Silver Beads at the Stakehouse

Cancun Silver Beads at
Timber Steakhouse & Rotisserie

Soon after Timber opened I remember walking down Exchange Street one evening and being stopped mid-stride by the warm glow of the interior and beautifully lit bar. I love good lighting. Ever since, it has been on our list of must visits. Restaurant week proved to be a great opportunity to get through the door and I’m glad we did.

They have a two-door entrance with a heated vestibule which is priceless on cold Maine nights so you don’t get that freezing draft during your meal from other diners coming and going. The interior of this restaurant is an experience in itself. The lighting is a soft orange and makes you feel like you’re in a cozy living room. The bar is long with plenty of seating, and behind the bar, the wall looks like a wood pile (sliced cross sections of tree trunks) that adds to that warm feel. Timber is on the fancy side for Portland, but comfortable enough so you can relax and have a good time.

Timber likes its bourbons and whiskeys. The waiter recommended the Smashed Whiskey as a favorite and so I had to try. It went down easy – mint, a bit of citrus and lightly sweetened. No-one would call Nicole a whiskey fan, and she thought it was ok. That’s a resounding compliment.

The restaurant week menu had two salads, two entrees and one desert. We both had the wedge salad, which was crisp and creamy. It was our first time having bacon lardons (still not sure what they are), but they tasted good and really made the salad special.

For the main course Nicole had sliced hanger steak with French fries. The fries were awesome and whether it was the 100% grass fed Maine beef, or the chef’s skill, she said it was the best hanger steak she’s ever had. The only downside – they give you a choice of butters and she didn’t care for the stilton chive butter.

I picked the rotisserie chicken which came with a side of green beans. My first bites were the beans and they were otherworldly bringing me to my happy place – a nice crunch with a mild bacon flavor. The flavor was hard to pick-up after eating some chicken so it was good that I started with them. Chicken was spot on as well and you get to pick two dipping sauces.

The finale kept the good times rolling – chocolate mousse, bourbon soaked strawberries, and a gingerbread cookie that had all the right chewiness with a lite sugar dusting. The cookie was so good Nicole now wants to bake some at home. I’m a fan of that.

The check came with Andes chocolate mint candies, which remind us of going out to dinner as kids – loved it! Service was excellent. Food terrific. Whiskey generous. We’ll be back.

 

This evening’s jewelry was the Cancun necklace and bracelet. Simple, elegant, classic with a nice weight – you know you’re wearing something. Generous size 10mm sterling silver beads. Length of necklace 18”. Great for dress or casual. Beads really popped against black.

Silver Bead Necklace - EX2981

Silver Bead Necklace – EX2981

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Snowflakes in the Air

Snowflake Jewelry at Vignola

After receiving over 7 feet of snow this winter, the addition of a few more inches wasn’t about to keep us from going out to dinner on a Saturday night. Expecting this storm, I had planned ahead and brought pieces from our New England Snowflake Jewelry Collection home for Nicole to wear.

I went out to warmup the car and already there was an inch of snow on the windshield. I blew on it. It was so light, the flakes scattered, sparkling under the outside house light.

Nicole came out and she had on a black wool coat. I took a few pictures of the snowflakes on her sleeve. With the snowflake bracelet off to the side I was able to capture a few well-formed flakes.

Vignola has great lighting. Wine bottle chandeliers and industrial filament bulbs give the restaurant a comfortable modern romantic feeling. There’s nothing like a warm incandescent bulb to create an inviting space and with the snow falling outside it felt even better.

To start, we had French onion soup. It was respectable, but the bar for French Onion Soup has been set very high for us. Last winter we spent 3 days in Quebec City. While there we had the best French Onion Soup of our lives at Café St. Malo – a small restaurant between the Old Port and Lower Town. It had a rich deep soul satisfying flavor that left us marked for life.

When we returned home I told my Dad about this soup. He said he too had the best onion soup of his life while in Quebec 35 years ago, though he doesn’t remember where. He hasn’t found an equal since. Nicole and I are now on a quest to find an onion soup here in Maine that can compare. We’re definitely open to suggestions!

For an entrée, I had the Zuppa di Pesce- a mix of seafood in a spicy tomato sauce. It wasn’t overly spicy. A decent choice for a cold evening. Nicole’s Beef Braciole was good. It had a nice flavor but the carrots were bit undercooked. Next time we’ll stop in for a drink and appetizers.

After dinner we took a quick walk down Wharf Street and I took my favorite picture of the evening – Nicole smiling, snow coming down, the glow of Fore Street in the background and the Maine Snowflake pin on her coat.

The evening’s jewelry was the New England Snowflake Collection. Large Maine snowflake necklace, dangle earrings, and pin as well as the 6 snowflake bracelet. Each snowflake on the bracelet represents a different New England state. The snowflakes on the bracelet were created from actual flakes.

Snowflakegroup_detail

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