Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review of Clark Street

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed Clark Street Deli.

The roll was more like a small loaf of bread in size, and also in its combination of chewy crust and a fluffy inside. The white meat chicken was very tender, in a batter that while not light, was not greasy either. The chicken was still hot from the fryer when I got my sandwich. The ham and Swiss cheese were of a better-than-average quality.

Review of East Ender

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Eating Portland Alive has reviewed East Ender.

I chose two ‘du jour’ items from the board, a poptart and donut.  The poptart was a savory one, which I think is a killer idea. The lamb meat could have used a touch more seasoning as it had a lot of dough (which was a perfect consistency) to compete with. The double-stacked donuts were extremely tasty, though when I cut through some parts it was a bit custard-like and not as fluffy. Any textural issues were completely overshadowed by the amazing combination of the blood orange &  blueberry topping.

Blue Rooster Chef Series: Eventide Dog

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Chubby Werewolf has reviewed the Eventide Dog at Blue Rooster.

That said, the reason you absolutely must try the Eventide dog is the impossibly soft, delightfully chewy bun, which is the same one used in Eventide’s lobster rolls. (I seriously want to buy this stuff in 50 pound bags and take a nap in it.) The ratio of bun-to-meat was perfect, and the textural contrast of the spongy bun against the grilled hot dog made this thing a joy to eat…

Telling Room Project: Vena’s Fizz House

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has published a set of food, music and art reviews produced by students taking a summer workshop with The Telling Room. Four student reviews of Vena’s Fizz House by Sierra Aponte Clark, Elinor Hilton, Cori Green and Otto Wolyniec were included in the Phoenix article.

Two weeks ago, the organization hosted Review Camp, a week-long forum where greater Portland students (aged 10-14) learned to write critically about arts and cultural activities in the area, training their sights on a music video by indie-pop singer-songwriter Sara Hallie Richardson, the newish soda parlor Vena’s Fizz House in the Old Port, and art shows at SPACE Gallery and the Portland Museum of Art.

Reviews: Grace, Maria’s

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Grace,

Dining in a former church is a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be had at a handful of establishments across the country, Grace being a notable example. While the restored 1850s historical landmark is stunning and awe-inspiring, the menu holds its own with local and exotic ingredients, steaks, seafood, whimsical touches and a nice selection of cheeses and sweetbreads, as well as cleverly named cocktails. It’s also a great space for events and weddings.

and The Golden Dish has reviewed Maria’s Ristorante.

In the final analysis, is Maria’s just a memento of the past?  No, it’s more than that – a primeval forest that Portlanders are not ready to give up, a dining shibboleth that still struts along without the help of a striving chef or plates of vertical food and foam.  Instead go for the rivers of saltimbocca and scaloppini and other comfy relics from a kitchen that we secretly adore.

Review of Central Provisions

Friday, August 8th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Central Provisions.

Among the best were radishes roasted until some caramelized sweetness emerged, but still retaining the bite of bitter. Roast onion complemented the sweetness, while nori and miso deepened the savory side. Another dish caramelized sheep cheese until dark with crunch and chew, and sandwiched it around barely sweet roasted peach. A salad paired chewy-crispy pieces of pork with a funky sour dressing. Duck liver was creamy and mild on crostini, animated by the salty crunch of fried shallots and a hint of kumquats sour-sweet.

Review of Bogusha’s

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed Bogusha’s.

Overall, the food was interesting, but not exciting – there’s only so much you can do with cabbage and smoked meats. It did feel like the kind of lunch your grandmother or favorite aunt would prepare for you, especially on a cold winter’s day.

