Sunday, December 28

Luna Rossa

Luna Rossa is apparently a new Italian eatery planning to move into 188 Middle Street via anon. [Updated] More on the restaurant here.

Elsewhere in pastaland, the Front Room's Harding Smith has also been working on a pasta-themed restaurant, reportedly named the Corner Room, at the old Salt building at the corner of Federal and Exchange streets.

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52 Comments:

Anonymous Disgruntledexemployee said...

Harding won't be opening anything new if the health department has anything to do with it!!!

16:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

awesome......

00:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the grill room is one of the filthiest restaurants in town.

17:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how can a guy who knows nothing of food, more or less, italian food gonna open up a italian rest. in portland. this guy lives inside his own little snow globe he calls his brain.

22:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He redefines "Hack"

09:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to hear more descriptive details on the filth of the Grill Room...

09:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're all a bunch of jealous bitches. His restaurants are packed. Get over it.

12:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He leaves his tongs in the trash can. A woman watched him plate a steak with the tongs he hangs on his trashcan, and brought the steak up to him, said it was disgusting, and the health department came that next day, gave him the worst health score in Portland history.
His walk in cooler is a clusterfuck, meat on top of fish in top of vegetables. I've seen it firsthand, and it is disgusting.
I mean, come on. Hanging tongs on the rim of a trashcan?

13:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he doesnt give a shit....

13:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's there to be jealous about? I'm not trying to open, operate or manage a restaurant; I've got plenty of money and am happy with my life. I just want to know if I need to be tested for cholera after eating there.

16:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cholera plus other things.....bad things. You may need plastic underwear the next day

22:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jealous Bitches?
You know what other restaurants are packed? The Olive Garden and the Weathervane. I mean, the Olive Room and the Weather Room.

22:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Bugaboo Steak Room and the Pizza Hut Room.

22:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, in the PPH Harding says he is up by 15% in business. Then why is he laying off and firing employees by the truckload? And why is he closing early and experiencing a restaurant that is NOT packed every night??? I cooked there, and I saw the decline in business when people realized it was a rip off, and NOTHING was of decent quality. He actually, as a chef, tells his cooks that the customers don't matter, and that whatever they put out, even if it is bad is ok.

01:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He hasn't even signed a lease on the salt space. I work for the broker who is representing him. Nobody in the firm likes him, and the broker calls him a dick every day.

02:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eggspecting this restaurant to suck room.... Jared the Galleria of Jewelry Roo - ok now this is getting stupid. But I could go all day.......

05:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is way too funny....

10:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats to Harding Lee Smith of The Grill Room. Dinner was delicious!

14:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, i thought i was just sick from a virus or something the night i had to bust out of the front room and spill my guts on the sidewalk out front after eating the shepards pie. That was a first for me!

17:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how is the grill room?

23:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Grill Room? On Exchange? Love It! I'm also disapointed that Mims closed, although once Harding left it went way down hill... I also like Margarita's for an authentic Mexican food experience!

17:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harding may be a dick but there's a reason to be jealous cuz he's making bank AND making a buzz. Love him or hate him you're talking about him, and more than one of you is buying a $5 pint from him. Check your other local restaurant blogspots - empty as their windows on a saturday night!

13:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um...so we should go to the grill room, pay for food we could make at home - made by a guy who hangs his tongs on the trashcan no less, AND pay FIVE DOLLARS for a pint? Sounds grea...uh...NO.

16:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IS he making bank? I'm not convinced... This blog is for people who actually give a shit about food so why would any of us ever be jealous of anything Harding does.. Yeah we're talking about him, to rip him to shreds and expose him for the hack he is.

16:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't get too excited about Luna Rossa...the same guy who opened Prost/Onyx is the one opening LR.

Let's see...you failed miserably at opening a faux-German beer bar (aka Novare Res wiped the floor with you)...so now you're jumping to upscale Italian. Very logical.

20:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck! No parking, heavy overhead and no restaurant experience. It's a disaster in the making.

13:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Harding's new establishment, all those Anonymous with negative claims should man up and list their identity. Sounds to me like a few disgruntled employees who have no worth trying to discredit Hardings reputation. I've eaten at both the Front Room and Grille Room and found the meal and cocktails to be worth the trip.

13:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People do not post there names for several reasons. This is a small town (NOT A CITY) anything someone say's could have serious repercutions. Like the person who said anyone who speeks out against harding is jelous. That is exactly the problem with maine. People who don't know a thing about food, or have never worked in a restaurant, outside of the state of maine. His kitchen is filled with students (god save them) and punk hacks, and sad to say, maybe a one pore tallented cook just trying to find an opening else were.
I SAY TO YOU "GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL HAVE A SOUL". In this small town packed with restaurants, but know where to eat, people seem to like quantity over quality in this town. Those still staying true to there craft, and not selling there soul for more money (IE MR SMITH AND MCDONALDS) we who love food preparred with love salute you. I wont list names you know who you are, and you probablly never read this crap. H___'S B____A E________E & M____E.. If you actually know where to eat you have filled in the blanks. These are hard times. Support the people who have a passion for ther craft, not a passion for slop and go...to the bank.

11:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I read is blah, blah, blah...I have a massive Ego and know all! Therefore, I plan to discredit what the masses enjoy as good dining.

I bet you have few friends!

10:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel bad for all the people who worked at Prost and bought the stupid uniforms. Especially the dudes. I still call that location "the old deweys"

11:25  
Blogger Lisa said...

