Rabelais tags along with a food critic and dines at Portland's Vinland

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014

"When my guest, Don Lindgren, arrives, there’s a reverent nod among the staff as we’re led to our table (crafted from salvaged Maine hardwood by Marc McCabe). Don, with his wife, Samantha, is the owner of Rabelais in Biddeford, recently dubbed “the best cookbook shop in America” by Bon Appétit, and whose networking with national editors has helped garner Portland’s über-foodie accolades.

Don has Scandinavian roots and admits to reading the recent literary sensation “My Struggle,” by the rugged and bushy-eyebrowed Karl Ove Knausgård, to whom Don bears something of a resemblance. Don is also the kind of guy who has taken food history seminars at Harvard, and is an encyclopedia of information about old cookbooks and all things food.

“I like to find out what’s in a chef’s mind and see if they’re any good at getting it on the plate,” Don tells me, as we inspect the menu."