mail

Restaurant Reviews

Breakfast revelation

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Just when I put the kibosh on waiting in long lines to score a solid breakfast on weekend mornings, Ortega’s Bistro in Hillcrest came to the rescue.

Famous for its Puerto Nuevo cuisine, especially grilled spiny lobsters, I recently spotted through profuse bougainvillea a banner out front stating breakfast is served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It has actually been happening for years and I regrettably never noticed.

Read More

Meal discoveries inside a liquor store

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Other than ducking into Fiori’s Pizza & Deli for an occasional Lotto ticket and a fast slice of pizza, I never focused much on the menu board hanging over the food counter until recently.

To my surprise, the nearly 40-year-old liquor store conceals a grill and deep-fryer in a room behind the pizza ovens, which means items such as burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, Buffalo chicken wings, fried shrimp and veal-lamb gyros are sold here.

Read More

Wharf food on Adams Avenue

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Take away the nearby palm trees and toss in a view of Casco Bay, and Beerfish would resemble any number of seafood eateries dotting the banks of Portland, Maine.

Or maybe not once you experience the California spins on clam toast accented with salsa verde or a lobster roll dressed in brown butter sauce instead of mayo and assembled with thick, buttery slices of toasted bread rather than the usual hot dog roll.

Read More

Catapulted to France

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

There we were dining for the first time at Et Voila French Bistro just hours after friends touring Paris had taunted us on social media with magnificent pictures of the Eiffel Tower, as seen from their hotel balcony.

And earlier that day, my dining companion saw Disney’s adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast,” set within a fairytale French village and castle. We were in a Francophile state of mind.

Read More

A familiar address reinvented

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Prior to closing the cherished Tractor Room last year, restaurateur Johnny Rivera assured he would hold out for a buyer committed to “enhancing the neighborhood” before selling it.

He made good on his promise with Concept Two Seven Eight, which opened in early January with a concise menu of “new American” cuisine and a cocktail program that puts things like dragon fruit and pink guavas into your glass.

Read More

‘Little licks’

Posted: January 27th, 2017 | Feature, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Cafes in bustling Italian cities typically cater to five meal cycles: breakfast; lunch; a late-afternoon period for wine and light snacks; dinner; and dessert in the mid-evening hours, when more wine or an end-of-day cappuccino is in order. Locally grown Pappalecco, founded in 2007 by two brothers from Pisa, covers those bases.

Read More