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One dinner in Portland, ME: Bresca vs. Street & Co?

Follow up question - we are thinking of visiting Friday the 4th so we can hit up the First Friday art walk. Is one restaurant or another better location wise?

Nov 10, 2009
amyvt in All New England Archive

One dinner in Portland, ME: Bresca vs. Street & Co?

Hello all! My boyfriend and I will be spending one night in Portland during the first week of December, and I'm seeking advice on where to go for dinner (and maybe lunch the next day). Thus far, based on my research on Chowhound and other sites, periodicals, ect, I'm thinking it will be either Bresca or Street & Co. What does everyone think of those choices? Or am I missing the boat and should head somewhere else? As far as what I'm looking for, basically it will be just the two of us, so small and intimate would be nice. We are both rather serious about food, but not snooty. He loves seafood, I love everything. Price is not that important, but I'd prefer not to spend more than $150 total and I'd rather it not be too formal an environment. Lastly, we've both lived in NYC and lots of other places so we'd really like to have a more local 'Maine' experience. Oh, and what about Duckfat for lunch? Thanks!

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Bresca
111 Middle Street, Portland, ME 04101

Nov 04, 2009
amyvt in All New England Archive

Montenegro - vaca advice

Hi everyone - I'm headed off to Montenegro for a week in early May on a vacation with my family. I've been doing some research but have been having a bit of difficulty coming up with solid advice as to food and drink. Two of my very favorite parts of any vacation! So I'd really appreciate any and all tips and pointers. We are all adults but young and like all kinds of food, really. Atmosphere gets points too. We'll be staying in a house in Perast but have a car and will be taking lots of day trips. Thanks!!

Mar 16, 2008
amyvt in Europe

Amsterdam, Leiden, Brussels, Antwerp - birthdayday trip, help needed

Was thinking about it - any specific tips?

Sep 08, 2007
amyvt in International Archive

Amsterdam, Leiden, Brussels, Antwerp - birthdayday trip, help needed

Thanks so much for the info. Have you by chance eaten at the restaurant at the College Hotel? Do you think De Kas would be a good birthday dinner choice? My mom loves to garden so I thought the grounds would be an added plus. Also I've read some good things about the rijsttafel at Tempo Doeloe - ? I think you are right about Belgium - at first I was thinking of spending two nights in Brussels but I think that I'll skip the second night and spend it elsewhere, perhaps in Maarkedal at the Hostellerie Shamrock, which looks lovely. Thanks again!

Sep 06, 2007
amyvt in International Archive

Amsterdam, Leiden, Brussels, Antwerp - birthdayday trip, help needed

I'm an American newly living in Leiden, NL. My mom is coming over to celebrate her birthday for about 10 days at the end of October. We will be spending time in Leiden, Amsterdam, Brussels and likely Antwerp. I'd really appreciate any ideas people have for your basic good meal as well as for special occasion dinning in those locals. Any other tips, good snacks, nice wine list, best pastries, great cheese shop e.g. anything special of a culinary nature would also be more than welcome. Right now off the bat I'm thinking De Kas in Amsterdam as a "special" dinner but really beyond that I'm feeling a bit at a loss. We like all types of food, veg, meat, seafood, spicy, delicate ect and taste is paramount but atmosphere is also important . Thanks in advance for any and all help!

Sep 05, 2007
amyvt in International Archive

Just moved to Leiden looking for good eats

I'm a grad student studying in Leiden for the next year or so and would really appreciate tips on what and where to eat in Leiden. I've been introduced to the crazy everything fried and frite "snack shops" and while not bad after a lot of beer it's not exactly something I want to eat daily - though I do love fries! I also checked out the outdoor market today which did display an amazing variety of food stuffs - very fun to browse. However, I'm still at a loss as to where to go get both low cost local everyday food and more upscale special occasion meals. I'm interested in traditional Dutch cuisine (not sure I'm fully ready for the raw herring in a hot dog bun though) but I also love other ethnic foods and feel sure I should be able to find some great indo places in town. So that's the mission - any suggestions, tips, ect would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Aug 18, 2007
amyvt in International Archive

