Reviews: Portland & Rochester and Small Axe

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of the Portland & Rochester Public House,

Lobster cakes were served with a searing hot smear of red chili harissa and pink pickled shallots. The sauce and the breading of the cake obscured the flavor and texture of the lobster a bit, but it was still a nice dish. The scotch eggs, quail eggs encased in ground lamb, are served with the meat very rare on the inside. The lamb is nicely seasoned and works well with some bitter curly endive.

and Serious Eats has published a review of the Small Axe burger.

A few weeks ago, the Small Axe Truck debuted its burger, the Smokestack Lightning ($8), and proclaimed it the best burger around. Ordinarily, I’d say that’s a bold statement to make, but in this case it might well be true.

Elsmere & Salvage: A BBQ Comparison

The Golden Dish has compared and contrasted Elsmere’s and Salvage’s approach to barbeque.

Elsmere and Salvage will not havee to duke it out tfor the number one spot because they are two equally great additions to our dining Mecca.  Whether you take the bridge to the outer limits of South Portland’s Elsmere BBQ or traverse the seedy byway of Lower Congress Street to reach Salvage BBQ each is a rewarding pilgrimage.

Portland Hunt & Alpine Club Now Open

The Portland Hunt and Alpine Club (website, facebook, twitter) held a soft opening on Tuesday and their public grand opening starts today at 4pm. Portland newest venue diverse menu of well-crafted cocktails (be sure to try the Chartreuse Swizzle) and as a set of Scandinavian-inspired small plates all presented in a thoughtfully designed modern space on Market Street.

Hunt & Alpine is run by Andrew and Briana Volk, who ran the popular Hush Hush series of events earlier this year.

For additional photos and commentary see the latest post on Map & Menu.

Images: a Left Hand cocktail, the view from inside the Lodge Room towards the bar, table and counter seating, charcuterie and cheese plates.


Review of Salvage BBQ

Meredith Goad has penned a southern-fried review of Salvage BBQ for Maine a la Carte.

The hush puppies had obviously just come out of the fryer, so while I waited for them to cool down enough to handle I stole a bite of the barbecue and lawd have mercy…..Portland finally has some decent, southern-style pulled pork! No more abominations forced upon us like pulled pork sandwiches covered with slices of tomato and onion! That’s just so, so wrong.

Under Construction: Empire

According to a report on Maine a la Carte, Empire plans to open next week on September 12.

The menu, a press release sent out today says, will feature “truly authentic Chinese cuisine and Dim Sum. The menu of traditional and modern ‘Chinese soul food’ will feature local meats, seafoods, and seasonal produce. The kitchen will be headed by a Dim Sum Master Chef with 40 years’ experience creating specialty dumplings in world class kitchens around the world.”

Bar Review of Gather

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Gather.

Happy hour is usually just Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and features beer and wine for $3, but customers are encouraged to check the restaurant’s Facebook page for updates about drink specials (lemon-thyme Prosecco for $8 was recently featured) and bar snack specials.

Chef Chad Conley’s starter menu gives an idea of what the bar snacks could be: Deviled eggs, meatballs, Bangs Island mussels, kale, ricotta and walnut fritters, just to name a few.

Omi’s Coffee Shop

The Portland Daily Sun has published an article on Omi’s Coffee Shop,

Omi’s Coffee Shop takes its name from co-owner Naomi Hall, and also functions as an exclamation one might make after drinking a cup of coffee there, as in “Oh my!”

In addition to the organic, fair-trade coffee, Omi’s also serves homegrown tea, baked goods from Standard Baking, and Union bagels.

and Natalie Ladd’s weekly column.

Harbor Fish’s Past & Portland Co-op’s Future

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about the nearly 50-year old Harbor Fish Market,

Nick Alfiero, one of the three brothers who own Portland’s Harbor Fish Market, says that whenever anybody talks about their 47-year-old family business these days, they always throw out the word “iconic.”

How does that make him feel? Good, right?

“Old,” he said with a wry smile. “Old, to tell you the truth.”

and an article about the Portland Co-op’s plans to open a grocery store.

By early 2015, the Portland Food Co-op intends to open a grocery store in downtown Portland, a district dominated by Whole Foods, Hannaford and Trader Joe’s. The business plan calls for a much smaller store than the ones operated by the large chains, but with a full offering of organic and natural groceries, including beer, wine and prepared foods. The store will emphasize locally grown and produced food.