The 12 of our nuckular family went for our traditional week in Maine (hey, we're only 1/4 French and thus only get one week of vacation) and in addition to eating lobsters every day, revisited a few places already mentioned on this site in prior years.
But afterwards Colette and I headed to Portland to eat our traditional "lunch before flight" at The Fat Duck. Whoa, the wait was an hour - ridiculous- so we went to the Eventide, 20 people spilling out the door, Yikes, but hark, next door was a place we'd never seen, yclept the Honey Paw, advertising itself as featuring modern Asian cuisine. Wow, was it! Colette and I wanted two of the chalkboard specials but were told - "sorry, only at night."
Rats! Ok she then had the Vietnamese Masa Crepe with fried mussels, rhubarb, sambol, peanut and mople nuoc cham and I had the fried spare ribs with chili, lime, peanuts and herbs, wow x20, this is clever and good chow. Snobs and purists will declare this as "fusion" or silly multi-ingredient food, but I think it does qualify as Modern Asian Cuisine and I will be back.
We then headed off to the Art Museum, which has been reconfigured and redone and unlike the messes the Frick and Morgan have created, the Portland has managed to improve on the old and expand the new, while retaining its over-charm. In addition, they gave an impressive young man at the Membership Counter with a mustache straight out of Van Gogh's Postman. The two special exhibitions are both splendid: Hans Hoffman's works on paper which are both reflective of his paintings and more daring and the works of four "American" sculptors, Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman and Zorach, wait a minute you say, they were European. Ah ha, but they fled oppressive Europe during the Great War, not WWII, and they clearly influenced American art and sculpture enormously.
The one bummer was seeing really big people all over Portland. After a week in Boothbay, where everyone from 20 to 85 looks like they just walked out of a yoga class, which they probably did, to see such fat on the hogs was distressing. What right do I have to comment on them, me a liberal physician? Because I am paying for the diabetes, metabolic syndromes, heart diseases and other conditions that their lifestyles result in. Meanwhile, the rabid right, of which they surely are proud members, are concerned with bathrooms, gay marriage, adoptions and abortions, which cost us nothing. There is something very wrong with this picture.