• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

skeeter

Portland ME Restaurants

519 posts in this topic

New York Times visits craft brewing in Maine (link available for a limited time)

It may be the blustery weather or it may be the local populace’s stubborn independence, but Maine has grown into a hub of craft brewing, a smaller-scale East Coast answer to Oregon. D. L. Geary, in business since 1986, was a Maine microbrewing pioneer, the first in the state, and for us — a dedicated craft brew drinker and his designated driver who, all things considered, prefers Coors Light — it was the first stop on a satisfying beer tour 170 miles up the coast to Bar Harbor.

Here is a tour of DLGeary Brewing from my foodblog #1.


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at 110 Exchange Street will be vacating the premesis soon and be replaced by a food-related enterprise.  All I can say at this point is that funding has been realized and a lease has been signed.

All those lovely windows...

Aww johnnyd, you are such a tease! Nothing else you can reveal? Anyone we would know or are familiar with behind this new enterprise?

Yup!

Nope!

Maybe... But I will seek permission and post as soon as I can even if it gets out before then. I still don't know whether it's service, retail or something else.

According to sources close to the new tenant, this space will become a restaurant.


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gaucho's Brazilian Restaurant will be the new tenant at 100 Commercial St, site of Oolong and Portland Steak House. Projected opening is November '07.

I couldn't be more thrilled at this news. The only time I get close to the Churrascaria experience since Brasil is in Ironbound, NJ. In a few short weeks it will be just a quick boat-ride across the Fore river. Expect a comprehensive review when it opens.


Edited by johnnyd (log)

"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: local 188

Make sure you park on the street or directly behind the 188 building. I parked in the next lot to Local 188 last Saturday night and got my car towed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gaucho's Brazilian Restaurant will be the new tenant at 100 Commercial St, site of Oolong and Portland Steak House.  Projected opening is November '07.

I couldn't be more thrilled at this news. The only time I get close to the Churrascaria experience since Brasil is in Ironbound, NJ.  In a few short weeks it will be just a quick boat-ride across the Fore river.  Expect a comprehensive review when it opens.

Today was the projected opening of Gauchos but I looked in the window yesterday and they are no where near serving the first plate. Supplies were piled in the dining area and one person was painting trim. Patience. :hmmm:


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Granny's Burritos, a 13 year old port institution, has closed it's doors. Owner Chris has been jousting with the taxman for a while and lost this round. With some creativity, it might come back in a new location.


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stuck my head into Gaucho's at 100 Commercial Street and the staff was putting a polish on the place for their opening Thursday the 27th. Place looks reasonably nice. I was happy to hear some portuguese between some staff members. The Oolong copper bar is intact. There's what appears to be a coffee station immediately inside the entrance but I had too quick a tour to really tell. I don't mean to focus on the place at the expense of others, I have had extraordinary meals at churrascos so I'm understandably excited. I've had a couple whirlwind dinners and lunches out in Portland this holiday season, all of them good but not remarkable enough to post.

However, one was my sixth visit to Local 188 on congress st. We always get several tapas plates, hot and cold. They always arrive promptly and are delicious. Owner/Chef Jay served some amazing Maine shrimp cheviche the other day. Last I saw him he was moaning about some negative chatter "somewhere" on line so I reminded him that none of those people know anything about anything and not to pay attention - isn't that right everybody?

:wink:

Merry Christmas!


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, we have hotel reservations at the HI on Congress St. over New Years. Can someone suggest a place for dinner within easy walking distance (4 blocks or so). I loved the food and atmosphere of the former Local 188 (I hear it is more upscale now), is there anything like that? Wouldn't want to spend more than $25 pp (drinks not incl.). Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please ignore prior post, we need to unfortunately postpone our trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to post, belatedly, that we had our traditional entering-Maine lunch at Black Tie Bistro (mentioned upthread) a few days before Xmas. This has become a ritual for us - land in Portland, pick up rental car, drive down to Black Tie, have lunch & grab a Bollard. The place continues to be a delight. Potato leek soup, mmmmm. A killer chicken/apricot salad. They seem to get everything exactly right.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stuck my head into Gaucho's at 100 Commercial Street and the staff was putting a polish on the place for their opening Thursday the 27th.  Place looks reasonably nice.  I was happy to hear some portuguese between some staff members.  The Oolong copper bar is intact.  There's what appears to be a coffee station immediately inside the entrance but I had too quick a tour to really tell.  I don't mean to focus on the place at the expense of others, I have had extraordinary meals at churrascos so I'm understandably excited.  I've had a couple whirlwind dinners and lunches out in Portland this holiday season, all of them good but not remarkable enough to post.

