Reviews: Drifters, Highroller, Clam Digger, Eaux, Vantage Point

Down East has reviewed Drifters Wife,

Any seafood dish is a smart order. On any given night, Jackson might be working with hake, butterfish, or monk, but no matter the fish, he has a gift for hitting just the right temperature for perfect flavor and feel. The luxuriousness of the textures he creates ought to win over even the most devoted carnivore.

the Portland Phoenix has reviewed Highroller Lobster,

Lobster is undoubtedly the main attraction, showing up in grilled cheese, “pop,” and taco forms among other items. The lobster cheese crisp taco that has accumulated over 16 million views in a one-minute Thrillist video is one of Highroller’s most popular choices. Essentially a giant parm crisp brimming with lobster meat, it’s certainly over the top, if not a bit conflicting in taste due to the sharp and assertive flavors the cheese brings to the table. A fried lobby pop is the most decadent corndog analog I’ve come across in my day; the perfect match for a side of charred pineapple mayo.

the Portland Press Herald had reviewed Vantage Point Provisions,

When I got back to the office and tried the chowder, I was even gladder to have finally found him. It’s just the kind of chowder I like. He’d described his spin as “traditional but different,” and that was accurate, with fresh herbs floating in the broth but not taking away from the essential clam character.

As the Lobster Rolls had reviewed Clam Digger, and

While I was eating this roll, I noticed that the mayo was applied directly to the roll and not mixed in with the lobster – something I’d never experienced but kinda liked. I also noticed that because of the amount of lobster in this thing, the beefier brioche roll was welcomed to hold it all together. Overall, I was quite pleased with the experience. The fries and cole slaw were tasty too… just too much!

the Portland Press Herald had reviewed Eaux.

By this point, we knew we had to try the signature fried chicken and waffles ($14). The skillfully-seasoned chicken was crispy, the waffles had the perfect amount of syrup, and the dish was served with thinly sliced apple, an addition which transformed each bite into a mini-vacation to New Orleans.

Reviews: Woodford F&B, Uncle Billy’s, Paciariono, Portland Pulp

The Bollard has reviewed Woodford F&B,

When it opened in early 2016, Woodford F&B breathed new life into the perpetually under-construction clusterfuck of an intersection known as Woodfords Corner. Locals took notice right away, filling the booths and barstools on most nights for classic, upscale American dishes and excellent cocktails. F&B started serving brunch soon after, and my family has been there at least a half dozen times since we moved into the nearby Oakdale neighborhood last year. I haven’t written about this brunch until now — not because I didn’t love it, but because I didn’t want to share. I now realize that was unfair to you, dear reader. I’ve been selfish. I feel terrible, believe me.

the Portland Phoenix had reviewed Uncle Billy’s,

Uncle Billy’s in its current form doesn’t come off as thrown together or temporary in any sense; it feels lived in and well-seasoned. Customer-drawn napkin art and BBQ-themed tchotchkes line the walls, with warmly saturated blue and ride lighting giving the space a roadhouse-esque ambiance recalling Twin Peaks in its most dreamlike moments. It doesn’t feel like you’re in Maine, and for a concept which aims to transport the diner to Memphis for just a short while, this is a success.

the Peter Peter Portland Eater had reviewed Paciarino, and

There are a number of Italian restaurants that have opened in Portland over the past few years and I like many of them. But Paciarino holds a special place in my heart and it’s most certainly because their pasta is on another level. They make it daily and it adds a component to their meals that differentiates them from many of the other Italian cuisine purveyors around here. Whatever you get, it’s guaranteed to be tasty, fresh, and filling.

the Press Herald had reviewed Portland Pulp.

As I watched a young suit-clad man depart delighted with his buffalo chicken wrap (a special on the menu at the time), I surveyed the premises, confused: Was I still in the same vegan-looking health food paradise? I was, and it was then that I realized that Portland Pulp is one of the few juice bars where buffalo chicken wraps and straight kale juice can be friends.

Reviews: Elda, Black Cow

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Black Cow, and

At Black Cow, Nappi has built a terse, tightly focused menu of what he calls “reimagined soda fountain food.” Many of his ideas are fun and creative extrapolations of fast-food and diner classics. The best of these are a tart-and-creamy wedge salad and a crunchy, gooey grilled-cheese bookended by slices of homemade, English-muffin bread. But Black Cow’s kitchen suffers from consistency problems…

the Portland Phoenix had reviewed Elda.

