Tag Archives: Travel

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

Food and Wine 10 Portland Plates

Food and wine just gave another shoutout to Portland Maine. Among their favorites are the perennial Central Provisions, but also making the list were a few surprises like Salvage and David Levi’s Vinland. Congratulations to all. Seems like a good excuse to plan a fall trip.
For the full list please see Food and Wine magazine.
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Cape Elizabeth

So lucky to live in Maine. Beautiful.