Reviews: The King’s Head, Anoche, Cheese Shop, Fore Street

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed The King’s Head Pub,

Winter is an ideal time to visit, in part for the gastropub’s cozy, wood-paneled, exposed brick digs and in part because the menu of beer-friendly “slightly upscale bar food” (as executive chef Tory Bridgman calls it) is especially appealing in the cold weather. Just as appealing are the more than three dozen tap lines that supply the bar with mostly local beers and ales.

the Press Herald has reviewed Anoche,

An upscale Basque-focused cider bar. Great date spot or a place to grab a drink and a nibble before heading somewhere for dinner.

the Press Herald has reviewed The Cheese Shop of Portland, and

f this is your first visit, go straight for the store’s signature Ham & Butter ($9), made with justly famous Benton’s country ham, from Tennessee, and cultured butter. It’s extraordinary – salty, thinly shaved ham fused to a crusty Standard Baking baguette with double-sided lashings of butter so fluffy and flavorful I wondered if I’d ever tasted butter before. It wasn’t until I’d eaten half of the Ham & Butter that it occurred to me that there I was in a cheese shop eating a sandwich that had not a speck of cheese.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Fore Street.

In big, bold letters put Fore Street back on your list (if it ever left) of must-go-to restaurants. In fact, after a recent visit, I’m proclaiming that it’s still one of the best restaurants in the city. It has managed to maintain its supreme status since opening nearly 30 years ago as a citadel of farm-to-table cookery with its focus on food from local farmers (meat, poultry and fowl), foragers and fishermen and women.

Congrats to Maine’s 6 Good Food Award Winners

Congratulations to the 6 Maine food producers that are  2020 Good Food Award winners:

Reviews: Fore Street, Nura

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Fore Street, and

Chef de cuisine Daniel Young describes the restaurant (which today boasts its own Wikipedia entry) as “the epicenter of New England food,” and he’s not wrong. As long in the tooth as Fore Street may be, it continues to be one of the region’s best restaurants, serving rustic and hypnotically appealing dishes like wood-charred Bolero carrots in coriander vinaigrette, peppery and juniper-rubbed Quebec pork sirloin, and an apple salad that sketches out the contours of non-existent cranberries in the white space of its flavors.

the Press Herald has reviewed Nura.

I ordered the cauliflower bowl ($13) with hazelnut, dukkah and sauteed onion. Combined with a cup of chai and 20 percent tip, my lunch tab came to just under $20…The hummus in my bowl was light, creamy and delicious, and came with five triangles of pita bread.

Reviews: Grippy Tannins, The Garrison

The Golden Dish has reviewed The Garrison, and

It’s rare when restaurants reach that highly regarded perfection of high purpose and aspiration, the notion of which is such a subjective idea anyway. But once you find such a place as The Garrison in Yarmouth housed in the Sparhawk Mill along the Royal River, it’s immediately clear that this could be the golden bough we’ve all been waiting to climb, the prize at the end of that exiguous road where no less than some fabulously good food arrives to dazzle the senses.

the Press Herald has reviewed Grippy Tannins.

The space combines coziness and an airy, clean, fresh feeling in a way that makes customers want to kick off their shoes, curl up in one of the comfy chairs, and slowly work their way through the tasting menu, which is exactly what my drinking companion and I did (well, except for the shoes part).

Best Cocktail Bars in America

Thrillist has included the Hunt & Alpine Club on their list of the Best Cocktail Bars in America.

On a recent visit to Hunt and Alpine, I drank an impeccable Green Eyes cocktail (gin, lime, green chartreuse, and egg white) and a throwback Bourbon Renewal made just for laughs, ate their popcorn laced with unicorn dust or whatever, watched a rainstorm pass, and looked around to see 30 other folks all doing the same thing, each of us with a blissed out, grateful look on our faces. Rightfully, Hunt and Alpine is now the Portland institution it has always deserved to be.

Where to Eat in Portland

Hunt and Alpine Club co-owner Briana Volk has written an eating guide to Portland for Eater Boston entitled, How to Eat and Drink in Portland, Maine, Like a Restaurant Industry Pro.

As someone who has owned a restaurant for seven years now, I have always had a list of places I love to recommend. From the dive bar that serves great food to the restaurant that helped put Portland on the map, these restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, and bars are places you’ll hear as recommendations from others — or see your server/bartender after their shift.

The article highlights: Flood’s, Ruski’s, Little Woodfords, Highroller, Belleville, Oxbow, The Cheese Shop, Rose Foods, Fore Street, Salvage, and Izakaya Minato.

BA: Restaurants We Couldn’t Stop Talking About

Bon Appetit has included Izakaya Minato on their list of the 24 Restaurants We Couldn’t Stop Talking About in 2019.

Obviously Maine is synonymous with fresh seafood, but everything at this little Japanese bar is treated with so much care, from the perfectly chilled carafes of nigori-style sake to the crispy-on-the-outside, pillowy-on-the-inside tofu. Oh, and the omakase is THIRTY DOLLARS and the perfect amount of food that leaves you feeling full without keeping you in your seat for three hours. They do every little thing so darn right there—it’s a must visit every time I’m in Portland.”

Review of Enio’s

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of Enio’s in South Portland.

 It’s hard to imagine anyone not enjoying the Butlers’ home-cooked Italian dishes: homemade pastas, jars of spreads like chicken liver mousse served with freshly baked sourdough and wood-grilled meats like king-sized pork chops drizzled with veal demiglace…Enio’s is the perfect tonic to overdesigned dining rooms and deconstructed desserts – it is a true mom-and-pop operation that, quite simply, feels like home.

Review of Vena’s

The Press Herald has reviewed Vena’s Fizz House.

Eventually, I pried my friend’s drink out of her hands and took a sip, at which point all I could think was “liquid Christmas!” It somehow managed to combine all the flavors in exactly the right amounts, resulting in being able to taste, first, one element, then another, then another, never forgetting that Santa had just delivered you a stocking full of tequila.

Reviews: Sun Vietnamese Restaurant, Cocktail Mary, Anoche, A & C

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Sun Vietnamese Restaurant, and

With more time to dedicate to labor-intensive, mostly traditional Vietnamese dishes, chef Truc Nguyen has upgraded the quality of her menu substantially. Her banh mi sandwiches, bursting with house-made carrot and daikon pickles and grilled meats or cold cuts, are among the best in the state. Her pho (both chicken and beef) is also terrific, and at less than $10 a bowl, is one of Portland’s best bargains. Having eschewed pastries in its reboot, Sun no longer offers desserts, but its Vietnamese coffee – blitzed with ice and sweetened condensed milk to the consistency of a rough granita – is the sort of sensational meal-capper you’ll crave even in the middle of a Maine winter.

The Blueberry Files has published a first look at Cocktail Mary, Anoche, and A & C Grocery.

I went out last Friday night to visit several new Washington Avenue businesses. A friend who moved away in August was visiting for the holiday and since we both used to live on Munjoy Hill, we wanted to see what’s new in the old neighborhood. On our agenda: drinks at Cocktail Mary, a new cocktail bar on Congress Street, drinks at Anoche, a cider and tapas bar, and dinner at A&C Grocery, a former market turned diner.