• 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

Visiting Portland in the fairly near future for two nights. This used to be our go-to getaway, until supplanted by Montreal. This year we're (sort of) combining the two. Was last there two years ago (had reservations last year but sick dogs - since recovered - preempted the trip).

Over the 10+ years we've been going... Fore Street, Street & Co., Hugo's, 555, Back Bay, etc... What a great food town! (Nice Gourmet piece, btw.)

So for the two nights, the plan is Street & Co. (because if I was going to open a restaurant, it would be just like Street & Co.). And Fore Street.

The only reason I throw out the post... one place we haven't been is Cinque Terre. Should it knock one of the stand-bys out? Johnny D., we put ourselves in your capable hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And while I am thinking about it, if anyone has a suggestion for a good lunch stop between Portland and Montreal (as we've never taken that route), I'm all ears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cinque Terre is an excellent place. If you haven't been yet, definitely go. It's on a par with Fore St price-wise, so depending on your budget that might make a good switch except I can't resist Fore Street's energy and delicious food. I've had a clunker there once or twice, but I still go. Street & Co. serve reliably excellent food. I've also met a couple chefs there and believe them to be dedicated to their craft. You have a tough call, but if I were you, I'd make sure there's enough money for Montreal.

On the way up I89, take the Burlington VT exit (West). Downtown is a mile down the hill and there are lots of great eateries. It's four hours from Portland so you'll be good and ready. I'm a sucker for Leunig's Bistro, as I stopped by every day for their coffee on the way to work when I lived there (as well as ate there, bought rounds of champagne there and dated a waitress), but I see some good things on their menu still, like strawberry & cashew encrusted salmon, a duck confit "sloppy Joe" and a turkey cubano. If that sounds interesting and you go, tell the manager, Bob Conlon, that Mr. Dennison says Hi.

Bon Appetit


"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

Thanks, Johnny. I will take it under advisement! Looking forward to getting back to Portland. And we'll definitely stop in Burlington - but will save room as we're eating at Joe Beef the night we get in to Montreal (Joe Beef and APDC and always our 'can't miss' stops (with Anise closed) - the third Montreal meal is always the tough call.

(btw - when we had to cancel last year's trip to Maine at the last minute, it cost us our res at Arrows, another place we have wanted to try - though I've seen some less than glowing comments about it the last couple of years.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ETA: The New York Times' Julia Moskin writes about Portland restaurants on September 2. Watch this space.

Well, a week late but a really nice look at our restaurant scene and food sources, but most important, the energy we have in our kitchens.

New York Times - Dining - 9/15/09


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

We're heading up to Portland the end of July for a few days and then up to the Kneading Conference at Skowhegan. Last time to Portland, we really enjoyed Fore Street (went there twice I believe) and a small sushi place.... I can't remember the name, but it was fabulous. There was a little bodega next door (or really close) that had upscale saki chilled. I think there was a parking lot on the corner, across the street....

Anyway... I was wondering if there's anything new worth checking out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sushi place would be Miyake. Extraordinary. He's opening a noodle bar soon.

Havana South has just opened on Wharf Street and looks promising, but I haven't seen it yet.

I'll look around and round up the newcomers


"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 Merry Table Creperie in Old Port is really great. They play some really good blues music and have one night a week where everyone is expected to speak French (no English allowed or tolerated). I highly recommend it.

ETA: I had the tartines as an app and the ham crepe. Both were exquisite.


Edited by BadRabbit (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Masa Mayake has moved his tiny sushi bar into a more elegant space at 468 Fore Street. This is not your average sushi bar so go if you are in town.

Still, however he achieves it, there’s no question that Masa’s genius in the kitchen — and his multi-layered approach to Japanese cuisine — is remarkable and highly regarded by a large local following.

A worldly tour of flavors, the meal started off with an amuse of quail eggs, braised daikon and arugula, a thoroughly elegant and exquisite beginning. Lobster sashimi followed, which was a stunningly crafted dish complemented with salmon toro and hamachi.

Full review on Downeast.com 8-3-11

Reservations are recommended.


"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

Considering all the culinary action in town, it may seem unfair to mention Masa Miyake's new place again, but a revelatory article in today's local paper describes Masa's new farm in Freeport where he is raising fowl, pigs and japanese vegetables for his two restaurants.

