The Golden Dish Blog Archive 2011
The Good Table, in the heart of Cape Elizabeth, close enough to the beach to get some serious ocean breezes, has been such a popular neighborhood restaurant for years that it hardly seems worth extolling any more of its highly touted virtues.
On the other hand, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look.
From start to finish every dish was a revelation of taste and culinary superlatives. I’m referring to a special dinner that I was invited to at the Kennebunk restaurant, 50 Local. The name implies that locally sourced foods are the focus of this dining establishment. And indeed they are. The farms and local suppliers are prominently posted on a blackboard in the dining room, and there’s barely a dish that isn’t based on local provender from an excellent roster of farms.
What sets Miyake apart from other Portland restaurants is not just the caliber of the food or the stunning décor of its new digs at 468 Fore Street. But, rather, chef and proprietor Masa Miyake has gone beyond what’s loosely deemed culinary fusion and cruises through a starry celestial spin around global cuisine that is nothing short of exceptional.
I wonder if the Falmouth Sea Grill, recently and dazzlingly renovated, would draw such an eager crowd if it didn’t offer such stylish creature comforts on an opulently stunning piece of waterfront. Will diners flock to this new incarnation for the food, the setting or both?
The evening the three of us were there during the horrendous heat wave of last week, the place was packed to the rafters.
Bristling with simplicity, Maine lobster pounds, clam shacks, and other restaurants where the fish practically swim onto your plate are very nearly faultless.
In some ways, these beloved strongholds contend with Maine’s growing reputation as a serious food region, but the inexorable allure of fried clams, lobster, baked beans, whoopee pies, and Moxie are local necessities.
Yet, it’s nice to have both—both the serious food and the seriously simple food—at our disposal.
Timing is everything.
Apparently I missed the best part of South Portland’s farmer’s market debut this past Thursday when the city’s mayor, dressed up as a strawberry, performed a ribbon cutting ceremony as majestically as setting a ship to sail.
My tardiness was due to not being able to find the place.
Finally real Mexican fare has arrived in Portland. Along the way it’s been a jokester’s playgroud of facsimiles scattered throughout the region with plenty of burrito, taco, and enchilada misnomers in the guise of Mexican comestibles.
I never expected to have such an incredible dinner in a little shack in the middle of farm fields only 10 minutes from downtown Portland.
That’s one of the beauties of living in this port city: everything is so near yet seems so far afield.
Let me explain. The little shack is actually a restaurant called The Well. The farm field is Jordan’s Farm on Wells Road off Spurwink, a handy short cut to take off Route 77 if you’re going to Scarborough beaches.
Nestled in the Warren hills, on picturesque Western Road a few miles off Route 90, is Beth’s Farm Market, a farming success story in the best way. I remember stumbling upon it 20 years ago while traveling the back roads from Lincolnville to Camden to avoid the summer lockout along the Route 1 entrance into town. I made a few wrong turns and found myself in front of Beth’s—then a farm stand no bigger than a lean-to.
The Porthole Restaurant—the poster child of Portland’s gritty working waterfront—flourishes amidst the rough and tumble epicenter of the city’s decaying piers. Exuding boundless personality, it remains a discernable beacon for intrepid diners who search out pit stops with panache.