Portland and Biddeford tasting menus + more (review)

I like this thinking, and while I enjoy atmophere, it doesn’t have to be over the top for my enjoyment.


Being from Northern Virginia, I too avoid Asian in Maine – one exception, Pai Men Miyake, where I had some fishies I had never even heard of, from their special Tokyo Fish Market list.

I like Scratch bagels! Totally different creature from NY bagels such as Ess-A. Before the pandemic killed it, 158 Pickett Street was a regular stop (same bagels as Scratch, essentially, with a water view).

Holy Donuts must be eaten when fresh (as in within an hour of being baked). After that, just a massive gut bomb.

My Maine focus is always seafood – lobster rolls (and the underrated crab rolls), fried clams, raw oysters, grilled fish… oh, and pizza too! Maine has some great renditions.

You should try Terlingua at least once! It’s superb.


Scratch bagels are closer to a Montreal style bagel than New York. Not quite either, it’s somewhere in between. I agree with the Holy Donut rec. Fresh is the way to go with them, though I’ve had Tony’s donuts and they are quite good, as is Congdon’s another Maine classic shop. I miss when Rob still owned Hugo’s. I’ve had some good meals there after the change in ownership, but nothing as transcendent as when Rob was still cooking.

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Made it to Twelve as a Saturday 5pm walk-in foursome. Seated outside on the terrace, an incredibly warm November evening. Adults are definitely in charge. My SO had a savory martini flavored with kelp that was awesome. “Chips and dips” with the optional trout roe were an indulgence- hard to know how they could make chips so thin and light and have them remain intact. Kabocha squash was a winner app, the mushroom, halibut, and steak mains all just so. The chocolate pudding is not to be missed. Wow.


We can’t wait to get to try Twelve. No idea when we’ll get there, but we will.

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Returned to Twelve as part of a Mother’s Day foodie weekend. This time we sat inside, a pleasant banquette next to windows. Amuse was a “spring dug” parsnip with sorrel and horseradish, a brilliant start. For starters we had fluke crude and mussels. The mussels were taken out of the shell, served in a white wine sauce with peas and green garlic - this was the winner, just fabulous, though the crudo was excellent. We added the Pain au Levain with cultured butter and ramp confit - bread and butter both outstanding. Very handy for mopping up the sauces. For mains we had lions mane mushroom and grilled local scallops. The scallops were harvested that morning, perfectly seared and served with celeriac and green apple. The mushroom dish was otherworldly: essentially a mille-feuille alternating lions mane and trumpet mushrooms sitting in a mushroom jus laced with balsamic. Just beautiful and it could be one of the best dishes we (me, SO, and daugther) have had in years, on par with the beet mille-feuille at Rijks in Amsterdam. For desert all three of us had the rice pudding with rhubarb, pistachio and lime. I loved it but my SO found it a bit too busy, a bit too heave on the pistachio.

I struggle to think of anyone in Boston cooking with the same inventiveness in Boston.


You make a persuasive case for Twelve. It’s going on my list. So happy that you and your family enjoyed!

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Should have proof read my post before “send”. :crazy_face:

If Portland were an hour closer we would go to Twelve monthly. .


Did they say where the local scallops were from? Maine scallop season ended weeks ago.

They didn’t say.

Scratch bagels are excellent. They are a unique SoPo style the Scratch folks learned at the late lamented 158 Pickett Street Cafe. Scratch also has numerous other top tier baked goods. I am partial to the Chocolate Dipped Almond Horns.

Turning to donuts. I am also a fan of Holy Donuts but agree with Kimfair they must be eaten fresh. Wait more than an hour and you have a disgusting gut bomb. Congdon’s in Wells (best town in maine IMHO) serves excellent traditional donuts and pair nicely with a visit to the Maine Diner. I am going to Maine in early July and will provide reviews of donuts and everything else I eat.


If you find yourself near Brunswick, Frosty’s Donuts is worth a stop. Check their Facebook page or website to make sure they’ll be open the day you want to go.

Looking forward to your posts in July!


@tomatotomato - agree - frosty’s donuts are the best! Get the glazed cruller for sure.