Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ribollita- 41 Middle St., Portland Maine

For all of our special occasions, Mr. X and I eat at our very favorite restaurant, Ribollita (http://www.ribollitamaine.com/), located in the Old Port of Portland, Maine.

This small, intimate Italian restaurant is well known to locals, and those who have been lucky enough to discover it always go back. The dishes are all prepared using fresh, local ingredients, and diners can even view fresh, sumptuous, tomatoes perched on the kitchen window, just waiting to be cooked in an upcoming dish. The pasta is handmade, which is clear in he first bite of any dish that features pasta.

We were lucky enough to get a reservation for Valentine's Day, and enjoyed our meal with a house full of couples and friends dining together. Not one table stood empty in the two and a half hours that we spent enjoying our meal.

We arrived early for our reservation to be able to ensure we found parking (a daunting task in the Old Port) and took a seat by the door, where our server offered to bring us drinks off of their fantastic wine list. We chose the Jeio Prosecco, chilled to perfection, and sipped comfortably while we waited for our table. We also took the opportunity to order their most popular appetizer, the caramelized onion tart. It's important to note that if you want to sample this delicious treat, that it takes the kitchen 20 minutes to prepare it, as it's done to order. If you order it as soon as you arrive, you will not regret it.

Whenever we dine at Ribollita, the specials are always extraordinary, and at least one of us will order one. One this night we shared the special appetizer of oysters in lemon cello, and I had the special entree of scallops in Prosecco cream sauce over handmade Fettuccini. The rest of our meal consisted of a Caprese salad and a Tortellini En Brodo (tortellini in chicken broth) which we split, Veal Osso Bucco with Polenta entree for the Mr., and a dessert of their magnificent Tiramisu and a flourless chocolate torte with raspberry sauce, accompanied by espresso. We shared everything between us and enjoyed every bite.

The pacing of the meal was wonderful, and we passed over two hours without realizing it or feeling hurried by our waitress, who was wonderful. The feel was warm and intimate, and a great place to spend the evening. There wasn't a child in sight, and we spent a lovely adult evening in great company enjoying spectacular food.

So please, if you haven't discovered Ribollita yet, go there and plan to spend your evening sampling some of the most delicious food in Portland, Maine.

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