Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Best New Bars in America: Hunt & Alpine

Monday, December 16th, 2013

thrillist_barThillist has named the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club to their list of the Best New Bars in America.

…the Scandinavian après-ski spot from Andrew and Briana Volk does the honorable thing, and cuts right to the booze — serving up crafted cocktails (Volk has been a bartender at choice spots across the country) — selected out of a large leather bound list that seems to have cherry picked Volk’s favorites from across the country (shout out to Tommy’s Margarita in SF!), alongside Nordic small plates served on wood planks.

Review of Local 188

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

The Golden Dish has reviewed Local 188.

It’s always true that when the boss is in the restaurant it runs better and everyone is happier for it.  In this case, with Villani back at the stove you’re apt to get a very good meal.

 I’m glad to reacquaint myself with Local 188. With so many new restaurants springing up in Portland all the time, it’s nice to go back to an old favorite, especially when it’s fresh and good.

Reichl Reccomends Browne Trading

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl has recommended Browne Trading as part of her multi-day holiday gift guide.

Even if your friends live near a coast, if they don’t live in a large urban city they very likely lack access to first-rate seafood. That’s where Browne Trading Company comes in. Rod Mitchell has been supplying sustainably-sourced seafood to big deal chefs like Eric Ripert and Daniel Boulud for many years. But he also mail-orders his wonderful products to ordinary people.

Audio Review of Little Bigs and Portland & Rochester

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

For the latest episode of Booze, Fish & Coffee the guys share their views on Little Bigs, Portland & Rochester, and more.

This hot new bakery is worth the hype. This husband-and-wife baking team hails from Michigan, and their hand pies are delectable, with an amazing crust that’s both light and flavorful with buttery goodness, but not too thick, so you can actually taste the goodies inside. We dig the Vegetable Samosa and the Spicy Pork Pie, but we’ll have to return for the Texas Chili with Frito Crust (!) These guys also know their way around a donut — both pastry and cake varieties, which were outstanding.

Review of David’s Opus Ten

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed David’s Opus Ten.

You should go to David’s Opus Ten soon. Get ready for some great food and be adventurous. It’s worth it for the experience. Pick a special occasion, make a reservation, and try something new. You can thank me later.

Brunch Review of Caiola’s

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The Old Pine Tree has published a review of Caiola’s.

It’s dangerous in this town to make a sweeping statement about something or some place being the best. It’s a sure fire way to create an uproar. But whatever. I’m going to take that risk.

Lists: Eventide, Standard Baking, Cinque Terre/Vignola

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Thrillist named Eventide in their list of the Best New Restaurants in America.

USA Today include Standard Baking in their list of America’s Best Bakeries.

Cinque Terre/Vignola is on the Appetite for Life list of Great Farm-to-Table Restaurants.

4½ Stars for Empire

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Maine Sunday Telegram restaurant critic John Golden has reviewed Empire Chinese Kitchen.

In a thoroughly lively venue for authentic Cantonese cooking (many dishes are old family recipes of the dim-sum and stir-fry chefs), don’t miss the pastrami egg rolls, Peking duck buns, steamed pork buns, honey-walnut shrimp and a menu of eight to 10 dim-sum preparations. Standout large plates include lobster longevity noodles, Spicy wok-fried jalapeno shrimp, sizzling teriyaki chicken, marinated fish fillet and nightly specials. Service is first-rate, and the wait staff is fluent in everything the kitchen produces.

A Falmouth couple, Susan Tremblay and Donald Miller, has written a letter to the editor in defense of Oscar’s New American (scroll to bottom of page) after the restaurant received 3 stars from the MST last week.

Reviews of Sangillo’s, Gingko Blue, Downtown Lounge and Hunt & Alpine

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Sangillo’s,

When you’re looking for a small, no frills, down and dirty bar, Sangillo’s is your place.  Billed as “Portland’s Friendliest Neighborhood Bar” Sangillo’s is a place for locals and others to meet and share a drink and a tune on the jukebox.

and The Golden Dish has put together an omnibus review of Hunt & Alpine, the Downtown Lounge and Gingko Blue.

The crawdaddy puffs were a delicious blend of crawfish, chile and cheddar stuffed into flour tortillas and fried.  Served with a relish of avocado, corn and bacon, this was a winning dish.

Gingko Blue recently invited me to stop by and try out their New Orleans menu and I agree with TGD, the crawfish rolls are a real standout dish.

Audio Review of Taco Trio

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Booze, Fish & Coffee has reviewed Taco Trio.

THIS is the real deal. When you’re looking for authentic Mexican eats in Maine, this is the place: house-made corn tortillas, unbelievable salsas, and slow-cooked flavors like you wouldn’t believe. Our favorites were the pastor (pork in pineapple adobo sauce) and carnitas (seared pork). A close second: carne asada. Honorable mention: goat barbecue. Don’t forget to hit the salsa table.

Reviews: Nosh & Katahdin

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Nosh.

Our meal was delicious. I was certain I was going to have a heart attack on the way out, but I knew it was going to be the happiest heart attack ever. Myocardial infarction aside, Nosh really knows their burgers and fries…

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Katahdin.

