Sunday, July 10, 2016

Central Provisions: Dinner in Portland, Maine

Portland is known for it's great food scene, especially seafood, so we had no trouble finding good spots to nosh during our stay!

We wandered Old Port, which is the quaint, brick-filled downtown area in Portland. Expect longer wait times during peak hours at the top foodie spots, but here's an insider tip: Central Provisions has a first-come, first-served bar section downstairs with full menu access! They're a modern American tapas venue with a seafood focus and impeccable presentation.

central provisions review portland maine

We started with the bluefin chu-toro crudo from Maine, which amazingly came with pickled turmeric, kumquat, tamari sauce and Maine sea salt. The tuna of course was as fresh as could be, and practically melted in your mouth. I'm a big fan of pickled ingredients so I fully enjoyed the dish. Plus, how amazing is this stone slab presentation? I love fun touches like that! I classify this as a must-try dish.

central provisions review portland maine

The next dish out were these adorable boquerones - a word we knew to mean anchovies from Barcelona's tapas menu. These brought a bright, citrus-y flavor, along with olive oil, piment d'espelette, and chives. If you're an anchovy fan, you can't miss this one.

central provisions review portland maine

Here we have the special of the night - the bartender had me at "Korean prime rib." This was so full of flavor and was ginormous!

central provisions review portland maine

Loved this arugula salad with tart strawberries, crunchy chorizo, hazelnut, and lemon.

central provisions review portland maine

Seen above are the CP Frites, with a touch of Korean chili spice (not at all overwhelming), ketchup and garlic aioli.

central provisions review portland maine

This was a truly innovative take on the Gulf of Maine halibut - with buttered radish, potatoes, cabbage, and yellow curry! I'm such a seafood fan but have never paired halibut with curry before. The flavor in the mild curry really complimented the fresh fish well, and how can you not love the presentation with that touch of flower on top?

central provisions review portland maine

Above is the suckling pig, which came with apple, brown butter, and marcona almonds. The top layer was a crispy pig skin. 

I always love tapas restaurants because instead of committing to one dish, you can try a medley of flavors, textures, even genres of food, and Central Provisions offers quite an innovative menu and pleasing presentation for each dish. You can tell they're having fun with it, which just adds to the dining experience in a positive way.

central provisions review portland maine
Dress: Target (Similar here)

After dinner we met a beautiful blue macaw from Brazil named Bell! Bell is clearly meant for bird modeling.

central provisions review portland maine
Shoes: Steve Madden
Breaking in my new favorite Steve Madden lace ups while adventuring through Portland! I'm so excited about these that I actually bought the strap version in black as well. They're the perfect combo of stylish, versatile, and comfortable - since the heel isn't too high and I'm not a fan of sky-high heels. Highly recommend these, even after walking a new city for two days in them!

Be sure to check out our adventure at the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse!

Comment Challenge: Have you ever been to a tapas restaurant? What's your favorite small plate?

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Central Provisions Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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