First, the good news: Shonna Milliken Humphrey of The Portland Press Herald loves absolutely everything about Buck's Naked BBQ's latest outpost in Portland. The separate dining space for families with kids, the Fooze (food and booze) cocktail and especially, the barbecue, all impress her immensely.
It's the most tired of cliches, but the meat did, indeed, fall from the bone. Or, rather, it offered very little resistance. Packed with taste already, it seemed a sacrilege to squirt the ribs with sauce, and I suspect that's the point of naked meat enjoyment.Now, the bad news: PPH blogger John Golden has almost nothing good to say about the restaurant just across the street from Buck's - Eve's at The Garden at the Portland Harbor Hotel. He notes chef Timothy Pierre Labonte's "respectable credentials," and that at lunch, Eve's is "very pleasant indeed." But that's where the niceties end. Maine shrimp in a first course were "hardly discernible - overwhelmed by an incongruous glop of beet puree." Presented with venison carpaccio, he "wasn't sure that the free-form brown ooze covering the plate wasn't a glob of dried blood that one might find in a joke shop for a prank." Main courses are slightly better, but there's no chance of redemption via dessert.
Our plates were cleared away, and the next thing I knew our waiter brought us a check. Had he sensed that we wanted to skedaddle immediately or had he not thought to ask if we wanted dessert? I'll never know.
· Buck's Naked Has Great Barbecue, Any Way You Spell It [PPH]
· DOA: Eve's At The Garden [TGD]