Tips needed for Miami and The Keys

Trip Review:
OK so I'm finally getting around to this but here's the low down.
Stared out in Cocoa Beach. Ate dinner one night at a Siam Orchid outpost in Cocoa Beach. I really must say that they actaully tried and a few dished worked very well for a low key local spot. An appitezer of white tuna wrapped in paper thin cucmuber and served with a ponzu based sauce was really excellent. The shushi boat was a very solid value and though it was very kitchy in presentation the fish was fresh and offered a pretty good selection - though I found the rice to be too sweet. The sashimi was very good though for the most part.
Also had dinner at a new place in downtown Cocoa called the Fat Snook. They were definitely trying to have a trendy vibe and it kinda worked. The restaurant had just opened though and didn't seem to have caught their stride. Actually some of it was kinda funny like the fact that they served an amuse of pea soup that was pretty good if a tad salty but though an elegant idea the effect was diluted by the fact that they served it in a mini souffle dish. This was especially odd given that the salt was brought to the table in a lovely demi tasse cup - a much better choice for the soup!! Had a few starters - nothing to write home about. Bacon wrapped scallops were just that and a manchego guava "purse" was way too sweet. However my boyfriend and I shared the two market fish and they were very very fresh and quite tasty but again this was diluted by the fact that the plating was just silly. The fish was accompanied by a few pieces of purple potato and a few small pieces of broccoli and strips of carrot. It all tasted to good but looked like the sides at a Holiday Inn (save maybe the purple color of the potatoes I guess). Had the key lime pie for dessert - not good. The filling was way runny and there was not even a tang of lime. But all in all I think the restaurant might pick up some refinement as it gets it's groove down becuase to be fair I think when I visited it had only been open a few days and you really could tell they wanted to make it work - so hey, maybe it will. Anyway it has a much hipper atmosphere than most places in the area.
Down to Key West.
Stopped at Alabama Jack's on the way down. Fun atmosphere. Good super not stuffy service. We had a great table looking out on the marsh but I have to say the food was underwhelming, especially the conch fritters which were 99% bread. The grouper bites though were quite tasty. I would go back but now I know to just order a big plate of those bites and a bucket of cold beer.
Fist night in Key West we ate at 915 Duval, mostly becuase we had a late start on the evening and they serve late. Over all the atmosphere was enjoyable, definitely more suave and less tourist-trap-like than a lot of spots. The service was very good and the food pretty solid. Everything was very fresh down to the lettuce. The best thing on the menu was the tuna "dome" - I really liked the green apple in the crab salad at the center of the dome. It ended up being pretty pricey though - not sure I'd go back for dinner given the cost to taste ratio. They do have a nice upstairs lounge though where we had a couple of drinks after dinner. Strangely, it was almost empty besides the fact that it offered a nice selection of wines and a lovely second floor porch from which to view the action on Duval. We did though meet some cool locals who were the only other people up there. All in all I'd say 915 Duval is a great sport to grab an app and a drink and watch the people strolling by.
Lunch day two was at B.O.'s Fish Wagon. Holy God - that is the BEST fish sandwich ever made. I ordered the conch sandwich which had recently received a great review in the NY Times and it was good don't get me wrong but my boyfriend (who has much healthier dietary habits than I) ordered the grilled fish sandwich which consisted of wonderfully seasoned impossibly fresh fish (it had been grouper until a fisherman brought in snapper about 30 min before we ordered) grilled and served on soft cuban bread with gooey grilled onions, fresh crisp lettuce and tomato and a generous slathering of key lime mayo. Seriously, and I do not say this lightly it was one of the best things I've eaten in memory. Yum!! And though at $12 it's not a cheap sandwich it is well worth the price - so, so good.
