Pai Men Miyake and Miyake were named Best Asian Restaurant and Best Sushi, respectively; no wonder
Chef Masa Miyake, who recently opened the Miyake Diner, above, won Best Chef.
Best Asian Restaurant + Best Sushi: Pai Men Miyake/Miyake
It really was Miyake’s year. There’s practically no accolade left for the sushi restaurant in the Old Port, which has elevated the raw-fish experience to an art form, but over the past year we saw Pai Men Miyake, the delicious and super-affordable noodle bar/Japanese pub in Longfellow Square, host packed houses night after night. Those pork buns should really be illegal. And 2013-14 included the makeover of Miyake Diner, built into the location his first restaurant outgrew in 2009. Taking influences from all over the world while remaining formally Japanese, with price points all over the spectrum, Masa Miyake’s food is one of the best parts of living and eating in Portland.
Miyake | 468 Fore St, Portland | 207.871.9170 | Pai Men Miyake | 188 State St, Portland | 207.541.9204 | Miyake Diner | 129 Spring St, Portland | 207.541.9176 | miyakerestaurants.com
Best Bagel: Scratch
We swear, there must be some magic ingredient in this SoPo bakery’s goods. The faint whiff of the ocean, perhaps? Whatever it is, you can almost taste the joy packed into the cookies and croissants and brownies here, and the chewy, just-yeasty, just-salty bagels are hearty and nourishing without being so heavy as to wipe out your trip to the beach. On hot summer days, this stretch of South Portland is where it’s at, and for so many who enjoy them, a Scratch bagel is a necessary element. While the owners were generous enough to include a recipe, “Scratch Bagels from Scratch,” in the first issue of their Baker’s Notes magazine, we still prefer to leave these special treats to the experts.
416 Preble St., South Portland | 207.799.0668
Best Bakery: Standard Baking Co.
In addition to the requisite bakery fare, like crusty breads, pillowy
dinner rolls, and tarts/cookies/cakes of all manner and flavor, this Commercial Street shop offers selections you may never have heard of: how about a gibassier (a sweetish French pastry-bun flavored with orange and anise), a Gallete des Rois (King Cake, for Mardi Gras), or Colomba (Italian Easter bread in the shape of a dove)? Having nailed down the basics, Standard is always expanding its repertoire; our carb-loving, sweet-craving bellies end up grateful and satisfied.
75 Commercial St, Portland | 207.773.2112 | facebook.com/standardbakingco
Best Bar: LFK
We knew this place would be amazing as soon as we saw the long, farmhouse tables in place of industry standard 2- and 4-tops. And little coincidence — there’s no other bar in town that makes you feel more connected to the artists, thinkers, and drinkers around you. Sure, others have more elegant wines or fancier beers, but this year nothing topped LFK in the enterprise of total drinking experience. Their selection spans the gamut of attractions, from thoughtfully selected local craftbrews, bold cocktails born to witty titles (tried the Crosseyed and Painless lately?), and cheap, crushable Hamm’s tallboys. It’s also nice and dark, ‘cuz that’s what bars are for. All year, whether we were walking through that door to meet up with a date, match wits with an intellectual peer, or slay some drinks with our best friends, LFK was everything we wanted and more.
188A State St, Portland | 207.899.3277 | facebook.comLFKportland