However, one was my sixth visit to Local 188 on congress st.  We always get several tapas plates, hot and cold.  They always arrive promptly and are delicious.  Owner/Chef Jay served some amazing Maine shrimp cheviche the other day.  Last I saw him he was moaning about some negative chatter "somewhere" on line so I reminded him that none of those people know anything about anything and not to pay attention - isn't that right everybody?

:wink:

Merry Christmas!

:wink::wink:

Gee, I have NO idea who "those people" that are "somewhere" online could possibly be - other than the fact that "they" are why I'm here and not there anymore. Ahem. And you're quite right, they know nothing, so I'll be sure to check out Gaucho's!

Thanks for the tip!


Edited by violetfox (log)

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all! Happy New Year! I just logged in to see what you all were saying about one of my new favorites: The Green Elephant. It's a vegetarian restaurant on Congress next to the Downtown Lounge. It's owned by the people who own Bangkok Thai. The food is really good and they have a nice, reasonably priced wine list. I've had the king oyster mushroom tempura twice, the roti canai, Tikka Marsala Tofu, the "Spare Ribs", "duck", and a pasta dish. My meat and potatoes boyfriend loved the "spare ribs" and swears you could mistake them for real meat. The same couldn't be said for the "duck", but it was still tasty. Has anyone else been?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to eGullet violetfox!

:smile:

How about a Top Five Portland Eateries of 2007 folks?

Just places that you aim for first? No specific criteria.

Take-out or sit-down. Ordinary to experimental. Personal bias welcome. Finish your list with a place you want to try or re-visit before mud season.

Okay, I'll start.

One of the reasons I suggested five is because I can't afford to eat out often - so that affects my choices:

5. Uncle Billy's - I've known John a long time. He's a riot. I go for the vibe rather than the food.

4. Bar of Chocolate - I've known Sarah a long time too. ditto for #5 but Sarah makes a mean cuban sandwich among her chocolatey creations.

3. Local 188 - Jay's pretty intense. Love the food. Love the vibe. Love fatdeko behind the bar.

2. Fore Street - I met Sam Hayward 10 years ago when I applied here for a job. We had a blast at the meeting but I had to decline his offer. Every time I eat here (almost always on a gift certificate) I wish I'd accepted.

1. Yosaku - Yup: I've known Tak a long time too. He helped me design my tiny wedding reception here - I think he said it was Yosaku's first ever. My meals here have been consistently exciting, so it's the one place we blow cash. Click here for pics of a modest little lunch we had there in August '07.

Place(s) to try before mud season:

Gaucho's - Portland's own churrasco. New to town. Have to hit it on a night when there is proper attention paid to the fire pit, probably Saturday night.

Asmara - Ethiopian restaurant on Oak Street we visited for a take out menu (not available) last Friday. The aromas coming from the kitchen were outstanding. Awesome music - simple layout. Cheery smiles everywhere. Can't wait.

Notables missing from my list are all the hot places with exciting chefs that will just have to wait a little while. You better believe it's tough. But enough about me...


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so 2007 wasn't that good a year, I guess! So how about a top three?? Anyone?

Brazilian friend dined at Gauchos last Saturday night. Found it a tad frustrating. To their credit, the service staff was receptive to his pronunciation tips - and more importantly, returned a few times with varying degrees of doneness until he had what he wanted. He remarked on the absence of appetizers, the lack of imagination of the salad bar and the suspiciously sweet caipirinhas. Over all, he said they need some real Brazilians to organize the space better and get it right. Disappointing. Still have to try it myself.


Edited by johnnyd (log)

"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about a Top Five Portland Eateries of 2007 folks?

Just places that you aim for first?  No specific criteria. 

1. Chiang Mai - Thai restaurant on Union Street - i'm in love with their noodle soup.

2. Asmara - Eritrean restaurant on Oak Street - for a comforting, inexpensive, satisfying delicious dinner.

3. Ladle - in 2007, anyhow - for soup at lunch. Desperately missing this ERIKD!

4. Bar of Chocolate Wharf Street - i'm partial to Sarah's tacos.

5. Bresca - Middle Street - lately, the company/special occasion destination - for everything, which makes it challenging to save room for the must-have desserts.

To try before mud season:

La Familia on Brighton Ave......and i'd love to get to Hugo's for tasting menu before they switch their concept......probably a pipe dream!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome, Shel. Thanks for that.

