Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tasting our way through the Rocky Coast of Maine - Part II

To celebrate our anniversary we took a plane to Portland Maine. We rented a Ford Escape and drove through the coastline of Maine. The Burch and Pine trees led us to the Acadia National Park to start our adventures or shall I say tasting our way through the rocky coast of Maine and back down to Portland! We met some wonderful local people and they made some recommendations where and what to eat to “wet our palates!”

Part II

The vibe at this prominent Maine bistro was simultaneously rustic and refined. The bistro encircled the exposed-brick walls and lustrous mahogany wood furniture.

Once we were seated, our server reviewed the menu and explained the three to five course meals. The larger course meals had smaller portions to sample more foods. Surprisingly for Maine, there was not a large amount of seafood on the menu, but the food was all locally grown – Farm to Table. We marveled over the choices and pondered the menu.  We were intrigued by the novel ingredients: Roasted squash soup with piccalilli, lemon and a marshmallow on top; truffle lobster “mac & cheese” with butter-poached Maine lobster with a cheese blend and shaved black truffle; bangs island mussels with cherry peppers and chive butter; artisanal cheese course with seasonal fruit compote, crostini and candied nuts; chilled cucumber soup with crème fraiche and lobster; roasted squab with broccoli, shallots and fole gras; etc… We opted to try the 5-course meal to sample the creative art forms from chef Corry who received many accolades such as "food and wine's" best new chef of 2007, and chef of the year (2011) from the Maine Restaurant Association.
First, the chef brought out one of his samples. It was delicious! Thank you hubby for saving one for me! The cravings began!

With great anticipation the food was evenly paced coming to the table:

Roasted Squash Soup
Mussels with cherry peppers and chive butter
Beet and goat cheese salad with a variety of pureed beets

Roasted crisp chicken with gnocchi and tomatoes
Artisanal cheese course
Chocolate and cherries

Steve and Michelle Corry, the proprietors of five fifty-five, arrived in Portland with a passionate vision and a wide-spread of experience in the restaurant industry.

Steve began his culinary career as a brew master at several breweries in Northern California. He attended the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington Vermont. When he graduated in 2001, he returned to California to work at Domaine Chandon in Napa Valley. Before he opened 555, he served as the sous chef at Grissini's Restaurant (part of white barn inn corporation).

Michelle is a graduate of Boston University with a bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant administration. She has worked at numerous prestigious establishments, including the French Laundry in Napa, Arrows in Ogunquit, and the White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine.

This scruptious meal alone was worth the trip to Portland ME!

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