Place: Cinque Terre
Time: 6pm, Sunday December 9th
With: The Hub, his co-workers
Where: Portland, Maine
The place where I work is fabulous and wonderful and I do seriously like my job and most of my co-workers. All of that said, they don’t really splurge on the “Holiday” festivities. Our party is being held at Thatchers, and we can’t bring our spouses, and we have a ten dollar limit. That’s class, Jan.
Hub’s work Christmas Party was held on Sunday night, at Cinque Terre, a little Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Portland. There were 12 of us (spouses included), and although I wont reveal the exact cost, let’s just say that it was considerably more than ten dollars per head. CONSIDERABLY. MORE.
Cinque Terre is on Warf St. in Portland, a little cobblestone street downtown with specialty shops and eateries and pubs and happy couples walking arm in arm down moonlit paths on frosty winter nights. The restaurant is a nice size for Portland – it seats about 50, I would say. It is tastefully decorated in a skylight and contemporary nautical-ish theme.
Our waiter (Matt) was very professional and dapper, and was quite a cutie, too. He took our orders and delivered each without a single mishap. When someone got up from the table to go to the little boys/girls room, he unobtrusively snuck to their seat and replaced their silverwear and refolded their napkin. Swanky. And he didn’t laugh too much when a female co-worker of Hubby’s asked him to go home with her. (I’m pretty sure he would have had more fun at Hub’s and my place, if you get my drift).
Hubster and I ordered the Tasting Menu for $55. It was well worth it. At first I was worried about ordering something so pricey, but when I thought about how many drinks the other people were throwing back, I got over it.
The Tasting started with handmade gnocchi in a cheese fonduta (sauce). I worried a little, as gnocchi are notoriously hard to get just right, but these were perfectly cooked and very tasty.
The next course were pan seared scallops on roasted red pepper agrodolce (sauce). The scallops were tender but not raw – perfectly cooked. The agrodolce was flavorful and a perfect compliment. They came with 3 spicy tempura-battered cauliflower florets. They were a little hot for my taste.
We next had pork tenderloin with a cranberry glaze. The Hub said that his was a little dry, but at that time Hubby was three sheets to the wind, so he might have been gnawing on the tablecloth for all he knew. Mine was just right.
We had a cheese platter next – it was fine, but we had ordered a cheese platter for the table when we all first got to the restaurant, so it was repetitive. We gave ours to the others. On a good note, the spiced walnuts were magical.
Lastly, there was a dessert tasting of three items: a teensy chocolate ganache cake, a wondrous apple crusty cinnamon thingy, and some rosemary-vanilla ice cream. I have to admit that the rosemary ice cream was a little strange, but it was a nice complement to the apple thingy, which danced upon my tongue. So good.
Rating: 10 out of 10. Cinque Terre is a large gem in the tennis bracelet that is Portland.
Also, Jem is truly outrageous. Jem is excitement. Jem is adventure. OooOooOoo, Jem.