Gustation junction

By BRIAN DUFF  |  September 30, 2009

Secondi were somewhat less impressive. The pork osso bucco was tender but a little bland. It was cooked with orange, which is an interesting choice but maybe better in theory, and served with more mushy white bean. Sweet scallops drizzled with a sweeter thick balsamic worked well with strips of earthy mushroom. A chocolate walnut torte for dessert was unremarkable.

As long as The Corner Room holds this corner it will be fine. But as fans of The Wire know, holding a corner takes vigilance. If you wander too far down the wrong path you're in trouble, and a recent visit to eat at the bar of Smith's Grill Room revealed terrible service and sloppy cooking. It doesn't help The Corner Room's bid for authenticity that the recently opened Paciarino does it so effortlessly. The baker's table stuck conspicuously at the back of The Corner Room's dining area seems like a parody of an Italian kitchen. The food doesn't taste like a parody, however, and that is the important thing.

Brian Duff can be reached at

THE CORNER ROOM | 110 Exchange St, Portland | Mon-Fri 11:30 am-10 pm; Sat 5-10 pm; Sun 4-9 pm | Visa/MC/AMEX/DISC | 207.879.4747

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