Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by CSASphinx

  1. Thanks again, I just got my wife to cede me the decision making and we're definitely goin gto Babbo. As for service and pace, I agree with you. What we really don't want are two things: courses brought too quickly and a waiter who's obnoxious. Also, don't like service that is TOO attentive. You know the drill: multiple watiers swooping in to try to clear the crumb that fell off your plate BEFORE it hits the table cloth. As for the hustle and bustle that's one of the things we enjoy about NY. There is no other city that practically quivers continually with energy the way NY does. But now off to get it all straightened out. Just reserved Babbo for pre-theater Sat., Blue Hill Sunday or Monday and a third night up for grabs. I've been reading and reading. I'll figure it out. I'm hoping to entice my wife to perhaps go to Cafe Boulud or Jean Georges for lunch Monday. By the way, Daniel Boulud does a commercial for his seafood purveyor here in Portland, Browne Trading Company, which opened a specialty store on the far end of Commerical Street about 2 years ago. Next time you're in town check it out...take a right out of the door from the Greengrocer and it's a few hundred yards down the street on the other side. Thanks again. I'll let you know how we make out.
  2. We've been having a very heavy Babbo discussion over the past week here. One of our problems is my wife is just now getting adventurous with her palate and she has a hard time finding a bunch of things she'd like at Babbo. Kinda funny when you only need to really like a few dishes....Anyway. I've been trying to talk her into going for the pasta tasting, which I've noticed has gotten raves in other message threads. I'll try again tomroow. I hear you on Union Square and we also talked tonight about trying to get in (any time) to Blue Hill instead. I checked out their sample menu online tonight and I think that would be a real treat. Part of the problem, as always, is we only have three nights and there are simply too many choices. Trying to coordinate lunches and a show and some music Sunday in Central Park then fit in three great dinners, it's daunting. I'm thinking we will abondon our plans to hit Arthur Ave, since it will take up too much time. It's still on the to do list, though. As for Jean Georges and Daniel, even though we are prepared to spend a bundle on food, we might not quite be comfortable dropping THAT much on one meal, at least not this year. Cafe Boulud and Babbo on the other hand are very tempting. Thanks, by the way, for taking the time. It's all helpful. Whatever we do, I'll report back on our expereince. Oh and one last thing. Of the places you suggest where are we likely to have the best service sans attitude? We Mainers like good food and good, relaxed service and atmosphere. But just because you work in a restaurant with great food, doesn't give you a right to be snotty....
  3. Steve, Can't remember the name of the place you mention near the Greengrocer, but it definitely has a Carribean sounding name. The space is that of The Port Bakehouse and I've lunched there a number of times (though not since early spring) and their food was always inventive with a definite jerk seasoning, mango-y flair. Don't know if they've changed with the "new" name. I'd give them a try for lunch first. At any rate, it was always a good deal, even for Portland. I think we'll need to visit Hugo's our next time out....that is after our upcoming weekend in NYC (you answered a post of mine I placed today, suggesting L'Impero). You are also the second person who has high praise for Blue Hill, might need to see if we can cancel our Union Square reservation and go there instead. If you don't mind, what other small, chef-owned places can you suggest in Manhattan? We always feel like we are going to the usual suspects: Gramercy Tavern, Union Square, etc.....Heard anything good about Verbena? If the food is good, I just love the idea of lounging in their garden for hours. Finally, what are you doing in North Conway? I grew up about 15 miles east of Fryeburg in Waterford....home to The Lake House (passable, not anything I'd drive from Portland for -- though they've nailed Bananas Foster). At any rate, I'm very familiar with the lay of the land there and those roads you mentioned on the "backside" of Sebago Lake.
  4. So had we. But the last time we went (about a month agao), it was as good as ever, so not sure what was going on, but nothing missed the night we went.
  5. Hello tonkichi, Steve has some really good recommendations in the Portland area and perhaps you'll want to take some time while staying in Kennebunk and drive to Portland for a couple of meals. Actually, I'd suggest staying in Portland to begin with and making Kennebunk a day trip. But on to the food in Portland! I haven't dined at Hugo's since the ownership change so I can't tell you anything about it. Steve, I'd be interested in hearing more..... Personally, my wife and I prefer Michaela's in Monument Square. They seem to do a particularly good job with the seafood here, and I've been known to forego an entree and simply eat my way through all their seafood appetizers. Their Crab Timbale and Salmon Three Ways are both stellar. It's a funky little space and the staff are extra friendly. Fore Street is probably on everyone's list and for that reason, you'll either need to make reservations as soon as you arrive in the States or be prepared to show up early and wait for a table (they keep roughly 1/3 of their tables open for walk-ins). Still, if your luck is bad the walk-in couple ahead of you might have a wait of 30 minutes for their table and you could wait up to 2 hours. Food here is roasted in wood-fired ovens and ranges from delicious spit-roasted chicken, pork, beef and lamb, to a wide variety of seafood dishes. Nice room, though somewhat loud and the view of the waterfront is now mostly obsucred by a hideous new hotel. Still, after dark, it's a very nice atmosphere and good, good food. One that doesn't make Steve's list and that has had it's ups and downs over it's 15 years is Back Bay Grill. Somewhat off the beaten path, this New American has been reinvigorated since an owneership change about a year ago. It's a solid New American, here's their website: Back Bay Grill If you dine at Back Bay Grill and don't finish the evening with the Creme Brulee, you've made an egregious error. Finally, I don't necessarily agree with Steve's contention that the Portland Green Grocer is the ONLY place for good fruits and veggies in town until you get to Conway. Also in town is the Portland Public Market and there a numerous regular produce purveyors here as well as seasonal booths where in October you'll probably find some incredible apples and cider, also new to town is Wild Oats, a natural food supermarket where produce is king. If you want a quick taste of an ethnic grocer, head over to Micucci's on India St. (not far from Hugo's). This old-style Italian grocery is a hidden gem in Portland. Even if you don't have a kitchen at your disposal to take all the goodies home to, you can at least get them to bag you a chunk of Reggiano to nibble while you stroll through the Old Port. Finally, if you are traveling Route 302 from Portland to get to New Hampshire, there is one place I can recommend along the way. Venezia Ristorante is a small (obviously) Italian place about a mile outside of Bridgton on the way to Fryeburg at the Junction of Route 93. Don't blink or you'll miss it. Did I mention it is small? So small in fact, that if you order veal, your table might shake a little when they pound it thin in the kitchen. The decor isn't much, but it is good solid food and worth the effort. One last thought: If you are heading into New Hampshire any time from Sept 28 to October 5, you may want to avoid Route 302 all together as it is the week of the Fryeburg Fair, the state's largest argricultural fair. Traffic can get backed up for miles, leading into Fryeburg during Fair week, especially on the weekend. But if it interests you, you may want to check it out. Horse, steer and oxen pulling. Sheep shearing, baking contests, livestock barns, harness racing (horses) and of course a midway with "fair food". Usually a great place to find hand-cut french fries, if you like such things. Anyway, that's all. I hope you have a wonderful time on your visit.
  • Create New...