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Brunch at Artemisia Cafe Earns 4 1/2 Stars; Mache Bistro in Bar Harbor Shines

Artemisia Cafe is one of Portland's "hidden food gems," says Shonna Milliken Humphrey, giving its brunch four and a half stars in her review in the Maine Sunday Telegram:

This kitchen knows its French toast, and if you have any qualms, let me assuage them. My table divided on which should receive "Best in Show," but since I am the one writing, it's the cinnamon graham French toast.
On her visit, Humphrey discovers from a note on the door that Artemisia now also serves dinner (she must have missed the review two weeks ago from fellow Press Herald food critic John Golden). She writes: "Diners take note: If Artemisia's dinner is anywhere nearly as well executed as its brunch, I expect the cafe to be doing a brisk and well-deserved summer business. Get in there and try it!"

Nancy Heiser reviewed Home Kitchen Cafe in Rockland for this month's Down East magazine. The restaurant, which was extensively renovated over the winter, serves creative and colorful food that can't really be pigeonholed: "And just when you think you've figured out this place — egg specialties, familiar sandwiches, Mexican influences, and amazing baked goods — it surprises you with something from Southeast Asia, like Thai cobb salad of charred chicken breast, red cabbage, lettuce, roasted corn, and a spicy peanut dressing with croutons that carry a tinge of those herbs you get in Thanksgiving stuffing..." [DE]

Amy K. Anderson writes a glowing review of Mache Bistro in Bar Harbor for Maine Magazine's Eat Maine blog. She calls the service "extraordinary" at the restaurant owned by wife and husband Marie and Kyle Yarborough, with food to match. She starts with cabernet poached pear and loves the "playfulness" of the dish: "But dinner gets serious when the pork belly arrives. This dish is no joke. The skin is lacquered, cooked to a deep golden brown, and the juicy, fatty meat sits atop an apricot and pine nut brown butter sauce. The juices from the pork mingle with the sauce, adding an extra layer of richness." [Eat Maine]

The aforementioned John Golden, in his Golden Dish blog, regrets revisiting Joe's Boathouse in South Portland. "I haven't been there in years, but recall it being more of a waterfront roadhouse serving gutsy dishes like shrimp fra diavolo, spaghetti with clam sauce or grilled swordfish in the Mediterranean style. I must have been dreaming." Cocktails were slow to arrive, "egg rolls were as dense as corn dogs," and his seared tuna "had the texture of gummy chalk." [Golden Dish]
— Tom Minervino
[Artemisia Cafe. Photo: Yelp]

Artemisia Cafe

61 Pleasant St., Portland, ME