Saturday, April 19, 2014
John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.
In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.
I haven’t been back to Salt Water Farm since it opened last year, but yesterday was such a fine spring day it seemed like an ideal time for a day trip to the Mid-Coast for Sunday brunch.
The restaurant enjoys a stellar setting overlooking the bay
Some restaurants are better left to their own devices. Consider Ruski’s Tavern, a rosy star of Portland’s dive bar constellation. Beer, booze, broads, burgers, maybe a local brawl or two and the obligatory game of darts add up to some lively local cohabiting there. But go beyond its gustatory norm and you could wind up in unchartered territory especially if you venture past the bar’s basic grub menu.
A chummy bar with a few tables
One of the complementary benefits of roast a chicken is the leftovers. You can make a quick curry, a pot pie, and use in biscuit cream gravy or add to a pasta sauce for a chicken ragu.
One of my favorites dishes, thought, is to use leftover chicken (roast, boiled or grilled) to fill tortillas in an enchilada casserole based on a guajillo chile tomato sauce.
Spring was definitely in the air at the winter markets this weekend. Produce, pastured meats, fish and fowl, dairy, baked goods, glass blowers, furniture makers, prepared foods and coffee roasters defined most of the goings on at the indoor farmer’s market in Brunswick’s Ft. Andross this past weekend. Inside it was a virtual bazaar of local artisans in full regalia to a crowd of shoppers who seemed to want every last morsel. From Lola’s prepared Mexican dishes to Zu Baker’s incredible breads, to Paula C’s beautiful éclairs and homemade elderberry jam to Bowdoin Baking’s old-fashioned melting moments cookies to Wicked Sharp who brings dull knives back to life and to all the rest it was nearly overwhelmingly rich with local vendors. Even the Girl Scouts had a stand selling their iconic cookies.
The Girl Scouts in all their glory--with cookies, too!
Perhaps no other restaurant in Portland has received as much gush and praise as Eventide since it opened in 2012. Since then I’ve been there many times for lunch, dinner, drinks and nibbles but not in a long while, maybe months.
So when a friend suggested that we go there for dinner last week I easily agreed. My friend, a frequent dinner buddy, likes to eat early (5:30 PM is pushing it, however). It’s an advantage to go at that hour to get seated there when it’s otherwise SRO.
But Eventide only has, as you know, one table so the feat is to belly up to an empty space at the bar and a vacant stool. We found that two places at the most sought-after dining bar in the city (besides, perhaps, Fore Street, Back Bay Grill and Hugo's, et al).