Excellent Meal @ Five Fifty-Five - Portland, ME
I visited Five Fifty-Five in Portland for the first time on Friday night. I cannot say enough good things about the experience.
We had the 5 course tasting menu: The first course was a beet soup with braised short rib. This is why I love tasting menus. I would never order this off the regular menu, but it was such a pleasant surprise. The beets and the short rib balanced each other out incredibly well. The second course was either a citrus salad with mascarpone or grilled octopus with a potato hash - we got one of each. The salad was a spectacular balance of salty & sweet. The grilled octopus was quite good, even though octopus isn't my personal favorite. The texture of the potatoes worked really well with the octopus which can get slimey at times. The third course was either their famed lobster macaroni and cheese or a skirt steak - we once again ordered both. The macaroni and cheese was as good as advertised. The steak was also quite good. It came with spaetzle, but the star of the plate was the A5 sauce it came with (I'm assuming this is their take on A1 sauce). The fourth course was a cheese course. The cheese was an incredibly salty goats milk cheese. It came with crackers, honey, and candied nuts. Once again, another beautiful balance of salty and sweet. The fifth course was dessert. We selected the chocolate torta and and apple turnover like torte that had mascarpone. Both were an excellent end to a really wonderful meal.
Service was exactly what I'm looking for in a fancy-ish restaurant. Attentive, but not obtrusive. Knowledgable, but not stuffy. The pacing of the meal was pretty good, which can be a real problem with a meal like this. We were never rushed between courses, but we never sat there waiting for too long.
555 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101