Page 66 - WCM 2021 Winter
P. 66

 Maria Yanni
 Above: Salt & Pepper’s Black Truffle Dusted Fries pair beautifully with a local craft beer—like the porter shown here.
Below: Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too excels at delivering uncommon- ly good flavors—like the tender scallop atop mushrooms and leeks shown here—in an atmosphere that feels familiar and comfortable.
perfectly crispy bacon, melty cheddar, and (wait for
it) ... lobster bisque. On the sandwich! It was creamy and well balanced, the lobster complementing, but not overpowering the rest of the sandwich. As a hereti-
cal Mainer who doesn’t like lobster, I was surprised
to find myself loving this dish. It doesn’t hurt that it was served with house-made potato chips, which will make you wish you could buy them by the bag.
We also tried their black truffle dusted fries, dipping them in an Asian-style sauce that is packed with flavor, including a spicy punch that jumps out on the back of the bite, and lingers for a bit. In a feat of gluttony, we also indulged in melt-in-your-mouth scallops served on a creamy bed of mushrooms and leeks, as well as a sa- vory crepe filled with sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and Gruyère cheese. I’m not a fan of savory crepes, but like the bisque, this offering won me over by being perfectly balanced and cooked to perfection.
Mary and Don collaborate on their menu, and are constantly thinking about how to improve the things they’ve made. “We’re students of the game,” Don said. Mary added that, “Part of the fun of this as our career is constantly improving things, from the recipes, to the restaurant.” Their attention to detail is what makes the difference. Take, for instance, their sauces — all of which are made in-house. The appetizer menu includes carrot fritters, which are an incredibly creamy and but- tery delight by themselves, with the recognizably sweet carrot flavor hitting you at the end of a bite, making you think, “Wait ... that’s a carrot?!” What makes these morsels even more magnificent is the sauces
that they are served with: an out-of-this world peanut sauce and a tangy green harissa, which features toasted cumin and coriander. Every sauce we tried was top- notch, showing a commendable attention to detail. “Food is my love language,” Mary told us. Clearly, she speaks that language with fluency and eloquence.
 Maria Yanni
 Can’t make up your mind about which brew to enjoy from Portage Tap House’s impressive selection? Try a flight!
 Maria Yanni

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