Portland

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It was a cold but beautiful weekend to be in one of the most beautiful places in New England, the Portland, Maine area. We’ve made several trips to Maine in the past and always look for reasons to visit. . . we even have a trip to Camden booked for April. I am counting the days until it’s warmer!

A few past Maine blog posts:

Freeport and Camden Maine

Hartstone Inn, Camden, Maine

Our friends recently moved to Maine, which gives us an important reason to visit. After our second annual Halfway to Dot Day 5k race (which was absolutely bloody freezing) we hit the road, stopping for lunch in Portsmouth and then heading on to beautiful Cape Elizabeth.

My first order of business was a New England-y photo shoot for Nautical Gin, a brand I have been working with this year. Our friends brought us to Kettle Cove, which was a stunning location and a place I would love to visit again when it is warmer than 10 degrees.

Kettle Cove Maine

After some snacks and relaxing, we headed to downtown Portland for drinks at the Top of the East in the Westin Portland Harborview.

Eastland Portland Maine The views and Christmas decorations were gorgeous, and the cocktails delicious. It was definitely the perfect place to kick off our night out in Portland.

Eastland 15th floor Portland

After our round of drinks, we headed to the main event, dinner at Sur Lie, where we had one of the best meals we’ve enjoyed in a long time and ordered half of the menu.

Cocktails Sur Lie Portland

First, more cocktails: Forest Moon of Endor {Four Roses bourbon, Applejack, Kina, pecan orgeat, lime, sassafras bitters}

This definitely had a nice, warming autumnal feel and taste; it was reminiscent of apple pie but not too sweet.

Fried Milk Braised Cauliflower

{Fried Milk Braised Cauliflower, honey soy glaze} – Sweet, with little kicks of spice, earthy, delicious, the way cauliflower should be

Smith's Log Smokehouse Sausage

{Smith’s Log Smokehouse Sausage, orange peel & honey pork sausage, house pickles, roasted garlic} I had heard great things about Smith’s meats, and they were confirmed when I had this sausage. Melty roasted garlic and paper thin slices of bread paired deliciously with it. ,

chicken croquettes

{Chicken Croquettes}

I was a huge fan of these when I was a kid, and this more gourmet version was even better.

 

IMG_0690

Pink bubbles go with everything. I am loving Franciacorta lately and Italian bubbly in general. This was the perfect choice for pairing with so many different dishes and for celebrating new beginnings.

the best scallops ever

{Seared Scallops, white sweet potato puree, pickled red onion, pineapple mojo, lime}

We agreed that these were some of the most perfect scallops we have ever had.

 

Captains' Cut Cod*

{Captains’ Cut Cod*, butternut squash purée, pecan, apple, maple syrup}

I normally wouldn’t think of cod and autumn flavors like these going together, but this dish was amazing. The fish was cooked to perfection, and everything just worked so beautifully.  This dish made me want to experiment with fish more at home.

 

 Panko Crusted Pork Cutlet*

{Panko Crusted Pork Cutlet*, L.P. Bisson & Sons pork loin, chicken gravy, Whatley Farm organic duck egg, house pickles}

We couldn’t decide between the two pork dishes so we ordered both. Again, cooked to perfection, and the meat was paired with seasonal, creative flavors.

 L.P. Bissons Smoked Pork Chop

{L.P. Bissons Smoked Pork Chop, carrot-cream cheese puree, walnut, torpedo onions, fennel, brown butter}

The contrast of flavors between the rich pork and carrot-cream cheese and the crunchy, tangy onions made this one of my favorite dishes of the night.

  apple cider donut {House Apple Cider Donut, apple cider donut, pecan maple syrup, pumpkin gelato}

Chocolate Pot de Creme

{Chocolate Pot de Creme, espresso gelato, orange laced madeleines}

Heavenly desserts could not be passed up, and we couldn’t get over how delicious both of these were. Every bite of this meal was so well-planned and thought out. The perfect ending to the night was a visit from the chef to see how things were. Between the service, the wine pairings, the ingredients, and the cozy, simple decor, Sur Lie quietly and understatedly outdid itself.

NespressoSunday brought a nice lie-in, Nespresso (which I hadn’t had in awhile. . . oh how I love it!), and a walk around Portland Head Light, which was decorated for Christmas and looking like a picture perfect New England scene. I love Maine.