Bogusha’s is worth checking out, but only if you’re the kind of person who likes quirkiness and can forgive a place for not being a hipster hangout…

Jay Villani & Salvage BBQ

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The August issue of Maine includes a profile of Jay Villani,

Villani’s decision to return to the kitchen at Local 188 comes after an extended absence, a time he spent opening and maintaining the operations of his other two successful Portland outposts, Sonny’s and Salvage BBQ. Though nearing 50 (which, as he tells me, is like “300 in chef years”) he has grown as a cook, learning new methods and old tricks, and discovering a new appreciation for the art of plating dishes. He has also grown wiser, learning one of the most important lessons in the restaurant world: how to delegate responsibility when necessary.

Barbecue Rankings was recently in town and paid a visit to Salvage.

I greatly enjoyed my visit.  These guys are doing things right and Salvage BBQ comes with my stamp of approval.

Reviews: Blue Rooster, Slab

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Slab,

With our food finished, we talked about how great it was. I was shocked. I thought Slab would be a run-of-the-mill pizza place with nothing to offer me. It turns out that the original Sicilian slab is insanely popular for a very good reason – it’s made by the Italian God of pizza. The band was fun, the outdoor area was nice, and the indoor area is great too. Without a doubt, this place will be a go-to year round for a lot of people.

and Chubby Werewolf has reviewed the Joe Ricchio designed hot dog at Blue Rooster.

Although the Happy Ending dog’s pedigree is distinctly Asian, biting into this hearty and satisfying sandwich with its grilled ingredients brought to mind the experience of eating a stadium sausage topped with peppers and onions, the type you’d find outside Fenway Park or Wrigley Field.

Review: Slab vs Micucci’s

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

The Bollard has published a review comparing the slabs at Slab and Micucci’s.

Which brings us to the slab itself. Brushed with sauce and topped with a scattering of shredded provolone and mozzarella, its simplicity is its beauty. The hand slab at Slab ($6) is a thick pillow of dough that weighs a full pound. Compared to the slabs at Micucci’s these days, Slab’s dough is ever so slightly tangier and lighter, with the bouncy chew that makes this crust such a delight. It also spends a little longer in the oven, emerging with a perfectly crisp crust and bubblier, deliciously browned cheese.

That said, Micucci’s continues to pull off an accomplished rendition of Lanzalotta’s classic. The slab here ($4.50) is a little heavier on the sauce, which also tastes a tad sweeter than the sauce at Slab…

Reviews: Annapurna’s, Bayside, India Bazaar, Lolita

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Annapurna’s Thali and India Bazaar,

These two Indian spots are both unique in Portland and appealing in their own way. The many paths to greatness is perhaps India’s deepest lesson. As Krishna told Arjuna in the Gita: “if you be something still, be the Himalaya; if you be a cow, be the cow of wonder.” Here in Maine, if you will be chaos, be India Bazaar; if you will be calm, be Annapurna.

Eating Portland Alive has reviewed Lolita,

Overall, I was very pleased with my meal at Lolita and I’m looking forward to another visit. Lolita offers an attractive space, warm attentive service, and solid food. I will make good on this promise of returning and not allow opportunity be squandered as I had done with Bar Lola!

and Drink Up & Get Happy has reviewed Bayside Bowl.

Bayside Bowl has always been a great spot to hang out with friends.  They’ve got a great bar, tasty food, and if bowling isn’t your thing, often host live music in the restaurant area.  When we heard they were adding a happy hour to their summer schedule we were very excited.  When we learned what it entailed, we knew we just had to check it out.

Review of The Well

Friday, August 1st, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed The Well in Cape Elizabeth.

While new restaurants are popping up everywhere around Portland, one unique place leads the pack.  It’s not new. Instead it’s firmly established as a seasonal restaurant — and very special.

It manages to be farm-table without undue self-aggrandizement. The menu relies on local fresh food, though not strictly organic.  And the preparation of each dish epitomizes simplicity.

Bar Review of Timber

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Timber.

A new steakhouse is in town and the name is Timber. Just two months old, Timber is a popular place for a house-crafted cocktail, bar snacks or a fancy angus beef entrée. Happy hour Monday to Friday will be the best deal, and the patio is a nice alternative to the swanky bar.

