A few weeks ago I wrote about slurping ramen and downing pork belly buns at Pai Men Miyake in Portland, Maine, but the review was a bit out of order. Chef Masa Miyake's original restaurant, Miyake, an upper-scale sushi bar, is what started all the buzz in the first place.
The original location that Miyake opened in Portland's west end in 2007 might have been considered a hole in the wall: It was small, kinda cramped, and (at the time) a ways off the beaten path of most of the city's gourmet eateries. Since then he's moved across town to a bigger, much swankier space that feels more like Manhattan or Boston than Portland. It's really nice, but to be honest, I miss the original location's low-key charm (not to mention it's BYOB status). But the good news is that the restaurant's main draw, the omakase deals, are as impressive—and as reasonably priced—as ever.
I haven't experienced very many omakase programs, but I've had enough to know this one's a steal. It's available as three, five, or seven courses, and it's generally agreed upon that the middle option for $50 is the best deal. Look ahead in the slideshow and you'll see what I mean.
I will say that I don't think the preparations are quite as sophisticated as places like O Ya, Uni, and AKA Bistro in Boston (my only points of comparison), but they're close. Besides, the fish is hyper-fresh and beautifully cut, the species—both locally harvested and imported—are interesting, and the portions are remarkably generous. You won't be sorry.
Note: I've also included images of a few other dishes from that day that were too pretty to leave out. Enjoy!
About the author: Liz Bomze lives in Brookline, MA, and works as the Associate Features Editor for Cook's Illustrated Magazine. In her free time, she freelances regularly for the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, the Improper Bostonian, and Martha's Vineyard Magazine; practices bread-baking and canning; takes photos; reads; and watches baseball. Top 5 foods: fresh noodles, gravlax, sour cherry pie, burrata, ma po tofu.