Tag Archives: lobster

A Taste of Milano on Fore Street

19 Aug

Ben and Laura are some of our favorite dinner companions. We love to drag them around Portland with us. They make sure I remember all my belongings, even when it means they still forget theirs (too much wine anyone? Don’t worry all lost items have eventually been recovered due to the kindness and honesty of Mainers). So, when I heard that Paciarino offered amazing Italian food made from local ingredients and was opened by a legitimate Milanese couple, I was in! So, I called and made a reservation before even asking if they wanted to double date, because really, who wouldn’t want to be seen around town with me and my big mouth? Of course being the great friends they are, they were more than happy to oblige my forced invitation.

We started the night with beer and wine at their place near the West End before heading to our 8 o’clock reservation. When we arrived at Paciarino it was a rustle of life. All the tables and even the bar were filled. It smelled of fresh garlic and herbs and for a moment when I closed my eyes I felt like if I opened them I might be magically transported back to Italy. I was falling in love at first smell.

We sat down and everyone ordered their pick of poison. The boy wanted some red wine and us girls were already on a pinot bender so we decided to stick with that. We also ordered some appetizers—the Tris de Bruschette (pronounced: BRU-SKETTA for any non-Italian folk) and the Crostini all-Italiana. Both were A-MAZING. The bruschette comes with three pieces, one was traditional Sicilian garlic, another was traditional tomato and basil while the final piece was a roasted tomato and garlic. The roasted tomato one was far and away my favorite. The flavors were so rich and I don’t know how they achieved it, but it was so smooth and tasted like there was no acidity to the tomatoes. It was heaven on toasted Tuscan bread.

The Crostini all’Italiana included toasted baguettes with all house made, vegetarian tapenades and pates including: olive, eggplant, garlic, red pepper, wild fennel. I must say I am not a fennel person, so that was not my favorite. I actually have yet to find a dish I feel is really enhanced by fennel. The garlic and olive ones on the other hand were amazing. I am a bit of a tapenade connoisseur, and this was top-notch. I would highly recommend this appetizer as well.

The aftermath of the appetizers

After polishing those off, we were all still famished. Maybe it was late seating that we opted for or maybe the appetizers were just fueling the flame for our burning desire to taste something in Maine that might be reminiscent of any “real” Italian food I have had before. I was practically on the edge of my seat, but still in the back of my mind prepared for disappointment.

When the food arrived the smells indicted FRESH, FRESH, FRESH. I let out a very relieved sigh, while I happily breathed in the all the fresh garlic, basil, thyme, and oregano smells I could so I could just savor the moment and feel the kind of inner peace that can only be achieved through a highly flavorful carb laden meal. I reached Enlightenment that night.

Ben ordered the Ravioli Bolognese.

Ravioli Bolognese

Mark had the lasagna alla Bolognese.

Lasagne Bolognese

Laura went for the Spaghetti aglio olio e Peperoncino since she’s our resident vegan.

Aglio Olio Pasta

I had the Lobster Pasta special with a garlic aioli (aka: the tourist special. Mark was making fun of me).

Lobster Special

All in all, great food with great friends on a great night! All the dishes were rich, flavorful and authentically fresh. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for Italian food made from farm fresh ingredients at a reasonable price. Seriously, just make a reservation already!

Paciarino on Urbanspoon

Bintliff’s American Cafe, the Cure for the Common Hangover

10 Apr

As per usual, we were out and about in Portland with our friends Ben and Laura, aka the cutest photographer and health coach we know! We had long made plans to go to Bintliff’s for brunch since they had never been, but plans kept getting spoiled and it took us three weeks to FINALLY go! Thank God we made it!

We decided to meet at 10 o’clock on a Saturday. This is just about the earliest any of us could muster the courage to go on a Saturday morning. When we go there, there was quite a line that had formed, but the good people at Bintliff’s, knowing people in need of caffeine are about one second away from a minor riot, had mugs and coffee available while we waited. Nice, crisis averted!

While we stood there, Ben and Laura told us that the hostess had estimated a 20 minute wait. Not too shabby, so we all gladly chatted, got caffeinated, and Ben nursed his small hangover from a pub crawl the evening before.

No sooner had we caught up on life then we were taken upstairs to our table. At the top of the stairs sat my friend, Laura, creator of the amazing street style blog Fore Front Fashion! So, obviously, Bintliff’s is the place to be on a Saturday for brunch!

We sat down and Ben and I decided to get their much talked about Bloody’s. My were they spectacular! Just the right amount of spicy horseradish and a salt and pepper rimed glass. Ben immediately started feeling the effects of the “hair of the dog” and was ready for a hearty breakfast!

Bintliff's Amazing Bloody. The cure for the common hangover.

After Ben started feeling better we all made our brunch selections. Laura and I were in a ‘lobsta’ kind of mood so she ordered the lobster benedict…

Lobster Benedict

and I ordered the lobster frittata with gruyere cheese, spinach, and tomatoes. Yum-O. Both of our lobster breakfasts came with a hearty portion of lobster, it was very fresh and delicious!

Lobster Frittata

Mark and Ben were feeling rather plain and opted for the regular Eggs Benedict. It wasn’t long before huge plates piled high with homemade potatoes (both russet and sweet) fried to perfection came out along with our beautiful egg plates.

Bintliff's Eggs Benedict

Overall, it was a great brunch with great friends. My husband, Mark, thinks they have the best eggs benedict in town! Unlimited cups of coffee are $1.99, bloody’s are $6.99, the lobster dishes were $14.99, and the plain benedict’s were $11.99. So, reasonably priced for the large amount of food you get. We left there so full we didn’t eat until 6:30 p.m. Now that’s what I call a hearty brunch!

Bintliff's American Cafe on Urbanspoon

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