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76 Pleasant Street Surprises; Tandoor Comforts; More

76 Pleasant Street

Elizabeth Peavey has "modest expectations" for 76 Pleasant Street in Norway, reviewed in the December issue of DownEast. "Chicken potpie and meatloaf, here we come," she thinks as she approaches the place. But then, she gets her first look at the "stunning 1896 manse ... through those windows one can catch a glimpse of a table set with two voluminous red wine glasses ... hopes rise." From there, the experience at Bret and Amy Baker's 24-seat restaurant keeps getting better.

Almost everything at 76 Pleasant is made in-house and is locally sourced. The lamb shank comes from a neighbor's farm. The seafood from a Portland fishmonger. The herbs are grown on-site. The reasonably priced wine list, which leans predictably toward California, offers a couple of surprises. Just like your entire dining experience here.
Shonna Milliken Humphrey of The Portland Press Herald awards 3 1/2 stars to Tandoor, "an Upper Exchange Street fixture for as long as I can remember." The Indian restaurant, with a huge menu and "undeniably kitschy" decor, "is not haute cuisine, nor is it fusion of the month."
Sometimes, I just want comfort food in the form of a deep-fried samosa filled with soft potato and redolent with a mixture of Indian spices. When that's the craving, it does not matter if the potatoes are organic or the peas locally sourced. The food must be affordable, and the restaurant close by.

Schulte & Herr in Portland is oft thought of as a breakfast eatery, but Diane Hudson spotlights its dinner offerings in her review for the December issue of Portland Monthly. The German-comfort food menu features

dishes straight out of (co-owner Steffi Davin's) childhood: for example, her Rheini­scher Sauerbraten (marinated beef roast, $18) and potato pancakes with applesauce and sour cream ($5) convey her memories directly to diners. No wonder reservations are a must in this intimate space seating just 24.
Brian Duff is at his metaphoric best in his review of Gather for The Portland Phoenix. He first opines on the repurposing of "the institutions that once organized modern life," as restaurants. "Few of us actually make things, for example, or adhere to a religious code, so now when we go to old mill buildings or old churches it is often to admire the labor of chefs." Whether or not that is true may be open to debate, but that he approves of both the "handsome" space and the food, which ranges "from the humble to the ambitious" at Gather is most definitely not.
Marx thought religion was the "spiritual aroma" of human capacities suppressed by alienated labor. Now we neither labor nor believe, but live in thrall to the aroma of the next dish delivered to our table. Marx hated that "man (the worker) feels that he is acting freely only in his animal functions — eating [and] drinking." We have come to accept it. And if we must then, let's appreciate places like Gather, which make eating and drinking feel genuinely elevating.
Petite Jacqueline may be French and therefore romantic by default, but that doesn't make it a date-only restaurant, says Cortney Germain, writing for Dispatch Magazine.
Petite Jacqueline has a menu that covers all tastes, including everything from escargots to deviled eggs to duck. The dishes weren't too confusing for the average diner, or too overwhelming. The waitstaff were also extremely helpful in explaining menu details as soon as they spotted a wrinkle in our brow.
Nobody proposed, either.

And finally, local bloggers report on: L&H Burgers in Rockland - "The service was fast and friendly, the burgers excellent, and the prices comfortable enough to serve both the tourist crowds in the Summer as well as the locals that will keep the place alive all Winter."(From Away); Pai Men Miyake in Portland - "Though we enjoyed our dinner it was hardly restorative at $150 for two." (The Golden Dish); and Hot Suppa - "The $1 oysters and poutine are well worth a visit at happy hour." (The Blueberry Files).

· 76 Pleasant Street [DE]
· Tandoor Still Satisfies When Craving For Indian Food Strikes [PPH]
· Best Wurst In Town! [PM]
· Community, Local Flavors And Expert Preparation At Gather [PP]
· Better Than My Dad's Boeuf: Reviewing Petite Jacqueline [Dispatch]
· L&H Burgers [FA]
· Making Do At Pai Men Miyake [TGD]
· Happy Hour At Hot Suppa! [TBF]


189 Main Street, , ME 04096 (207) 847-3250 Visit Website

Petite Jacqueline

190 State Street, Portland, ME 04101 205 530 7044 Visit Website

Pai Men Miyake

188 State St., Portland, ME 04101 207-541-9204 Visit Website