Return to Portland: Bon Appétit’s latest crush
Why keep talking about Portland, Maine—the town I recently just named “restaurant city of the year”? asked Andrew Knowlton in Bon Appétit. “For starters, it’s the sheer number of outstanding openings—from a tiny pastry shop that serves knockout Roman pizza to a Jewish-style deli that ranks up there with New York’s best.” Maine’s largest city (pop. 67,000) has also long been a place you can count on for fresh local oysters, lobster rolls, and great, food-savvy dive bars like Ruski’s. Here are some newcomers that have helped make 2018 a Portland moment.
Rose Foods On the mornings that don’t start with standout sweets from Tandem Coffee + Bakery, it’s nice to have a world-class deli to fall back on. Think nova, crispy latkes, “perfect” Montreal-style bagels, plus lunch-hour pastrami sandwiches and matzo-ball soup. 428 Forest Ave., (207) 835-0991
Drifters Wife Peter and Orenda Hale’s already acclaimed wine bar was named one of Bon Appétit’s best new American restaurants after an expansion of the kitchen and dining room. What a life the Hales have: “They’re constantly popping open bottles of natural wine in the shop, then skipping over to the dining room to feast on mussel toast with nduja from chef Ben Jackson.” 59 Washington Ave., (207) 805-1336
Maiz You’re surprised Portland can dish up excellent Colombian street food? The arepas at Maiz are reason enough to visit the Public Market House, which is “part food court, part restaurant incubator.” And ask around about other pop-ups and similar upstarts. “You’re missing out if you skip the killer pho spot (Cong Tu Bot) or the guy selling hand rolls out of a Yeti cooler (Mr. Tuna).” 28 Monument Way, (207) 400-2881 ■