Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review of Taqueria Tequila

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed Taqueria Tequila.

I was impressed.

In addition to the plentiful and excellent fresh food, I appreciated the friendly and efficient service.

I’m not smart enough to know if this is authentic Mexican food, but I believe it is. It’s certainly more tasty and interesting than many of the other choices that we have around here. I’ll be back, and next time I’m getting a beer.

Review of Ruski’s

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Ruski’s.

Ruski’s prices are very reasonable, their pours are strong, and their atmosphere is definitively dive. This place is fun for any time of day, week, or year and since they are open both early AND late, you can test that for yourself. I envision this as a go-to hangout in the event my wife isn’t around for a weekend, though I couldn’t see myself spending more than eight or ten hours at a time there. That would be overboard.

Review of Schulte & Herr

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Schulte & Herr.

Most fundamentally it is nice that they manage to preserve what is comforting in German cuisine while giving it unexpected brightness. So a salad of smoked trout and potato does not chase flavor with an aggressive dressing or by over-smoking the fish, but instead uses peppery arugula, spicy shards of radish, and tart-sweet pickled beets to enliven things. Even potato pancakes are almost light—under the thin layer of gorgeous brown crunch is a whipped up fluff. The dish is best ordered with salmon, cured in house with notes of citrus and pepper suffusing its creamy texture.

Brunch Review of Piccolo

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The Bollard has reviewed the Sunday brunch at Piccolo,

The prices at Piccolo were a bit higher than at most places in town, but not unreasonable. Thanks to attentive service, a creative menu, locally sourced ingredients and flawless execution, this easily ranked among the best Sunday brunches we’ve ever had in Portland. I can’t wait to go back.

Dinner Review of Artemisia Cafe

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the dinner service at Artemisia Cafe.

You can’t go wrong at this relaxed eatery where evening chef Guy Frenette specializes in classic dishes – many Italian inspired – that are big on flavor and fresh, local ingredients. Groups of up to four will enjoy booths lining the walls of the simple dining room; large parties are seated at central tables. The wait staff is welcoming and responsive and quick to answer questions (agrodolce is an Italian sweet and sour sauce) or accommodate special requests. Go hungry and take a friend so you can try a small appetizer, a shared plate of pasta such as pumpkin ravioli, and seasonal entrees – rich braises like pork osso bucco in fall and winter, lighter fare in warmer months.

The new MST restaurant reviewer is James Schwartz. According to the bio in the paper Schwartz,

Schwartz has covered food, travel and architecture for The Washington Post, Downeast, Coastal Living and Southern Living magazines for more than 30 years. Long a commuter between Portland and Washington, D.C., he retired from his job as vice president at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2013 and relocated to Maine. He lives in Cape Elizabeth and Brooklin.

Review of Dock Fore

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Dock Fore.

The day we chose to go to Dock Fore was cloudy and chilly so it was a great choice to cozy up to the bar and enjoy some $1.95 Shipyard Pumpkinheads. The atmosphere inside is that of a neighborhood bar. As a staple of the Portland bar scene it’s a great place to go and get away from the more touristy hot spots.

Another Review of Bramhall

Friday, October 31st, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Bramhall.

Bramhall is also open for lunch and their sandwich menu is expanding. Consider Porky’s Revenge, shaved and seasoned pork loin with pickled jalapeno and greens on a hoagie or the Flip “em the Bird, a hearty roast turkey sandwich with Fontina and roasted corn and tomatillo salsa on a hoagie.

Reviews: Bramhall, Golden Lotus, Bramhall

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Bramhall,

When all was said and done, my portion of the bill came to around $30 including tax and tip.  Bramhall was really fun, reasonably priced, and had an incredible atmosphere and decor. It would definitely qualify as an anytime hangout. The place wowed me as soon as I walked in which is also when the party started. From there it just got better. I would undoubtedly recommended this place to anyone for a great drink and some unique snacks.

the Press Herald has reviewed Golden Lotus,

White rice, or as my brother-in-law likes to call it, “the candy of grain,” is something I could also do a lot of damage with, and this certainly was the case with what I consumed at Golden Lotus. Cooked to perfection, it didn’t stand a chance, even with my less-than-stellar chopsticks skills. Also, the portions were generous. Not enormous, but plenty of food to satisfy the bottomless pit of my stomach.

and published a bar review of Bonfire.

Aside from the Solo cups and the self-serve beer wall, another exclusive detail at Bonfire is the choice of seats. Ever sipped a beer from a Solo cup on a cowboy saddle seat? (Don’t answer that.) Well, here, in the dim glow of Mason jar candles and the blue glare of 12 flat screen TVs, you finally can.

The Magpie’s Fancy

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Over the last several days a blog called The Magpie’s Fancy has published her favorite spots for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper in Portland.

Review of Ten Ten Pié

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Ten Ten Pié.

A terrific almond croissant has more pastry and less paste than Standard’s version, making it feel a bit more adult. A little bundt-shaped cannelé, made with burnt custard, had that combination of crunchy-chewy crust and softly chewy interior that marks great bagels. Chocolate pudding was rich and creamy, and topped with a miso-caramel cream (which tasted more of caramel).

Another Bao Bao Review

Friday, October 24th, 2014

The Golden Dish has posted a first look review of Bao Bao.

Dumplings remain the star of the show — prepared boiled or pan fried. Not to be missed are the wondrous steamed hake sheathed in shredded dumpling dough wrapped around the filling. They’re like the Asian version of quenelles — delicate, sweetly flavored and incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Review and Report on Bao Bao

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

The Blueberry Files has published a first look review of Bao Bao.