He has employed Chad Conley - formerly of Hugo's - to manage the farm:

Reaching down, Conley plucks a couple of thin, serrated leaves from an herb he's growing called shungiku. It's an edible chrysanthemum, and the piquant flavor is pleasant yet unlike anything else Mainers have likely seen on a dinner plate.

"Farm To Table - The Miyake Way" Portland Press Herald


"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

Celebrated Chef Rob Evans has sold Hugos, his astoundingly creative restaurant, to members of his talented staff. They are also revamping the adjacent space, recently vacated by culinary-themed Rabalais Books, into the Eventide Oyster Bar.

Though I’ve heard rumblings on the street about “big changes” at Hugo’s, I know that this is far from the truth. The same professional, knowledgeable staff and chef-driven dining experience remains firmly in place. The best test, as always, is to see for yourself.

Story here:

http://www.themainemag.com/blog/2012/03/setting-the-record-straight-hugos-has-changed-hands-but-not-philosophy/


"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

Celebrated Chef Rob Evans has sold Hugos, his astoundingly creative restaurant, to members of his talented staff. They are also revamping the adjacent space, recently vacated by culinary-themed Rabalais Books, into the Eventide Oyster Bar.

Though I’ve heard rumblings on the street about “big changes” at Hugo’s, I know that this is far from the truth. The same professional, knowledgeable staff and chef-driven dining experience remains firmly in place. The best test, as always, is to see for yourself.

Story here:

http://www.themainem...not-philosophy/

Eventide Oyster Bar had a soft opening Monday. Former tenants Rabalais Books (a strictly culinary themed bookstore) were invited and took some great photos:

http://www.rabelaisbooks.com/blog/?cat=15

I will have to check it out and report back!


"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

We have an upcoming trip with tentative reservations at Fore Street, Hugo's, and Bresca.

No way am I changing Fore Street - too much sentimental attachment! But with the change at Hugo's (hearing anything re Rob's plans?), should I try for Miyake instead? (Was considering it for lunch.)

Also, is Grace worth it? It's beautiful looking (maybe a place for a pre-dinner drink?) but how's the food hold up?

Bresca sounds worth it, if we haven't been?

Anything else new and can't miss?


Edited by fchrisgrimm (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have an upcoming trip with tentative reservations at Fore Street, Hugo's, and Bresca.

No way am I changing Fore Street - too much sentimental attachment! But with the change at Hugo's (hearing anything re Rob's plans?), should I try for Miyake instead? (Was considering it for lunch.)

Also, is Grace worth it? It's beautiful looking (maybe a place for a pre-dinner drink?) but how's the food hold up?

Bresca sounds worth it, if we haven't been?

Anything else new and can't miss?

Bresca is certainly worth it - an experience. But so is Miyake - almost unreal. Please try to fit them in. Perhaps a generous sampling of his inventive appetizers before hitting the Fore Street reservation?

Rob's ghost is secure - his best guys bought the place and started Eventide oyster bar next door (see above) too. I wasn't impressed with the lobster role in a steamed bun, but there are other creative things to try.

Have a great time !!


"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

Just rolled in to Portland for a few days before the Kneading conference in Skowhegan. Not our first visit, so we have our lit of must go and maybe repeat restaurants, but this trip my wife wants a really good lobster dinner. Any suggestions for the best lobster?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Johnny! We love our trips to Portland, even if they are less frequent than in days gone by. (And I always appreciate your input.)

If I had to guess, I would say our first trip to Portland was around 1997. And I would guess that our first Portland destination restaurants were Back Bay Grill, Fore Street, and Street & Co. Many things have changed in fifteen years (and I would guess this will be around our twelvth trip up), but I am always pleased that those three are around - though it has been many years since we've been to BBG.

We 100% look forward to Bresca and Fore Street. I'll let Leslie choose the third dinner. We have the Hugo's rez but may switch, since we have already been - maybe to Bar Lola. We'll definitely hit Miyake for a lunch (and Duckfat, of course). And drinks at Grace.

@UnConundrum - maybe the lobster diavolo for two at Street & Co.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.