This is Portland’s premier pre-theater restaurant, where wood-oven-grilled and roasted fare is featured. Standout preparations include house-baked focaccia, butternut squash tart, steak frites, salmon, pork tenderloin and pasta. Desserts change but include wonderful home-made ice cream and a rich bread pudding. It’s also a popular destination for post-theater cocktails, supper and dessert.

Review of Empire

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Portland Magazine has reviewed Empire Chinese Kitchen.

Inspired, she brought us her ingenious Empire Eggrolls (“local beef pastrami, asparagus, cabbage, honey Dijon”), a wondrous solution for East Meets West. Who knew someone could invent a way to enjoy a fried pastrami sandwich without the guilt? (A sharp knife is provided so you can share…) The Honey Walnut Shrimp are mouth-watering, the Spinach Dumplings in steam baskets so fun and tasty we were already planning our next trip back.

The December issue also includes an article about holiday food traditions of Portland’s hyphenated American communities.

Review of Piccolo

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Portland Phoenix has reviewed Piccolo.

Chef Samsionetti cooked French at Bar Boulud in New York, and with Piccolo returns to the cuisine of his childhood. The little child we all adore most is the inner child we never quite mastered. Piccolo comforts and indulges that child, but not too much. Thanks to a restrained approach, smallish portions, elegant wine, and subtleties of flavor, Piccolo asks us to grow up a bit.

25 Best: Eventide

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Gear Patrol has included Eventide in their list of the 25 Best Restaurants in America.

New England oyster bar with picnic table seating and 1,200-pound slab of granite filled with ice and a few dozen oysters ranging from ultra briny Wild Belons to bright and creamy Blue Pools. You could be content (and perhaps a little fuzzed) throwing back a few dozen with a pair of dirty martinis, but it’d be a shame to miss out on a fried oyster bun and a bowl of porky New England clam chowder.

Bar Review of 555

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

The Press Herald has reviewed the bar at Five Fifty-Five.

If you’re looking for a different place to have a drink in Portland, and maybe you’re looking to treat yourself to a more high-end atmosphere, try Five Fifty-Five. Fancy with a laid-back mood, it would be acceptable to arrive in jeans and a nice shirt for a cocktail or a glass of wine at the bar.

Audio Review of Eventide

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Booze, Fish and Coffee has reviewed Eventide Oyster Company.

This dynamite seafood spot in the heart of Portland is perfect for lunch these days: not too crowded, serving up delicious oysters, lobster rolls, and other excellent stuff, at prices that won’t break the bank. Eat where the locals eat, and get to Eventide.

The episode also includes recommendations for feeding your extended family after they arrive but prior to Thanksgiving, thoughts on Bunker Brewing’s Hombre and shopping advice at Veranda Asian Market.

Review of The Front Room

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed The Front Room.

Altogether with drinks, the meal was around $80 before tip. It was worth it as we were well-fed and our thirst was quenched. The Front Room is a serious place for people who like to eat. With great takes on traditional fare and reasonable prices, it’s pretty obvious why they stay so busy. Plus, the service is excellent. The Front Room continues to be great option if you want to eat a wicked good meal in Maine. Stop by and tell ‘em Peterpeterportlandeater sent ya.

Review of Oscar’s New American

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Oscar’s New American.

Now that we’ve become thoroughly versed in the exigencies of new American cuisine, consider this recent contender – Oscar’s New American. It opened in late September in the space formerly occupied by the Sea Grass café, a favorite dining spot and watering hole in Yarmouth. That it also operates in a small strip mall along the town’s Route 1 retail corridor augurs this stark fact – parking is easy.

After several visits, I’m convinced this establishment will flourish in the fluid style of the new American cuisine genre.

Reviews: Fore Street, Hunt & Alpine, The Porthole, Petite Jacqueline

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed of Hunt & Alpine,

There are plenty of stiff drinks served in lowballs. We liked the Toronto, blending spicy rye whiskey with several bitters, which was all hot-heat and sharp flavor. Other drinks mellow and tug the liquors with fresh juices — like the Ward Eight, which dissipated the whiskey heat with the sweetness of orange and a kick of sharp lemon, or an Italian Greyhound that tasted like a grapefruit sprinkled with salt and sugar.

and Feed the Monster has reviewed The Porthole and Fore Street,

There is a reason Fore Street is perennially one of the hardest reservations in town. Because they take the best ingredients and let them shine in winning presentations without huge pretension or unnecessary accompaniments.

and The Golden Dish has reviewed Petite Jacqueline where he tried some of the dishes being introduced onto the menu by the new chef, Frederic Eliot.

We then enjoyed two first-course dishes–sweetbreads and a luxurioiusly silken carrot soup. The sweetbreads were coated in flour, deep fried and served with clams in a composed pan sauce of clam liquor, capers, butter and shallots. The sweetbreads were stunningly velvety within under a crackling outer skin and accompanied by clams in the shell and that delicious sauce.

M&M’s 10 Best Brunch Bites

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Zeppole

Map & Menu has shared their 10 favorite Portland brunch dishes.

What we came up with is 10 great brunches to start any lazy Sunday in Portland or the first brunch dishes to try when you’re visiting town. These dishes are standards at each of the restaurants, and are almost always available.

Photo Credit: Map & Menu