Posted 21 June 2009 - 02:22 PM
Our trip so far:
Upon our arrival, we were tired from driving and just checked out the area. Found Bayley's in Scarborough (We're staying at a dog friendly motel in Scarborough) and pigged out. We really enjoyed the lobster rolls and fried clams. We apparently showed up shortly after closing, but the staff took our orders and served us with a smile, never letting on that we were there after closing. I only found out when they started cleaning up... They earned an extra tip for that :)
For lunch Thursday, we went to Gilbert's Chowder House in Portland. Really enjoyed the lobster stew my wife and I shared. She ordered the mussels which she said were done perfectly. I had the "fish and chips" special. That was ok, but probably not the best choice. We'd gladly return.
Thursday was our anniversary and I had reservations for Arrows. The restaurant was beautiful and very much to our tastes. Despite the pouring down rain, we had window seats and thoroughly enjoyed looking out onto the gardens. The food, well.... was another thing. Nothing bad, but nothing exceptional like we expected, either. We opted for the 5 course garden chef's choice. We started out with a fish plate which was fair at best (IMHO). The smoked salmon was dry and somewhat salty, the salt cod was... well... salty, the caviar did nothing for me... Next was a garden salad, with some nice greens, but the dressing did not enhance the segregated greens. It was a mustard vinaigrette that seemed to bring out the bitterness in the greens. The main was next with a lobster "cocktail" in a house made mayo. The lobster was tender, and sweet as it should be, the mayo ok, but nothing to say this was stellar restaurant. There was also a small portion of a rib eye steak "au poive" but I couldn't taste or see any peppercorns and there was a distinct smoke flavor reminiscent of bacon, although we had advised our waiter we didn't want any pork products. This was followed a cheese course that was nothing different or spectacular, and the dessert was three scoops of home made ice creams (vanilla, chocolate, and caramel). Ice cream was a decent quality, but I can get ice cream at any restaurant. That said, my wife really enjoyed the house red wine.
Friday lunch we hit Duck Fat in Portland. I had the tongue panini and my wife had the duck confit panini. We thought both were somewhat skimpy, but tasty. We also shared the french fries cooked in duck fat, which we enjoyed, but didn't think they were as special as the press would lead one to think. They were good fries, not exceptional.
Friday night we took a breather and ate in our room. During the day we made a whirlwind tour stopping at Whole Foods ( a very nice version, bigger than most we've seen) picking up various fruits for a fruit and cheese plate. We passed by their beautiful cheese display as we planned on stopping at the Cheese Iron. We're sorry we did. The staff at the Cheese Iron was very nice and helpful, but they simply didn't have the variety of cheeses we expected from a cheese specialty shop. We would have done much better at Whole Foods. None the less we had a nice meal in our room with a bottle of red wine.
Saturday lunch we tried out J's Oyster Bar on the suggestion of a friend. Another big disappointment. We shared an order of the baked stuffed oysters, which was supposed to have a lobster stuffing. We didn't see or taste a hint of lobster; just an oyster topped with a bunch of dry stuffing. My wife had a lobster salad plate and I the crab. She felt the lobster was "ok" but was mostly knuckles with once small claw. My crab was the worst I ever had; a stringy substance that reminded me of crumbled shredded wheat, except shredded wheat has more flavor.
We made up for that Saturday night by going to Miyake and enjoyed the Omakase II. Outstanding. Everything was perfect. I expressed my low tolerance for spicy (hot) foods, and they bent over backwards to make sure everything was within my limits. We live in a sushi challenged part of Pennsylvania, and Miyake was quite the delight. A definite on our next trip to Portland (maybe another visit this trip).
For lunch today we went to Flatbread and had a great pizza. Good brick oven pizza.
Tonight we're off to Fore Street, and tomorrow we hope to go to Evangelene's on Monday.... If we stay longer, hoping to hit Hugo's yet :)