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Found 5 results

  1. We're heading out to the Pacific Northwest for a much needed vacation in August. We're basically doing Seattle, Portland, various coastal areas, and maybe head down to Bend as well. What should be on the menu in Portland? We'll probably do one upscale dinner, and then search around for some local color for our other meals. Beer, obviously, will figure heavily into the equation. Thanks, Al
  2. We spent a week in Portland ME this summer and had some very good meals. One night we ate at 555. It was very nice, but the Grilled salad (greens with roasted peaches, bing cherrys, and pecans) was a little over sauced and the scallops were a little salty. However, the rest of the meal, mussels and a hanger steak, was excellent, the service very good, and the price not unreasonable. The restaurant itself is a pretty place and they were very friendly. The wine list was fun and fairly extensive. I was a little concerned when they brought the 2002 vintage of the Fess Parker PN I ordered when the 2001 was listed on the menu, but they were quick to point it out before I read the bottle and explained that they were out of the 2001. The last time I was in Portland, Abeurgene was in this space, but 555 is a pretty good replacement. However, we had two better meals while there. My first choice would be Cinque Terre (right across from Street and Co)on Wharf Street. We had the 6 course tasting menu for $55. It started with oysters two ways (a Darmisgrotta raw and a Prince Edward Island fried) then crab and fresh peas risotto with white truffel oil. Next was the lobster tail with bread crumbs and basil oil. It was followed by a perfectly cooked hanger steak with chantrelle mushrooms. The next course was cheese, pecorina and toma with peanut jelly and an italian baggette. Last was the dessert, lemon grappa panna cotta and maple gelato with biscotta. Service was exceptional and the wine list, while all and only Italian wine, was very reasonably priced, very extensive and long, and very representative of Italy. They also had a nice selection by the glass. I had a 2000 Antinori Toscana Tignanello which was exceptionally well priced at $100. Our other great meal was at Hugo's. A four course meal for $60. The food was excellent, very well presented (maybe a little over the top, but really pretty), and the service very good. I ordered two half bottles (a 2002 Daniel Dampt Cablis and a 1996 Chateau Meyney St. Estephe) since it was only the two of us. For our first courses I had Maine raised rabbit chartiterie with grainy mustand mousse, pistaschio, and celtic vinegar. My wife had the smoked shitake mushrooms and asparagus with capri pasta, milk foam and lily buds. The second course for her was the crispy skin loup de mer (rockfish this time) with artichoke en croute, basil seeks and warm olive oil panna cota. I had the honey mead glazed pork belly with sweet potato tot, tomatillo relish and ginger red pepper coulis. Third was the pan roasted tasmanian sea trout with fried fennel, pineapple salad and smoked trout roe. I had the Sous Vide duck breast and leg with golden beet, kola nut pudding and pickled plum. For dessert I had a superb Mita Cana Spanish sheeps milk cheese cake while my wife had the Maine rhubarb and pineapple with Greek yogert panna cotta and Thai basil. The plates may have looked skimpy, but we left stuffed. Very pretty place, but unless you want to sit in high bar type chairs, don't take a table in the window. Another excellent meal was at the Roma Cafe on Congress Street. Excellent Italian food. We just walked in late (at about 9:30 and they stop serving at 10) but we were treated extremely well and the food was delish. Nice place, white linens and soft music, excellent service. I started with the fresh mozzarella and plum tomatoes with roasted peppers, pesto and garlic crostini. It was out of this world. The pesto was some of the best I've had in a long time. My wife had the calamari and it was perfect. For entrees we had the pasta de mer, perfectly prepared and full of lots and lots of seafood (I got to eat the mussels since she doesn't like them) and a wonderful duck breast rubbed in jerk spices and served in pan juices. Very enjoyable but we felt guilty about keeping the staff there just for us as everyone else had finished and gone by the time we started our entrees. I was at Fore Street a couple of years ago when I was in Portland on business. I had a great meal and the bread was wonderful. I liked the wine list too. I was eating by myself, but I got a nice table, the service was very good, and I was impressed by how well I was treated as a single diner. One funny, just before I finished my meal, a group of young women came in, a bridal party the day before the big event. They were looking at he wine list trying to figure out what they could afford. I had a bottle of a nice Panther Creek PN, and since there was about a glass left in the bottle and I didn't particularly want to carry it to the hotel, I offered the rest to the table saying I wasn't going to finish it and I didn't want it to go to waste. As I was leaving I heard on of the bridesmaids exclaim, "Do you see how much that bottle cost?!?" I thought it was reasonably priced but I guess they aren't into wine as much as I was. I hope they enjoyed it.
  3. I heard that my favorite ice cream shop, Portland-based Salt & Straw, recently opened up a location at Disney (the Downtown Disney District, anyway) and when I went to check their website, WHOA!! I knew they had come to the LA area in the past few years, but had no idea that they had so many locations up (hopefully) booming: 6 spots in greater LA, including Disney, 4 in San Francisco, 2 in San Diego, and 2 in Seattle, in addition to the 5 Oregon locations. The flavors are inventive, delicious, and ever-evolving, the ice cream itself is silky and lip-smackingly thick and rich, and, OMG, they deliver to your door and even have subscription clubs!! Highly recommended if you get a chance to stop by and worth the nearly inevitable wait.
  4. Caveat Emptor Peet's, btw, is owned by JAB Holding Company of Luxembourg. Nothing like artisan coffee! (Yes, you can take this any way you wish.) Oof. <--- You should follow this guy on Twitter, btw, and take everything he says seriously.
  5. Kennebunkport; Portland There is a Federal Jack's brewpub in Kennebunkport, and their Fuggles IPA is pretty tasty (it's part of the Shipyard chain). Kennebunkport is a pretty cool little town, but I only had street food there (some decent clam cakes from the Clam Shack on the main drag). In Portland, I had a good Reuben and some great fries at the Sebago Bay Brewpub downtown. Didn't eat elsewhere. The Great Lost Bear is a cool beer bar if you want to sample some of the state's finest ales: they have a bunch of taps, and it's not too far from downtown Portland.
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