Review of Zapoteca

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Zapoteca.

…Try the El Pepino margarita if you’re a fan of cucumber, orange and slow-burning peppery heat – it’s a perfect match for a plate of Bard’s precisely plated guacamole, served with hot, freshly fried tortilla chips. Order the jalapeños rellenos stuffed with local cheese, and if you’re not a lover of spice, you can get away with sticking to the tip-end of the peppers. We found both the flat-pressed carnitas and the mole half-chicken to be overcooked and dried out, but fell head over heels for the halibut cooked Veracruz-style in a luscious, almost Mediterranean pan sauce of green olive, tomato, capers and raisins…

Reviews: Lolita, Saltbox, Sur Lie, Drifter’s, LFK, Petite Jacqueline

The Bollard has reviewed Saltbox Cafe,

We spread out on a nearby picnic table to eat. I’d chose the Crab Cake Croissant ($8.95), a rich and well-seasoned homemade crab cake served, on this particular day, with extra-sharp cheddar and ginger-hollandaise sauce on a split-and-grilled croissant. I added a farm egg and fresh, peppery greens ($1.20) for what turned out to be a near-perfect breakfast sandwich.

and Lolita.

I had the torchio pasta with ‘nduja sausage ($16), a soft Italian sausage with a sharp spiciness that would have been overly aggressive had it not been toned down by the creamy sauce. This is one of Lolita’s most popular dishes, for good reason. My husband had the Marmitako ($16), a Basque fishermen’s stew. Other than more hunks of bread to soak up the rich fish stock, this dish lacked nothing. The thick chunks of red tuna, roughly chopped potatoes and pile of briny mussels made for a satisfying meal.

The Press Herald has reviewed LFK,

LFK is a casual neighborhood bar in Longfellow Square that offers craft beers and cocktails, appetizers and mains, and an eclectic mix of writerly relics, such as typewriters, vintage books and poems etched in glass. Paying ode to the space’s former tenant, Cunningham Books, LFK lures a creative crowd that likes reading at the bar, talking about their love of pork belly or both. Drinks are strong, beer is cold.

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed happy hour at Sur Lie,

Overall happy hour at Sur Lie was great! Good drinks served up by friendly and attentive bartenders paired with tasty food will always win us over. The prices might keep it out of the regular rotation but when we want a bit of a treat we will definitely be back. The sweet pea hummus alone would pull us back in! Seriously, get it.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the new Petite Jacqueline,

At $100 bucks before tip, I was certainly pleased with Petite Jacqueline. I always am. They really make food the right way – fresh, with hearty portions, intense flavors, and no overcomplication. The service is excellent and the new atmosphere is a little more modern. While not quite as cozy as the last iteration, it’s less cramped and there’s definitely something to be said for that. The menu hasn’t changed much, if at all, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the foods always been top notch and interesting.

and a review in the Portland Phoenix of the Drifter’s Wife elicited a response from BDN food writer Kathleen Pierce.

Draft 100: Novare Res

Draft magazine has recognized Novare Res in their annual list of the 100 Best Beer Bars in the nation.

The 33 draft lines give diverse attention to hoppy American gems from Night Shift and Sierra Nevada, German classics like Einbecker Pils and Kultbücher Monchshof Schwarzbier, plus Belgian darlings and “best of” Maine breweries. You could also go for the 500-deep bottle list, or the seasonal proprietary beer brewed by Liquid Riot…

Maine’s Best Lobster Rolls

The Portland area captured 3 of the 20 top slots on The Daily Meal list of Maine’s Best Lobster Roll: Fishermen’s Grill, J’s Oyster Bar and Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster.

In order to assemble our list of the best lobster rolls in Maine, we consulted with several native authorities on the subject, as well as major publications and other trusted lists. While everyone who lives in Maine has their favorite lobster roll place, we believe that the spots on our list really stand apart from the pack.

First Review of Foulmouthed

The Blueberry Files has published a review of Foulmouthed Brewing.

I loved the crowd-pleasing variety of styles, and in particular, enjoyed the Golden Bullet and the Malcontent. The Dark & Foamy was really interesting too, since most ginger beers I’ve encountered are very light. This one had a nice backbone that stood up to the spice of the ginger. 

For more info on Foulmouthed see their website, and accounts on facebook, twitter, instagram

This Week’s Events: Allagash Street Fair, Filipino Dinner, Sam Calagione, Fried Chicken Friday

Monday — it’s the 4th of July. Head to the Eastern Promenade to listen to the Portland Symphony and see the fireworks.

Tuesday — Dogfish Head owner Sam Calagione will be at Novare Res to celebrate his brewery’s 21st anniversary.

Wednesday — Eve’s at the Garden is kicking of a weekly summer craft beer event, this week’s event is with Austin Street Brewing, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday — The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Foundation Brewing.

FridayPalace Diner will hold a Fried Chicken Friday at Oxbow, and The Sinful Kitchen is serving a 4-course Filipino dinner.

Saturday —the Allagash Street Fair is taking place, LeRoux is holding a wine tasting, and the Saturday Farmers’ Market will be in Deering Oaks.

Sunday — the weekly Crofters & Artisan Market is taking place.

Allagash Grand Cru — Allagash is holding a 3 hour Grand Cru tour of their brewery on July 25th.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.


Reviews: Red Sea, Oxbow, Milly’s Skillet

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Red Sea,

At Red Sea, a tiny restaurant on Washington Avenue in Portland, chef Akbret Batha and general manager Yemane Tsegai serve traditional Eritrean and Ethiopian dishes, all prepared from scratch. While the dining room itself, sporting vivid lemon-yellow paint, plastic tablecloth covers and posters, feels a bit like a travel agency, the food is generally terrific. Start with an order of the crisp, crunchy beef sambusas – if you opt for the vegetarian version, the lentil sambusas, ask for them with a little extra of chef Batha’s dynamite berbere spice mix. Nearly all the stews at Red Sea are good, most especially the cabbage, potato and carrot alicha, the spicy and complex Eritrean-style haddock, the red-lentil tsebhi birsen and the tomato-based okra stew.

the Press Herald has reviewed Milly’s Skillet,

Milly’s Skillet is certainly helping with that. The egg rolls were deep fried but not greasy, crisp on the outside with tender chunks of chicken and corn within. They tasted like having a forkful of really good fried chicken, with corn, and the honey mustard dipping sauce added just the right amount of tang. They were hot out of the fryer when I got them, and stayed warm during lunch.

and the Oxbow tasting room.

Oxbow’s Blending & Bottling tasting room in Portland is about more than beer. The expansive space, where wine, whiskey, and even non-Oxbow beers are served, is a veritable bar with up some 40 seats, plenty of standing room, and frequent music, art and design events.

Caiola’s Sale Completed


Caiola’s co-founders Abby Harmon and Lisa Vaccaro completed the sale of their restaurant Thursday night to chefs Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez, co-owners of Piccolo.

Harmon and Vaccaro opened Caiola’s nearly 11 years ago, in that time it’s become a well-loved West End destination. They’re immediate plans after the sale call for some much deserved time off.

Lopez and Sansonetti don’t plan to make any dramatic changes to Caiola’s in the near term. The restaurant will be closed Sunday though Tuesday to provide the staff with time off over the holiday weekend and re-opening on Wednesday.

As a West End resident, I  am very happy to have Damian and Ilma running restaurant in my neighborhood, and look forward to seeing how they evolve it over the coming years.