A Condé Nast Traveler article about the Press Hotel highlights the role the Portland food scene has played in the development of the city.
On the coattails of a truly impressive food renaissance that began in 1996 with Sam Hayward’s Fore Street, gathered speed with Rob Evans’ 2000 reincarnation of Hugo’s, and got truly hot around 2012 with the debut of Eventide Oyster Co., Portland found itself—and then got found. By the time I visited in 2015 momentum was heavy, propelled by a slew of James Beard Award nominations including Best New Restaurant, for Central Provisions, just a few blocks from the Press; Best Chefs in the Northeast for Eventide owners Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley; and Rising Star Chef for Cara Stadler of Bao Bao Dumpling House. Next to Eventide, Wiley and Taylor had just opened Honey Paw, their brilliantly quirky take on noodle bars; and a block south Damian Sansonetti had begun his love song to Italian at Piccolo. And on and on. As food towns go, Portland had gone from simmer to full-on boil.