BA Best New 50: Regards

Bon Appetit has included Regards in their 2022 list of the Best New Restaurants.

Sparkling-fresh Maine seafood doesn’t need much adornment, but chef Neil Zabriskie’s thoughtful garnishing makes the argument for fancying it up. Zabriskie draws on the cuisines of Mexico, Japan, and his native California for his savvy takes. Briny local oysters shine brighter with a judicious splash of yuzu mignonette. Peekytoe crab tastes even sweeter when pressed into a cake with crispy brown rice. Rich, supple hamachi collar feels at home served alongside nori, tare, and lettuces for wrapping. Throw in a smart bar program, a well-curated natural wine list, and Regards feels like a welcome reminder that when it comes to the very best ingredients, a little adorning goes a long way.

Bon Appetit will release their Top 10 list next week.

Review of Il Leone

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a 4 star review of Il Leone Pizza.

Pizzas here are fantastic. Most incorporate imported San Marzano tomatoes, Sicilian olive oil and fresh dairy products from top U.S. producers. Some pizzas, like the limited-run L’Estate and the zucchini-topped Zucche ($21.50), add Maine produce to the mix to tremendous effect. Snag a bottle of wine before you hop on the ferry from mainland Portland or buy a bottle at Hannigan’s Island Market when you arrive on Peaks Island, then settle in for a few slices of finely blistered, Neapolitan-style pizza, a fresh arugula salad, and an evening (or afternoon) of pure Vacationland bliss.

Review of Regards

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a 3 star review of Regards.

All the elements are there: from a hip, lime-bleached brick interior set off in dynamic washes of orange and pink, to unflappable service and an imaginative menu that seeks to intertwine mostly Mexican and Japanese influences. What’s missing is consistent, confident execution of dishes. Some are nearly at their best, like a tepache-inspired ice cream made with fermented pears, and a large-format shareable platter of grilled, miso-basted hamachi collar that needs the hit of acid from the charred lemon and less nori than is provided.

Yankee’s Best Ice Cream List

Yankee magazine has published their list of the 36 best ice cream shops in New England. The Maine section of the list includes Bresca & the Honey Bee, Fielder’s Choice, Gorgeous Gelato, MDI Ice Cream, Rococo Ice Cream, Sweetcream Dairy and Toots.

New Englanders love their ice cream. Home to Ben & Jerry’s, birthplace of Howard Johnson’s 28 flavors, our region tends to float to the top of most polls measuring ice cream consumption per capita. So we set out to answer an essential question: Who makes the best ice cream in New England? After looking at “Best Of” awards, talking to locals, and scouring Instagram, we hit the road to taste and compare, focusing on ice cream made by hand at brick-and-mortar scoop shops. The result is this ode to New England ice cream, including 36 winning shops in all six states.

Review of The Knotted Apron

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a 3 star review of The Knotted Apron.

This upscale, nominally French-Italian bistro on the border between the Rosemont and Deering Center neighborhoods has a lot going for it, not least of which is its inviting front patio, an ideal spot for a non-alcoholic Chasing Waterfalls cocktail and, if you’re a little peckish, a slice of sweet-savory French onion tart. Showing impressive dedication to his craft, chef/co-owner Ryan Hickman makes the pastry base himself, along with nearly everything else on the menu.

Reviews: Magnus on Water, Nom Cafe

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a 4 star review of Magnus on Water, and

The cocktails are pretty terrific, too. Start with a session-sipper like the fizzy Rubix Cube and progress to something a little stronger, like the balanced, dandelion-infused Strawberry Moon Negroni. And as for food, it doesn’t get much better than James Beard finalist Ben Jackson’s intuitive, nearly flawlessly executed dishes. Menus change with the seasons and availability of ingredients, but if you can snag a bowl of dill-seed, bay and coriander-marinated carrots, grab them. The same goes for confit rabbit served over farro and a dollop of fresh yogurt striated with lovage-leaf purée.

this month’s edition of Mainer includes a review of Nom Cafe.

My wife started with an order of parzhen ($9): crisp slices of breaded-and-fried eggplant served with Lutenitza, a savory-sweet spread of tomatoes and red peppers. For her main course she chose Belgian waffles ($14) with berries and maple syrup. The waffles themselves were pretty good, but the boneless fried chicken ($5) stole the show — it was tender and crispy, with a compelling blend of spices and herbs.

The Infatuation on Portland

The Infatuation has published an eating guide to Portland.

Maine is known for being a place where you can indulge in the fantasy of lobster for every meal. And sure, incredible lobster rolls abound but Portland is also a cultural destination in its own right. We have close proximity to both hikes and gorgeous beaches, the best bus stops in the US, and the potential to run into more moose than people. The best part, though? There’s so much to eat, lobster or otherwise, as you explore Maine’s most populated city.

Highlighted in the article are: Belleville, Bite Into Maine, Central Provisions, Chaval, Cong Tu Bot, Crispy Gai, Duckfat, Eventide, Flatbread, Fore Street, Hot Suppa, Leeward, Minato, Norimoto, Onggi, Rose Foods, Scales, Tandem, Terlingua, The Shop, and Yosaku

Review of Judy Gibson & 4 New Food Books

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Judy Gibson,

The first rule of Judy Gibson is that you must start telling absolutely everyone you know about Judy Gibson. Let friends know that chef/owner Chris Wilcox (Eventide, Velveteen Habit) isn’t serving his pandemic-legendary fried chicken anymore, and that’s a good thing. Instead, he’s making excellent use of an encyclopedic larder of house-preserved local ingredients, adding a portion of pickled blueberry stems to his extraordinary tuna crudo, dusting dried ramp powder on a rich beef tartare hash brown … you get the idea.

and an article about four new food books with connections to Maine.

With summer here and leisurely pursuits on the rise, it’s time for a fresh batch of cookbooks and food writing from Maine authors. Here, we’re taking a look at four recent publications that will suit readers with a range of interest in food, from aspiring mixologists to nostalgic eaters.

A Philly Eating Guide to Portland

Philadelphia Magazine has published an eating guide to Portland.

If your first thought when you hear “Portland” is the West Coast version, you’re missing out on one much closer to home. The coastal city about a six-hour drive from Philly is home to a surprisingly vibrant food-and-drink scene. Thanks to thriving local farms and seafood purveyors, an influx of chef talent from cities like Boston and D.C., and a supportive, hungry year-round community, the city proves that Maine cuisine is more than blueberry pie and lobster rolls (though you can get those, too!).

The article mentions: Tandem, Hot Suppa, The Holy Donut, Luke’s, Boone’s, Eventide, The Shop, Totally Awesome Vegan Food Truck, Maine Maple Creemee, Scales, Fore Street, Baharat, Minato, Twelve, Duckfat, Bissell, Oxbow and Allagash.