Weekend of seafood and more [Portland, Maine and Portsmouth, NH]


(Denise) #1

Wonderful food is always part of any visit we make to Portland, Maine. On our recent October weekend, we just might have reached a new personal best. We started with lunch in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the drive up.

We love Row 34 and the Portsmouth location is an easy drive from the highway. Their warm buttered lobster rolls never disappoint. Lobster claw and knuckle meat with warm butter on a perfectly grilled split-top roll. House-made potato chips and a bit of cole slaw of the side. It’s become our idea of a perfect lobster roll, though a splurge at $29.

Dinner that night was at Scales in Portland’s Old Port. We decided to make a meal of oysters and small plates, so that we could taste more things. The standouts of the evening were crab fritters ($12) and a gorgeous layered salad with figs, radicchio, lettuces, goat cheese, and prosciutto. The crab fritters brought to mind a soft, pillowy version of hush puppies laced with delicate Maine crab meat.

Saturday morning, we paid our obligatory visit to The Holy Doughnut. This place is known for potato doughnuts and its use of natural ingredients. Whatever, I say. Hey, it’s a delicious doughnut!

My favorite is their glazed sweet potato ginger. Husband had the maple bacon and dark chocolate sea salt (they say that one is gluten-free). If you go, know that they close for the day when the goods sell out.

Dinner on Saturday night was at Miyake. We only make it to Portland once or twice a year, so we opt for the omakase ($75). In addition to stellar nigiri and sashimi, tastes included this unexpected take on uni: topped with a marscapone and mushroom sauce, then torched.

Warm, comforting chawanmushi (egg custard) with crabmeat topped with a shisho leaf and edible gold leaf. A single ginkgo nut was tucked into each serving. What a treat.

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Duck tataki was another course we loved. The golden colored oval on the plate is a seared round of eggplant, which for me was so good, it almost outshone the duck. See the small bit of green paste at the top of the tray? Fiery, citrusy yuzu chili condiment.

We may, or may not, have stopped at Gorgeous Gelato on the walk back to the hotel to pick up a small cup of panna cotta gelato to share as a dessert after the feast at Miyake. Can’t visit Portland without a Gorgeous Gelato, you know.

Sunday morning dawned and it was nearly time to return to everyday life. We could still fit in a breakfast stop at Standard Baking Company. The October weather was warm enough to enjoy pastries and coffee sitting by the harbor. Pan au chocolat for my husband and this scrumptious morning bun for me.

One weekend of many—many!—tastes.


Fore Street Grill, Portland, Maine
#2

Sounds like a great weekend!


#3

wow. thanks for such a great report and wonderful you so enjoyed it. I hope…soon…for my family…


#4

fantastic report. thanks!


#5

Great report!, great pics! Now I’m psyched for the chowder/frites fest at B&G Oysters today.


(Denise) #6

Chowder and frites, you say? Psyched for you! Do tell us about that if you’re so inclined.


#7

“Frites Fest” today, two seatings:
http://bandgoysters.com/frites-fest/


#8

Not sure why it says Sunday April 30 above - it’s definitely today, 10/22


(Denise) #9

Thank you. Good news to me! Oh, if only I didn’t require a break from the indulgent ways of my prior weekend.


#10

Well that was different- and fun. Family style seating was set up on the terrace, lots of beer schwag decorations. Seated promptly at 2:30, scheduled start time for our seating. Impromptu bar in one corner dispensing a nice assortment of bottled/canned craft beer, Weihenstephaner Oktoberfest and Harpoon Friday Flannel on tap. The main event was set up buffet style on the far side of the terrace, clam chowder and 3 types of frites - classic moules frites, crab frites (Old Bay seasoning) and lobster frites. As advertised it was all you could eat - and more. Prepaid reservations included 2 drink tickets pp, and they raffled off more schwag. Did win a pair of liter beer steins, but bartered them for a B & G Oyster knife won by a couple next to us. Was hoping to win the oyster shucking class, but my amateur status remains intact. A lovely way to spend an afternoon- topped off by a stroll around the South End. Union Street looked as inviting as ever, some major Halloween decorations already up.


(Denise) #11

Nice report! B&G Oysters Frites Fest sounds like it was a fun afternoon.


#12

That duck might have been the most perfectly cooked and delicious piece of duck I have ever tasted. I was not a huge fan of the uni preparation. I thought it was an an abomination to put cheese on that beautiful uni.

I love the Holy Doughnut, but really need to practice more self control there. I went overboard on our last visit and it took me a few hours to walk it off.


(Denise) #13

I’m so with you on the duck. It’s been part of the omakase every time we order it at Miyake, and we’d be disappointed not to see a duck course show up.

Because your handle on HO is “uni,” I say that your point about that torched and sauced uni dish carries extra authority. :slightly_smiling_face: Somehow that course worked for us. That said, it was something to try once, unlike the duck and other courses we’d be thrilled to repeat. I would request plain uni at Miyake next time when we order omakase (before anything’s served, of course) if uni might be in the rotation.

Because hoping for a next time is a happy thought.


#14

The uni wasn’t bad per se. It actually tasted better than I expected. It’s just that I saw a tray of pristine uni in front of me before being cheesed and would have preferred it that way.

I’m not an uni expert by any means, but I do love to eat it!


#15

“Because hoping for a next time is a happy thought.”

Don’t mean to gunk up the thread with extraneous comments, but I love this sentiment. I just had to say it.