After Union executive chef Josh Berry sweeps you off your feet and fills you up, you'll be feeling the glow for a while, apparently. So went the metaphors in James Schwartz's latest Dine Out Maine review for the Press Herald, in which he gushingly assured diners that, at The Press Hotel's new farm-to-table restaurant in Portland, "Dinner...is no fast-to-fade one-night stand" and "you'll wake up the next morning with a very broad smile on your face." Perhaps the critic is ready to settle down with one reliable restaurant and quit dining around?
Regardless of the subtext, highlights of Schwartz's four and a half star experience included a "refreshing salad" with smoked blueberries, Cornish hen where "each groan-inducing bite was balanced and deeply satisfying," and "compulsively good" panisses, "ultra-light, fried chickpea cakes (think hummus — with wings)." Servers took good care of his table, too: "It's a pleasure — especially at a new restaurant — to find staff this professional, polite, relaxed and well informed."
The half-star seemed to be deducted due to the desserts, "not quite as impressive as everything that precedes them," though Schwartz recommended The Bee's Knees with pistachio cake, lavender gelato from Gorgeous Gelato, and crunchy bee pollen. Four and a half stars is also the average rating of early Yelp reviews of Union, which could be a contender to upend the common Portland sense that hotel dining is subpar.