Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review of Central Provisions

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014


Map & Menu has published a review of Central Provisions.

Central Provisions is one of the latest in a stocked season of great openings in Portland. Piccolo, Hunt + Alpine, and Miyake Diner have already deservedly garnered rave reviews and national recognition, but after a couple of meals at Central Provisions, there is no doubt in our minds that they belong near the top of the list of Portland’s best restaurants and bars. Owners Chris and Paige Gould have done an exceptional job with both the space and the menu, and bar manager Patrick McDonald and wine director Chris Peterman have put together an amazing selection of drinks to boot.

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

Review of Marcy’s

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Marcy’s.

As soon as I saw the blackboard breakfast/brunch item of smoked pork chops in red-eye gravy with baked beans, eggs and toast I had to have it.  Wow if that wasn’t greasy spoon heaven! 

Review of Zapoteca

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Zapoteca.

The food is very good at Zapoteca but still misses that oomph of inimitable Mexican sabor.  Maybe it’s geography  at play or the need to have an able sous chef in the kitchen cooking while Bard globe trots to learn new techniques.

Review of Local 188

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has published a bar review of Local 188.

We were pleasantly surprised to discover that Local runs happy hour, which they call Tapas Time, Monday – Friday from 4-6pm!  They feature $3 Allagash White, House wine selections for $4 per glass or $16 per bottle and $5 Frescas, made in house with infused vodkas.  While the specials list may be small, it does have something for everyone for great prices.

Bar Review of Casa Fiesta

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

casafiestaThe Press Herald has reviewed Casa Fiesta.

Casa Fiesta in Portland is a kitschy, corporate Mexican restaurant on Forest Avenue that has surprisingly good margaritas, free house-made chips and salsa and excellent service. Don’t knock it until you try it. This might be your next go-to Mexican restaurant.

Reviews: JP’s Bistro and LFK

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The Bollard has published a breakfast review LFK,

So while I may come back to LFK some evening for a burger and a beer, I probably won’t return for brunch. In a city like Portland, there are just too many other places serving brunch I do love.

and a review of JP’s Bistro.

The dishes are executed without any particular finesse. Sourcing local, ethical or organic ingredients doesn’t seem to be important at JP’s. And a mediocre meal doesn’t cut it when the tab for two approaches $100. That said, plenty of folks don’t share my qualms. If you decide to check out JP’s, make sure you make reservations — the place gets packed.

AAA Comfort Food

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

The Frog & Turtle recently was named by AAA as one of the 70 best comfort food restaurants in the country.

Review of Samuel’s

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Samuel’s.

The quintessential neighborhood bar and grill, Samuel’s is a popular watering hole and casual restaurant serving very decent no-frills pub fare with a super-friendly vibe. They’re famous for the chicken wings and rightly so. Pizzas are good, as are a list of daily lunch and dinner specials. Don’t miss, for instance, the chicken tostada with chili verde – a half-foot-high pile of chips, dips and chicken.

Reviews: Salvage & Zen

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Zen Chinese Bistro,

Staff were friendly and attentive to our group, joking with us and patiently explaining what each specialty drink was.  It was a great night filled with everything that happy hour should be, delicious beverages, tasty food, and great friends.

and The Golden Dish has revisited and re-reviewed Salvage BBQ.

On the whole, I liked Salvage a lot.  Some of my comments  reflect personal preference perhaps, but the place is great, the ribs were terrific and most everything else was good enough. And for about $20 you can’t beat the price.

Reviews of Central Provisions

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Booze, Fish & Coffee has reviewed Central Provisions.

Aside from the forethought about design and flow, we also really, really liked the food. Chef Chris Gould brings some familiar classics, and reimagines them by adding a single unconventional but brilliant ingredient, such as the nutty brussels sprouts with pecorino and pine nuts, but also with a hint of horseradish. The bread and butter is truly transcendent, both for the creamy, slightly salty butter and the genius inclusion of a raw farm egg on the plate. The porchetta board includes not only slices of swine heaven in the porchetta, but also sunchokes, soft rolls, and a tangy apple-dijon mustard sauce that made the dish sing.

Green Crab Invasion & Review of Eventide/Street & Co.

