The Washington Post

Sunday, Sep 21, 2008

Portland, Maine
BY Tom Sietsema | Washington Post Food Critic

"Portland, Maine, is a gourmet's port of call. In addition to the suggested restaurants below, be sure to find time for Rabelais (86 Middle St.; 207-774-1044), a small but serious bookstore that packs in everything from "The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook" to "The Drinks of Yesteryear," a rare Prohibition-era cocktail guide, for $3,000. Rachael Ray and Paula Deen are gratefully absent from the shelves; instead, the first-edition work of such giants as M.F.K. Fisher and the English translation of Auguste Escoffier's "Ma Cuisine" dominate. The husband-and-wife owners, Don Lindgren and Samantha Hoyt Lindgren, know what they're talking about. He's a rare-book curator, and she trained as a pastry chef. If you want to take a taste of Maine home with you, there's no hauter food shop around than Browne Trading Market (262 Commercial St; 207-775-7560), where the lures include smoked local seafood, select caviar and a wine collection rich in Burgundy. If the fresh cod, uni and peekytoe crab sold here are good enough for the chefs at Daniel, Le Bernardin and Per Se in New York, they're good enough for us. (And, yes, the purveyor will ship its wares to you.)"