Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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]

2 Reviews of Abilene

Sunday, June 12th, 2016

Tha Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Abilene,

Start off with a shrub cocktail, such as the strawberry basil rum shrub, made with their own homemade fruit vinegar. Next, try the surprisingly decadent crispy kale and the tender sweet potato and asparagus tacos with a luxurious cilantro cream. Skip the dry risotto and head right for any dish that comes with Colgan’s specialty: homemade pasta. The rich, sweet and saucy chicken marsala, served over tagliatelle is an excellent example. As you wrap up your meal in the quiet, homey dining room, don’t be tempted to leave before tasting the strawberry chocolate truffle cake. And if you feel like a nightcap, Abilene has its own homemade limoncello to put you over the edge…or straight into bed.

and so has Drink Up and Get Happy.

While the setting may be relaxed they don’t slouch one the food or drink offerings. The day we visited the $5 appetizers included BBQ pork sliders, veggie nachos, poutine and sweet potato and asparagus tacos. Portions are generous so a great way to experience a few of these is to share with friends. Everything was exemplary!

OAD Top 100: Hugo’s, Miyake

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Hugo’s(#37) and Miyake(#81) were named to the 2016 Opinionated About Dinning list of the 100 best restaurants in the US.

Best Food Truck: Urban Sugar

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

The Daily Meal has named Urban Sugar Maine’s best food truck in their annual survey of mobile food options across the country.

The traditional flavors are cinnamon sugar and classic sugar sprinkles, and the mini dips inlude glazed, chocolate, maple, and lemon — but you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t opt for one of the signature bites. Whether it’s “The Lucy” (chocolate cream, chocolate sauce, and chocolate graham crumble), the “Southern Sugar” (with maple bourbon and candied pecans), or whatever the weekly special happens to be, you’ll walk away with a smile on your face — and probably some sugar and frosting too.

Review of Scales

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Scales.

The fish stew is equally effective in mellowing strong flavors just enough — so that fennel animates rather than dominates the bright roasty tomato broth. The broth, a lovely orange-red, doesn’t pool with oil as so many do. Its richness complements the big pieces of firm swordfish and squid, along with many mussels. And a dish of seared scallops confirmed that Scales can make ambitious and complex dishes from shellfish too. Big chunks of sausage added some salt and fennel and chew, while the scallops themselves were buttery and tender. Pieces of charred endive added a bitter note to the creamy sauce.

First Review of Thai Esaan

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

The Maine Sunday Telegram has given Thai Esaan 4 stars.

Diminutive but exceptional Thai Esaan only seats eight people, but it packs an outsized wallop, introducing northeastern Thai (Esaan-style) cooking to Portland. No matter what else you order, be sure to sample at least a few of the regional specialties, especially the robust and comforting kanaa moo grob (crispy pork with Chinese broccoli), and the fragrant, oniony laab gai (ground chicken salad). King of all the Esaan offerings on the menu is the naked-looking khao mun gai (broth-steamed chicken with rice and chili sauce), a dish so perfect in its contrasts and secret scents and flavors that it will haunt your dreams – at least until you can order another serving…

50 Things to Eat in Portland

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Spoon University writer Madeleine Cohen has compiled a list of 50 Things to Eat in Portland.

Often called the food destination in America, a food mecca, “foodie” heaven, and many other food nicknames, Portland is known for having some of the best restaurants in the world. Here’s a definitive list of all of Portland’s classic and famous eats, plus a few extras that everyone should have on their radar.

Sofi Awards: Rogers Collection, Gelato Fiasco

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Two Maine businesses have been recognized by the Specialty Food Association:

Reviews: Solo Italiano, Portland Mash Tun, Sonny’s

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

The Golden Dish and Peter Peter Portland Eater have reviewed Solo Italiano,

We should welcome Solo Italiano to our fold of Portland dining because it’s time has come. The cooking is quite sophisticated with a true lightness of being that completely embraces the eternity of fine dining. [TGD]

the Press Herald has reviewed Portland Mash Tun,

Mash Tun is a relaxed, 40-seat bar on Wharf Street in Portland with 18 rotating drafts including anchor breweries like Bissell Brothers, Foundation, Maine Beer Co., Rising Tide, Allagash and Oxbow almost always on tap. There’s a $6 grass fed burger, other bar food, and $5 mimosas every day.

and Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Sonny’s.

Sonny’s is a great place and their happy hour just gives us one more reason among many to go visit it. Don’t worry if happy hour segues right into dinner. They’ve got you covered. Go check them out. You’ll soon find yourself there much more often.

Best Farm to Table

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Travel + Leisure has included Fore Street in their list of the nation’s best farm to table restaurants.