Friday, February 28th, 2014

This week’s Portland Phoenix includes an article about the invasive green crab and the impact its having on the Maine shellfish industry,

They’re green, they’re mean, and they’re endangering not only Maine’s soft-shell clam population, but also oysters, mussels, lobsters, and eelgrass. This menace is known as the green crab (a/k/a carcinus maenas), an invasive, omnivorous species that has been in Maine for 114 years but only recently began affecting the productivity of clam flats in places like Freeport, Brunswick, and on down the coast.

The new issue also includes a review of Eventide and Street & Co.

Bar Review of Empire

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Empire.

Dragon’s Milk, Shiso Crazy, Yellow Fever. These are a few of the cocktails you’ll find at Empire Chinese Kitchen in Portland’s arts district. Scorpion bowls don’t cross the menu, nor do cocktails with tiny paper umbrellas.

A Feast Of Best Dishes

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The Press Herald recently polled a set of local chefs and random other food experts, including yours truly, about their favorite dishes from the last 12 months.

This year, once again, I’ve asked some local chefs, food writers and bloggers to weigh in and name a favorite restaurant dish they discovered in the state during the past 12 months. And judging by the number of exclamation points in their responses, they found some real gems.

The full list of recommendations was published in today’s paper. They range all over the board from fish chowder at Pizza Villa to the squid tappanyaki dish at Long Grain.

Review of Siano’s

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Siano’s Pizzeria.

This is the quintessential Italian-American comfort food dining establishment that’s both a pizzeria made in wood-fired brick ovens and a full restaurant menu serving gutsy, well-made fare. The veal cutlet Parmigiana is one of the best in the Portland area, rich with sauce, cheese and buttery tender veal. Other dishes excel too, like their homemade ravioli and creative pasta dishes, chicken cacciatore and an array of very good pizza made with their homemade red sauce and pizza dough.

Best Donuts/Best Brunch

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

The Holy Donut was recognized by Grub Street as one of the 101 Amazing American Doughnut Shops With Serious Street Cred.

Piccolo was included by Eater National on their list of the 25 Hottest Brunches Across the US.

Reviews of Hot Suppa & Bull Feeney’s

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy have reviewed Bull Feeney’s.

While we were there our waiter was very helpful in answering any questions we had, recommending beers, and being attentive in general without hovering.  We perused the whiskey menu, reported to be the largest collection offered in the area, but ultimately chose to stick with the brews that evening.  We’ll save them for next time and with great service, great beers, and delicious bacon there will definitely be a next time!

The Golden Dish has reviewed Hot Suppa.

Or perhaps it’s an issue with Hot Suppa!’s kitchen, which could be doing better than it does. The food can be gutsy and at other times it misses.  Yet none of this keeps the crowds away, lining up  for weekend brunch or for lunch and dinner nearly every day of the week. 

101 Best Restaurants

Friday, February 21st, 2014

The Daily Meal has included Fore Street in their annual list of the 101 Best Restaurants in America.

Review of 158 Pickett Street

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


Map & Menu has reviewed 158 Pickett Street Cafe.

There are more than enough options at 158 to satisfy any pizza enthusiast’s taste – like the standard cheese and sausage, or more creative flavors like the hot pink sauce, charred jalapenos, and cheese ‘Stinger’ – but regardless of your decision, everything we’ve heard and tasted has been fantastic.

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

2014 JBF Awards Semifinal Nominees

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The semifinal list of nominees for this year’s James Beard Awards were released today. 7 Maine chefs and restaurants made the list:

  • Fore Street and Primo for Outstanding Restaurant
  • Rob Tod at Allagash for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional
  • Cara Stadler at Tao Yuan for Rising Star
  • Brian Hill from Francine Bistro, Ravin Nakjaroen at Long Grain, and Masa Miyake from Miyake for Best Chef Northeast

The final list of nominees will be released March 18th, and the winners will be announced on May 2, 2014 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

Review of C-Squared

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed C-Squared.

Our meal came to about $110 with tip. It was a little pricey, but it was quite good and I was happy with the overall experience. I do think that this is a place that can survive in Portland and will have some success. Their menu offerings are excellent and their execution is solid. I would definitely go back and I suggest you check it out for yourself. C Squared served their food with love and made it a most delicious Valentine’s Day.