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.
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.