I felt like I needed a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the Boston area. To that end, I found myself in Portland, Maine for Independence Day holiday. According to Wikipedia, Portland was named “America’s Foodiest Town” by Bon Appetit in 2009. So these are some of my highlights.
Having come to Maine, I was dying to sink my teeth into some Maine lobster. Despite that, I didn’t feel like I was ready to eat an entire 1.5 pound steamed lobster, so I compromised by going with Old Port Sea Grill’s lobster pasta.
The lobster pasta was penne cooked in a sauce of lobster cream, Maine lobster, tomatoes, and red peppers.
Despite the sauce being creamy, I was pleasantly surprised by how the light the dish was. Moreover, the sauce was such that the individual ingredients retained their identity; the grape tomatoes still tasted like grape tomatoes. The pasta was also cooked to exactly the right degree.
Needless to say, the star of the show was the Maine lobster. Ordinarily, I’m used to eating lobster with some toughness. That usually comes from the fact that I’m eating overcooked lobster that was once frozen. The advantage of being in Maine is that the lobster will be fresh and the local chefs will be seasoned experts on how to cook it. The lobster chunks in the pasta were perfectly tender.
Overall, the Old Port Sea Grill & Raw Bar is definitely an expensive place. Combined, the pasta, dessert, wine, tax, and tip came out to a little over $66 for me. At the table across, I could see example clients that looked like a couple consisting of a guy with rich parents and a girlfriend who is used to the good life provided by boyfriends with easy access to money.
Overall, I would saw Old Port Sea Grill & Raw Bar is worth experiencing if you’re visiting Portland. I would just skip the wine. The Meiomi Pinot Noir was $42 on their menu, but you can easily get it at a wine shop for half that.
The verdict: The lobster-est lobster pasta ever