Rhum Food + Grog is an establishment that the city of Portland has been desperately in need of. Thanks to the King of Yum, Jason Loring and his new restaurant group, the city of Portland now has a hidden tropical oasis right in the heart of the city.
Filled with immensely satisfying food and drink, it’s hard to know exactly where to start because everything is so very,very good! The line up of drinks is classic tiki, but updated with high end twists and served with flair. All can be ordered in single serve size, many in locally crafted mugs. They also have several cocktails that can be ordered in three shareable sizes:bowl(serves 2-3),oil can(serves 4-6,and super cool), ginormous custom mermaid (7+). My favorite to get in the bowl size is the wonderful house Mai Tai, which is potent, very well balanced and served on fire! If you are feeling like a drink with a bit of a bite, try the Junglebird made with blackstrap rum and Campari or my very favorite Blood and Sand made with scotch, cherry heering,grapefruit, and orange. You really can’t go wrong with any of them.
The menu is filled with creative versions of classic tiki dishes taken to the ultimate level,plus unexpected menu items that surprise and delight. For example, I was blown away by Rhum’s version of beef tartare. Served with a galbi vinaigrette and apple prawn chips, this Korean inspired dish was spicy,crunchy and oh so satisfying! Another innovative and plate-licking worthy dish is the Loco Moco Inari, a smaltzy-good combination of foie gras,spam, quail egg wrapped in all wrapped up in a beautiful package. Of course they have an insanely good pupu platter filled with such goodies as riblets,edamame and chicken liver toast! More unexpected they have a full raw bar to order from and seafood towers in multiple sizes! Putting all these wonderful foods and beverages together makes this tiki lounge a must try spot if your are looking for a drink and a Nosh.
There is nothing like the food from warmer climates to cut through the chill on a winter day in Maine, and there is no other local restaurant with such a wide range of foods inspired by some very hot places as the The Honey Paw.
We started with lemon and ginger hot toddies, a thoroughly delicious way to warm up with just the right bite of ginger and the nice addition of cloves.
We followed this up with the beautiful and rich lobster tartine, a well-deserved menu standard,and an appetizer special courtesy of the chef of smoked mackerel mousse,egg, and beets on a large hash brown. So very good! The mackerel was salty and smooth- just perfect. Add in the beets and the potato,and it all came together in just the right mélange of crunchy,creamy,tangy that says happy happy to me!
Smoked mackerel mousse w beets,egg,on a hash brown.
We followed this up with a Beef Rendang so tender and rich, served with beautiful turmeric pickles and perfectly made rice. You’d be hard pressed to find a dish with more comfort, unless it was the chicken pho with matzah balls. OMG!!! This soup has everything I love about pho and matzah ball soup: tangy, rich,bright full of flavor! Wow!!
I have to eat here again soon, and I definitely can’t wait for Chef Duffly’s upcoming dinner at Flanagan’s Table January 31st!
Now under construction on Cross Street, Rhum will be a refined take on Tiki with a distinctly Portland, Maine flavor. Elegant, modern translations of classic Tiki dishes will be bolstered with an impressive raw bar featuring local seafood. The cocktail program will feature Tiki standbys as well as contemporary counterparts, and a large format program for team tippling.
The kitchen and bar programs will be overseen by Frank W. Anderson and Rebecca Ambrosi. Most recently working together as The Hunter’s Bend, an underground supper club and catering company, Frank and Rebecca bring years of experience from restaurants like Animal and Son of a Gun in Los Angeles and the kitchens of Thomas Keller and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Rhum will create a subterranean escape that welcomes guests, encourages them to revel in groups, and presents a series of elegant surprises throughout each visit.
Opening this winter, Rhum is the first restaurant project by Fifth Food Group: Jason Loring, owner of Nosh and Slab; Mike Fraser, owner of Bramhall Pub; Nat Towl, builder and designer.