Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Bar Review of Lolita

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Lolita.

Lolita is Munjoy Hill’s newest neighborhood bistro with its own unique and modern flair. A third of the restaurant seating is at the bar, so expect to find a classy bar-going crowd who enjoys craft cocktails, artisanal wine and local craft beer. Open from 11-11 six days a week, Lolita is a great place for lunch, a late-afternoon snack, dinner, or after-dinner drinks and dessert.

Review of Artemisia

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

The Bollard has reviewed Artemisia Cafe.

Although the prices at Artemisia are admirably moderate, especially for the quality of the food, I wouldn’t say it’s easy for a twosome to dine there on a fifty-dollar budget. Still, we managed to have an intimate, inviting and satisfying dining experience for about $49 (again, before Uncle Sam and the waitress got their due). It was worth every penny.

The review is the first of a new Bollard series called Fifty Dollar Dinner where the reviewers seek out and experience “local restaurants where a soul- and belly-satisfying meal for two can be had for 50 bucks or less (before tax and tip).”

Survey of Grocery Stores

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The Golden Dish has published a survey of Portland area options for grocery shopping.

As the food scene continues to grow in Greater Portland, where to shop now is an essential question: Hannaford, Shaws, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Rosemont or the two fledgling markets, The Farm Stand and the Portland Food Co-op–or all of the above and more?

Bao Bao Review & Maine Cookbooks

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Portland Magazine has published a short review of Bao Bao,

On to the dumplings. Our first indulgence, Steamed Hake, Burdock ($8.08), is like nothing we’ve seen anywhere. “Thread-cut” dumpling wrappers are ribboned layers enveloping the tender fish. Happily devouring our six pieces, we accelerate into our next plate of dumplings: the absolutely essential Lamb, Black Bean, Chili, Peanut ($8.08).

and an article about Maine cookbooks.

Some of the great Maine cookbooks are out of print but hardly out of sight in a city and state with such a good used-book network of stores and used sections within stores. “Saltwater Seasonings is one of the very few that really catches the spirit of Maine,” says Don Lindgren, owner of Rabelais Books in Biddeford, probably the center of the universe for vintage and rare cookbooks.

Down East Review of Lolita

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Down East has reviewed Lolita.

An array of small plates, served with careful attention to flavor and texture. Local, seasonal ingredients used to maximum advantage. Well-balanced cocktails and a confident, savvy wine list. The sense that you’re the only diner who really matters in a small but bustling dining room. You could use all of these phrases to describe both Bar Lola — Guy and Stella Hernandez’s Munjoy Hill institution, which the couple closed in November 2013 after seven years — and Lolita, the intriguing new restaurant they’ve opened just a few doors down on Congress Street. But while both restaurants’ broad outlines are similar, Lolita feels quite new — as if your dear friend got a chic haircut, a killer pair of shoes, and a fascinating new career to discuss over drinks.

Reviews: Slab, Ebb & Flow

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Slab,

Skip breakfast and over-indulge in the flavorful Sicilian street food at this informal lunch-and-dinner restaurant. Named for the gargantuan servings of thick-crust pizza created by chef/owner Stephen Lanzalotta, Slab also offers delicious open-faced oven melts, braised meats and lasagnas. Make sure to ask your server about the day’s specials – and don’t skimp on dessert: The baci (chocolate) and ricciarelli (almond) cookies are extra rich and satisfying.

and Eating Portland Alive has posted a first look review of Ebb & Flow.

The za’atar-spiced pita was the perfect vessel for the cold eggplant salad. I was definitely still tearing away at the flatbread after the salad was long gone…The cauliflower soup took savory to another level with the inclusion of rock crab and chorizo. The server who delivered my lamb keftedakia declared it “the king of dishes.” I may have to try a few more items for comparison, but I’m a pretty happy camper with lamb meatballs especially with such a nice char on them.

Reviews: Bao Bao & Timber

Friday, November 21st, 2014

pArts has reviewed Bao Bao,

Next up, my single order of dumplings (which come boiled, steamed or pan fried, I chose the last). Six beauties stuffed with a sausage ball of lamb, black bean, peanuts, and chilis, served with a homemade tomato relish/ketchup. I will likely order these every time I return. I was sorry I didn’t order the Hake dumplings which looked amazing . . . but I need something to look forward to next time.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Timber.

My verdict on Timber is to go there for happy hour. The mac and cheese is half price and there are some cheap drinks – all of which I loved. For the price, I can’t say I was pleased with the main courses. Our meal came to over $100 with tax and tip, so it wasn’t cheap and we didn’t get any steak which would have upped the price significantly.  Nonetheless, the restaurant has an allure under the right circumstances, but it’s not for an entire meal.

Review of DiMillo’s

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of DiMillo’s.

DiMillo’s is a Portland institution. A floating restaurant since 1982, this 701-ton yacht can seat up to 600 in the summertime. The bar scene in the winter is more mellow but the place can still get crowded on weekends and Tuesday nights. Expect to find excellent service, a jovial atmosphere and strong drinks.

Review of Dutch’s

Monday, November 17th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Dutch’s.

Lucy’s time with Tartine might account for the exquisiteness of her breads and pastries.  Layers of butter define their incredible croissants or the brioche dough for the sandwich rolls.  The all-butter fruit Danish would remind you of one from a Parisian patisserie. Speaking of butter, they make their own, taking pasteurized local cream, mixing it with buttermilk to form a culture until it cures several days later into a rich high-fat spread that they use on everything.

Review of The Good Table

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed The Good Table in Cape Elizabeth.

