Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Great American Beer Festival Winners

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Two Maine brewers are taking home medals from this year’s Great American Beer Festival competition:

  • Allagash won a gold medal in the Belgian Style-Witbier category for Allagash While
  • Allagash also won a silver in the Belgian Tripel category for their Tripel
  • Baxter Brewing won a silver in the Field Beer category their Window Seat Coconut Almond Porter

You can see the full list of award winners on the GABF website.

Reviews: Evo, Isa, Ocho

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Isa.

The benefits of Isa’s simplicity were most clearly on display in the fantastic burrata crostini. It was made transcendent by the ample slices of perfectly ripe yellow tomatoes, which lay between a rustic bread smeared with pesto and the creamy cheese. A grilled peach appetizer benefited from the fruit’s not-quite-ripeness. A sweeter peach might have overwhelmed the bitter of arugula and the tang of goat cheese. In another likeable salad, the tartness and acid of grapefruit, along with thin slices of apple and a splash of cider, mellowed the aroma and bite shaved fennel.

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Evo,

Evo Kitchen & Bar should be on the top of anyone’s list for the next place to go for wine, cocktails, and small plates. Michael Gatlin has created a beautiful drink list that complements Chef Matt Ginn’s beautiful, seasonal Mediterranean fare. The all-glass space and design is breathtaking, and nowhere else on Fore Street will you feel like you’re at a swanky bar somewhere in Manhattan.

and has reviewed Ocho.

I ordered The Classic. This meant my burrito was a symphony of Spanish rice, cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, crema, plus the two added bonuses of chicken and guacamole. It was ready in about three blinks of an eye, and I was out the door walking back to the newsroom. Once the noshing began, it was a formidable task to eat this hefty burrito…Anyway, my OCHO burrito wasted no time in announcing its deliciousness as my taste buds were awakened by a nine-piece band of flavors. Everything seemed incredibly fresh and, yes, I finished the whole thing.

BuzzFeed’s Portland List

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

BuzzFeed has posted a list of the “39 Amazing Things That Will Make You Fall In Love With Portland, Maine“. The staff at BF must love to eat out because most of the list highlights restaurants and bars including: Tandem, Eventide, Central Provisions, J’s Oyster Bar, Bard, Lolita, Boda, Silly’s, Schulte & Herr, Blue Spoon,  Hunt & Alpine and many more.

Inside, Outside, Above, Below

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Eatcentric Me has posted a report on Inside, Outside, Above, Below.

I attended Lauren Fensterstock and Aaron Stephan with Chef Masa Miyake’s (chef and owner of Miyake, Pai Men Miyake, and Miyake Farm) staged dinner event INSIDE, OUTSIDE, ABOVE, BELOW recently, and it was a coalescence of all things I most readily identify with and love: great food paired with drinks, meeting interesting people and sharing the experience with them, and a creative, choreographed art installation centered around dining.

Brunch Review of Piccolo

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed Sunday brunch at Piccolo.

The play of seasonings was exciting: Calabrian chili, pepper, plenty of sea salt and a trace of fennel accented the chicken and potato hash; and the semolina bread, toasted until soft-but-crunchy held the sweet raisins.  I was tempted to ask for a fruit preserve to spread on the toast but as soon as I broke open the egg, the yolk bathed everything else in its path and I coaxed  the bread to sop up all those components in the dish.

Review of Empire

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed Empire.

It’s been two years since Empire opened, and in that time they’ve succeeded in setting the standard for some of the best Chinese food north of Boston. It didn’t try to be a fusion powerhouse like Mission Chinese in New York or Meyers and Chang in Boston. But the chefs, under the direction of co-owner Theresa Chan, take on nontraditional dishes as well. Consider their brioche char siu bao (baked pork buns) or spicy cucumber with jelly fish salad as examples–two must-have dishes.

4½ Star Review of Union

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has given Union, the restaurant in The Press Hotel, 4½ stars.

Good news. Union, the restaurant that opened four months ago off the lobby of Portland’s new Press Hotel, is the real thing – a contemporary American farm-to-table restaurant that grabs you with its good looks, then sweeps you off your feet with dishes as delicious as they are ravishing. Dinner here is no fast-to-fade one-night stand. It’s a relaxing opportunity to savor and enjoy executive chef Josh Berry’s assured and consistent cooking. And you’ll wake up the next morning with a very broad smile on your face.

