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Portland -The Corner Room and Grace?

  • j

Two new restaurants in one weekend!
Any comments?

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  1. I don't have 1sthand knowledge, but a friend ate at Grace last night and absolutely raved about the food, the space, the experience.

    1. Isn't Grace owned by the same people that own Foreside Tavern in Falmouth? I was totally underwhelmed with their food so I'm hoping they have better food at this restaurant.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hicow

        Grace is owned by the same couple who own Foreside Tavern, though the chef , menu, and concept are completely different.

      2. We went to Grace for our anniversary a few nights ago. The setting is spectacular, if a little distracting--we found ourselves wondering why all the empty floor space? How are they going to heat this place? If we were Christian, would we be offended? The food was impressive, if a little precious; I had the cod (advertised as Casco Bay cod, which I find hard to believe), which was small and came with one (oversalty) scallop and two mussels. My husband had Lamb Two Ways, which I think was almost as good as the lamb he had at Kevflavik airport which he still raves about.

        As for Corner Room, why you would go anywhere but Paciarino for pasta, I don't know.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sciencediet

          "...I had the cod (advertised as Casco Bay cod, which I find hard to believe)..."

          Why???

        2. Tried both the other night. Two apps at The Corner Room - the Sformata and Cotechino. Both were really delicious. The polenta in the cotechino was wonderfully creamy and mixed beautifully with the egg yolk (we cleaned the dish with tasty bread). The sausage was reminiscent of pate (I don't know why/what, I lack the knowledge) and very tasty. The sformata was not anything I'd had before and in fact I have had few savory souffles or flans in the past. I thought it was wonderful and really want to experiment with this dish at home.

          As for Grace, for me it all came down to the Lobster tacos on the bar menu. I LOVED them, they were so very yummy. All I kept thinking was I wish whoever came up with these tacos was cooking for El Rayo. No complaining about price or portion, they were that good. The lobster worked (I was surprised) but so would shrimp, fish or meat. Great! The baby octopus app was also really tasty and the venison meatballs alright. The texture was a bit dense and the sauce needed a bit of a punch but I appreciated the flavors at its base.

          I look forward to returning to both restaurants to try more of the menus. I'm very much in a appetizer/taste/small dish mode these days and these restaurants did not disappoint.

          2 Replies
          1. re: foodquest

            Could you give the addresses of the restaurants please? I thought I'd heard Grace is on Chesnut St - but not sure where. Haven't heard anything about Corner Room - is that in Old Port?

            1. re: maina

              Grace is 15 Chestbut St between Cumberland and Congress.

          2. Visited Grace tonight and was totally disappointed. Very limited menu, had to ask for bread which came cold, got the Lamb Two Ways, and the lamb chop was extra extra spicy which I do not like nor was told. The shoulder lamb which came on the same place was excellent, but came with Lima Beans. Pew--Pew....My friend got the salmon which he said was very good but the fried potato pancake came cold and sent back to warm up. Only one lamb chop came with the dish with the little amount of shoulder lamp and was priced at $29. I left hungry. I feel the prices are way too high for what you get, and hope the owners improve drastically before its too late. The ambiance and atmosphere is delightful and really beautiful. A lot of money was spent, but limited parking for like 6 cars, so you have to find parking on the street. The upstairs has dining one one side and a bar area on the other side, but no elevator.
            Don't think I will go back unless the menu improves, prices are lowered, and less spices on the food.

            1. Do we start the pool for the Grace closing now?

              Had a couple of paninis at the Corner Room for lunch which were fine. I'm not sure I like having the same menu for lunch and dinner (with a few dinner items added) $10 for a "tiny" pasta dish, as per or service person, or $15 for a pasta plate didn't seem to fit for lunch.

              Anybody been for dinner?

              1. We went to The Corner Room this weekend, and we're still licking our chops! Did the group of seafood antipasti, gnocchi Romana, Dopo pizza( anchovy flavored sauce, peccarino and egg). I am a fan of Harding Smith's cooking at the Front and Corner Rooms, what impressed me most at this place were the flavors! When you're still thinking about a meal a couple of days later........nice!

                2 Replies
                  1. re: Dual

                    They must have read your post because I went the other night, for the fourth visit by the way, and my pork chop was entirely under seasoned. More importantly however, the "pork porterhouse" for $26 was nothing more than a thick rib chop. I find that inexcusable. The beef brisket gougeres from the bar menu were dry. As or decor, it is beautiful but pretty mundane as it is the repetitive throughout. Yes, the restoration is stunning but from the ground floor it all looks the same no matter where you sit. And I'm not sure I want to watch the ventilation system collect dust and grease throughout its lifetime. The bar is a fantastic eye piece but expensive ($11 Ri brand rye whisky) and inconsistent drink preps ( the strawberry-pineapple infused tequila margarita was made differently each of the 3 times I ordered it) won't keep me coming back

                1. Tried Grace this week. Was not particularly impressed with the quality of food preparation given the high caliber competition in Portland. Lamb entree overdone and dried out. Rib eye steaks the same. Wine list OK. Appetizers of organic green salad and creton were very good. The cool factor does go to the interior design, however, I found lighting level to be sorely inadequate for menu reading. We sat on the upper level for service and I had a birds eye view of the open kitchen. I would argue that the functional lighting level at the pass station leaves the chefs wondering what their dishes actually look like. For an open kitchen design, I would have thought that crisp white uniforms for the staff would add to the viewing pleasure rather than the frumpy black attire. Won't be going back in a hurry.