Each month Joe Ricchio gives local insight into his favorite places to eat and drink. He recommends that you pace yourself as you Eat Maine.
In addition to selling all the equipment and ingredients you will need to brew outstanding beer in the comfort of your own garage, they’ve also got one of the best retail selections of microbrews and specialty beers in Portland. Good homebrew takes patience, so it’s important to have a sizeable stash of commercial beer on hand to make the wait significantly less frustrating.
542 Forest Ave. | 207.791.2739
11 | The Great Lost Bear
After shopping at Maine Brewing Supply next door, chances are that you will be far too tired to go home and begin the brewing process. So why not walk three steps away and enjoy one of Maine’s largest collections of beers on tap? The Bear also recently expanded their wine list, because nothing pairs up better with a heaping pile of chili nachos.
540 Forest Ave. | 207.772.0300
12 | The Grill Room + Bar
There are surprisingly few spots in the city where one can acquire a perfectly cooked slab of meat, drench it in béarnaise sauce, and wash it down with copious amounts of big-ass California cabernet. Thankfully, the Grill Room can satisfy basic human needs such as these, but you’ll need to tackle others, such as “friendship” and “intimacy,” on your own.
84 Exchange St. | 207.774.2333
13 | Paciarino Restaurant + Store
“Eat well and live long” is what Fabiana de Savino and Enrico Barbiero would like you to keep in mind as you tear through a bowl of freshly made ravioli al formaggio with bolognese sauce. Personally, I think this dish tastes far too good to be extending my life expectancy, so—just in case—you might as well tear through a bottle of barbera d’asti because, after all, it’s good for your heart!
470 Fore St. | 207.774.3500
14 | Fit To Eat/Catbird Creamery
Don’t let the name fool you, as I let it for too long: Fit to Eat is not exclusively a restaurant for people who enjoy “physical fitness.” I decided to celebrate this epiphany with a hot-pastrami sandwich slathered with wasabi mayonnaise and a bowl of creamy tomato Parmesan soup. Not yet satisfied with my workout, I decide to cool down with some house-made “Furious George” ice cream made with hot chilies, caramelized banana, and dark chocolate.
164 Middle St., Suite 5
15 | Leroux Kitchen
It’s comforting to know that if I were to decide to throw an impromptu dinner party at an abandoned camp on Sebago Lake, I could find every single piece of equipment I would need under one roof. This includes a large outdoor wok, a multitude of knives, and an ample selection of festive chocolates. After giving awful directions to the camp and being subsequently stood up by my dinner guests, I will huddle in the corner, wrap my arms around myself, and slowly consume all of the chocolates, one by precious little one.
161 Commercial St.
207.553.7665 | lerouxkitchen.com