Gather’s Guide to Portland

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Gather magazine has published their guide to Portland.

At every turn down Portland’s cobblestones, another study in self-determination seemed to greet us. It was not the absence of an appreciation for the beautiful or delightful. To the contrary, Angela Adams’ nature-inspired homegoods, Portland Dry Goods’ curated corners, The Press Hotel’s typewritten nooks and Eventide Oyster Co.’s restorative flavors are just a few examples of a sweeping reverence for the good life. It felt like a collective belief in a sort of manifest destiny, the ability to drive a new way forward in a place that feeds and accepts and encourages and is proud of its creative class…

Eateries and bars mentioned in the article include: Allagash, Bard, Central Provisions, Dobra, Eventide, Fore Street, Grace, Harbor Fish, Honey Paw, Hunt & Alpine, LFK, Miyake, Piccolo, Shipyard, Slab, Standard, Street & Co, Tandem and Two Fat Cats.

Reviews: Ocho & Ramen Suzukiya

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

The Golden Dish has posted reviews of Ocho and Ramen Suzukiya.

What we had was a creamy tonkotsu flavor from the mix of its  pork and chicken soup base.  The broth itself just coated your lips with its creaminess.  Add the homemade thin noodles and a tender slice of pork belly, soft boiled egg and bok choy and it’s classic tonkotsu ramen.

Review of Evo

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Evo,

The food was really good and came to about 180 nuggets after tip. That included six drinks and 6 plates. It wasn’t inexpensive, but EVO came through, providing us with serious, quality food. Portland now has another Mediterranean place that will pump you full of awesome vittles with a great atmosphere and excellent service. It’s getting tougher by the day to choose where eat, but I think that’s a good problem to have.

Reviews: The Honey Paw & Back Cove BBQ

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of The Honey Paw,

John Myers, the Paw’s bar director, is deft at making unique craft cocktails that will quickly become your new favorite drink. Head to the Paw for imported, rare beers from Japan, Germany, Belgium and France. Local beers will be available, but the focus here is not on local beer. Expect a crowd every night, great service, superb food and drink.

and a review of Back Cove BBQ & Pizzeria.

The bulk of the menu, of course, is made up of sandwiches, wraps and pizzas, many of which feature meats that are barbecued on site, in a smoker in the parking lot. The sandwiches, wraps, burgers, dogs and assorted entrees start at $7.99, with add-ons like bacon or cheese costing extra. The restaurant recently started offering combo deals for $9.99 that includes fries or slaw and a free drink with the entree.

Review of Figgy’s

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015


Map & Menu have reviewed Figgy’s.

Sometimes in Maine, great fried chicken and biscuits can be a little hard to find. Palace Diner has its delicious-but-infrequent Fried Chicken Fridays, while Tandem Bakery has its amazing loaded biscuits for breakfast, but as a good southern boy at heart, every now and then I just find myself hankering for a few pieces of fried chicken and a homemade buttermilk biscuit. Thankfully, Figgy’s has stepped in to fill that void in my stomach, and boy do they do it with style.

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

Breakfast at the Blue Rooster

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

The Bollard has published a breakfast review of the Blue Rooster.

The Blue Rooster is an excellent example of Portland’s reasonably priced, yet top­shelf, eateries. With its menu of creative sandwiches that change seasonally, bacon­wrapped hot dogs and handmade tater tots, this tiny Old Port outpost has been my favorite local sandwich shop since it opened in 2013. Now that they’re also serving breakfast I can finally put that love into words and share it here in The Bollard.

Zagat in Search of the Best Maine Lobster Roll

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Zagat has posted a video about their search for Maine’s Best Lobster Roll.

Restaurants You May Have Missed

Friday, September 4th, 2015

dispatch_ricchioJoe Ricchio has written an article for Dispatch magazine (page 40) listing the 20 or so restaurants he misses the most from the late 90s and early part of this century.

Mentioned in the article are Fresh Market Pasta, Mazza, Bandol, Haggarty’s, Go-Go Burger, Una, Perfetto, Village Cafe, Hu Shang, Carbur’s, Michaela’s, Ladle, Bodega Latina, G’Vanni’s, Portland Public Market, The Roma, Aubergine, Honey’s, Crab Louie, and Ruby’s Choice.

That era overlaps with when I first moved to the city, so many happy food memories….

The new issue of Dispatch also contains an interview with Alice Van de Water, bartender at Rosie’s (page 44).