Dinner night two in Key West was most interesting. Because of some tips from fellow Chowhoundites I had heard about Norman of Norman's recent move so we sought out Wrecker's. It was a bit hard to find and certainly there was no atmosphere - looks like an upscale Denny's (holy oxymoron) and we were one of three tables all night but the food was the best (save my lowly fish sandwich) that I had in Florida. We started out with the conch salad cocktail. It was served with a "spiced foam" and was very light and refreshing though I would have added a little more heat to the dish and perhaps a bit more citrus but the conch was very tender. Also started with the BBQ pork empanadas served with a cumin lime crema and black bean corn salsa. I loved these - the dough was super light and flaky, the filing moist and flavorful and the salsa bright and fresh - it all worked splendidly. My boyfriend had the yellow tail with mashed potatoes, citrus butter sauce and a heart of palm salad. It was very very good - though given the richness of the dish I think a larger portion of the salad would have added a bit more balance to the dish - but really comfort food island style at its best. I had the grilled blackened grouper which was served with purple potatoes, peeled tomatoes, ribbons of romaine, avocado and a sherry vinaigrette. It was a light deconstructed style dish and was very nice with perfectly cooked fish though I think a bit heavier hand with the vinaigrette would have woken up the flavors nicely. To finish we split the key lime pie which was more like a small tart and was amazing - best key lime pie I had the whole trip and I love key lime pie. Loved, loved it!! All in all it was a really fun experience and very reasonable prices for the quality. The whole thing was actually kinda funny too given the quality of the food and setting, a really quirky juxtoposition - for example as we walked in this whole family was walking out and I feel certain they had no idea who was in the kitchen and has just sort of stumbled in especially since the teenage boys informed us as we entered, "You should go in! It's kinda expensive but holy sh*t it's really good!" I'm not even kidding - too funny! I chatted a bit with the sommelier who left Norman's with Norman and who was great with some really interesting recommendations for pairing. He told me they are just working out the menu before opening Tavern and Town (I think I have the names right) and by the taste of it they should be winners!
In Miami we had dinner the first night at Table 8 - I wish I had taken notes becuase now I don't really recall what I had. Let's see though - I did have a green bean salad that was very good and my boyfriend had a tomato motz salad that he loved. We both had fish and I recall it being quite good but can't remember how exactly it was prepared - though I do recall that my dish was served with a pea puree that was not good as it was as thick as wall spackeling. One thing that was odd to me though was how empty it was. Granted we were seated at 10:00 (we seemed to be running late the whole trip) but coming from NYC a relatively new trendy spot like Table 8 would have been slammed at 10:00 on a Thursday. Even the lounge was empty. Is this normal? I get the feeling Miami is much more of a weekend town than weeknight and I guess summer in general is probably more quiet. Regardless the food was good and the service was competent and there was no attitude, which is always nice.
Night two we went to Michy's. Michy's was good but I'm not sure it lived up to the hype and at $100 a head was a bit steep. I will say the cerviche was incredible - so fresh and lively on the palate! The short ribs were also good but nothing I haven't had before. Oh and all the talk about the gazpacho kinda left me baffled. It was good but not that great. I dunno - strange too becuase I love gazpacho. I will tell you guys though if you happen through Shelburne VT ever The Bearded Frog is serving a gazpacho this summer that is garnished with a basil watermelon sorbet and is one of the best cold soups I've ever had. A bit off topic sorry ; ) All in all Michy's was a good experience though and it was fun to eat where the crowd seemed far more local than on SOBE and I liked the funky decor.
Sooo that's the story - hope this is helpful to some. Cheers!!