By the time we left Bao Bao, the 40-ish seat restaurant was full, with a few people waiting outside. Several people came into ask about take-out options (none yet). The restaurant never felt too loud or crowded, although we did clearly overhear our neighbors’ conversation, so it’s not the place for secret transactions.

Rather, Bao Bao offers comforting Chinese delights, for which West Enders seem eager. Check out Bao Bao Dumpling House (open for lunch at 11:30am and until 1am); I’ll be back for those fun cocktails and to sample the many more flavors of dumplings.

The Urban Eye also paid a visit and has a report on the scene Tuesday night,

I sidled up to the sunken bar and ordered an Oxbow farmhouse (best with dumplings) and perused the menu. Seated to my left was Sam Hayward and Dana Street. The power duo behind Fore Street, Street and Co. and soon Scales (2), were halfway through a five-course meal and ready to socialize.

I asked the epicure elder statesmen for a recommendation, because that’s what you do in situations like this. “Order the hake or lamb,” they said between chop sticking and white wine drinking.

Review of Ten Ten Pié

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

The Bowdoin Orient has reviewed Ten Ten Pié.

After devouring the croissant, which combined sweet almond filling with savory matcha depth, I took a moment to look around. The sparse seating, wide selection of goods and reasonable prices add to the unique appeal of Ten Ten Pié. The owners prioritize quality food over trendiness. In an era when hip décor, twee gimmicks and overwrought menu typography seem to be the norm, Ten Ten provides a refreshing departure.

This week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix also includes a review of Ten Ten Pié. I’ll have a post about it once the article makes it onto the Phoenix website.

Bar Review of Walter’s

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Walter’s.

More than anything else, Walter’s bar scene is perhaps one of the best values in town, which, despite its non-youngster appeal, is pretty darn cool.

Best Desserts in Portland

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Travel + Leisure have included Duckfat, Gelato Fiasco, Maine Pie Line and Piccolo in their list of the best dessert destinations in Portland.

Do you have some favorites you’d add to the list?

Review of Caiola’s

Friday, October 17th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Caiola’s.

A luscious chocolate cream filled a buttery pastry tartlet, slathered with the peanut butter sauce and pretzel streusel.  The ice cream was rich and creamy, but I was expecting to find chunks of pretzel in it but didn’t.  I learned they were ground to a fine powder and blended into the frozen custard base. That, I realized, was the undefinable flavor that I couldn’t pin point and the final, special touch to one of the best dinners I’ve had in months.

Review of Grace

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has published a bar review of Grace.

I nibbled, crunched, and devoured every last crumb on my plate. Then I finished my drink. I wanted more, but by some miracle, I settled down and stopped ordering since I had somewhere else to be. My wife finished her sangria. We rejoiced. Even though we didn’t order much, everything we had was superb.

Reviews: Bramhall, The Front Room, Foley’s

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

The Blueberry Files has published a first look at the Bramhall,

There’s a great food menu too – which is very different than my recollection of the old Bramhall! We tried several items – the loaded crips were a standout. Thinly-sliced potato chips were topped with bacon, green onions, and cheese curds ($8). They disappeared fast. We also ordered several dishes for the table to share meat plate, a cheese plate, and the Caribbean jerk wings. The bite I had of a friend’s burger was outstanding – it was medium-rare, perfectly tender, with bits of bacon inside the burger. 

Drink Up and Get Happy has published a bar review of The Front Room,

Despite the rumors we had heard that you need to get there early to snag a spot for happy hour, we found it very empty when we arrived just after 4pm and had no trouble ordering ourselves a couple of glasses of white wine and relaxing at the bar. As other patrons came in many were greeted by name, enhancing the feel that you were gathering in a friend’s kitchen rather than in a restaurant. Overall it’s a great spot for a delicious drink at a great price and is out of the hustle and bustle of the Old Port. We can’t wait to go back!

and The 207 Foodie has reviewed Foley’s.

1. Eclairs– Is there anything better than an eclair, especially a fresh one? A pastry that’s covered in chocolate and filled with custard. I think the only thing better is the act of actually eating it, and getting that perfect bite of pastry, chocolate and creme all at once. Now, at Foley’s you’re in for a real treat, because their eclairs are huge, and definitely too big to eat at once. So either save it as a delicious treat for later, or just share it with someone special.

First Review of Sur Lie

Friday, October 10th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Sur Lie.

Don’t miss the cream of corn, either.  It’s simply described on the menu as sweet corn, buttermilk biscuits and mushrooms.   It’s really a corn soup of the richest broth enriched with cream poured over sautéed corn kernels, mushrooms  and biscuit cubes.  Add the extra element of head-on shrimp or pork belly and it’s a splendid dish.

Reviews: Back Bay Grill & Oscar’s

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Maine magazine has published a review/profile of The Back Bay Grill.

All of this is what Matthews, Stratton, and the whole crew at Back Bay Grill have been trying to achieve since the beginning: a level of consistency and value that keeps their clientele coming back again and again.

As Stratton tells me, “The overall feel and heartbeat of this restaurant will not change. Every day we set the tables exactly the same. That’s what our guests like, and the way I see it, we are very lucky to have them.”

and the Press Herald has published a bar review of Oscar’s New American.

Oscar’s is a great option for people looking for upscale food and drink without the huge price tag. If Krunkkala keeps running specials like the $5 wine and appetizers, there’s really no excuse to feel like there aren’t affordable options for quality food.