Lately it seems that no Portland or Portland-area restaurant merits anything other than a solid four stars from The Portland Press Herald's Shonna Milliken Humphrey. What do Local 188, Buck's Naked BBQ, J's Oyster Bar, The Merry Table and Ribollita have in common? They're all marchers in Humphrey's four-star parade. So this week, when she bestows the identical rating on David Turin's intimate, prix-fixe dining experience, David's Opus Ten, "an epic story in food sophistication," it raises an eyebrow - not for Opus Ten, but for the previous line-up. Humphrey's single criticism is where she and her oft-identified husband were seated.
Trav and I were placed at an unusual diagonal configuration of double two-tops, where the diners next to us sat at an awkward kitty-corner and were privy to most of our conversation — and us to theirs.But, she attests, "every compelling narrative needs a conflict. It also needs a resolution, and that resolution is the food."
Even when the organizing principle seems like dairy and butter,the David's Opus 10 kitchen shows latitude and imaginative scope. Most important, the staff is friendly, and the food tastes good.Spread, which has been bumped off the radar by all the newer newcomers, gets some love from Carl Currie of The Bollard, who finds the "sprawling" Old Port restaurant to be "a welcome surprise." After enjoying an evening of cocktails, his next visit is for brunch.
The menu is deep and the portions are large. We shared the place with only one other party, leading me to believe that waiting in line at Caiola's or Bintliff's is now a fool's errand.
Taking some time of from the exhausting task of visiting one after another of Portland's new restaurants, John Golden returns to his "reliable tried and true haunts" for a week, chronicled on his blog for The Portland Press Herald, The Golden Dish. These include Caiola's, Pai Men Miyake, Fore Street, Bresca, Schulte & Herr, Five Guys and Otto. Almost every meal meets with his unbridled approval — except for Five Guys.
The place is more grim than I remember and the burger smothered with all the toppings is palatable but it's really not a special burger at all —but the fries are great.Golden calls Bresca "one of the best lunch spots in Portland," an assessment with which Michael and Meredith of the Map & Menu blog would agree.
Considering that each item was between $9-12, the lunch at Bresca has to be one of the better deals in town. If you're looking for a fantastic meal, without the breathtaking bill, we highly recommend Bresca's lunch and can't wait to return.Little Tap House in Portland's West End "pays homage to an era when neighborhood taverns courted the pleasure seekers of good food and drink," writes John Golden in his Friday review on The Golden Dish.
The interior décor is plain — albeit rusticated — minimalism. Sturdy, simple wooden tables and solid straight-back chairs fill the dining area in spacious assemblage. The wait staff is very attentive and knowledgeable.In the LTH kitchen, chef Andrew Kadish is "on point," with a "perfect fish fry" and "very good biscuits," among other things, "though I suspect his style will evolve even more."
· Opus Ten Creates A Saga Of Culinary Indulgence [PPH]
·: Last Calls: Spread The Word [TB]
· The Dining Week That Was [TGD]
· Lunch At Bresca [M&M]
· A Likeable Little Tap House [TGD]