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Portland, ME in 2022 (and 2023)


weinoo

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

After spending  a few nights in Montreal, we drove down to Portland for a quick 3 nights, during which we did manage to get a fair amount of eating in. Compared to crossing the border at the I-87 area into NY State, this was a breeze, coming down through Derby Line, Vermont.  And a beautiful drive through the White Mountains didn't hurt.

 

Checked into our AirBnB, this time on the eastern promenade as opposed to more "downtown," where we had a nice view of Casco Bay's comings and goings...

 

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But we're not necessarily here for the view, we're here for the food (but the view doesn't hurt!).

 

First night, a favorite we've eaten at every time we've been to Portland. This time we started with cocktails in the lounge...

 

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TI'm just posting this because I wish these were the prices in NYC...they're not!

 

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Menu - and then how do you fucking choose?!

 

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I know we had a few of these...

 

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And the scallop "brandade" sounded too good to be true...

 

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It was.

 

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Significant Eater had the crab stuffed haddock, roasted in this wood-fired oven:

 

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I opted for the pork (with 3-bean salad), and was not disappointed...

 

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Dessert tonight was simple - a couple of scoops of their house-made ice creams (one probably had something to do with rhubarb).

 

Fore Street is a classic, and never disappoints. Bustling, with lots of happy campers.

 

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Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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Posted (edited)

This was kind of a special trip to Portland, because for the first time we were able to visit a place that had not been accessible on past visits. It started at the Portland Museum of Art, where a number of Winslow Homer works are on display. 

 

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This is Weatherbeaten; I don't believe it made it to the grand show that the Metropolitan put on in 2022; that was called Crosscurrents.   But the fun was just starting; after a quick tour of a few of Homers' works in the museum, we headed out to Prouts Neck...

 

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And Winslow's studio.  The only way to visit the studio is via the Portland Museum.

 

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His studio was originally a carriage house next to the family home, but the carriage house was moved a number of yards away from the home, and it was expanded to eventually include the 2nd floor, a gift from his brother (who was a chemist for Valspar, and a co-inventor of clear varnish!).  When you visit Prouts Neck, not only can one look out this window, which is the exact same size as the painting Weatherbeaten...

 

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(That's Sig Eater!) But one can also stand at the approximate spot where Homer worked on that piece of art...

 

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On a much nicer, less stormy day.

 

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One can really work up an appetite after all that schlepping around. 

 

What can I say - we like this place...Scales. I'd even reserved bar seats; to me, it's the best place to sit, our bartender was great, and they make proper cocktails.

 

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3 local oysters on offer tonight; I  like the way they are served...

 

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In a trough on the bar.  Maine oysters are my favorites.

 

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This wasn't bad, either...

 

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Littlenecks, with chunks of house-cured belly. And the star...

 

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A 1 1/2 pounder, perfectly cooked, and possibly the best whole lobster I've partaken in. We each had one - and also some vegetables...

 

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Three peas. A good Portland day and night.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Final day in Portland, I'd been alerted to a seafood market/ quite casual restaurant located in South Portland, and called SoPo.  So off we went for lunch.

 

Greeted by a nice display...

 

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Sat at the counter, drank an iced tea...

 

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Had to have some scallops on the half shell...

 

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While Significant Eater had to have a lobster roll...

 

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And I, a crab cake...

 

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I'd be surprised if @johnnyd doesn't know about this place. Recommended!

 

For dinner, we finally got to Twelve...sat at the bar for a cocktail, then moved over to a great table.  Twelve is located at the new-ish waterfront development known as Foreside.

It's not in this building...

 

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But it's close enough...

 

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Twelve has a distinguished team, led by...

 

Quote

Colin Wyatt returned to Maine after twelve years working in New York’s DANIEL and Eleven Madison Park, where he led the team awarded the accolade of “The World’s Best Restaurant” in 2017. A veteran Portland chef, the natural beauty, vibrant culture, and passion of Maine’s growers and creatives ultimately called him back to open the doors of Twelve. “Maine has always been a place I wanted to return to. As beautiful as it is, I think it’s the people that attract everyone to the state. This is why I came back and why I wanted to start this restaurant. Twelve is a way for us to be a part of this community and hopefully, add our own voice to it.”

 

They offer both an a la carte and a prix fixe dinner...

 

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Everything on the menu is available a la carte:

 

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The app portions are not skimpy...actually, they're large:

 

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This is the quite wonderful asparagus with a morel vol-au-vent.  And the equally delicious fluke crudo with rhubarb and cucumber:

 

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Had to have the house-made bread and fermented butter as well, so:

 

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This is the tautog, in a carrot bisque. Tautog, if you've never had, is a pretty delicious fish:

 

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But enough of the fish already; I had the duck:

 

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Nicely cooked, the confit is the fried baton on the plate.  Beets and beet jus - I put up with.

 

I'm sure we had dessert - and I'm sure it was very good, but I didn't take a pic!  We had a really nice time, with a wonderful bartender and a great waiter. Would I choose this place over, say Scales, if I had to make that choice? Hmmmmmmm...

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Looks terrific, weinoo! Inspiring me to get out there before the crowds envelope us up here.

 

Yes! I go to SoPo Seafood often so I don't have to go over the bridge to Harbor Fish (which is a little cheaper). Those guys have done a great job. I used to buy fresh tuna from them when they were selling it out of their van a couple years ago.

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"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

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@weinoo

 

congratulation on your fine work in Portland ME

 

never had tautog .

 

duck looks excellent.

 

I personally enjoy eG'rs

 

'doing it right '

Edited by rotuts (log)
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3 hours ago, johnnyd said:

Looks terrific, weinoo! Inspiring me to get out there before the crowds envelope us up here.

 

Yes! I go to SoPo Seafood often so I don't have to go over the bridge to Harbor Fish (which is a little cheaper). Those guys have done a great job. I used to buy fresh tuna from them when they were selling it out of their van a couple years ago.

 

Yes, do it - you'll note our travels are mostly in what we call the off-season for wherever we may go.

 

SoPo Seafood would be my go-to if I lived anywhere close. For both stuff to cook at home, and for a nice, casual meal - they seemed so nice and knowledgeable about the "product!"

 

3 hours ago, rotuts said:

@weinoo

 

congratulation on your fine work in Portland ME

 

never had tautog .

 

duck looks excellent.

 

I personally enjoy eG'rs

 

'doing it right '

 

Thanks...it's a fine, small-ish city, with lots of great food.

 

As a matter of fact, the Beard awards just took place, and Portland had a few winners (neither of which we got to)...

 

Outstanding Bakery

ZU Bakery, Portland, Maine

 

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, Maine

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/10/dining/james-beard-award-winners.html?unlocked_article_code=1.y00.SOlZ.IAbm7ruTnotU&smid=url-share

 

 

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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