Cinque Terre Bar Review

June 18th, 2009

Portland Bar Guide has reviewed Cinque Terre.

The Cinque’s small patio is an intimate little spot where you can people watch while sipping an Italian beer, white or red wine or a Long Island Ice Tea. The Cinque closes (9:30 pm) before the hold-on-I-have-to-puke-before-I-fight-you and the oh-my-God-I-like-totally-fell-down-in-the-street crews take over the block.

O’Naturals Makes the Top 10

June 18th, 2009

O’Naturals made it on to the Mother Nature Network’s list of the Top 10 Organic Fast-Food Restaurants.

Maine Mead Works is in The Moment

June 18th, 2009

Portland Psst! reports on Maine Mead Works appearance in the NYT’s The Moment blog.

When I visited in February, Cayer explained why his version tastes nothing like the usual bitter, boozey American meads. Maine Mead Works has imported and patented South African fermentation technology, which it uses to refine ancient mead recipes…Cayer and his partners want to produce more seasonal concoction, like maple mead, and to experiment with strawberries and rhubarb and even garlic and basil to make spiced mead for basting meats.

Otto Pizza Now Open

June 18th, 2009

ottomapAccording to a report at HillyTown, Otto Pizza at 576 Congress Street opened yesterday for business. HillyTown reports that “The pizza they’re serving up isn’t your average greasy thin-sliced business, this is serious pie.”

El Rayo Review

June 18th, 2009

El Rayo has received 4½ stars from this week’s Eat & Run column in the Press Herald.

I’ll be the first to admit my logic might be flawed. But here’s how I judge the authenticity and originality of a Mexican restaurant in Maine: If my dish is not slathered in jar-style red salsa and buried under a solid layer of melted cheese, I’m happy.

I want to taste different flavors and spices, not just be overwhelmed by heat and gooeyness.

Using those standards, El Rayo Taqueria on York Street gets high scores. Actually, using any standards.

Cookie Review: Udder Place

June 17th, 2009

The chocolate chip cookies at Udder Place have earned 4 out 5 points for flavor and texture from HillyTown in its ongoing cookie review series.

The chocolate involved was quality semi-sweet, but in my opinion the chip-to-dough ratio was a mite low. The cookie itself was also greasier than it should have been, leaving visible oily stains on the napkin. A little less fat and a little more chocolate and this would have been a contender for the top chocolate chip cookie in Portland.

In a separate post, HillyTown gave a shout out in favor of the Michelada at El Rayo, “The chili powder and salt along the top rim was pretty intense – I described it as tasting like licking a barbecue grill (not that I’ve done that), but the drink overall was really delicious and refreshing.”

Eve’s at the Garden Review

June 17th, 2009

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Eve’s at the Garden.

The bar snacks recreate the spirit of the courtyard itself: each is a rarefied take on a people’s favorite. New chef Earl Morse, formerly of the White Barn Inn, has created funny little variations on classic casual food like sliders, tacos, crab-cakes, wings, and lobster rolls. They are really cute to look at — maybe they are even a touch too precious — but it was hard to hold that against a bar snack.

Public Market House

June 16th, 2009

Head on over to Portland Fodder to see some nice under construction photos of the 2nd floor space at the Public Market House. According to Fodder, “Spartan Grill will be relocating to the second floor with such possible vendors as, Maine Coffee Roasters, KamaSOUPra, It’s Only Natural…GF, and an unnamed pizza place.”

According to a May 28 article in the Press Herald, the 2nd floor retail spaces will be available by mid-summer.

The Corner Room

June 16th, 2009

thecornerroom616

Jim Keithly from ABC affiliate WMTW interviewed Harding Lee Smith about his new Italian restaurant The Corner Room (via Portland Psst!). According to the report, Smith plans on opening The Corner Room on June 25. As you can see from this photo I took today, there’s still a lot of work to do to get the space ready.

The WMTW report also includes some footage and information on Smith’s Windham farm where he’s currently raising 350 chickens. The farm to table operation is being expanded with a 48 foot green house that “will eventually produce a variety of herbs, lettuce and other vegetables”.

Paciarino Review

June 16th, 2009

The vegetarian food blog Diet for a Small City has posted a review of Paciarino.

Much to my pleasure, the menu contained plenty of meatless options—and by options, I don’t mean that I chose the one vegetarian appetizer and the one vegetarian entree available—I mean, I actually had to make a decision. Fellow vegetarians know how disappointing it can be when a menu chooses your meal for you.

Out on a Limb Apple CSA

June 15th, 2009

Rabelais Books and Out on a Limb in Palermo, Maine are teaming up to bring a rare apple CSA to Portland this fall. Shares are $120 and will bring “30-40 varieties of rare, interesting and highly flavored apples over the course of the season” and “will be accompanied by a newsletter with descriptions, history, tidbits and lore about each variety, as well as recipes and ideas for how to best use them.”

Otto Pizza

June 15th, 2009

A new pizzeria, Otto Pizza, is under construction on Congress Street near the intersection with Forest Ave.

Review of The Inn on Peaks Island

June 15th, 2009

Portland Magazine has published a review of The Inn on Peaks Island.

If the grub weren’t so delicious at the Inn on Peaks Island, there’d be reason enough (beyond the rave reports of our island friends, who consider the pub here a regional treasure) to visit for the journey alone: The Casco Bay ferries dish up a refreshing 20-minute visual appetizer as you watch the Portland city skyline turn purple and pink behind lighthouses, Fort Gorges, Little Diamond and House Islands, and the twinkles of a visiting cruise liner or two.

This Week’s Events

June 15th, 2009

The first half of a two-part seminar on social media use by restaurants is scheduled for both Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. The weekly Food and Drink Trivia Contest is at Bull Feeney’s tonight, and on Tuesday, the next Wine Flight 5k Training run is taking place. Old Port Sea Grill is holding a beer and wine dinner Tuesday night. There are wine tastings scheduled Wednesday at Old Port Wine Merchants and Thursday at Leavitt and Sons. Also on Thursday night is the 4th Annual Taste of the Nation dinner and a Geary’s showcase at The Great Lost Bear. Farmers’ Markets are being held in Monument Square on Wednesday and at Deering Oaks Park on Saturday.  For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

Papaya Lama

June 14th, 2009

This week’s article from Margo Mallar in the Portland Daily Sun mixes Budhist one-liners: “What did the Buddhist say to the Hot Dog Vendor? (Make me one with everything)” and Dali Lama references with a visit to Papaya King on Dana Street.