Portland Update–2013

Since we got off to a late start, we spend the first night in Portland. Hardly a hardship, since we enjoy the city and have always had good meals at the perpetually popular Fore Street. The treat of the evening, however, was a new discovery; Gingko Blue Jazz and Blues Club.

 

Thursday night in Portland

Since our last visit to Portland just happened to be on First Friday, we had no trouble fining things to do. This year, we arrived Thursday evening. Although we had to look harder to find our entertainment, We were well rewarded for our efforts.

Fore Street Restaurant

Dinner at our traditional Fore Street.  We shared two appetizers and one main course. As for the appetizers, the grilled squid very good and the grilled quail (for which I have a particular predilection, was quite good. Good, but not great. The poached lobster, however, was small relative to what we vet at other New England restaurants, and the preparation was not particularly interesting.  (Please forgive the lack of detail. We forgot to request a copy of the menu and it is not posted online.)

Next Year’s Portland Dining Options

Perhaps a different dinner spot next year. A couple of local foodies particularly recommended Micucci Grocery’s Sicilian pizza, preceded or followed by a serving of Nosh’s (bacon fat-fried French fries. Not our typical meal, but we’re always up for a good pizza. And bacon anything sounds good to us.

 

Thursday Evening Entertainment–Gingko Blue and its Neighbors

After dinner, we were ready for a drink. Finding a lounge was easy. Finding one with music somewhat more challenging, at least until our hotel told us where to look. Their primary recommendation was Gingko Blue a jazz and blues club with an engaging quartet playing good jazz and blues, with a few Sinatra tunes passed in.

Joyce got wine. I wanted scotch, but they didn’t have my brand. I asked for alternatives. The mixologist serving us begged off, claiming that he was a "bourbon person". He then sent his colleague, who absolutely is a scotch person. He provided detailed descriptions scotches similar to those for which I asked, ultimately narrowing the selection down to two, of which he offered tasted. While both were as he described them, I ended up fully enjoying a15-year Glenfiddich. Then person we met convinced me to try a specialty cocktail–a Catcher in the Rye (rye, home-made rye bread syrup, a combination of bitters, poured in a glass that had been sprayed with absinthe. Very nice drink. Even a better performance.

Were we done after dinner, drinks and music? Not quite. We were told that a stop at Gelato Fiasco was de rigueur after an evening out in Portland (I especially enjoyed the Resurgam, with burnt sugar and almond). And since I had to walk off the extra calories, we browsed Wharf Street, with its hopping bars–especially Oasis with its Caribbean band.

Portland Regency Hotel

We spend our one night in Portland at the Portland Regency, an historic repurposing of the city’s armory. From our experience, it has atmospheric common areas and comfortable, nicely sized rooms. And you can’t beat the location in the center of the city’s historic Port district, just blocks from some of the city’s best restaurants and hottest bars.

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