UPDATE: Portland & Rochester closed. Be sure to check out Garrett Fitzgerald’s lobster restaurant in Bar Harbor: https://www.bhlobster.com/
I love food. You all must know that, right? I write a blog about food and the fantastic restaurants in the Portland food scene, and it’s on my bucket list to try every single restaurant in the state of Maine. Good luck, I know. But part of what makes food so enjoyable for me is the story behind every meal. Each owner, chef and host…they all have a different story to tell. I find myself able to give you just a taste of the story that Garrett of Portland & Rochester has to tell:
Garrett is from Prince Edward Island in Canada. He owns a lobster pound located in Bar Harbor. Portland & Rochester is the delicious marriage of Montreal, Maine and Prince Edward Island, blended together to offer the best of each individual world. This is translated as delicious food, featuring all of the locale’s flavors in unusual and special ways.
Whether it’s the inviting and warm ambience as you sit down for dinner, or the hearty and comfortable menu, Portland & Rochester has effectively charmed me with great food and a menu that’s just like a breath of fresh air in spring after a long winter. Yes, we’re still waiting on the “spring” part but the breath of fresh air is in Portland, and it will wake up your taste buds!
What To Try:
- pub pretzels (ask for them with honey mustard and beer cheese…you’ll thank me later)
- Duck Cassoulet
- the French Fries
- Beef Osso Buco (this was a special from Restaurant Week, if it’s on the menu, you should order it because you will have a taste sensation you’ll always remember)
I have to highlight the duck cassoulet, as it’s left such a great impression with me. Ask me what you should order for dinner from Portland & Rochester, and this will probably be my response. The duck was incredibly tender; a fork was all I needed. The vegetables are perfect for a winter dish, especially one that sticks straight to your bones. And let me tell you, the night I had this dish it was about 15 degrees outside. Granted, this is a cold weather meal, but with the weather we’ve had lately, you may be able to order this for a few more weeks. Essentially, it’s a winter stew, but don’t think of this in the same category as beef stew because it’s anything but that. Instead, it melts in your mouth. That marriage of flavors and worlds I was mentioning early? There’s an almost French feel to it, likely from the Prince Edward Island influence, while the farm to table feel is exhibited as well, a direct reflection of the food scene here in Portland. The best of both worlds, if you ask me!
And if you’re lucky, this will show up on the menu once again:
There’s a lot that Portland can offer you, and you should try it all. No, really. All of it! But make sure to add this gem of Portland to your list for lunch or dinner. This is a meal you will remember.