Dine Out Maine Review

Dine Out Maine Review

Three months ago, if you had asked me to predict at which restaurant I would eat jaw-achingly sweet blackberries – plump as a toddler’s thumb and picked that morning by our server as she walked through a South Portland park – I would never have guessed Solo Italiano. Vinland, sure. Maybe even Fore Street or Local Sprouts Café, but not a glass-and-exposed-brick Commercial Street venture, right in the swirling center of Portland’s tourist vortex.

If you’ve been to the Old Port recently, you might recognize the location as the high-profile corner spot occupied until March by owner Angelo Ciocca’s previous restaurant, Ebb & Flow, which was open for just over a year and didn’t develop a clear identity. Now, with a restyled interior that tempers all the metal and glass with purples and deep blues, it feels like a space that has come to celebrate its proximity to the water.

Golden Dish Review

Golden Dish Review

After two visits—once with a group of friends and a dinner at the bar a few nights later—what impressed me most was the elegance and simplicity of Laboa’s cooking.  The food was not a slam dunk of garlic, oregano, red sauce and melted cheese but rather a total lightness of being in every exciting dish.