By Suzanne MacNeille
There’s more to this maritime city than great food: gracious parks, Victorian architecture and a thriving arts scene.
ASIAN LUNCH, MAINE STYLE
The seating is communal, the dishes are mismatched and the menu is irresistible at Honey Paw, from the team behind Eventide Oyster Co. and Hugo’s. Honey Paw’s East-meets-New England approach is evident in recent dishes, including smoked lamb khao soi, with house-made noodles, fermented mustard greens, lime and Burmese coconut curry, and lobsterwon tons with confit mushrooms (lunch, about $40).
By Kurt Soller
Did someone say summer Fridays? It’s three-day-weekend season, but a short trip is no time to tackle a giant like SF or NYC, where you won’t get your bearings before heading home. Instead, you want a smaller city, where you can hit every great restaurant without getting near a rental car or subway. (And it’s summer, so it’d be nice to see some coastline.) In 2016, that spot is Portland, Maine...
The Honey Paw
The owners of Eventide created this modern pan-Asian joint next door, where handmade noodles or New England ingredients make it into every dish, whether it’s congee or Korean fried chicken. Restore yourself with smoked lamb khao soi, loaded with crispy egg noodles buried in coconut curry with fermented mustard greens.
Black-and-white photos of Italian noodle-makers and vintage menus from Hong Kong dim sum parlors decorate the Honey Paw, billed as a “nondenominational” noodle joint and the latest relatably cool restaurant from one of Portland’s most winning chef-restaurateur teams, Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley. Along with their managing partner Arlin Smith, they had already colonized a stretch of Middle Street, near the Old Port, with the critical favorites Hugo’s and Eventide Oyster Co. When the Honey Paw opened next door in April 2015, it quickly delivered on the expectation of success...
Fore Street and The Honey Paw, both in Portland, are among the restaurants named, and five chefs from four restaurants are in the running for Best Chef: Northeast.
Nine Maine restaurants, chefs and brewmasters are among this year’s semifinalists for James Beard Awards, considered the most prestigious in the American food world.
Maine’s 2016 semifinalists cover seven categories – there are 21 restaurant and chef categories in all – including Best New Restaurant and Outstanding Restaurant. The group was selected from more than 20,000 online entries.
The Honey Paw in Portland is a semifinalist in the Best New Restaurant category, which is given to a restaurant opened in 2015 that “already displays excellence … and is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.”
Grab a quick bite at the Honey Paw, a newly opened downtown spot focused on noodles from around the globe. The menu crosses cultures with ease: Think internationally influenced bowls like ramen with boat-noodle broth, pork, and veal ($16); pork-sausage ravioli with country-ham brodo, asparagus, pickled ramp, and pea tendrils ($14); and dolsot bibimbap—grilled scallops with bonito, mushroom, egg, and kimchi ($29).
A chef once told me that restaurants are a lot like relatives. There are those you visit frequently and always enjoy, a few you see only on special occasions, and several you tolerate. If you’re lucky, though, there are one or two you want to know better. Sure, they have a few quirks, but they’re bright, creative, known for their good taste, and filled with such energy that you look forward to your next encounter.
The Honey Paw is that last kind of restaurant. The latest venture from Andrew Taylor, Mike Wiley and Arlin Smith, who also own Hugo’s and Eventide Oyster Co. ...