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New England Distilling (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] New England Distilling Co. is located in one of the warehouse-like buildings off Riverside Street that have attracted lots of microbreweries, is a 21st-century update of a 19th-century family business and the only micro distillery in Portland. This distillery is by Ned Wight and he, who used to work at Allagash Brewing Co., got really serious about starting this distillery in the early 2000s. Wight’s great-great-great-grandfather, John Jacob Wight, started making Sherwood Rye Whiskey at his distillery north of Baltimore sometime during the 1850s. (more…)

Brunch at Sonny’s (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Sonny’s is a funky, historical but cool restaurant that has a large bar with two overstuffed couches near the entrance and provides a steady buzz that fills the high-ceilinged rooms overlooking Exchange Street. The ornate, tiled floors and the enormous safe in the back of the restaurant recalls the building’s 19th-century origins as the Portland Savings Bank and the stained-glass windows left over from its incarnation as F. Parker Reidy’s. When you read the brunch menu of Sonny’s, the menu is varied but mainly sticks with the idea of American comfort food with a Latin influence. We started off..

Brunch at Local 188 (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Local 188 is a mainstay in Portland since 1999, originally located across the street from its current location, this laid-back eatery is one of the original farm-to-table trendsetters in the area with owner Jay Villani at the helm creating an innovative menu that draws on Spain and the Mediterranean. Local 188 has a relaxed, bohemian vibe with mismatched lounge furniture, including big, comfy couches and retro chairs. It’s a spacious restaurant that can accommodate a variety of needs – dinner, drinks, appetizers, late-night munching – and a mix of patrons. (more…)

Union Restaurant (Portland, ME)

[Translate] Union Restaurant is located within the Press Hotel, just across the street from Portland’s City Hall. It’s a beautiful and inviting, contemporary American farm-to-table restaurant led by Maine native Chef Josh Berry. The menu is thoughtfully designed and divided into broad categories of small plates, large plates, sides and on the bottom of the menu, must haves. We were informed by our waitress that all of the dishes err on the generously portioned. (more…)

Lunch at Eastern Standard (Boston, MA)

[Translate] What I’ve heard about Eastern Standard is the good cocktails and it is close to Fenway Park. Though I’m not a baseball fan, it’s fun to see the diners and locals (some wearing the Red Sox’s jerseys) hanging out at the large bar before the opening day game taking in the excitement. This decade-old restaurant is a big, bustling brasserie that isn’t overdone or self-conscious. On one side is the dining room, with burgundy banquettes and white tablecloths crowded with thick, red-rimmed china platters filled with food. On the other is a large bar, a length of white marble..

Great Cocktails at the Backbar (Somerville, MA)

[Translate] When my friends and I tried meeting at Backbar, it is not particularly easy to find. First look for the nondescript red door in an alley located behind Journeyman restaurant. Once you find the door, walk to the end of the hallway and you’ve made it. This place is run by manager/co-owner Sam Treadway that serves up seriously made drinks but it’s not pretentious in regards to the atmosphere and the staff. The space is sort of looks like it’s decorated by a cool, young man in his late 20s/early 30s graduated from school and starting his career. Seen..


Fantastic Ice Cream at Honeycomb Creamery (Cambridge, MA)

[Translate] While I heading to Boston, I didn’t have a lot of hope for an ice cream weather since it was dreary when I left New York and by the time I’ve arrived there, it had this terrible mix of snow and sleet. As usual, Mother Nature has her mysterious ways and gave us a decent day and a half of sunny weather that it felt mild enough to have ice cream – and it seemed like the town felt the same way. We ended up at Honeycomb Creamery, a relatively new, artisan ice cream shop not too far from..

Japan Meets Spain at PAGU (Cambridge, MA)

[Translate] I have read good things about the new restaurant PAGU by chef/owner Tracy Chang (formerly of O Ya) in Cambridge’s Central Square. It’s a spacious restaurant with a variety of seating options, some of which change from a breakfast-and-lunch cafe-style configuration to a nighttime pintxos bar. There’s also a mezzanine section that overlooks the restaurant, a couple of main dining areas, and a counter surrounding the open kitchen. We opted for the a la carte menu instead of the tasting menu experience since we wanted to try a bunch of things that appealed to us. We started off with..