Tag Archives: Dining

Tempo Dulu: Exploring The Splendors of The Far East

Entering the newly renovated Danforth Inn to dine at Tempo Dulu is a magical experience. The noise from nearby State Street fades away, and then suddenly you’re someplace else. It’s like being swept away to a private club filled with  expats gathered together  in some distant eastern land. This is particularly true of the lounge area, which owner Oscar Verest says was inspired by the Weyang club in the Shanghai Hermes.

Décor aside, we had heard and read many good things about bartender Trevin Hutchins and made sure to leave time for a stop at the bar. I am so glad we did! The Jakarta made with: bourbon, amaro, sweet vermouth, and absinthe could have been merely enjoyable. Instead, due to a beautiful bit of theatre and food science, it was amazing! Trevin takes the extra step of applying fire to a substantial pile of Five Spice, which he then covers with a glass, putting out the fire and collecting the delicious smoke. The cocktail is poured into the smoke which somehow remains in place, creating a smoky, sweet, bourbon masterpiece. My cocktail was so good it inspired me to take my first video ever!

Having established that Tempo Dulu is a sanctuary designed to soothe and nourish the senses, we moved on to one of several small elegant dining rooms to begin our feasting.  For our dining pleasure we chose to go with Chef Lawrence Klang’s  tasting menu, a seemingly endless array of intense full-flavored dishes( menus). Overseen by Maître d’ Elizabeth Tozek, the service throughout our 3 hour experience was truly exceptional.  Having consumed two bottles of water and one exceptional Maine wine (Cellar Door), my wife noted that service was so discreet that our glasses stayed full seemingly without any intervention.

Then there is the food! The wonderful  food: foie gras, lamb, lobster, halibut, squid, and more in one meal!  I could go on at length about the richness of the flavors (So rich!), the incredible textures and scents(OMG!), but I  would need to write a book to do any  justice to the 13 plus dishes we sampled. Instead I will say that I absolutely loved, loved my meal and left very happy, happy! Furthermore, despite its relatively high prices, I believe Temp Dulu to be a fantastic value!

A few photos from our evening out:

Quail Egg as an amuse.

Quail Egg as an amuse.

Green papa soup, lemongrass, tomato confit

Green papa soup, lemongrass, tomato confit

Rijsttafel: multiple dishes served family style as a third course(not counting amuses).

Rijsttafel: multiple dishes served family style as a third course(not counting amuses).

 

 

Trio of Indonesian desserts

Trio of Indonesian desserts

Chef Leslie Oster: Aurora Provisions

The Kennebunkport Festival celebrates the best food, art, and design that Maine has to offer. For those who have never been, the festival is composed of many events, large and small, several of which are hosted in the beautiful homes of Kennebunk’s residents.

This brings us to Chef Leslie Oster of Aurora Provisions, who teamed up with Maine Street Desgn Co., and Devenish Wines to put together a beautifully themed African dinner for this year’s festival. Beyond enjoying good food and company, these annual dinners raise funds for Full Plates Full Potential a charity dedicated to ending childhood hunger in Maine. Each of these events also celebrated a Maine artist, in this case Brad Maushart of F8 gallery at which the dinner was held. The gathering was photographed by the good folks of Maine Magazine. They took much better photos of the event than I ever could and you can find them here Faces Maine. As a teaser to their superior images, I have included some of my better photos and a copy of the menu here:

Menu

Menu


Goat Sambusa

Goat Sambusa


Watercress with Bock choy, Peas and Peanut Sauce.

Watercress with Bock choy, leas and peanut sauce.


African Donuts with Fig Ice-Cream & Cardamom syrup. Served with African Chai Tea

African Donuts with Fig Ice-Cream & Cardamom syrup. Served with African Chai Tea

The Honey Paw is Honeylicious!

The Honey Paw, is a brand new sister restaurant to the renowned Eventide Oyster Co. and Hugo’s. The space is uniquely refreshing, with a large communal table at the heart of the room and counter seating ringing the outside of the restaurant. The set up makes the space feel very welcoming and more open than many of Portland’s other new restaurants. Even more delightfully unique is the menu. Billed as a non-denominational noodle house, the dishes range across Asia and incorporate such varied ingrediants as duck, veal, and goat to yield fantastic fare. The resulting dishes are bursting with one of a kind flavors and textures. I love it so much,that I have now been back three times. Twice for dinner and once for lunch.

The menu is divided into four numbered sections from small to large. While I love small plates, I really enjoy the option of having larger dishes. Particularly because they are all so good. One of my favorite dishes so far, is the charred Pork shoulder served with fermented turnips. This dish made me so happy! Reminiscent of the candied pork I used to get at Chinese restaurants as a child, but elevated to a grown-up decedent taste sensation. The fermented turnips add a nice tart counterpart to the sweet charred pork. The wok fried collards were one of the tastiest things I’ve had this year. Smokey pork hock, tender collard greens and topped with amazing onion rings, the ingredients combine in a way that I would have never imagined was possible. So yummy/savory/spicy/good! Other dishes that I have enjoyed, include the Wok Fried Wide Noodles with its uniquely prepared pasta and the Crab and Pork Wonton that just burst with unique flavor and textures. In the case of the Wok Fried Noodles the texture of the fried noodles made this seafood dish so much more interesting than noodle dishes found elswhere. While the crab broth was deliciously rich and infused the tender pork wontons with a marvelous taste. Of special note, your meal cannot be complete without trying their rich soft serve. Congratulations to Chef Pisha-Duffly, he is creating oh so satisfying meals here that you won’t find anywhere else.

Charred Pork Shoulder

Charred Pork Shoulder


Wok Fried Wide Rice Noodles

Wok Fried Wide Rice Noodles


Wok Fried Collards

Wok Fried Collards


Crab and Pork Wanton

Crab and Pork Wanton


Goat chili with home made "Fritos"

Goat chili with home made “Fritos”


Fanstastic Softserve with Magic Shell

Pocket Wedding

Do you love getting dressed up in your finest and dancing the night away? Have you ever thought that going to a wedding would be so much more fun, if you didn’t have to sit through a long ceremony,deal with unpleasant relatives, or buy an expensive gift? Then you’re sure to love Pocket Wedding!

The crew behind Pocket Brunch have prepared an evening to remember filled with some of the best food, drink, and music available. So put on your dancing shoes and purchase your tickets to this May 2nd event. If you aren’t lucky enough to get tickets, you can catch their follow up act at Flanagan’s Table for Mother’s Day Brunch. Get them while you can!

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