Review of Paciarino

Eat Here, Go There has published a review of Paciarino.

All in all, great food with great friends on a great night! All the dishes were rich, flavorful and authentically fresh. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for Italian food made from farm fresh ingredients at a reasonable price. Seriously, just make a reservation already!

Review of the White Cap Grille

Chubby Werewolf has posted a review of the White Cap Grille.

Luckily my #5 burger was much better than the soup. Big and juicy, and accompanied by enough french fries to build a small house with, it looked quite good. Lifting off the top bun, I could see that the kitchen had not skimped on any of the toppings. A layer of melted swiss cheese covered much of the patty, providing a gooey canvas for a robust offering of sautéed mushrooms and onions. At the top of the heap sat two strips of thick-cut bacon. As I cut my dense burger patty in half, I was delighted to see that it was perfectly cooked, with just the right amount of pink inside. That said, I did find that the meat—while wonderfully succulent—was a little bit underseasoned, though the bacon (and a little help from my salt shaker) helped to remedy that.

Review of Little Lad’s

Little Lad’s received 3½ stars from the Eat & Run review in today’s Press Herald.

The place’s speciality is a vegetarian/vegan buffet, where you can get your fill of soup, bread, vegetables and entrees for just $4.99. And because it’s a ready-to-eat buffet, it’s also an extremely quick place for lunch.

Review of East End Cupcakes

The Examiner has published a review of East End Cupcakes.

But please, don’t just take the baker’s (or this reporter’s) word for it…taste these tesori (treasures!) and find out for yourself. You’ll be hooked. First time at the shop? Try the Chocolate with Salted Caramel Frosting…you will be transported.  Which cupcakes have the Italian Buttercream frosting? If in doubt, you could always ask the nice lady behind the counter, right? Otherwise, if you’re the shy type, the Italian Buttercream is the default frosting (except for the Red Velvet and the Smore’s varieties) for the baker.

Review of Petite Jacqueline

Down East has published a review of Petite Jacqueline.

And then there’s the food, which ranges from deceptively simple dishes featuring one star ingredient to classic French preparations including escargots, terrine of foie gras, charcuterie, coq au vin, and moules frites. If your French is rusty, you may need help deciphering a few menu items. Fortunately, Petite Jacqueline’s friendly, knowledgeable servers — wearing the long white aprons of their Parisian counterparts — are happy to provide translation services for those unaware that, say, poireaux is a delicately flavored pool of braised leeks draped in vinaigrette. The wait staff is also up to speed on the heavily French wine list, which includes both house wines by the carafe and an extensive list by the glass and bottle.

Ariel’s Hummus & Top of the Crop

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an interview with the creator of Ariel’s Hummus,

With little competition in Maine for fresh-made, preservative-free hummus, Glazer decided to take the plunge and launch Ariel’s Hummus in May. As demand surged, he was soon spending 12 to 14 hours a day in the commercial kitchen at the Shaarey Tphiloh synagogue in Portland, cooking up hundreds of pounds of chickpeas every week.

and an article about the Top of the Crop competition taking place at this year’s Harvest on the Harbor.

If you like food shows on television, odds are you’ve watched “Top Chef,” “Iron Chef” or “Master Chef” and wondered what it would be like to be one of the people tasting the dishes that the contestants create under the watchful eyes of judges like Tom Colicchio and Gordon Ramsay.

Well, here’s your chance.

Reviews of Havana South and Pho Hanoi

Dine in Portland has published reviews of Havana South,

Overall, Havana South is a descent choice on a warm night; with large doors and ample patio space it feels vibrant.  The food is far from aggressively seasoned, which makes it a safe bet for any palate.  The bill, and the end of my lonesome night, was steep but manageable.   It’s not a weekly destination, or even a monthly, but every now and then Havana South will keep me coming back.

and Pho Hanoi.

I tried to compare my view of Pho Hanoi with others online before writing, and was seriously puzzled by less than favorable reviews of this restaurant.  To my knowledge, there is no Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Portland to even make a comparison to.  Pho Hanoi’s dishes are well priced, reasonable portions, and full of flavor.   Best of all, because they are balanced and fresh, there is nothing to feel guilty about.  Admittedly, I’ve felt so “not-guilty” that I’ve made two trips in one day.

Out on a Limb, Rare Apple CSA

The Out on a Limb rare apple CSA run by John Bunker and Cammy Watts is back for a third season. Sign up to receive ” 20 or more varieties of rare, interesting and highly flavored apples that have a wide range of uses, appearances, histories and tastes”. Participants get 5 pick-ups of ¼ bushel each for $120. For more information or to sign-up email john.p.bunker@gmail.com.

Eater.com Heatmap of Portland

Eater.com has posted a Heatmap of 12 “newish” Portland restaurants “that have been garnering strong buzz”. The list is based on recommendations gathered from Dawn at Appetite Portland and me.

There’s plenty to get excited about on the list, from establishments helmed by respected chefs (Figa and Petite Jacqueline) to well-priced, authentic ethnic eats (Aroma and Fez), to creative Asian spots (Boda and Pai Men Miyake) to the family-owned, near-perfect Gorgeous Gelato.