You’d think it was the Last Hurrah in Portland. No I’m not referring to our malapropism-minded governor but rather the extraordinary hoopla over the arrival of a burger joint in the Old Port.
It’s almost always easier to be dull than clever, but I’m tempted to say that Bar Lola is one of those bright little restaurants, never dull, certainly not chic or trendy with interiors untouched by starchitect babblings. Instead it’s an appealing neighborhood eatery astride Munjoy Hill that can hold its own in a bigger world. In fact, I had an incredible dinner there the other night.
Whatever crimes of culinary misdemeanors that I may have formerly laid on poor unsuspecting Otto Pizza, I felt it deserved a return, if you will, to the scene of the crime. After all, Otto’s seems to have such an avid following of pizza purists in Portland that perhaps I inadvertently failed to find its charms.
In some ways Norm’s on Congress Street in Portland is the perfect hangout to find highly seasoned fare from an eclectic bar menu. Whether it’s grilled lamb and feta with onions and tomatoes served over greens or big burgers, nicely charred and gutsy, the flavors inspire and are easy to take.
The opening of Base Camp Gallery last week in Portland was as much about the fact of a new alternative art space as it was about the work that was shown. Everybody there was clearly having a good time and it seemed to me that the real art at play here was social.
Leave it to apocryphal trendsetters to have made bar dining the fashionable practice that it is today--raising the bar, if you will, on fine dining with a difference.
- By: Aurelia C. Scott
During the gardening season, Robin Whitten has been known to arrive for work as editor of AudioFile magazine with mulch-stained knees. That’s because from mid-April into November, she spends the dawn hours among her plants, watering, rearranging, deadheading, and kneeling to pull recalcitrant weeds. After work, you’ll find her outside again, reveling in the color and scent as she clips, shovels, and tidies.
Maine Maple Sunday was a good enough reason to drive up to the Goranson Farm on Merrymeeting Bay in Dresden for this wonderful farm’s maple day festivities. I like maple syrup well enough, and I have untapped jars of it at home, which I occasionally use in a pie or baked bean recipe.
Every time I go to Street and Co. I immediately ask myself why I don’t go more often. The food is so good under the direction of chef Riley Shyrock, a Fore Street disciple who’s created a compelling seafood menu that is the most creative in the city.