Elda is one of Maine’s best new restaurants in years, yet you can walk in for a table just about any time. Brown has toned down the rarified approach that won Forage so much acclaim. The prix fixe (just $45) has fewer courses (4) and more choice. The menu is laid back about ingredients and their sources, and you can order a la carte. Your server discusses the food like something to be eaten rather than revered. There is a lot of seafood now that he’s on the coast.

Down East: Best of Maine

Down East has published their annual Best of Maine readership poll and editor’s selections in the July issue of the magazine.

Portland area food establishments that made the cut are:

  • Best New Restaurant – Chaval (Editor’s Choice)
  • Best Frozen Mashups – ice cream collaborations by Parlor Ice Cream with Rose Foods, Tandem and Palace Diner (Editor’s Choice)
  • Bakery – Standard Baking Co.
  • Beer Bar – Novare Res
  • Brewery – Allagash
  • Burger – Nosh
  • Chef – Cara Stadler
  • Cocktail Bar – Blyth & Burrows
  • Ice Cream – Gelato Fiasco
  • Donut – Holy Donut
  • Pizza – Otto Pizza
  • Seafood Market – Harbor Fish

Review of Nonesuch River Brewing

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Nonesuch River Brewing in Scarborough giving it 3 stars.

Not all the beers are as impressive as the design, but if you visit, be sure to order a glass of brewer Michael Schuler’s toasty, low ABV stout; it’s a pleasing, dark little sipper. As for food, there are few standouts, but plenty of decent options on executive chef Jeff Gambardella’s menu, including a spicy Maine crab sandwich that features grilled mango and house-pickled jalapeños, and a lovely shaved asparagus salad with edamame, pistachios and crumbly goat cheese. Locals have already embraced Nonesuch as a community hot spot, and with a trio of co-owners who are eager to listen to their customers, I’m betting that things will only get better.

Reviews: Eaux

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Eaux.

“Shrimp & City Grits” is a cheffed-up version of the iconic southern dish, complete with a semi-runny soft egg on top. These grits are the real deal, though, and while the shrimp could’ve used a bit more seasoning on this particular occasion, they paired beautifully with everything else happening on the plate to form a cohesive whole.

Reviews: Duckfat Frites Shack, Maine Lobster Shack, Blue Lobster Wine Co.

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Duckfat Frites Shack,

Frites are as expected (read: perfect), served alongside a chosen assortment of house-made sauces/aiolis and perfectly suited for pairing with Oxbow’s always impressive lineup of draft and bottled farmhouse ales. The real standouts thus far, however, have come in the form of dishes not exactly in line with Dutch and Flemish fare. Salmon belly poke—served with avocado, cilantro, sambal and crispy rice crackers—is the most delicate, viceral-grunt-inspiring dish you’ve ever eaten out of a paper tray. As battered birds go, chicken-fried quail is the “cleanest” imaginable in both taste and texture, destined for dipping in a lemon-sage mayo that lives up to its name and flanked by a piquant pile of fermented coleslaw.

The Press Herald has reviewed Blue Lobster Wine Co., and

Perfect location for a stop while strolling Anderson Street, especially if you’re an unpretentious wine lover who supports the concept of urban wineries.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Maine Lobster Shack.

I wouldn’t say that Maine Lobster Shack is the best at any one thing, but they performed well with everything we had. They seem to have a solid grasp on casual seaside fare and the Fore St. location really is a fun, central spot in the Old Port. Have beers and oysters outdoors, lobster rolls and fries indoors, or whatever combo of atmosphere and seafood you want. I think you’ll find a pleasant experience without any wanting for more when you’re through.

Bon Appetit: Neighborhood Restaurants

Bon Appétit has included The Purple House, Ten Ten Pié and Hot Suppa in their list of America’s Favorite Neighborhood Restaurants.

We asked 80 of the most interesting people we know—chefs, novelists, activists, comedians, NBA players, and more—to let us in on their most-trusted haunts, from a Tibetan dumpling stand in a grocery store in Columbus to a landlocked fish market in Tulsa. These are the spots we return to again and again, the places that make no claim to be the “newest” or the “trendiest,” and that’s precisely why we love them.