Our day 2 in Portland was planned to be our foodie day. We booked at 2 restaurants that were well acclaimed across the food world. Our first stop was for lunch at Five Fifty Five.
They obviously know their audience…
The first thing on the menu that struck my eye was their cinnamon bun. I think there are few things so indulgent as a stick, cinnamony, fluffy cinnamon bun. And since my Weight Watchers points were out the window… this was just perfect.
And it was SO. GOOD.
They also served delicious table breads that I believe were current biscuits and little muffins. They were served with homemade butter. Nom Nom Nom.
Mike ordered the pork sandwich. This was good but nothing to write home about.
My truffle eggs with a chive popover, however, were out of this world. I never knew eggs could taste that good. Usually truffle is just a mild essence, that is sometimes too earthy for even my tastes. This one, however, was absolutely delightful.
And I do love me some steaming popovers!
I was pretty impressed with this place overall, though I’m not sure if it was a MUST STOP since Mike’s meal was just so-so.
Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10
They quickly took us behind the scenes to learn how beer is made. I found the whole thing pretty awesome (though not quite as awesome as our tour of Mondavi where we learned SO much about how wine is made). It all starts with grain, and the toasting length determines the color and flavor (and the additives, like hops, really determine the flavor profile further).
We got to peer into the giant steel brewing vat to see what beer looks like during fermentation (maybe?)
Our next stop was at Sebago’s beer bar where we got to sample any 4 beers off the menu. They had a nice display of grains toasted to different colors.
And I enjoyed my camera settings on this one.
Our final stop along the way was at a beer garden called Novare Res.
The inside was quite cool and there were picnic tables for socializing outside.
They had quite the extensive draught list. I really liked how they put a flavor profile summary next to each one.
We got to sample two beers there. One was Allagash White, which was good but one we’ve had in multiple places. The second one was new and it blew my mind. Marshall Wharf Deep Purple was described as “lager beer with peated malts. ‘smoke on the water.’” It tasted so smoky… almost like bacon… but in a VERY, VERY good way.
The beer tour was excellent and a lot of fun. It really opened our eyes to how great craft beer is in Maine… we used this knowledge throughout the trip!
Our last foodie destination scheduled for Portland was the one I was looking forward to the most. Fore Street was the #1 restaurant that came up whenever I searched for or asked about where to eat in Portland, ME.
Their kitchen area and ovens are pretty much in the middle of the space and fully exposed (which I love).
They are big on the farm to table idea and their menu changes to reflect what is freshest at the time.
We were told that the wood oven roasted mussels were heavenly. They certainly were! The shells were so brittle that they just cracked away and they were easily the second best mussels I have ever had (after our epic mussel feast at Landmarc in NYC).
The roast cauliflower was perfect cooked as a side.
Mike chose the two cuts of Maine Island Lamb (smoked shoulder and turnspit roasted leg) with roasted yukon potatoes. Mmmm Mmmm this was GREAT!
I chose the pork chop with spice cherry and rhubarb sauce and pickled rhubarb. I seriously nearly licked this plate clean.
We were epically stuffed, but not too stuffed for dessert! I believe Mike went with the chocolate peanut butter torte.
And I chose the chocolate cake. I couldn’t believe how good it was.
The best dessert I have ever had that I just couldn’t finish no matter how hard I tried!
I was actually so stuffed from this meal that I was nearly sick. My body just wasn’t used to eating like that after these last few weeks of dieting and 15 pounds less to stuff the food into!
The meal was sensational, however.
Total Nom points: 8.5 out of 10