I know that spring has only just sprung (such a corny joke, I know) but what better time to do a roundup of my favorite restaurants in the 207 than right now? Some of these may come as a surprise, but there’s no doubt that these are the places that I keep coming back to, with good reason. So, without further ado, my top 7 restaurants of 2014! *in no particular order, that would be way too hard to choose!*
Salvage: Another very strong newcomer to the restaurant scene, Jay Villani’s Salvage is that southern flavor that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon. If you like ribs, cornbread, mac n cheese, and pulled pork, this is probably the place for you. Be sure to pair your delicious BBQ with some great craft beer from the bar, with selections such as Allagash or Rising Tide. Note: Happy hour is taken from standard to amazing when you add BBQ to the mix.
Portland & Rochester Public House: If you were around for Maine Restaurant Week last month, you know that the beef Osso Buco was a smash hit, especially in my book. However, there is so much more to Portland & Rochester than one dish. Though I’ve only been able to frequent Portland & Rochester in the cold winter days, I’m highly looking forward to stopping by when the warm sun is out. I’ll be taking full advantage of their outdoor seating area, walking over in the summer from my apartment on State Street! Summer, please arrive soon! Also, I’ve heard that there may be brunch coming in the next few months. I’m keeping my eyes peeled, because I can’t wait to try what they serve.
Little Tap House: Not only is this a prime spot for dinner (shepherd’s pie made with lamb, anyone?) but Little Tap House has a delicious brunch spread, and tempting bar bites. They also have $3 mimosas, which I cannot resist. In addition, their take on poutine (featured on the bar bites menu) has a refreshing take, with an addition of pulled pork, one of my favorite things on the planet. It goes without saying that the value is great, because I had a $30 groupon a few months ago, and it took a lot of effort to spend it all between two people. Not a mystery why this is one of my favorites, both for brunch and dinner!
Silly’s: Portland has a multitude of fine dining options, and I love when places have great food, like Silly’s, but aren’t pretentious about it. The mission here is great food, with lots of zany twists. I love the build your own mimosa menu for brunch, but there’s so many things on this menu that I want to try! I honestly will have to come back to Silly’s at least another 20 times in order to get the full experience that I’m craving, and I’m okay with that. Try the Love Goat Pizza if you want a tomato-less pizza that is sweet and breaks all the pizza rules (the right way).
Hot Suppa: As one of the few Southern style restaurants in the area, besides The Bayou Kitchen, this is a favorite because of the obvious: their chicken and waffles. I feel like in my last life, I may have been a Southern woman, because I am basically magnetically attracted to this entree whenever it is on the menu anywhere. If you’re not into the poultry with your waffles thing, I’d definitely recommend their pulled pork sandwich. And be sure to try one of their cocktails, because they have enough punch and kick to get you through the rest of a long week, or allow you to just relax.
Duckfat: Duckfat has been one of my favorite restaurants in Portland since I was in college. So, needless to say, it has always had a special place in my heart, especially that poutine. If you want some of the best fries in Portland, (tied with Nosh) then Duckfat is the place to check out. Of course, you know that they have great sandwiches too, but if you’ve got the time, you need to sit down and have one of their legen (wait for it!) dary milkshakes! Or, have a rootbeer float, made with gelato.Trust me, it will be a great day if you do, by default.
Central Provisions: This is a definite newcomer to the scene, but from the three times I’ve been here, I can say that Central Provisions is extremely solid. From the jalapeno cornbread to their brand new brunch menu, there’s so much to love here. I highly recommend perusing their drinks menu, because their cocktails are awesome. Special perk: their brunch is on Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s. Chances are, you will probably see me there.
These are my favorites of right now, but I’m always looking forward to trying one of the many new restaurants in the area, including: Slab (opening next month), the newly renovated Miyake diner, Piccolo, and so many more!