Yet another short trip, long report...Portland
Have to do this quickly during Final Four games....Spent this past Friday night in Portland. After settling into the Pomegranate Inn (we're not B&B-types, but this place was blissfully chintz- and rule-free...funky and full of eclectic art and fantastical lighting fixtures), we had fun hoping for a Obama or Snoop-Dog sighting while figuring out where to eat. Enzo had two seats open at the bar...DONE! We had a couple of tumblers of spicy Italian red and the white bean and roasted tomato small pizza. We wanted slices, but that one was not offered as slices last night. Our first time getting a whole pizza at Enzo/Otto and unfortunately, it suffered from sogginess in the middle. Slices are definitely the way to go, I think. While walking off our pizza, we found ourselves standing in front of Fore St...What the hell, let's take a look. The bar was almost empty! We were told by a few people, including the wonderful bartender that they thought people were staying away from downtown because of Obama. We started off with a good Primitivo and a really delicious French syrah. 1/2 dozen oysters were fresh and expertly shucked. By then, we switched to a steely-dry Sauvignon Blanc that was fruity and from a small producer (2500 cases/year...I gotta call them tomorrow to get the name). We got ample samples of that before committing and the pinot rose from the same vineyard. We were quite full from the pizza, so just the grilled squid (great - cooked to perfection...took us back to a Grecian island) and sides of sun root mash, and parsnips. My god, those flavors totally complemented each other. And the complimentary bread is wonderful for sopping up juices. Breakfast at in the inn was prepared with love - asparagus and spinach frittata (I don't eat eggs...B seemed to like it), bruleed grapefruit, poached pears with granita, popovers and really good coffee. Walked all over the town but we were too full to have lunch in Portland. Sadly, no ramen at Pai Men or fish tacos at El Rayo this time 'round. Once we reached Kittery/Portsmouth, though, hunger pangs. We tried When Pigs Fly pizzeria for the first time (guess we were in a pizza mood this weekend). First of all, we drooled over the industrial, yet warm, pendant lights with the requisite hipster Edison bulbs. And the bar stools, tables, chairs - wow! The bar stools and chairs had wooden lumbar supports! And really neat hand-fabricated iron (?) frames. The bar had gears set into it...Tough to describe until one sees them for oneself. Can't we commission this stuff for our house?! Anyway, we started with rose wine (on tap) and an Oxbow farmhouse draft. Salmon steamed bun with grilled romaine and pickled veggies was great but sadly, only one to an order...for $7, a little pricey and we would order it again. The smoked mozzarella with cherry tomatoes was recommended by Tom and we loved it. The smokiness was not subtle, just like WPF bread....in-your-face delicious. Nice char on the underside (no need to ask for well done), no tip sag like we experienced at Enzo. This is my kind of pizza...crispy crust, but not cracker-thin and the heel has a nice chew to it. We were stuck between that and the broccollini...next time we'll try that one. Another beer...Stone Ruination IPA to top off the meal. Thanks as usual Southern Maine.