill

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

The Maine Sunday  Telegram has reviewed Tiqa,

Moreover, none of the dishes seem like they were dreamed up by a chef who has spent his entire professional career cooking in Portland – someone who told me he was never a very good student in school. Because through unremitting, ongoing research, Byrne has found a way through Tiqa’s multinational logic puzzle, and has stitched together a competent menu to represent 12 disparate cultures and cuisines. While it’s not always perfect, his solution is still a pretty elegant one.

the Press Herald  has reviewed Taco Trio,

Energetic, delicious, cheap and hospitable, Taco Trio’s second location on Forest Avenue has become a neighborhood fixture for its cozy bar scene, good beer selection and house margaritas and mojitos. Whether for a drink and a snack, or a full meal of enchiladas, this taqueria is not to be missed.

and The Golden Dish has reviewed The Back Bay Grill.

I’m often asked which is my favorite restaurant. I can’t answer that because there are so many that are praiseworthy. But I can say there’s nothing like Back Bay Grill in Maine. It prepares unimpeachably wonderful food, and what more could you want?

First Look: The New Petite Jacqueline

Friday, June 24th, 2016

The Golden Dish has posted a first look at the new Petite Jacqueline on Market Street.

A few changes on the menu include the fish filet, which is now cooked in parchment and the beloved roast chicken, skate wings and a duck confit make appearances.  There are daily specials including a lobster roll on Fridays, duck breast on Saturdays and steak au poivre on Sundays.

Down East: Best of Maine

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

July-Cover-1050-463x580Down East magazine has published their Best of Maine issue. Editors choice food and drink selections include Palace Diner (best diner), Maine & Loire (best wine shop), Thomas Malz from Custom Deluxe in Biddeford (best new chef), East Ender (best brunch) and Allagash (best brewery).

There are a number of Portland area favorites in the reader’s choice list as well: Maine Craft Distilling, Novare Res, Allagash, Coffee by Design, The Holy Donut, Amato’s, Otto Pizza, Harbor Fish Market, RSVP and Gelato Fiasco.

The article isn’t available yet online.

Reviews of Scales

Sunday, June 19th, 2016


The Maine Sunday Telegram and Portland Magazine have published reviews of Scales.

…Cocktails, especially the dry and slightly savory Maine Wharf, and the sweet, effervescent Jewell Island ($10) are first-rate and a fine way to start your meal, especially if you order hot appetizers like the cracker-crusted whole belly clams or a cup of the lobster bisque (both wonderful). When you’re ready to order main dishes, don’t be put off by the sometimes baffling team service concept in the restaurant; ask anyone, they are all your servers. Stick to entrees like roasted lobster, served with an oniony cornbread muffin and cole slaw, or the classic shellfish stew. Steer clear of the scallops with sausage, and definitely don’t waste 4 bucks on two stingy (and subpar) Parker House rolls. But do order dessert, like a slice of the chiffon cake, dusted with strawberry milk and plated vertically next to a scoop of ice cream and a pool of crème anglaise. [MST]