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Ports of Italy; Brian Boru; Portland & Rochester; Outliers

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In her Maine Sunday Telegram review of Ports of Italy in Boothbay Harbor, Nancy Heiser says "[w]ell-intentioned but disjointed service on the night we visited was the only thing holding the restaurant back from overall excellence." Even though there were a number of mistakes with the beverage service, the restaurant still earned three and a half (out of five) stars because of the fine food.

Lobster ravioli, each the size of a playing card, was a dreamy meld of sea and land. The pasta was firm and fresh and held a good balance of shredded lobster. These were served in a creamy prosecco and chive sauce that was another pleasure ($22). [MST]

Brian Boru received four out of five stars from the Press Herald's anonymous Eat and Run reviewer, who enjoyed the pulled pork sandwich. "My barbecue was outstanding. I loved the zesty flavor of the barbecue sauce, and I really appreciated that the slaw came as part of the sandwich instead of on the side. The slaw tempered the tender barbecue just enough to create a nice contrast in flavors and texture, and was not at all juicy to dampen the bun." [PPH]

John Golden checked out the Portland & Rochester Public House for his The Golden Dish blog on the Press Herald site, dining there twice in its first week of existence. Not surprisingly, he says it's "fraught with the usual growing pains." Still, he finds "the food was good and some of it terrific," though maybe not seasonally appropriate.

Witness a delicious roast chicken—with it came house-made spaetzle and Brussels sprouts—great in November, not July. When I pointed this out to the chef he said he loves cooking these dishes, and for now they're easy to do. Regardless it's a stand-out dish. [TGD]

Susan Axelrod tipped one back at Outliers Eatery for the Press Herald's Bar Guide. She finds the former Popeye's Ice House location is now "a stunning, modern but still casual space" with a thoughtful wine list. There's a focus on craft beer and creative cocktails, sometimes with the two combined.

Cocktails made with beer are a trend that in the wrong hands can go, well, wrong. At Outliers, capable hands mixed up my order, Postman Always Rings Twice (wheat beer, gin, St. Germain, lemon and grapefruit juices and orange bitters), a refreshing, perfectly balanced libation for warm summer evenings. On such nights, the outdoor deck beckons, with its view across Harbor View Park to the bridge. [PPH]

Ports of Italy. [Photo: Tripadvisor]

Ports of Italy

47 Commercial St Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538