Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Reviews: Tomaso’s Canteen & Pat’s Cafe

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Tomaso’s Canteen,

Sangillo’s closing was a loss for the community, and Tomaso’s definitely doesn’t replace it. But in some ways that’s great. You’ll still find the affordable drinks and “beer and shot” menu, but now the space is verging on gastropub territory, with its amazing food, specialty drinks and relaxed vibe. The location is hole-in-the-wall enough to feel like a secret, but it’s right off Middle Street.

and Pat’s Meat Market & Groceria Cafe.

I also tried the chicken vegetable soup ($4.95), with shredded chunks of chicken and a rich, bright yellow stock that I found later was made at the market. It had mushrooms, carrots and pieces of turnip. It was very hot, making it a good traveling soup. So next time I want a soup to go, I’ll get some at Pat’s and I’ll be confident it will stay warm. Some of the other soups on the rotating list include beef and bean chili, cream of asparagus, curry chicken and rice, and clam and haddock chowder.

Review of Bayou Kitchen

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Run for Breakfast has reviewed Bayou Kitchen.

The regular menu has many delicious options for both breakfast and lunch (Bayou serves breakfast and lunch only) and every one I have had has been fantastic.  From prior visits I recommend trying the Veggie Homie Plate (home fries smothered with veggies and cheese), the Breakfast Sandwich (traditional style, but for a real treat, order is with the Andouille sausage), or El Rancho Verde omelet (a medley of Cajun and southwest flavor).  If you are in the mood, Bayou Kitchen’s French Toast and pancakes are large and perfectly cooked. 

Brunch Review of Roustabout

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

The Golden Dish has posted a brunch review of Roustabout.

What you will get is a carefully thought out menu.  Don’t look, then, for other typical dishes like sausage gravy over biscuits or cracklings of bacon rashers with eggs over easy. This is, after all, brunch, the combination of morning and noontime leisurely dining where a little bit of this and that suffice.

Top 5 Cocktails: Tempo Dulu Jakarta

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Star Chefs has highlighted Tempo Dulu bartender Trevin Hutchins’s drink the Jakarta as one of their Top 5 Cocktails of 2015.

Review of El Rayo

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed El Rayo.

Standard menu items are more reliable than the specials here, so stick with familiar favorites like fried plantains served with a piquant chipotle mayonnaise. (That mayo is so good, it’s reason enough to order the appetizer.) Then dig into a bowl of guacamole with one of El Rayo’s thin, lightly salted tortilla chips: The guac is fresh, brightened with key lime juice, and pleasantly peppery, and you’ll plow through the crispy chips in no time. You can move on to empanadas and burritos served with rice and beans, or a quesadilla crisped on the griddle, but the tacos at El Rayo (it is a “taqueria” after all) stand out. Don’t miss the barbecued pulled pork taco served with cole slaw, crumbly cotija cheese and a red onion escabeche: It’s a meaty, sticky, messy winner.

Reviews: Tomaso’s Canteen & Portland Patisserie

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed the Portland Patisserie,

These desserts are lovely for a bit of shared decadence at the patisserie’s traditional small white tables. Or you can fill the table up with larger plates for crepes, soups, salads and sandwiches. The crepes are expertly done in the traditional style, with their handsome brown wedge topped by a jagged crown of crisp and chewy cheese. A crepe made with duck, gruyere, onion and stonefruit was built like the tricolor. At the point of the wedge the cheese mingled with the tart and sweet of the fruit. Where it widened the richer flavors of a chewy duck confit and tender caramelized onion dominated. The top was all terrific salty cheese.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Tomaso’s Canteen.

We ate and ate, stopping only to take short breaths and stare lovingly at our food. Eventually, it was nearly gone and we were filled to the brim. I reminisced about the past hour and realized that while I was well fed, the meter where I parked wasn’t. I asked for the bill and hoped that there wasn’t another one on my car. Our total came to a mere 31 bucks before tip. We didn’t have any drinks, but we had lots of food. It was all very good, and that app…that app was simply gorgeous. We were both smiling and raved about Tomaso’s Canteen as a great place to go and not spend all our cash while still getting top notch pub grub.

25 Best New Restaurants: Honey Paw

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The Honey Paw was included in the Gear Patrol list of the 25 Best New Restaurants in America.

What to Order: Fry bread with uni butter; fried wings with coconut, lemongrass, tamarind and Thai bird chili; Vietnamese pork meatball soup with glass noodle, smoked pork broth, mortadella, roast pork and Thai bird sambal; fish head curry made with local cod, sweet potato, pickled okra, cashew, fresh turmeric, tomatillo sambal and jasmine rice.

