Reviews: Mami, Roma Cafe, Island Creek, El Rayo, Congress Squared

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Mami, and

The new, exposed-brick space shares much in common with the truck, including many of its street food dishes, like crisp, golden okonomiyaki – decadent “pancakes” of cabbage, onion and pork belly, topped with a spiced soy sauce and lashings of sweet Kewpie mayonnaise. You’ll also find Mami’s signature grilled onigiri, rounded triangles of sticky sushi rice seared dark and crunchy on a flat, iron teppanyaki grill. If it’s on the menu, don’t miss the lobster nikuman, a dish Miller calls “a bastardized lobster roll” that, with a sophisticated balance of yeasty steamed bun, salty tobiko and flowering dill, could hold its own against any lobster roll in the state.

The Blueberry Files has reviewed the Island Creek Oyster Shop, and

I love the simplicity of The Shop and its menu. While many restaurant and bars opt to attract customers with complex concepts and elaborate dishes, The Shop goes stripped down with a sunny patio and cheap oysters. Works for me.

the Portland Phoenix has reviewed the Roma Cafe, and

Unfortunately, entrées of Bucatini Amatriciana and Chicken Marsala also failed to impress, the former characterized by a thin, watery sauce and saved only by the inclusion of smoky guanciale. While unoffensive enough, the Marsala — flanked by a sauté of summer squash and side of pasta that felt like afterthoughts — somehow lacked flavor despite also being seasoned with a heavy hand. Though a saving grace could be found in a side of meatballs (plump, yielding and unctuous), my dining partner and I both agreed it was too little, too late.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed El Rayo,

I’ve always enjoyed El Rayo and I’m glad I finally returned. Their food is good, and while I wanted more salsa in the tacos, they were so big that I think it might be just the salsa to other stuff ratio that caused the issue. I recommend you go there and try the nachos, tacos, pinapple, and whatever else you like. And don’t forget some tequila, because they’ve got plenty and it’s sure to make you smile, even if you’re not there at happy hour.

the Press Herald has published a bar review of Congress Squared.

Quiet, upscale cocktails and a contemporary setting makes for a refined, upscale evening. Congress Squared isn’t breaking any molds but is putting its own spin on some classics in a memorable and well-crafted way.