Restaurants & Bars 3

Reconsidering Cinque Terre (Portland)

mainemal | Dec 19, 201105:10 AM

SO and I took my son and his fiancee to Cinque Terre (their choice) for an engagement celebration. Haven't been in several years, and have noted some negative posts here, so was wondering what the situation was. Here's the short take: not a great wow factor, but some excellent tastes. For pas, I had an usual take on bruschetta: rabbit! Two hearty slices of tasty grilled break with some good-tasting pieces of meat, etc. Others had fried calamari (good, but could have been crispier), and classic prosciutto. Stand-out main course was a ravioli that included tasty lamb (again, an unusual take on a classic dish) and a gorgeous poured-over mushroom sauce: first rate. I had quail served with a nice melange of autumn roots, including small red turnip that really made the dish, serve on faro. Soon-to-be d-in-l had the whole roasted sea bass, perfectly prepared. Last secondi was lobster risotto, very tasty but slightly diminished by over-large pieces of sound-dried tomato that tended to overwhelm. Desserts were nothing to write home about. My overall impression is that this isn't very Italian any more: much more Italian-style / influence dishes in the contemporary "a piece of something on top of some interesting stuff" approach.
Bottom line: still very good, reasonably priced (no second more than $24) for Portland, decent service and well-priced wines, but not in the top rank any more.

Cinque Terre
36 Wharf Street, Portland, ME 04101

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