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Reviews for RiRa, Blue Rooster, Outliers, and More

RiRa Irish Pub on the Portland waterfront
RiRa Irish Pub on the Portland waterfront
Photo: Flickr

Shonna Milliken Humphrey for The Portland Press Herald gives RiRa three and a half stars and insists that their stout-steamed mussels are the best thing on the dinner menu: "The mussels – plump, sweet and grit-free – were served piping hot in a soup of Guinness, shallot, garlic, bacon and cream," she writes. She does question some things, such as the Cioppino (a Portugese/Italian dish) and states that RiRa should stick to "standard pub fare." [PPH]

Blue Rooster has quickly mastered the culinary version of shabby-chic, or as Brian Duff for The Portland Phoenix calls it, "high-end informal." While he's skeptical of the efficient use of kitchen space at Blue Rooster, Duff applauds the tater tot poutine and the intricately built sandwiches made with local ingredients. [PP]

The Belfast eatery, Scallions, is touted as "local, affordable and fine dining to go" in Kay Stephens' review for The Penobscot Bay Pilot. Scallions is the result of co-owners, Charles and Diana Evans' years in fine dining as well as catering. The product is "to-go coolers, which are stocked with pre-made 'grab and go' entrees, lunches, sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts. Another cooler stocks beer and wine, for the convenience of one-stop shopping." Stephens has no bad words for this eatery by the bay and thinks it's just what Belfast needs for families and young professionals who are busy but still want to eat well. [PBP]

"Happy Hour at Outliers Eatery," the latest review from Kate McCarty at The Blueberry Files blog finds a rather unexpected upscale neighborhood bar. While Ruski's is and will forever be the West End's neighborhood joint, McCarty sees Outliers as more of a "date night out kind of restaurant." She was pleased with the service and view from the porch, and she spent a good deal of time in both the men's and women's bathrooms (the men's room has a Hunter S. Thompson theme going on). She was impressed by the generously sized charcuterie plate and the steaming bowl of mussels, both of which she ordered for appetizers. [The Blueberry Files]

John Golden from The Golden Dish for The Portland Press Herald knows from his "countless" visits to Nosh Kitchen Bar that he will never leave hungry – and he admits he might even have to loosen his belt. But this doesn't stop him from returning. "Indeed it's deli-style food that's distinctively twisted into different flavors and combinations that go way beyond the typical New York style deli grub," he writes, and adds later on that he thinks the Nosh fries are "the best in Portland." [PPH]
—Claire Jeffers