I heard/read that when they opened, the whole staff at La Familia shuts the place down at 7p saturday nights so they can all go to church. WTF? True or False??

I tried Poms Thai noodle on Congress last week. Their dumplings are like little clouds


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard the same, Johnny D, and that's part of why we haven't tried La Familia.

We also tried Pom's last week - the make your own noodle combo menu is a lot of fun - i particularly liked the crispy duck protein.

I've also been enjoying lunch at Siam Orchard, located in the food court at One City Center. The pad thai is tasty; my other favourite is the basil leaves with chicken or tofu. They'll make it spicy if you ask :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Welcome to eGullet violetfox!

:smile:

How about a Top Five Portland Eateries of 2007 folks?

Just places that you aim for first?  No specific criteria. 

Take-out or sit-down.  Ordinary to experimental.  Personal bias welcome.  Finish your list with a place you want to try or re-visit before mud season.

Okay, I'll start.

One of the reasons I suggested five is because I can't afford to eat out often - so that affects my choices:

5. Uncle Billy's - I've known John a long time. He's a riot. I go for the vibe rather than the food.

4. Bar of Chocolate - I've known Sarah a long time too. ditto for #5 but Sarah makes a mean cuban sandwich among her chocolatey creations.

3. Local 188 - Jay's pretty intense.  Love the food.  Love the vibe.  Love fatdeko behind the bar.

2. Fore Street - I met Sam Hayward 10 years ago when I applied here for a job.  We had a blast at the meeting but I had to decline his offer.  Every time I eat here (almost always on a gift certificate) I wish I'd accepted.

1. Yosaku - Yup: I've known Tak a long time too.  He helped me design my tiny wedding reception here - I think he said it was Yosaku's first ever.  My meals here have been consistently exciting, so it's the one place we blow cash.  Click here for pics of a modest little lunch we had there in August '07.

Place(s) to try before mud season:

Gaucho's - Portland's own churrasco. New to town. Have to hit it on a night when there is proper attention paid to the fire pit, probably Saturday night.

Asmara - Ethiopian restaurant on Oak Street we visited for a take out menu (not available) last Friday.  The aromas coming from the kitchen were outstanding.  Awesome music - simple layout. Cheery smiles everywhere.  Can't wait.

Notables missing from my list are all the hot places with exciting chefs that will just have to wait a little while. You better believe it's tough.  But enough about me...

Thanks, Johnnyd, for the list! Although I am not a Mainer, it is my fav place to visit and eat. My husband and I are in town for the weekend and have reservations at Fore Street tomorrow night, but it was so hard to choose! (we have previously dined at 555, on fatdeko's rec). We are heading to Local 188 tonight specifically to see John (assuming he is there on Fridays???) and hopefully eat as well if they can squeeze us in, and I plan on hitting up Bar of Chocolate tomorrow while we wander around town. Your advice (as well as everyone else’s on this board) is invaluable. Cheers!


"I can resist everything except temptation." Oscar Wilde

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back!

FYI on Fore Street Menu: Hanger Steak has been replaced with "Butler's Cut" of which there are precious few per cow. I ordered it rare and I thought an extra couple minutes on the fire would have been better. Foie Gras app with a sauterne was heavenly, but that's me.

John does work Fridays. I'm sure his pickling you as I type...

:blink:


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Welcome back!

FYI on Fore Street Menu:  Hanger Steak has been replaced with "Butler's Cut" of which there are precious few per cow.  I ordered it rare and I thought an extra couple minutes on the fire would have been better.  Foie Gras app with a sauterne was heavenly, but that's me.

John does work Fridays.  I'm sure his pickling you as I type...

:blink:

Thanks for the tip! We are anxiously awaiting our dinner this evening.

Last night we made it over to Local 188 and started off with cocktails while we waited for seats to open at the bar for dinner. Cocktails enjoyed during the course of the evening included a Myrtle Bank Punch, French 75 and a Rye Flip. Dinner included Mushrooms, Patatas, Carrots, Grilled Chourico and Livers with Shallots from the Tapas menu, and Maine Shrimp Ceviche and Braised Short Ribs from the appetizer section of the dinner menu. Everything was great, but we especially enjoyed the Patatas and the Grilled Chourico.

