Oscar's New American treats guests to a farm-to-table menu that changes weekly. Every dish is made in-house?from the bread to the ice cream?and crafted from local ingredients. This ever-changing lineup allows chefs to call upon a variety of spices, herbs, and cooking techniques that yield creative flavor combinations, including pepper-crusted scallops with bacon creamed corn and lemon-basil-brined center-cut pork chops dolloped with a pistachio-strawberry relish. And when the chefs scale down the food to fit onto shareable small plates, they still keep the same rigorous attention to flavors, from grilled shrimp tossed in romesco sauce to fried green tomatoes stuffed with whipped goat cheese, chipotle lime sauce, and brown sugar bacon.
Complete control over ingredients allows a chef to make more informed decisions in the kitchen. Chef Jeff Landry works toward complete oversight of his dishes, incorporating locally sourced vegetables and dairy products at The Farmer’s Table and butchering meats himself. The Mediterranean-tinged cuisine also incorporates local and imported cheeses as well as pastas rolled by hand in the restaurant. Roasted sweet potatoes fill the air with their earthiness and mingle with grass-fed beef brisket that is slow braised with brown sugar and local beer.
The sounds of jingling silverware drift from two outdoor patios, hinting at mealtime revelry or a knight whose fork has fallen down into his armor.
Chef Jason Burr at Grill 233 puts his own spin on American classics, which he showcases on an ever-changing menu. Burr braises all-natural, local beef short ribs in house sauce, crowns Blue Mango veggie burgers with tomato and onion, and tosses pan-seared Mediterranean mahi-mahi and saut?ed squash into a salad that Portland Press Herald says pulls "every ingredient into perfect focus." An extensive selection of wines, draft beers, and spirits stand ready to complement each dish, which guests can enjoy in a cozy dining room adorned with what the newspaper describes as "an eggplant-purple wall hung with attractive French liquor ad prints."
Kon Asian Bistro's chefs embrace the cuisines of Japan, China, and Thailand as they create a contemporary, pan-regional menu that includes fresh sushi and hearty, spice-laden entrees. As the hibachi chefs shuffle cuts of chicken, swordfish, or filet mignon across iron tabletop grills, searing diners' food and unwanted junk mail directly in front of them, the sushi chefs roll a combination of familiar and inventive maki behind their bar. The kitchen also forges its own menu of traditional pan-Asian fare, including General Tso's chicken and tropical mango shrimp with basil and thai sweet-chili sauce.
The Galvez family invites guests to taste the vibrant flavors of their homestyle dishes at La Familia, creating hearty dishes with Spanish, Cuban, and Puerto Rican influence. Paella with mussels, clams, and shrimp, a recent addition to the menu, takes a starring role, as do Puerto Rican-style beef empanadas, Cuban sandwiches, and coconut flan. Recognizing that a wealth of culinary riches can be overwhelming, the Galvez family also offers Noche de Locura on Friday and Saturday nights–a chance for families to order five dishes to share as a table.
Forest Falls Cafe prides itself on using fresh, local ingredients in its made-from-scratch dishes. Its bread is purchased nearby and makes up an array of sandwiches, filled with everything from Maine lobster to teriyaki chicken. Chefs tuck sliced apples into individual-sized pie crusts while homemade soups simmer and turkey roasts in the kitchen. The caf? also serves breakfast all day, including dishes such as eggs benedict smothered in hollandaise sauce, veggie scrambles wrapped in tortillas, and pancakes filled with local blueberries.