Admitting that he usually gives a new restaurant a good bit more time, John Golden ran right on down to Portland's waterfront to turn his practiced and discerning chops on In'finiti Fermentation & Distillation in the restaurant/brewery/distillery's very first week, for his blog for The Portland Press Herald, The Golden Dish. "To my great surprise In'finiti is not just about booze and beer or its stance as the hipster's place to play. It's also all about some serious food." Owners Eric and Julie Michaud, who already have a home run in Novare Res Bier Cafe, hired chef Noly Lopez, formerly of Johnny's in Falmouth, Novare Res and the short-lived Havana South. According to Golden, he's found his place in the sun at In'finiti. "If his talents didn't shine at his former post, he's surely making up for it now."
A well-known local chef (who asked not to be named) recently told Eater that Golden is the only Portland-area restaurant critic who actually criticizes, in a good way. Whether or not you agree with Golden, the man doesn't hold back, good, bad, ugly or brilliant. At In'finiti, he finds much of the latter, from the "opulently decorous" atmosphere created by the "extraordinary copper vats" of the distillery open to view, to desserts "to swoon over" from pastry chef Patrick Tubbs.
OK, folks, herewith the essential char-grilled burger—and quite easily the best burger in Portland. It's served on a grilled Kaiser roll, with slow-roasted tomato, sweet chipotle aioli and topped with Cambozola, a beautiful brie-like blue- veined cheese. ... In the months ahead, the city's dining scene will welcome many new establishments, and if they're half as good as In'finiti our reputation as a food city is secure.
· A Case Of In'finiti [TGD]