From a New Years post about resolutions: See the world. It’s time to go exploring. It’s a great feeling to realize you’re accomplishing little goals set months ago. Last weekend I escaped the humidity and wacky DC weather and went to Portland, Maine with Jenna and Tammy.
It’s a quick flight up from DC, but you’ll feel far and away. Our weekend was centered around food – no surprise there, it’s how I met these good friends. But there’s something great about traveling with people who all feel the same way about something. A second coffee shop to compare beans and baked goods? Absolutely. A third lobster roll? Duh. Naps before dinner? Of course.
Places to go, things to eat in Portland, Maine
Eventide Oyster Co.– the four photos above are from this seriously special spot. We loved it somuch, we went back twice. Order: brown butter lobster rolls, fried chicken rolls with homemade buttermilk ranch, crispy pork, tuna tartare, fried oyster rolls with tartar sauce, giant homemade ice cream sandwiches.
Oxbow – local Portland brewery. I loved the Grizacca
Speckled Axe – cute coffee shop with the nicest people, wood roasted coffee, and killer cake doughnuts. I didn’t make it to Tandem Coffee, but would have liked to also.
Hugo’s – same (brilliant) owners as Eventide. Tasting menu. Pricey but fantastic, especially if you’re a seafood lover.
Piccolo – a charming little Italian restaurant. The cavatelli pasta with lamb neck ragu, eggplant, orange, and Pecorino was stellar – I want to put orange in all of my pastas now.
Eastern Promenade – loved our long walk along the water here, even on a cloudy morning. We didn’t go, but I heard great things about the Front Room restaurant nearby for brunch.
Standard Baking Co. – fresh bread and baked goods from one of the best. Their cookbooks are fantastic too.
Portland Hunt & Alpine Club – great cocktail bar, cute dudes, awesome decor.
K. Colette – obsessed with this home decor shop downtown. It’s a must-visit for colorful bedding, beautiful gifts, and fun kitchen accessories.
Becky’s Diner – reminds me of NJ diners and summer vacations (Downeyflake on Nantucket) all at once. Perfect on a rainy day. Homemade hash and pancakes were seriously excellent. I wish we all had a Becky’s nearby.
Ok, and just one more lobster roll at Eventide, please.
A few favorite tastes of early summer:
homemade peach cobbler and vanilla bean ice cream
strawberries fresh from the farmer’s market
thinly sliced prosciutto – served with basil, melon, or burrata
these bright onions that remind me of the sea
veggie tacos in the park
summer smoke: whiskey cocktails + fire pits
Trying to savor every bit of it. Need more moments like these. S’mores and peaches and beer outside…these things just taste better.
Some of my favorite moments with Sunday. Nothing drastically new here, although things do feel a little different since last summer. I like the repetition and routine still. Getting to the farmer’s market early and experimenting with produce; wandering Dupont feels pretty much the same; trying new coffee beans and trying to remember what I like and why; reading…sometimes fiction [The Interestings], sometimes for work [Creating Magic], sometimes stacks of food magazines; repeating playlists with favorite songs from Urban Cone, Smallpools, CHVRCHES, Tanlines, James Bay, Of Monsters and Men; then ending with cooking some pasta for dinner. Mostly I eat alone while making to-do lists for the week ahead. Every so often I let someone in on this, which probably means much more to me than to them. My roof is a lovely alternative setting than my couch if weather permits. Soaking up the final moments of calm, collecting creativity for later in the week.
This was one of my most favorite pasta recently: leafy farmer’s market spinach, creamy goat cheese, crunchy pistachios, bright lemony flavor.
Sunday Pasta: Rigatoni with Spinach, Goat Cheese, Pistachios
Satuée spinach with garlic in olive oil til wilted. Add cooked pasta and a little reserved pasta water. Stir in goat cheese til pasta is coated evenly. Squeeze in a little lemon juice if you’d like. Top with crushed pistachios and cracked pepper.
Eat this outside. With Urban Cone “Weekends” playing. Read the Vacationers. Snapchat a pasta pic your crush to make them jealous. A glass of rosé is necessary too. Enjoy dinner, this time…it’s all yours.
This is what a good weekend looks like. Pasta and wine out with friends at Cashion’s. Lazy mornings in bed. Fresh fragrant roses. Reading a great quick book with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. Eating more pasta while watching a movie. This time: capellini with hot pepper oil, egg, parmesan, crushed pistachio.
This is my idea of a perfect weekend. Something that doesn’t happen enough. But I love how it transports me. To a quiet place of reflection. To Paris – books and movies that allow me to be there. To the kitchen where I can experiment with simple ingredients to make something new. These are my favorite places for my mind to go. Wandering, dreaming, creating. And I so appreciate these small weekend moments to get there.
Capellini with Hot Pepper Oil, Egg, Parmesan, Crushed Pistachio
Cook olive oil in a hot pan with red pepper flakes and minced garlic. Toss with hot cooked pasta, an egg yolk, and pepper. Top with grated fresh parm and crushed pistachios. Eat in heapfulls.