Tag Archives: Best

Tipo-opening January 11,2017

Scheduled to open this Wednesday at 4:00, my wife and I had a chance to preview the wonderful  menu at Tipo last night. Walking in to the bright, modern restaurant, I was immediately impressed by how open and spacious it is compared to so many of Portland’s other area restaurants. Definitely a place that one could go to with a group of friends or a couple of kids in tow.

Tipo offers a full bar, plus a few well-built cocktails with ingredients that play to the restaurant’s Italian focus.  I had the Il Moto.  Served in a rocks glass, it was a soothing blend of Italian liquor and vermouth, with hints of apple and plum. My wife went for the Il Maglione, served up and made with egg white, this foamy delight tasted of cardamon and lemon. The restaurant also offers a nice selection of Italian beers and wines by the glass and bottle.

The food menu is divided into five sections: raw, plates, pasta, pizza, and dessert.  As this was our first visit and a bit of a special occasion as Tipo wasn’t officially open yet, we decided to sample across the whole menu. However, I could easily also see this a great place to stop off for a glass of wine and a big bowl of pasta, or to pick up a pizza after work. The food was all so good and the menu so versitile.

Beginning with the raw, we ordered the sublime Maine scallop crudo. Bursting with fresh ocean flavor, and enhanced with Myer lemon, this dish was the one most reminiscent of owners Chris and Paige Gould’s acclaimed restaurant Central Provisions, but was still made unique by the addition of warm olive oil and bottarga (Italian cured fish roe).  Also from the raw section of the menu, the beef carpaccio somehow managed to far exceed our expectations. So tender and flavorful, the beef was reminiscent of the finest prime rib, and the smoked onion aioli and arugula elevate the flavors to a whole new level.

Moving on to the plates portion of the menu, I had a hard time limiting myself: meatballs and gravy, hand-pulled mozzarella, and wood-roasted vegetables. It all sounded so amazing that I wanted to order everything! I can see myself going back to sample more heavily from this section. However, on this first visit, knowing I wanted to try both the pasta and pizza, we limited ourselves to adding the winter greens salad. I am glad we did because it was excellent. So simple, yet delicious! Crisp mixed greens in pancetta, frico (fried cheese crisp), black pepper, and plenty of parmesan.  My wife and I devoured this crunchy, savory delight.

Then on to the pasta section of the menu–we were further impressed by the ability to order most of the offerings in either full or half sizes. Planning on also ordering a pizza, we settled in on the half-sized rye Cavatelli served with pork ragu, mascarpone, and oregano. I can’t stress how much I loved this–rich meaty flavors, combined with brilliant textures to yield pure joy!

At this point, you might think we would be so satiated to give up, but we bravely continued on so that we might share our experience with you, our dear readers. I am so glad we did because the pizza was fantastic!  The crust is very thin, yet somehow manages to be light and fluffy at the same time.  Each bite was a crispy, soft, charred pillow-top, with the most delightful flavors. We chose the lamb sausage version. With its middle eastern spices, plus feta and arugula, the pizza was both deeply satisfying and memorable. The same can be said for dessert, warm Zeppoli with peppered sugar, lemon, and ricotta. Combined with a cappuccino, this perfectly fried and spiced dough provided a sublime closure to our meal.




Il Moto

Il MAglione

Maine Scallop

Beef Carpaccio

Winter Greens Salad

Rye Cavatelli-half order

Lamb sausage pizza

Pocket Cruise!

From the makers of Pocket Brunch and Bread and Butter caterers comes my favorite summer series-Pocket Cruise! This July 21st, sunset adventure takes place aboard The Frances, a beautiful 74 foot sailboat based out of Portland, Maine. Delightful food and drink will be served during this two hour floating cocktail party, and merriment is sure to be had by all who attend! Tickets are $100 and very limited due to the boat’s capacity. Get them while you can (I have mine!) here: Tickets

Pocket Cruise

Pocket Cruise

14 Portland Area Happy Places

These are some of the restaurants that make the food I love. They span the range from inexpensive to quite pricey, but every one of them is worth trying.