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light

 Portland Head Light  

Before we reluctantly made our way back to Boston, we stopped for brunch at The Porthole, a hidden-away diner-type restaurant and bar that we try to visit every time we are in Portland. Their brunch is great, and in warmer months, the patio is the place to be for live music and local Portland beer.

I had to go for the Lobster Bennie when in Maine!

lobster benedict

the porthole portland maine

It was an excellent weekend, and while we were sad to see our friends move away, they couldn’t have picked a better place for us to visit! I look forward to discovering more of Portland and the surrounding areas in the future, especially when the weather is better!

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Tags: blogging, brunch, cocktails, dinner, Food, Maine, ME, New England, Portland, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger, wine

Looking Back

Hello from Portland, Maine! I am working here today before heading north for a little weekend getaway. Stay tuned to this spot for a full recap!

We headed up to Portland after work yesterday and visited two favorites, Central Provisions and The Porthole, and every step, bite, and smell reminded me of our last visit here when I started working with Nova Star, just about 11 months ago.

Nova Star was the first freelance client I had in my soon-to-be-new adventure at the time.  I had given my two weeks notice and had a fresh start ahead. It was a beautiful, misty Portland evening, and my heart was full of excitement and anticipation of taking the leap back to self-employment. Last night when we were walking the cobblestone streets, I felt that same excitement, remembering the journey this year has been, soaking up the sea air and the feeling absolutely giddy that summer is coming.

I guess I am writing this post as a reminder that possibility is around every corner. If there’s something big you’ve been wanting to accomplish, go for it. Whether you chip away at it bit-by-bit or take a huge leap, you never know until you try.

Have a great weekend!

Past trips to Maine:

Scenes from a Coastal New England Weekend

Eating in Portland, Maine

Central Provisions,, Portland

Central Provisions,, Portland

Portland, Maine

The Porthole, Portland    

 

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Tags: career, Maine, motivation, Portland, Travel

One of my goals this summer was to really embrace New England during its best season, and while the Solstice hasn’t even arrived yet, I am loving that we have done just that. We’ve already spent a beautiful weekend in Newport and had another weekend in Mystic, along with a Sunday wander to New Bedford.

This past weekend, we made the most of our trip to Maine to check out Nova Star. My original plan was to leave Portland to get home early to work, but it was so warm and sunny that we stayed out to play a little more.

We started the day with beautiful views from the ship and then went on to breakfast in the sun at The Porthole, which served us up some hearty fare to wake our foggy brains from a fun night before.

Portland, Maine

I was still hungry after breakfast, and I really wanted to try Eventide Oyster, so we made a quick stop there for briny Maine bivalves before we left Portland for Kennebunkport.

Eventide Oyster

I could have stayed at Eventide and eaten oysters all day. They were cold, cleanly shucked, and the perfect size.

oysters at Eventide

Next up, we found ourselves at the beautiful Colony Hotel for a walk on the grounds and across the street to the beach.

Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport

I could easily see us spending a leisurely summer day by the pool at the Colony Hotel, overlooking the ocean and waiting on the sunset. What a special space this is!

Colony Hotel Kennebunkport

Hunger struck again, and we went to downtown Kennebunkport to David’s KPT for lobster rolls. They serve their lobster roll with drawn butter AND mayo so we didn’t have to choose. I switched it up, dipping the lobster in butter at times and in the mayo at others. Pure heaven.

lobster roll, David's KPTThe rest of the afternoon was spent driving slowly down the coast, taking in the coastal farmland of Massachusetts and enjoying the sunshine and perfect blue skies.

horses

As the day headed toward sunset, we picked up a bottle of bubbles from Mumm Napa and went to Crane Beach, a favorite Massachusetts spot, for splashing in the very cold waves and watching as the sun dipped down below the trees. Crane BeachCrane Beach Crane Beach sunset

It was a pretty spectacular way to end the day of coastal New England sightseeing. There are so many cute towns and beautiful beaches along the way, I don’t think I could ever tire of spending a day like this.

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Tags: Crane Beach, Kennebunkport. travel. New England, Maine, Massachusetts, Portland

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