The best of The Good Table is old-fashioned, hearty fare – from nicely grilled beef burgers with fried onions to moist and flavorful fish and chips with cole slaw. Start with a pail of fresh mussels served in a broth infused with butter and garlic. Move onto a rich standard such as rib eye steak with horseradish cream, or a lighter, Greek-style baked fish. All the food here is comforting – and filling.

First Review of Ebb & Flow

Friday, November 14th, 2014

The Golden Dish has published a first look review of Ebb & Flow,

The “mezzes” are delightful and perhaps my favorite part of the menu and offer such other choices as taramasalata (whipped roe and almond milk) and fire roasted eggplant, which are served with the wonderful pita. And choose one of the hearty appetizers or skip that course and go straight to other main dishes like tomato-based braised lamb shank with pistachios or chicken roasted in the wood oven.  Then you easily enjoy the simplicity of the fine cooking–sometimes a relief from  the fine madness elsewhere.

Review of Tandem Bakery

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Vrai-lean-uh has reviewed Tandem Bakery on Congress Street.

Every time I go I order a new thing that is more fantastic than the last. The poppyseed grapefruit bundt cake was spectacular. The jalapeno cheddar biscuits are perfectly tender and soft with just the touch of crispy edges. I mostly hate scones, but these ones are light and buttery and come in flavors like plum rosemary. The chocolate chip cookies are somehow both sophisticated and nostalgic. The sticky bun, guys. It’s so good.

Reviews: Maps Cafe and The Thirsty Pig

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Maps Cafe,

The vibe is almost like 70’s basement home bar mixed with your neighborhood pub.  It’s comfortable and friendly.  The owners are always in house, serving up drinks or grilling sandwiches. They have a great selection of albums and are often playing them on the turntable.  Our favorite feature is the jukebox tucked in the corner.  It’s free to play any song on it and the owners rotate the selection so there is often a new song to rediscover.

and the Press Herald has reviewed The Thirsty Pig.

The Thirsty Pig in Portland’s Old Port neighborhood is serious about local craft beer, but not in an off-putting, pretentious way. The staff is friendly and talkative, and the atmosphere encourages a laid-back crowd. Owner Allison Stevens has made it her mission to offer great tasting craft beer and handmade sausages at an affordable price.

Review of Miss Portland Diner

Friday, November 7th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed the Miss Portland Diner.

The Miss Portland Diner is now a 5-star treasure trove of classic diner fare, with its inimitable home-style cooking done so beautifully in a rich array of fine comfort dishes served in a classic 1949 Worcester lunch car and modern dining room.

Review of Taqueria Tequila

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed Taqueria Tequila.

I was impressed.

In addition to the plentiful and excellent fresh food, I appreciated the friendly and efficient service.

I’m not smart enough to know if this is authentic Mexican food, but I believe it is. It’s certainly more tasty and interesting than many of the other choices that we have around here. I’ll be back, and next time I’m getting a beer.

Review of Ruski’s

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Ruski’s.

Ruski’s prices are very reasonable, their pours are strong, and their atmosphere is definitively dive. This place is fun for any time of day, week, or year and since they are open both early AND late, you can test that for yourself. I envision this as a go-to hangout in the event my wife isn’t around for a weekend, though I couldn’t see myself spending more than eight or ten hours at a time there. That would be overboard.

Review of Schulte & Herr

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Schulte & Herr.

Most fundamentally it is nice that they manage to preserve what is comforting in German cuisine while giving it unexpected brightness. So a salad of smoked trout and potato does not chase flavor with an aggressive dressing or by over-smoking the fish, but instead uses peppery arugula, spicy shards of radish, and tart-sweet pickled beets to enliven things. Even potato pancakes are almost light—under the thin layer of gorgeous brown crunch is a whipped up fluff. The dish is best ordered with salmon, cured in house with notes of citrus and pepper suffusing its creamy texture.

Brunch Review of Piccolo

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The Bollard has reviewed the Sunday brunch at Piccolo,

The prices at Piccolo were a bit higher than at most places in town, but not unreasonable. Thanks to attentive service, a creative menu, locally sourced ingredients and flawless execution, this easily ranked among the best Sunday brunches we’ve ever had in Portland. I can’t wait to go back.

Dinner Review of Artemisia Cafe

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the dinner service at Artemisia Cafe.

You can’t go wrong at this relaxed eatery where evening chef Guy Frenette specializes in classic dishes – many Italian inspired – that are big on flavor and fresh, local ingredients. Groups of up to four will enjoy booths lining the walls of the simple dining room; large parties are seated at central tables. The wait staff is welcoming and responsive and quick to answer questions (agrodolce is an Italian sweet and sour sauce) or accommodate special requests. Go hungry and take a friend so you can try a small appetizer, a shared plate of pasta such as pumpkin ravioli, and seasonal entrees – rich braises like pork osso bucco in fall and winter, lighter fare in warmer months.

The new MST restaurant reviewer is James Schwartz. According to the bio in the paper Schwartz,

Schwartz has covered food, travel and architecture for The Washington Post, Downeast, Coastal Living and Southern Living magazines for more than 30 years. Long a commuter between Portland and Washington, D.C., he retired from his job as vice president at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2013 and relocated to Maine. He lives in Cape Elizabeth and Brooklin.

Review of Dock Fore

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Dock Fore.

The day we chose to go to Dock Fore was cloudy and chilly so it was a great choice to cozy up to the bar and enjoy some $1.95 Shipyard Pumpkinheads. The atmosphere inside is that of a neighborhood bar. As a staple of the Portland bar scene it’s a great place to go and get away from the more touristy hot spots.