Aug 10, 2007
amyvt in Florida

Tips needed for Miami and The Keys

So the grand plan is: Michy's and Table 8 in Miami for dinner and probably Front Porch and Ice Box for lunch. Key West is a bit up in the air but thus far the goal is to try for B.O.'s, 5 Brothers, 1/2 Shell, Blue Heaven, 915 Duval and maybe Wrecker's. I'll also be in the Cocoa Beach area for a while and though it definitely seems to be a bit weaker in the culinary arena I'll try my best! Thinking Mango Tree, Black Tulip, Asian Gourmet or Siam Orchid (there seem to be a lot of promising Vietnamese places) and then maybe Murdocks and/or Corky Bells. I'm not sure I'll stick to the list but I promise a full review when I return at the end of the month! Thanks again for everyone's help!!

Jul 16, 2007
amyvt in Florida

Tips needed for Miami and The Keys

Humm - well I'd like to stay more on the South Beach side of town for dinner Thursday so I guess that means Table 8 would be an option and I've been intrigued but I have to say I'm still a bit gun shy given the extremely mixed reviews. It seems like people love it or hate it. I can't seem to get a consensus form chowhound or anywhere - votes for OLA or Table 8 anyone??

Jul 09, 2007
amyvt in Florida

Tips needed for Miami and The Keys

OK I've made a reservation at OLA for Thursday night and at Michy's for Friday. Now what to order! From a review of the posts on this board I've compiled a list of good bets at Michy's consisting of: scallops, miso cod, polenta, gazpacho, croquetas, short ribs and the baked Alaska. Does this seem to be on the money or am I off course?? I haven't really found any reference to favorite dishes (or those to avoid) at OLA except that the ceviches seem to be very popular - any other input? Thanks again!

Jul 09, 2007
amyvt in Florida

Tips needed for Miami and The Keys

Thanks again - I'm really looking forward to all the sure-to-be great food and I promise a full write up upon my return! In the meantime feel free to pass along any other ideas that might spring to mind . . .

Jul 06, 2007
amyvt in Florida

Tips needed for Miami and The Keys

Thanks! I've narrowed down dinner in Miami at bit more. I'm still feeling good about Michy's becuase it sounds like a place where the food is put at the forefront and I've done my research and have a pretty good idea of the dos and don'ts. Next up is Talula becuase everyone seems to love it. The only draw back is that it may be a little more sedate than I'm looking for. Lastly, OLA. I think the scene aspect could be fun (my boyfriend enjoys food but would also appreciate a hipper vibe) and I like the strong nuevo cuisine focus but I have some reservations about the possibility that the food quality may suffer a bit more than I'm willing to trade off for the atmosphere. As to price they all seem about the same with OLA a bit more and Michy's a bit less - correct? So I guess the question I have to answer is whether the "place of the moment" vibe is worth checking out Michy's? Or is the promise of really solid food worth it at Talula even if the scene is a bit more quiet? Or lastly will I be disappointed at the quality and leave hungry (I don't mind spending money on food but hate it when quantity and quality do not support the cost) at OLA?? Decisions, decisions!! Thanks again for everyone's time and guidance!!

Jul 05, 2007
amyvt in Florida

Tips needed for Miami and The Keys

I am going to be in Miami and then traveling down to Key West (first trip to south FL) later this month and would love some tips on where to eat.

Thus far the plan is to take one night in Miami for a "splurge" meal - as a former Manhattenite I know though that cost often does always equal taste - so the pick doesn't need to be a fancy place. I'd like to have something that I won't be able to find elsewhere or something Miami does especially well. E.g. I'll save pizza for NYC (though I'm sure Miami has some good spots). The restaurant can be "sceney" or not - the food is def more important but I'm not turned off by trendy spots per se. My first choice right now is Michey's as it's been getting a lot of press and seems to be a "home grown" restaurant. I'm also considering OLA, Talula, Chispa and Ortanique and am certainly open to other ideas.

I'd also like advice on more downscale places in Miami - good food, prices and a fun atmosphere. So far my first choice in this area is Tap Tap - esp since good Haitian isn't always easy to come by. Any feed back on Tap Tap or other suggestions would be appreciated. Also I'd love some good breakfast / lunch ideas. I'm staying at The Standard but have a car and am willing to drive.

As to Key West - I'm more interested in the low key local type spots. I'm thinking 1/2 Shell, B.O.'s, 5-Brothers and El Siboney - thoughts? Also does Ambrosia really have good sushi?? And I know this is a bit played out but where does one really get the best key lime pie, preferably made with fresh juice? Lastly for the drive between Miami and Key West I've singled out Alabama Jack's and Craig's - good choices?? Other ideas??

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

Jul 02, 2007
amyvt in Florida