Place: Katahdin Restaurant
Time: 6:30, Saturday February 16th
With: The Hubby, Sabrina, Sister Kristin
Where: 106 High Street, Portland, Maine – 774-1740
Sister Kristin decided last week that she was not going to spend all of her tax refund on bills and necessary things, but that she wanted to go to a nice restaurant for dinner with Chris2fer and Sabrina and the Hubs. I immediately called Caiola’s, but they were booked up. I then called Bresca, but they also were full. I then gave in and told Hubs to make a decision. Which he did, and which was awesome.
Katahdin is kind of the gate to the West end of Portland. Although parking is not allocated, we had no trouble getting a space on the street less than a block away. They do not take reservations, but the gods were smiling on us, and we just beat the crowd. We got right in and sat down.
The decor is shabby chic, which I am wary of. It is so often done inexpertly, usually ending up simply shabby. Not so Katahdin. It is chic to perfection. There are mismatched cloth napkins, and brightly painted walls, and lots of interesting art to catch your eye. And the ceiling is painted like the sky – an effect that I wish Hubster would let me do in every room in le maison. Watching over the door is a large metal mermaid. I wanted to slip her under my coat and take her home, but the food was so good I decided to not commit a misdemeanor. Well played, Katahdin. Well played.
First, we had drinks.. so many wonderful drinks, and in such abundance! When you order a drink, they give you the full sidecar – it is at least 2 or 3 full martini glasses of expertly mixed libation. I had a Manhattan, which blurred things nicely. After, I asked for something less drunky, and got a pomegranate fizz. It made my tongue tingle.
I ordered a cup of the Atlantic Fish Chowder to start. It was just right: hot, creamy, and chock full of fishy goodness. (It won’t dethrone David’s chowder in my mind, but the case could be made without getting laughed out of court.) Sabs got the crab cakes, which were great, while Hubs got the Savory Parsnip Tart. It was a very nice surprise, but I really like the taste of parsnips. Not for the faint of veggies. However, the clear winner was the Warm Cheddar Cheese Pot with Andouille Sausage and Crispy Potatoes that Sister Kristin ordered. It tasted mildly of sherry, and was irresistible. Seriously – we almost licked the little pot clean.
For an entree I ordered the Roast Pork Tenderloin with Anjou pear and Brandy Cream. It was cooked just the way I like it – a little pink and fork tender. The pear was a nice surprise mixed in with the mashed potatoes. Hubby ordered the Wood Grilled New York Sirloin. The thing I liked about it was that you could definitely taste the meat – sometimes restaurants go overboard with the toppings, when you just want some beef. It had a pleasant smoky taste as well.
Sister Kristin got two apps as her dinner – Baby Spinach with Bacon Vinaigrette and a Wood Grilled Pizzetta. The bacon vinaigrette was savory, as was the pizzetta – it had a balsamic sauce instead of tomatoes as the base of the pizza. Very tasty. Sabrina ordered the Roast Half Chicken with Olive Salad. It was incredibly moist and flavorful. Sabs loves olives, so the salad was a perfect compliment for her. If you don’t like olives, I would not recommend it. However, it came with crispy pommes frites, which we all devoured.
To sum up: Katahdin is one of the best restaurants in Portland. I have never been unhappy with what I have ordered. It is always cooked perfectly, and seasoned expertly. The wait staff is charming and they pay attention, but they don’t hover, which is a pet peeve of mine.
On a scale of 1-5 stars I would give this 5 stars. Wonderful, and worth the money.
PS – I have moved to Portland Food Map’s rating system: