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!
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