1) Central Provisions, arguably one of the best restaurant in the country. Chef Chris Gould specializes in making visually stunning and immensely satisfying small plates.
Smoked carrots

2) Hugo’s is a delicious ballet filled with edible art accompanied by unparalleled service. A full sensory experience.
Rabbit Terrine

3) Miyake Fore St just from the sea perfection. There is a reason that Chef Masao Miyake receives James Beard nominations year after year.
omakase sashimi

4) David’s Opus 10 Chef Bo Byrne serves up intricate seven course meals in an intimate setting.
Butter Poached Lobster, Caramelized Onion and Vanilla Bean Risotto Cake, Citrus Truffle Micro Greens

5) Eventide Oyster Co. sibling to Hugo’s next door,this restaurant serves some of the most beautiful seafood you may ever see. Amazing oyster selection and a lobster roll made that sill make any visit worth remembering.

6) Boda Thai street food served in a casual environment with some of the friendliest wait staff in town. My can’t miss, their quail eggs and many tasty skewers.
mai tai

8) Slab Siciian Street Food carb heaven. Each slab is a giant pillow of happiness. At six bucks for a one pound hand slab, it is one of the best deals anywhere. As you can see from the photo below, they makes some pretty good sandwiches too.
Pork Sandwich

9) Nosh Kitchen Bar sister restaurant to Slab, if you are looking for the most over the pork fat related experience go here. Amazing fries (my favorite are bacon dusted), filthy good sandwiches and the option of adding pork belly and foie gras to any dish.

10) Bao Bao delightful dumplings,asian salads and cocktails. Delicious, satisfying and inexpensive. What more can you ask? Overseen by celebrity chef Cara Sadler.
pork bun

11) Palace Diner simple food prepared with the finest local ingredients. Don’t let the menu fool you these simple dishes will blow you away. Bon Appetit called their tuna sandwich one of the best things they ate in 2014.
Palace Royal

12) Hot Suppa this beloved neighborhood spot serves delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a touch of southern flair.
Grits w chili and poached eggs

13) Sur Lie, new kid on the block, serving inspired small plates with influences from the chef’s Puerto Rican heritage.
Maine Oatmeal Pudding

14) Little Bigs savory hand pies and delicious donuts that are guaranteed to blow you away with flavor and creativity.
Donuts and Hand Pies

Sur Lie – Tip Top Tapas

Sur Lie is a very good new restaurant specializing in tapas. Addressing the elephant in the room, despite serving small plates, this restaurant is not trying to compete with the award winning Central Provisions. The owners recognize that Chef Chris Gould is making some of the best food in the country and that is rarified territory. What they have built is a welcoming spot to enjoy delicious food and drink with friends.

Sticking to the theme of a fun night out,the Missus and I sampled liberally from the drink menu cocktails:Midnight Manhattan, Nector of the Bogs, Made Man, and Blood Eagle. We thoroughly enjoyed them all, but the Midnight Manhattan was my stand out favorite. The Punt e Mes vermouth they use makes it delightfully bitter. It made me Happy, happy.

Standout dishes were the scallops with white sweet potato,a wonderful concoction involving plantains and chorizo, and delightful cream of white beans with pork belly. In the first dish I loved the addition of pickled vegetables. They added a delicious crunch to the savory plate. While the chorizo with plantain was a heavenly blend of salty/sweet/tangy goodness. The bean soup was comforting and flavorful, the pork belly managed the rare feat of being both crispy and tender.

Despite my sworn enmity to anything brulee, I could not resist trying the Maine Grain oatmeal pudding with brulee sugar and cranberries for dessert. This dish is based on a recipe the chef’s grandmother made him as a child and is reminiscent of warm rice pudding with a delicate candy top. Service was very,very good almost telepathic and everyone was very warm and welcoming.

Maine Oatmeal Pudding

Maine Oatmeal Pudding

Scallops with white sweet potato

Scallops with white sweet potato

Pork Belly and White beans

Pork Belly and White beans