Maine's restaurants and bars just can't seem to keep themselves out of the spotlight.
Food & Wine has nominated Portland Hunt and Alpine Club as one of 100 contenders for its first People's Best New Bars award. What's more, according to co-owner Briana Volk, is that PHAC is the only bar in the Northeast category "that isn't in a major city (NYC, Boston, Philly and DC), so I think we need to get some Maine love going!" The bar was recently named one of Bon Appétit's five best newcomers; can this local powerhouse take the top spot in its latest competition? Cast your vote by October 2, when winners will be revealed. If nothing else, co-owner Andrew Volk said, he's "honored to be in same field" as some of the best bars in the world.
Introducing its list of 20 Best Oyster Bars in America, Travel + Leisure begins, "At Portland's Eventide Oyster Co., stakes in the ice declare whether the half shells are 'from Maine' or 'away.' It's a sign of local pride—and the importance of place when tasting oysters." A mix of New England classics and "creative offerings like Kim Chee Ice" as well as the bar's "standout" fried oyster bun help solidify Eventide's high ranking.
Eventide's sister restaurant Hugo's is one of two Maine restaurants on OpenTable's list of Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurants in America. Primo in Rockland also makes the cut of places serving "delicious dishes, from rustic to refined, meant to be shared with both forks and phones." OpenTable explains that the honorees are determined after the company analyzes "more than five million reviews of more than 20,000 restaurants across the country — all submitted by verified diners." And what's this? You can make a reservation directly from the list view? Mighty clever, OpenTable.
Finally, author and Blueberry Files blogger Kate McCarty tracks down "Cheap eats in Maine's culinary capital" for a student-centric edition of the Portland Phoenix. She collects "13 options that will satisfy your inner foodie without causing you to decide between the omakase and your Econ text book," including $1 happy hour oysters at Hot Suppa, rice and bean bowls at El Rayo, and the bento box lunch at newcomer Ten Ten Píe. This is a good lesson to learn at any age.
· The People's Best New Bars: Northeast Contenders [F&W]
· Best Oyster Bars in America [T+L}
· Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurants in America [OpenTable]
· Cheap eats in Maine's culinary capital [Phoenix]