Reviews: Five Fifty-Five, Tiqa Cafe

Five Fifty-Five received 3½ stars from the review published today in the Maine Sunday Telegram,

At its best, Five Fifty-Five produces sublime dishes like seared New England scallops with a grilled corn sauce and a warm vegetable accompaniment that distills everything magical about summer onto a single plate. Its steaks, like a chimichurri-sauced Pineland Farm striploin, are simple, yet superb. (Poor grill ventilation, on the other hand, is a problem, allowing an unpleasant, irritating haze to spread across the dining room when several diners order steaks simultaneously.) Other dishes, like bland spinach fettuccini, a too-ambitious grilled watermelon and baby kale salad, and a botched local blackberry salad demonstrate how conceptual and execution issues keep the menu from being as stellar as its reputation suggests. Service can also be spotty – sometimes revealing impressive competence, and sometimes neglect or a total lack of situational awareness. None of these problems in and of itself is a catastrophe, but each is a small setback, and in aggregate, they keep Five Fifty-Five from shining quite as brightly as it should.

and the Press Herald has reviewed Tiqa Cafe.

I started out simple with the grilled cheese, since this is a column that loves a good deal, and you can tell a lot about a place by the care and attention it puts into its simplest fare. I chose cheddar over provolone, and the cheese oozed out of the freshly made focaccia bread. There were a couple of sliced, seasoned tomatoes in the sandwich as well. Not much to say; it was neither the best nor the worst grilled cheese I have had, but it was perfectly fine for a casual take-out lunch.