Hi friends. We’re back with another post from the north – Portland, Maine. Even though this is a monster of a post, we are barely scratching the surface of the food scene in Portland. This small city has one of the most restaurants per capita in the country. Once we got there, we understood why – we were literally surrounded by restaurants, bars, and more food. We had two very wonderful friends to show us around this very charming and seductive city.
We had very little sleep when we first arrived so we quickly made our way to Bard Coffee, a place recommended by more than one person. When we entered this little coffee shop, we found a quiet cafe buzzing with the sound of the espresso grinder and milk steamers. In this sun-filled space, we were more than happy to sit down and relax with a couple cups of caffeine.
We ordered the latte and mocha – both equally beautiful and delicious. Bard Coffee has an incredibly relaxing atmosphere; we spent a couple hours there talking about boys, food, and the places we were going to hit up next.
Chef/owner Joshua Smith opened Moody’s Delicatessen and Provisions on Waltham’s eclectic Moody Street in late 2013. Moody’s Deli was named best deli in Boston by Boston Magazine in 2014, and that’s no surprise. They make, cure, and sell aged meats in-house, and their sandwiches are always done right, with high end cheeses and perfectly chewy bread.
In early April of this year, Smith opened his restaurant space behind Moody’s Deli: The Backroom. The menu is meat-centric and makes use of all the great charcuterie from the deli (as well as some cheeses that they make in-house!), but also offers some vegetable dishes and flatbreads. They have an enormous copper wood-burning oven lined with clay that’s shipped straight from France, which fits in nicely with the French cuisine and great wine list.
We’re so excited to share this one with you guys. Alden & Harlow is one of our favorite restaurants in the area, and for good reason. Owned by Chef Michael Scelfo (previously the executive chef at Russell House Tavern), Alden & Harlow takes American food to a whole new level of delicious.
The restaurant opened in 2013 in the old Casablanca space in Harvard Square, Cambridge. The style is modern blended with vintage; a lot of wood, tile and leather tied together with funky wall signs. Beyond the doors, there is the bar – adorned with beautiful light fixtures and wooden structures. Once you walk past the bar there’s the main dining area, lined with soft booths and a generous view of the kitchen. (If you love watching cooks in action, reserve the high-top tables right alongside the shelves that line the kitchen for a great view. And if you ever get to eat at the chef’s table with the real front row seats, we’re very jealous).