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Chestnuts on fire

The answer turned out to be Trader Joe's for anyone else who is interested! Peeled and steamed for about $4. Whew.

Dec 12, 2012
jennlynch in Metro Portland

Chestnuts on fire

Has anyone seen pre-peeled chestnuts (frozen or fresh, not canned) for sale in Portland? No luck at New Seasons Concordia and Whole Foods Fremont so far.

Dec 11, 2012
jennlynch in Metro Portland

Maui Dining and Food Shopping Recommendations

Hi there -- just got back two weeks ago, and had a few really great dinners! On the whole, I noticed that everywhere we ate and drank, the portions were HUGE. I wish we'd planned ahead and split entrees -- we left every meal stuffed. I suppose some would call this "good value." :)

1) Mala Ocean Tavern -- Lahaina -- Good salumi & cheese plate; amazing burger; great fish; upscale casual; loved the deck (we were splashed by the ocean!)

2) Pacific'O -- Lahaina -- Gorgeous spot - eat outside if you can! This is a very Maui restaurant -- upscale, but still quite casual (patrons in hibiscus shirts and shorts mixed with women in black dresses; servers in khakis and polos). The fish was fantastic. I also love their commitment to local agriculture.

3) Kihei Caffe -- Kihei -- RIDICULOUSLY huge breakfasts -- the best hangover cure ever. Dare someone in your group to order the 'special' of pork fried rice, eggs and a beef patty with sauce -- totally mind-blowing. Fantastic omelettes and burritos, too. This is outside on a concrete patio -- no servers (counter service) -- a must-do. MUST-do.

We had mediocre meals at Sensai (Ritz Carlton Kaapula), Cheeseburger in Paradise (Shops at Wailea) and Leilani's On The Beach (Whaler's Village). Skip all three.

We had an OK meal at Polli's in Makawao -- fish tacos were salty but not terrible.

I wish we'd had time to go to Cassanova's in Makawao. That town was just lovely, as was the drive there from Kahului.

And a few places we skipped:

1) I'O -- same prices as Pacific'O, but less refined -- the attempt at trendy falls flat

2) Kula Lodge -- waited 20 minutes for a hostess to seat us -- and breakfast ends at 1 p.m.! Oy! Go early or skip it.

3 days/2 nights in Vancouver -- you can help!

Here's my plan -- I assume I'll do SOME shopping and sightseeing, but really, this is mostly about eating .. :) :)

Arrive Saturday afternoon.

Saturday --- Snacks at Salt in Gastown; Dinner at Chambar.

I need a recommendation for a place for cocktails and hopefully dancing afterward -- somewhere geared towards folks older than college (think Vegas, not Cozumel). Thoughts?

Sunday -- Dim Sum at Sun Sui Wah; Dinner at Vij's

Monday -- Breakfast at Caffe Artigiano; leave at noon.

I know West is fantabulous, but we are Portlanders, and prefer to save our fancy-schmancy eating for trips to New York, S.F. and and Vegas.


Favorite Maui Restaurants?

OK, everyone -- so now another recommendation -- should I make reservations now (will be there next Wednesday) or are same-day tables available? I'm thinking about I'O, Malas, Cassanova's, Pacific'O ... Thanks!!

Apr 14, 2007
jennlynch in Hawaii

Portland Wedding Reception Venues

Any McMenamins might fit the bill - they are very easy to work with, and your out-of-town guests will be wholly charmed.

Mar 20, 2007
jennlynch in Pacific Northwest


So, for those who have been there, will they have ramen by Saturday night?? I am so excited!

Mar 20, 2007
jennlynch in Pacific Northwest

Private Dining Suggestions for 30 ppl (Portland)?

My sympathies to you - planning a wedding from that far away is so hard!! I planned my wedding in Iowa City, IA (!!) from New York, and it can be so tough to be overwhelmed with options in New York and feel so restricted at home. Best of luck!!

What night is your wedding? If you do a Thursday or Sunday you'll have much better luck closing down a small restaurant!

You should check out the back room at Paragon - it has very small, subtle bar with room for a single server at the back of a large (but not too large) space for about 60 people. The ceilings are high and airy - if you worked with a florist or decorator you could do a lot with the space.

More ideas: Tabla on 28th (modern and airy); Fife on Fremont (vintage modern and airy); Graze on Lovejoy (very modern - surrounded by glass walls, though - would be so striking in your pictures!); Fenouil on NW 11th (stunning, modern, elegant, but not harsh like Bluehour - they have a private space on the 2nd floor - so gorgeous); Veritable Quandry (rustic vintage modern - for a shabby chic look); Mint or 820 (might be too lounge-y).

I also second the person who suggested Sympatica - their wedding catering is truly second to none. Mind-blowing. They will do a buffet that will blow any plated, seated meal out of the water from the sheer quality of ingredients, attention to detail and the huge, professional cooking and serving staff they bring to your event. You could either use their dining hall or a space such as Studio Ten-Fifty (

Feb 14, 2007
jennlynch in Metro Portland