Chef Masa Miyake weaves his mastery of Asian fusion beyond the realm of typical Japanese cookery in Portland, imparting flavors that are at once provocative yet essential. His Pai Men Miyake, a sake and noodle bar newly established on Longfellow Square, is a stunning example.
The Longfellow Chorus in Portland sponsors an annual festival that celebrates poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's birthday. On February 26, the festival kicked off with the inaugural "February Frostbite" road race. Sixty runners joined the event, possibly the shortest and coldest race in Maine. Ali Kuzmickas was at the starting line, asking runners and costumed Longfellow look-alikes why they were racing.
Roast chicken for $17? Classic boeuf bourguignon for $18 and Steak Frites for $20? This is part of the menu at the newly opened Petite Jacqueline on Longfellow Square in Portland, the only French bistro in the city. Just look out of the large plate-glass windows overlooking the square and after a glass or two of wine you might imagine you’re in a Left Bank arrondissement in Paris.
I won’t be returning to Otto’s Pizza anytime soon, unless I really cared about the prevailing hype and happenstance that has made it the Portland darling of the thin crust crowd.
I had no inkling that Boda was anything but yet another Thai restaurant to arrive in Portland, a city already awash in mediocre Asian eateries. There were some earlier reviews that I read but none opened the door wide enough to reveal what was happening inside this very authentic Thai kitchen.
Salt students Nic Tanner and Pierce McCleary attended the Maine Restaurant Week kick-off event on Monday night at the Masonic Temple in Portland and brought back these amazing photos and sounds. Enjoy the party, and make sure you participate in Maine Restaurant week which is running now through March 12.
Maine’s very effective marketing campaign to Buy Local must certainly have encouraged an evolving reliance for local foods. So it was only a matter of time before the fruits of summer spawned an impressive network of indoor winter farmer’s markets that have become highly attended affairs.
Becky’s, that iconic breakfast, lunch and dinner counter nestled on Portland’s so-called working waterfront, still packs a punch when a hamburger deluxe platter or dish of bacon and eggs beckon. I ambled in the other day for breakfast. The special that morning was bacon and eggs for $5.95. I’m not sure why this menu mainstay would be called a special, but what the heck. They had to put something on the board.
To the food purist, tampering with a classic is sacrilege.
Portland’s reign in the high art of fine dining rests on a firm, highly regarded reputation indeed; but it may have hit a plateau for a while even as our local chefs keep garnering national acclaim consistently.
And that’s OK with me because sometimes I don’t want to be wowed by the latest chef du jour. Instead I’m after a plain and simple meal out--good food, good ambiance--all at a moderate price. It’s a segment that’s been lacking in Portland until recently.