SquareMeal Review of
Now with a Michelin star to its name, Portland still feels startlingly fresh for all the right reasons, and its stripped-back simplicity continues to dazzle both on and off the plate. Snacks of chicken-skin crisps loaded with liver parfait, pickled grapes and candied walnuts signal subtle innovation and flawless execution – an approach that continues with “notable standouts” such as Isle of Mull scallop with Jerusalem artichoke and chicken jus or glazed ox cheek with parsley root and brioche crumbs. Few dishes are straightforward, but there are classic touches too, as in a dessert of almond pithivier with lashings of raspberry jam and crème fraîche. A warm buzz imbues the minimalist, cream-toned room with its busy open kitchen, while service is slick but “really friendly” (despite the odd gripe about “complacency”). Tables can turn quickly, so those wishing to linger should opt for the newly minted tasting menu. A terse, ever-changing wine collection is supported by a fantastic ‘single bottle list’ that yields constant rarities and bargains: readers have singled out the cracking selection of Loire treasures. “Prices are high but justified”, notes a fan.