The Old Port also hosted the most interesting developments in high-end dining. But again the experience was more the relief of consistency rather than the delight at the new. The whole appeal of Boone’s seafood is tradition. The departure of Bresca from its tiny space is easier to take with Piccolo there offering similar excellence in food from southern Europe (though more focused on Italy) and imaginative desserts. The redesigned Hugo’s is beautiful and the cuisine is still fantastic — now served with more spectacle and bit more choice in their tasting menus.

So moving forward let’s not hope for transformative developments in cuisine or anything else. That cool new pope is not really going to make the Catholic Church a force for good, but a little less of the get-rich touch-kids hate-gays approach is a nice idea. The election of Governor Michaud will simply return us to a level of competence where the government at least tries to contribute to the common good. Our city’s chefs are more than competent, and after a less-than-transformative year there is still plenty of good dining in Portland.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   COPING WITH ADULTHOOD  |  August 07, 2014
    The neighborhood’s newish Central Provisions is grown up. But it also embodies our ambivalence about adulthood, and our persistent hope that a few more drinks will help us cope with it.
  •   PATHS TO GREATNESS  |  July 31, 2014
    India, like the American university, is mostly in the news these days for its bloated and ineffective administration and an epidemic of underprosecuted sexual assault. But let’s not give up on either—India or college—as a source of wisdom and repository of culture.
  •   THE QUAY TO GOOD LIVING  |  July 11, 2014
    Though they offer an appealing moral clarity, in practice zero tolerance policies have ruined any number of urban schools, fragile marriages, and card-marred soccer games. Zero tolerance almost ruined Portland a few years back, too.
  •   BITING INTO THE FANTASY  |  July 10, 2014
    Is it a sign of the shallowness of our national culture that we have spent half a decade excited by the idea of food served from trucks? Sure. But is it a symptom of some deeper condition? I suspect so. This summer offers a chance to investigate thanks to the arrival of a critical mass of food trucks around Portland, along with the film Chef, about a restaurant chef who starts a food truck.  
  •   A RAIL-CAR PALACE IN BIDDEFORD  |  June 11, 2014
    The barrel roofed train-car looks incredibly good given it’s nearly a century old.

 See all articles by: BRIAN DUFF