Yahoo Food on Portland

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Yahoo Food checked in with Portland Phoenix food writers Brian Duff and Kate McCarty for their recommendations on where to eat and drink in Portland.

Bite into Maine, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Eventide, Salvage BBQ, Small Axe, Standard Baking, Tandem Coffee, The Maine Brew Bus, and The Well all made the cut.

Buffalo Eats: Portland

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Buffalo Eats visited Maine last week and published an article on their eating adventures in Portland.

For a city that only has a population of ~60K (200K in the greater area), they have an an incredible selection of restaurants. Most of which pride themselves on sourcing from local vendors, something that we absolutely love. We spent three days in Portland and this is where we ate…

Check out the post for their thoughts on: Bite into Maine, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Fore Street, Hella Good Tacos, Slab, Standard Baking, The Holy Donut and The Lobster Shack.

5 Stars for Vinland

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Vinland has received 5 stars from today’s review in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Vinland takes farm-to-table another step to use only ingredients grown or produced in Maine. Chef David Levi pulls it off with creativity and inspired dishes, but no lack of flavor. He uses yogurt whey in place of citrus, lardo and ghee instead of olive oil, and honey and maple syrup for sugar, in a small-plates menu that is entirely gluten free. All of the dishes are flavorful and familiar, from lobster and halibut to pork, steak, chicken and pork belly. The location is bright and welcoming, and the clientele is healthy and enthusiastic. Try creative cocktails and griddled cornbread and beet chips at the bar, or call ahead for an eight-course tasting menu orchestrated by Levi for $90, or five courses for $60. And don’t forget to try the homemade ice cream.

Review of Street & Co.

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Diningsense has reviewed Street & Co.

As long as the appetizers and main dishes continue to operate in different directions, it will be hard to see how much Street is capable of accomplishing. I think it tries to offer simple, rustic cuisine (these descriptors are referenced on the website, at least) and I respect this, but simplicity doesn’t preclude creativity and this is where the main plates disappointed. After a two-year hiatus, I’m glad to have returned to Street and Company, but the apparent struggle to construct a coherent plate of fish makes me wonder whether their skills have grown coarser than before.

Maine’s Best Lobster Roll

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

deaug2014For the 60th anniversary issue, Down East magazine intensively searched the state for the best lobster roll, trying “scores of lobster rolls served up by food trucks, lobster shacks, and restaurants from Eastport to Kittery.”

Greets Eats, a food truck on Vinalhaven, scored the top spot. Local Portland-area favorites Eventide and Bite into Maine were among the 4 runners-up.

The article includes the online ad-on video of chef Sam Hayward at Fore Street demonstrating how he prepares a lobster roll.


Reviews: Lolita, Blue Rooster

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Portland Magazine has reviewed Lolita,

On to “Large” ($24), as we share the evening’s asado–grilled hanger steak on a bed of zesty salsa verde surrounded by very good roasted vegetables which we request in lieu of fingerlings. Lolita is flexible–you can get what you want here.

and Chubby Werewolf has continued his Blue Rooster chef hot dog review series.

I’m usually wary of fruit—in any of its forms—as a condiment, but I found that I really liked the contrast the sweet cherry jam against the hot dog’s more savory ingredients, so much so that I’ll consider trying the Apocalypse Now burger the next time I’m at Nosh. And what a neat visual: that smear of very-dark purple jam almost resembles caviar. (Less aware was I of the foie gras mayo but, on this edible ode-to-excess, I can’t tell you that I missed it for a second.)

Review of Bresca and the Honey Bee

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Bresca and the Honey Bee, Krista Kern Desjarlais’ snack shack in New Gloucester.

The review also shares that “[Desjarlais] tells us she has a location lined up in Lewiston-Auburn, but needs to decide if she’s ready to get back into the scene”. Should she decide to go ahead I imagine there a lot of Bresca fans, myself included, who will be making regular treks to Lewiston-Auburn this Fall.