Review of CBG

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed CBG.

Chef Theodore Moffitt’s menu delivers whiplash-inducing doses of eclecticism but is largely well-executed and seems suited to bar manager Mike Barbuto’s classics-focused beverage program. CBG’s fried snacks are among its best dishes. If you visit at night, don’t skip the crisp-fried croquettes filled with braised pork and potato. At brunch, it’s the savory ham-and-cheese fritters that you’ll want, with their superheated interior ready to send rivulets of melted sharp cheddar running down your chin as you eat.

4½ Star Review for The Back Bay Grill

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed The Back Bay Grill.

The surprisingly affordable wine list and Matthews’ stellar cooking are, as ever, the restaurant’s two biggest draws. Sweet, pan-seared scallops in aromatic, leek-strewn crème fraiche broth; and a crunchy, baseball-sized crab cake fashioned from freshly picked Maine crab are two of the menu’s many standouts, although with Matthews in the kitchen, it is hard to go wrong.

Reviews: CBG, Noodle Love

The Press Herald has reviewed Noodle Love, and

This place is a nice addition to an already-crowded food scene. The food is great, the service fast and the prices are very reasonable.

has also reviewed CBG.

Our drinks arrived in delicate vintage glassware – not what we had been expecting in that atmosphere, but perfect for the drinks we had chosen. The Part & Parcel reminded us of a grapefruity brunch drink. The Maximillion Affair was less Mezcal-forward than we had expected and was even verging on sweet.

Thrillist Falls in Love with Portland

Thrillist has published a travel guide to Portland titled “Why Right Now Is the Perfect Time to Fall in Love With Portland, Maine”.

That Portland’s still here — lighthouses, lobster rolls, and plenty of opportunities to use the word “quaint” — but things are changing. These days, bearded brewmasters seem to outnumber actual fishermen. The food scene has morphed into world-class, destination dining that doesn’t start and stop with lobster. Artists and creatives are flocking to the city’s shores. And word is spreading so fast, it won’t be long before the vibe starts to feel on par with the next, well, Portland. Or Asheville. Or Denver.

Reviews: Vessel & Vine, Maria’s

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Vessel and Vine in Brunswick, and

So revel in the patchwork quilt nature of The Vine and order a mix-and-match Golden Ratio cocktail or glass of natural wine to sip as you make your way through Iacono’s seven-item menu, all of which she prepares in a kitchen the size of a walk-in closet. Be on the lookout for her sumac-freckled sweet potato hummus dip and stuffed cabbage dolma, sweetened with sun-dried tomato and seasoned with floral ras el hanout. When you arrive, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon the restaurant’s culinary-themed book club, a foraging class or even the monthly mending group, stitching away. Just pull up a chair and go with the flow.

The Golden Dish has reviewed the new Maria’s.

Perhaps it was too soon to assess Maria’s. But haven’t they had a half-century to perfect their kitchen? I don’t think we’ll ever go back unless we hear that the restaurant has undergone an epiphany.

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.