Mike and I embarked on a long weekend to Maine just this past weekend. It wound up being the most perfect trip, made even more perfect by the fact that we got engaged! I am on my way to being Mrs. Nom Nom.
This is now the third trip I have blogged about on NYCNomNom, including Mike and my first trip together 2 years ago, and my family trip that took place 2 years ago but just made it to the blog recently.
I found an amazing JetBlue deal of $75 off our tickets (thanks to a post from DealsWeLike), which brought our round-trip tickets to less than $70 each. SCORE! It meant planning an extra trip in a time of year FILLED with trips (I just got back from LA, we will be going to Ithaca next week for a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah, and then we’re embarking on a huge trip for 2 weeks to Italy, Switzerland, and France next month). We flew into Portland, where we spent a day, before going to Midcoast Maine and then spent 2 days in the Boothbay Harbor area.
One thing I love about Portland, Maine is that you can land and be in town in less than 30 minutes. So even though we landed at 6:45, we had time to check-in, walk around town, and spend a half hour during free Fridays at the Portland Museum of Art, before our 8:30 reservation at Petite Jacqueline. I had read about Petite Jacqueline because it was a semifinalist for the James Beard award in 2012 for Best New Restaurant.
Inside it is a cute bistro style restaurant and there is some outdoor seating in a patio.
They also have a bar.
And a direct view into the kitchen.
We started with oysters. These were good, but I wouldn’t say they were outstanding.
But then we had the foie gras. This had candied hazelnuts and a chestnut puree. HELLO! It was probably the best foie I’ve had. Perfectly seared, fatty but without being greasy, and all the right flavors to go along with it.
Mike chose to go with the daily special (it was Friday): Choucroute Garnie. This was a french sauerkraut with a pork sausage and a crispy porky potatoey thing (perhaps a croquette?) Whatever it was, it was all very good. It came with mustard in many ways, but even I, a mustard hater, enjoyed the dish very much.
I got the Boeuf Bourguignon (which will always remind me of Julia Child). I’m a big fan of any slow cooked pot roast style meat, so this was right up my alley. The meat was cooked perfectly, the sauce was great, and the potatoes tasted so damn potatoey that I squealed.
Overall, I understand why this restaurant got a James Beard nod. Their food is very French without being the slightest bit pretentious. We really enjoyed our meal here.
Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10
It was a tough call to not have dessert at Petite Jacqueline, but we knew this was our only night in Portland, so we made a beeline back to our favorite ice cream parlor: Beals. We literally made it just as they were locking the door. Phew!
They have a large selection of flavors.
Mike went with Rum Raisin and Moose Trail.
I chose Moose Trail and something with chocolate covered pretzels and caramel.
We enjoyed it as much as the first time!
The next day we walked around Portland and then went to Shipyard Brewery for their video tour and tasting. They only do full brewery tours on Tuesdays, but every other day they have a video tour where they tell you about the history of the brewery as well as their part in bottling and distributing of many other local brews. They have all the beers they have manufactured on a wall beside the viewing room. The video was interesting and short (which was good, we’ve done a lot of brewery tours and they start to feel very similar after a while). The best part of this tour was the tasting. We got to taste about 10 beers and had our choice of a few to taste, so Mike and I would choose different ones and try each others. We probably sampled about 15 brews by the end. And let me tell you, they make some GOOD BEER. But we fell in love with the Applehead Ale, which tasted like apple pie. Trust me on this one. I just hope they start distributing it down here in NYC!
Gosh I love Portland.