Stephen Dreams of Sushi

Rain Drops & Miyake

The first time we went to Miyake was when it was a bring-your-own-beer neighborhood restaurant that sat about 15 people shoulder to shoulder. To say it was small would be generous, and it was always full. It was not your typical California roll, tuna with cream cheese sushi experience. The quality, presentation and creativity were above all other sushi restaurants we’d tried.

We recently visited the new, larger Miyake on Fore St. The interior has a calming presence – dark wood, backlit white fabric wall, and a cool maze-like cut-out dropped ceiling.

Nicole wore our new rain chain necklace and bracelet. The hundreds of small dangling silver drops give these pieces a suppleness which is unusual and playful.

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I decided to go for the full Miyake experience, the “Chef’s Choice”, which is like showing up at someone’s house for dinner and having whatever is being served that night.

Nicole went from the menu and selected 4 dishes.

As a surprise starter we were both served a cabbage Maine seaweed salad. Nicole put it best, “often you have a seaweed salad and come away saying it was good for a seaweed salad. This seaweed salad was delicious.” It was pickled with a mild flavor.

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Nicole’s first dish was tuna three ways which made her feel like a tv food show judge. One of the preparations was Zuke, which was marinated in a soy sauce and turned out to be her favorite of the night.

I received an assortment of sashimi (raw fish). The fish was fresh, the presentation dramatic with the colors popping against the black plate. I had raw lobster for the first time and it tasted remarkably like cooked lobster.

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Next out for the chefs choice was Sea Urchin – not something I would typically order, but definitely fun to try. It reminded me of an oyster, but not as strong a sea flavor.

Nicole’s crab cake came with a little salad that included radishes and goat cheese. The salad was a nice a surprise that she hadn’t noticed as part of the dish when she ordered.

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To the left, the empty bowl of Chawanmushi, a hot egg custard served in a teacup. It had the consistency of flan but was savory. At the bottom was a gingko nut – very tasty. To the right were small clams served in a tea kettle with a wonderful earthy broth. After finishing the clams we drank the broth with the tea cup provided.

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The first thing Nicole noticed about her swordfish was that they used the same sauce that sushi restaurants would typically use on eel. The sauce made the dish really good, it was very flaky and tender.

I was a little too excited for my next course, skate cheek and forgot to take a picture. The skate cheek was shaped like a scallop, but flaky like fish.

IMG_1007The finale for both of us were pieces of nigri (raw fish with rice). Often when having sushi I like to add more wasabi, ginger, and dip into soy sauce. During this meal I skipped the wasabi and ginger and used the soy sauce sparingly to really get the full flavor of the fish. All pieces were fresh and delicious.

pic4We haven’t been to many sushi restaurants outside of Maine, so we don’t have a lot to compare to, but Miyake is the best we’ve had. Maybe someday we’ll get to try sushi in New York City or visit Jiro in Japan.

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x3161_zoomRain Chain Necklace & Bracelet

Road Trip South

Wind & Waves Jewelry at MC Perkins Cove

Nicole and I were picking up a new dining table in Kennebunk on a recent Sunday from Americana Workshop, the first piece of furniture we’ve purchased together. We had the time, so we thought we’d go a few more miles south to Ogunquit and have brunch at MC Perkins.

Ogunquit is a nice town to visit, as long as it’s not July or August when traffic crawls and parking becomes scarce. A couple times a year we like walking the shore path that travels along the rocky coast from the center of town to Perkins cove.

On this cold and windy march afternoon parking was easy as was getting a table. Nestled in a little cove with views north toward Kennebunk, MC Perkins may have one of the best locations for a restaurant in the State.

Just inside the door you find a long polished wood bar that leads to the dining area where they take full advantage of their site with large picture windows. All the tables in the place have a full view of the cove.

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The interior is very nice. Nicole thought it felt manly with the browns and the beiges, and while it’s a little fancy, it’s actually very comfortable. Even though the downstairs was fairly open they seated us upstairs. We had the second floor all to ourselves, and with our own private waiter for most of the meal. I thought he sounded and looked a bit like a younger Christoph Waltz of Big Eyes, Django Unchained, and Water for Elephants. Before leaving we learned he was from Russia, but had spent many summers in Maine. I guess I’m not the best at deciphering accents (Russian vs Austrian).

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Neither of us are Bloody Mary enthusiasts, but for those who are, they had five or six versions on a special brunch cocktail menu.

We both chose savory dishes and decided to share a desert appetizer of blueberry doughnuts with a side glaze. The first bite was a welcomed surprise, it’s not often you get to have warm freshly made doughnuts and if they routinely came this way we both said we’d be in trouble.

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By itself the doughnut was very good, not too sweet with a homemade flavor. When the lemon thyme glaze was added, it was great. We started by pouring the glaze over the doughnuts, but quickly moved to dipping them instead.

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Nicole picked the BLT. It was a large sandwich with avocado and an herb mayo. The bacon was done just right, and the avocado was a nice addition.

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Her sandwich also came with homemade chips. They were a good basic chip. I thought they looked beautiful and took a picture of the light coming through one. They were golden orange and looked like an infrared image of the sun.

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I went with the fried egg with ham. The ham came cubed and was delicious. Spread on the sides of the plate tasted like an adobo sauce that worked really well the rest of the dish. They made something really simple delicious. Nicole said they were the best eggs she’s ever had! Next time she said she’s ordering the eggs.

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While Nicole wasn’t the biggest fan of the seared toast it was a highlight for me. It tasted like it was made over a campfire – a hint of smoky deliciousness.

The experience at MC Perkins was terrific – nice views and excellent food. Sometimes the two don’t go together, but they pull it off nicely.

Leaving the restaurant was like leaving an oasis of calm. A flag outside the restaurant was stiff in the wind and it was biting cold. Nicole went right to the car. I spent a few minutes and took pictures of the boats in the narrow channel beside the cove. Great light on the water!

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Nicole was wearing a new collection, the Wind and Waves necklace, bracelet and earrings – very apt for the day’s weather.

At an international jewelry show this February we discovered the bracelet first. We loved it. The artist suggested the necklace and earrings to match. We were hesitant until she put the necklace on. The transformation was stunning.

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Visit our Wind & Waves Jewelery Collection Online