The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Scales.
The fish stew is equally effective in mellowing strong flavors just enough — so that fennel animates rather than dominates the bright roasty tomato broth. The broth, a lovely orange-red, doesn’t pool with oil as so many do. Its richness complements the big pieces of firm swordfish and squid, along with many mussels. And a dish of seared scallops confirmed that Scales can make ambitious and complex dishes from shellfish too. Big chunks of sausage added some salt and fennel and chew, while the scallops themselves were buttery and tender. Pieces of charred endive added a bitter note to the creamy sauce.