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.

Review of Quiero Cafe

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Quiero Cafe.

If you visit, start with a pulled-pork-and-fried-plantain Puerco empanada and move on to aioli-topped yucca fries and either a toasty, chorizo-stuffed choripan sandwich or the uncompromisingly indulgent Colombiano hot dog, loaded with mayo, pineapple salsa and crushed potato chips. Skip dessert, but don’t miss one of the smoothies or milkshake-style juices, especially the bracing lulo, blended with whole milk into an icy, Creamsicle-like treat.

Reviews: The Garrison, The Cider House

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed The Garrison, and

With his Mediterranean-and-Asian inflected modern American menu, he creates creative plates that underpromise and overdeliver. Everything from Thai-inspired, butter-poached lobster in a sunny coconut curry broth; pulled short rib mounded onto a dark brioche bun with iceberg lettuce and American cheese; and a phenomenal, pseudo-Provencal pappardelle good enough to convert anyone to the pleasures of slow-braised rabbit.

the Press Herald has reviewed The Cider House.

Local spot with a neighborhood feel and not an ounce of snobbery. There’s something for everyone, even your friends who don’t like cider.

Twelve 2020 Good Food Awards Finalists from Maine

Congratulations to the 12 Maine food producers that are  finalists in the 2020 Good Food Awards:

The winners will be announced January 17 at a gala in San Francisco.

Review of Central Provisions

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Central Provisions.

…And with good reason; owners Paige Gould and Chris Gould (also the chef) have built a largely consistent, extraordinarily efficient business that produces some of the area’s finest dishes. Among them, a batter-fried cod cheek tempura served with spicy, aromatic citrus-peel kosho; crisp-skinned suckling pig pressé nestled into a sweet-tangy purée of local apples and almond oil; and the ever-evolving bread plate, where a savory, egg-yolk-rich sabayon always plays a starring role.

Reviews: Coals Pizza, CBG, Quiero, N To Tail

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Coals Pizza.

Portland’s Coals is homey, rustic and unique among the three in that it is where Etzel plays with new flavors and techniques. Many of his experiments, like the mortadella, pistachio-infused heavy cream and Asiago pie or Nutella dessert pizza, are worth sampling. So is Coals’ version of the Margherita pizza, or its spectacularly good pepperoni-and-hot-honey Bee Cool pizza, both served on a crisp crust that shatters as you take a bite. If pizza isn’t your thing, that’s fine, too. The cheddar-topped burger, spicy cilantro wings and eight tap lines pouring beers from Maine and “from away” make a visit worth your time.

The Blueberry Files has published a first look at CBG.

CBG will undoubtedly fill the same needs Congress Bar and Grill did—a meal before a show at the nearby State Theater, a happy hour spot, a late night nightcap, a casual date night. Open 11am to 1am every day, there’s no excuse for you not to stop into the new CBG and check out the changes for yourself.

The Press Herald has reviewed Quiero Cafe.

The Cubano’s foundation was very tender pulled pork, with a couple layers of what looked to be Spanish ham, dark red in color. It was topped with Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, pickles and garlic aioli. The long roll was slightly toasted on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. It was $9 and one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in a long time.

The Press Herald has published a bar review of N To Tail.

The upstairs portion has a funky vibe, great food, original cocktails and outstanding service. The downstairs portion has a completely different feel, much more like a basement college bar than a place I’d go for a creative cocktail. I’ll definitely be back to the upstairs portion, which was so enjoyable that I’m willing to forgive the lack of purse hooks under the bar.

Review of Luke’s Lobster

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Luke’s Lobster.

It’s especially true of the terse menu, a greatest-hits collection of seafood shack classics, some of which (like the lobster roll) are decent. The best of the bunch is probably the crab roll ($16/$20), filled to overflowing with Maine-caught Jonah crab that is steamed, then air-jet “picked” in the company’s bespoke seafood processing facility in Saco. Before it is mounded into a mayo-painted Country Kitchen roll, it gets drizzled with lemon butter and dusted with the restaurant’s perky, celery-seed-forward “secret seasoning” mixture.