We have already made a trip to Duckfat today, where we shared a bowl of the Rutabega, Apple and Bacon Soup in addition to fries. We intended to let things settle a bit and get lunch at Vignola later in the afternoon, however when I popped my head to find out when lunch was served until, we were informed that they were ending lunch at 1:00 to prepare for an afternoon beer tasting, so we slipped in just in time. Vignola is a great space with an extensive wine and beer list, for anyone that is not familiar. Of course we had lunch there and now we can both barely move and decided an afternoon break back at the hotel was in order. :smile:

I'll be sure to post after our dinner at Fore Street :biggrin:


"I can resist everything except temptation." Oscar Wilde

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are hitting the hot spots! Fantastic.

John does great things with rye. He made me a sazarac that was so good I had two more. I managed to take a photo somehow...

gallery_16643_1028_3209.jpg

That's eG member Jack Rose on left. We are at Oolong in '06. Those others sound terrific.

Vignola is indeed a great space. Years ago it was a ship chandlery that I frequented often. Amazing transformation.

Glad your having fun! When is everyone else coming up?? Don't let winter keep you from boldly going where Mainers already know where to go. :smile:


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harding Lee Smith, Chef/owner of The Front Room overlooking the scenic Eastern Promenade, is aiming for a March 12th opening of The Grill Room at 84 Exchange St., the space formerly known as Natasha's. The chipper folks at Front room said hopefully earlier, but that probably means give-or-take a weekend on either side.

Front Room brunch review here (8/06)

Looking forward to great food in such a killer location. Bravo, Harding! :cool:


"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

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about a Top Five Portland Eateries of 2007 folks?

Just places that you aim for first?  No specific criteria. 

1. Chiang Mai - Thai restaurant on Union Street - i'm in love with their noodle soup.

i'd love to get to Hugo's for tasting menu before they switch their concept......probably a pipe dream!

Hugo's will still be offering the tasting menu and chef's menu after the concept change.

I've never heard of Chang Mai. I can't wait to try it. Thanks shel!

For my top five, I'd have to go with

5. Hugo's- I still find myself going there on my days off.

4. Local 188- The tapas menu is awesome. I have the liver and shallots every time I go.

3. The Green Elephant- as I said above it's really good food prepared with care.

2. Vignola- they have a great wine list, pretty space, and a fantastic cheese and salumi selections

1. Sushi- depending on what I'm looking for, Sapporo, Yosaku, Miyake all have something special to offer. It's hard to pick a favorite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the welcme, johnnyd! Sorry that I've been missing for a bit.

My favorites in Portland for 2007 have been:

1. Duckfat - I've developed a serious craving for Duckfat's truly wonderful poutines with duck gravy! Everything I've had at Duckfat has been really great, but the poutines are my favorite. I LOVE it when people stare and ask "excuse me, but what IS that?"

2. Yosaku - I've only been twice, but I really like it. While I like Sapporo and Fuji (yup, I like Fuji - some things better than others, but I've always had a nice lunch there). Much at Yosaku that I'm anxious to try!

3. Cinque Terre - I still love Cinque Terre, and I've never had a meal there that has been less than excellent. It always carries me straight back to Vernazza, sitting by the harbor with a glass of cold white wine..

4. Browne Trading Company - not a restaurant, but a ton of fun anyway. RIGHT after I got Eric Ripert's "A Return to Cooking," I went in and got smoked salmon, salmon roe, creme fraiche and caviar, and made the stuffed baked potato - totally easy, and one of the best things I've ever eaten (she said modestly). It's VERY cool to have a place with such high quality here in the wilds of Maine.

5. Also not a restaurant - Rabelais is my favorite find of the year, a wonderful place where I've spent way too much money and expect to continue to do so. Duckfat poutine followed or preceded by a little spree at Rabelais is an afternoon well spent!

I haven't yet been to 555, to Hugo's, or to Miyake. I live a couple of hours from Portland, so dinner tends to be confined to the weekends, especially in the winter.


Edited by violetfox (log)

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm nuevo to e-gullet. I have been reading all of the posts, and the portland food scene seems incredible! what a bunch of passionate foodies!

I'm also nuevo to Portland, and have dined out quite a bit in the past few months. Fore St, Hugos, 555, Vignola......all decent. Hugo's definitely at the top of the list. 555 doesn't deserve the recognition they have gotten.....good, but not Food and Wine good. And, the owner is NEVER there when we dine there. He is always in the pictures, but never on premise. Fore st, totally overrated. I used to drive to portland to dine there in the late 90's, but now I don't think I would exert the energy to leave my apt and walk across the street for it.

Can someone tell me about the new venture up where uffa used to be? Ate at uffa once, and I certainly hope the new place is better.

I have heard some great things about the young chef there now. He has some great potential. Never ate at his old place, but heard wonderful things about him and his food. Any insight would be great!

dm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.