La Liste 1,000: Fore Street

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

La Liste, a new international guide to the 1,000 most “exceptional restaurants from around the world” was released on Thursday. 101 US restaurants made the cut. Per Se came in #2 overall and Fore Street, the sole entry from Maine, was ranked #935.

La Liste is based on the collective rankings from 200 guidebooks and online review sites. Each of the source’s weight in the overall score was based on their level of reliability as reported from a survey of 150,000 restaurant owners.

This graphic (click to expand) shows the national origins of the restaurants on the list:

lalisteYou can learn more about the team leading the project, their sources and methodology on the La Liste website.

Review of Fore Street

Friday, December 18th, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed Fore Street.

Fore Street has not lost its luster one bit.  Yet its gloriousness is so subtle.  It doesn’t blaze with culinary fripperies. Instead its gastronomic Zeitgeist favors a less-is-more approach, maintaining a patina of refinement with everything that comes out of its kitchen.  From the food that’s grilled, spit-roasted or pan seared and roasted in great cast-iron pans to the utter fineness of its ingredients—nearly all locally sourced— it’s the simplicity  of its cooking that speaks with such exuberance.

Reviews: Great Lost Bear & Portland Co-op

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of The Great Lost Bear,

The Great Lost Bear has an extensive beer list and maintains a hometown-bar vibe. Good for a burger and a beer, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays when it’s “talls for smalls” pricing.

and a lunch review of the Portland Food Co-op.

There are two kinds of organic soups ready to ladle into to-go cups (soups change daily) and the price was right ($3.50 for a small). I chose the mushroom barley, which was vegan (I felt instantly virtuous). Since that was so cheap, I also grabbed a couple of lunch-portioned salads from the cooler right near the soup: a half pound of “Awesome Chicken Salad” for $6.86 and an “Autumn Salad” with chickpeas, kale and pepitas, aka little pumpkin seeds, for $2.64.

Reviews: Portland Patisserie, The Works

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Down East has reviewed Portland Patisserie,

The pastries, quiches, soups, and sandwiches at Portland Pâtisserie and Grand Café, in the Old Port, are well on their way to standing on their own, with authentic French underpinnings and just enough New World innovation to keep things interesting. This is thanks to 34-year-old pastry chef Catherine Côté-Eliot, enlisted by owners Steve and Michelle Corry (the duo behind classic Portland restaurants Petite Jacqueline and 555) to translate French patisserie conventions into innovative confections fit for Maine palates.

and the Press Herald has published a lunch review of The Works.

On a nasty late-fall noon hour with a hard rain falling, I dashed across Temple Street from One City Center to finally try what most of my co-workers know is one of the finest sandwich shops in Portland.

Review of Tempo Dulu

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Tempo Dulu.

Tempo Dulu isn’t for everyone. Much of the spicing is unapologetically intense; the tamarind in the curry, for example, or the chilies in the sambal. A few of the dishes (like the crab and shrimp cake) pale next to more flavorful options. And the place is definitely pricey for Maine: Couples who choose the most affordable of the three menus must still expect to spend well north of $150 dollars, excluding drinks. But if you’re dining out in search of something memorable, flavorful – and above all, sensual – Tempo Dulu is the place to go.

Run for Breakfast

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Both endurance athletes and dedicated brunch fans will find something to like in Portland’s newest food blog Run for Breakfast. Husband and wife running partners Mike and Katie write about their weekend run and the destinations they stop for breakfast along the way. The latest is a review of Dutch’s,

We’ve actually been to Dutch’s quite a few times now.  The first time I had been lured in by a Yelp Reviewer who poetically said something to the effect of their home fries being like hash browns and tater tots getting married and having beautiful square children.  That’s no lie.  The home fries, hash browns, whatever you call them are amazing; crispy, crunchy on the outside and soft and potato-y in the middle.

They’ve also written up visits to Abilene, The Honey Paw, Union and The Sinful Kitchen.

Bar Review of Bull Feeney’s

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Bull Feeney’s.

Open for nearly 14 years, Bull Feeney’s is an authentic Irish pub and restaurant known for its daily entertainment, particularly live music and quiz games and competitions. The pub serves local craft beer, as well as imported brews, and features Maine’s most extensive selection of single malt Scotch whiskies. This is the place to spend your holiday weekends, both for the pub fare, as well as the fun atmosphere. It’s hard to go wrong at Bull Feeney’s.

Best Bars: Hunt & Alpine

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Hunt & Alpine has landed on the list of the Best Bars in America.

Portland’s first craft-cocktail bar continues to shine with a deep cocktail list that spans from approachable to geeky. There’s a smoky spin on a Negroni made with Cynar, tequila, mezcal and Fernet Branca and the simple Green Eyes: a gin sour sharpened to a keen edge with a healthy splash of green Chartreuse.