A freind of mine works at fore st and told me that someone from there walked in on harding banging the skank hostess or manager person in the bathroom at the grill room....i also heard that they were walked in on at either grittys or comm st pub.

19:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that before you can write trash about someone, you need to learn how to spell first. The person who wrote the long post about why people remain anonymous on this blog needs to know what the "repercutions" (OMG- that's soooo bad) are of making yourself seem dumber than you probably are my misspelling. We live in an age of Spellcheck: use it!

10:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't waste your time at the Corner Room. The menu is impossible to understand, staff untrained, Harding RUDE and pretentious per usual. This guy needs to get a clue that the world doesn't revolve around him.

08:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harding is a total scumbag. Anyone who knows him well would strongly agree. The Front Room is a great, while the Grill Room is overpriced and really not good at all. I guess we'll continue to wait for a good steakhouse in Portland.

11:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE STORY YOU MUST READ. I ate at the Corner room with 3 friends. One of us orders chicken parm and asked for some meat sauce. After our meal we saw Harding and asked to speak with him, thinking he would appreciate some input. We told him the food was wonderful but that we found the menu to be a bit confusing. He said the menu was simple and straight forward. He was pissed. We said oh no, we love the space and the food was great, but thought the menu was confusing. He then replied, So you want me to change the menu for YOU? We still, very polite said no we thought you would appreciate the input. He then said, what do you know, you ordered meat sauce on your chicken parm and stormed away from the table. We sat looking at each other in disbelief when the hostess/manager? came to the table and said the Chef aced us to leave. We asked why and she replied that we insulted the owner. I said I was finishing my drink(we had just finished our meal and the plates were still on the table) She then grabbed the drinks from our hands took my cell phone. I asked her to give me my cell phone back and she said no. I wanted to call the police but my friends just said let’s get out of here. One friend went to the hostess stand and got my cell phone back. We left in disbelief of what just happened. All this happened last Thursday night, very busy we never made a scene, didn't raise our voices and were treated so poorly because we ordered meat sauce on our chicken parm. I will never eat at another Harding Smith's restaurant again. His ego is so big that he can't even appreciate input. WOW..WHAT AN ASSHOLE!!!!!

10:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's talk he may soon be opening a seafood restaurant in the old Jordan's Meats building. Tentative plans are to name it The Fishsticks Room.

06:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought he was going to open a cafe in the library and call it The Quiet Room.

22:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why doesnt he open a room at Mercy Hospital and call it The Emergency Room? Then the rot-gut you experience after eating the food can be fixed. Barf.

00:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that emergency room guy just nailed it home. Guess our work is finished here. Good work annonymous.

21:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unbelievable to me that a blog with “comment moderation” would allow slander from obvious uneducated, crass liars. I guess the “disgruntledexemployee” says it all. If someone can’t keep a job in a well-run restaurant in Portland, Maine they shouldn’t be allowed to even comment on food. Get a life people or better yet get a job.
As for Anonymous who wrote the INCREDIBLE STORY about her encounter with Harding regarding the menu that was not quite the true story. If you can’t understand a menu ask a question, if you feel you can’t ask because you will look stupid, AHHH you are stupid. Perhaps you should cut down on the drinks. Are blonds really stupid or is it because of all the chemicals they use dying that brittle looking hair?

18:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard he married that hostess/manager last weekend. Sounds like a perfect match.....

23:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol....this just makes my night!

23:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a few comments in this blog that are obviously from Harding himself or his just as delusional and full of herself partner in grime Darcy. Being an ex-employee who still knows many of the current employees I get to hear 1st hand about the borderline atrocities he/she commit to their employees and customers. The comment saying anyone who cant keep a job at a well run restaurant shouldnt make comments...his restaurants are as far from well run as can be. He is allergic to any advice from anyone that makes sense and is logical. If he didnt think of it it must be the wrong thing to do...unless of course that bimbo he is now married to has an idea. She could suggest putting bags of flaming feces on the tables and he would approve. Their is also a comment about him making mad bank at his rooms. That is also false because he knows nothing of food cost and for a long time at the grill room he was actually selling some steaks for less than he paid for. He used to rip off the employees of hours on an almost weekly basis until enough of them complained to the state and he was auditted. He was even ripping off employees that he considers friends. A well run business that is making mad bank does not do that.He also sickened the whole staff one night during the pre-shift meal at TGR because he didnt want to throw away bad fish. There are about 25-30 more stories like this that i could tell. That is what Harding Lee Smith is all about

18:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have to say that as an ex employee myself...all the negative comments are so TRUE!!!!! sad but true...i know no one wants to believe it, but the guy is such a jerk. I had some tables express their opinions of the menu to me and suggest changes that i never mentioned to Harding because i was afraid of getting my head chewed off just like those poor people with the chicken parm. Whenever tables would order something with special requests, he would grumble about how these people knew nothing about food and swear and grumble some more etc... He and his managers are COMPLETELY unprofessional and i don't know where they get the idea that they can act like that. Throwing someone out of their restaurant for "insulting" the chef? I have seen things similar to this happen right in front of my eyes, Darcy telling the host to throw a couple out of the restaurant because they pulled some stools over at the bar...in her words "they had NO right to do that." I don't know who put those two up on their high horse, but i sure hope that get what they deserve in the future. I just feel bad for all the staff that works there still, he belittles them until they absolutely can't stand to work there anymore. I'm also sad for all the people who go there in search of good food only to get something of horrible quality with a hefty price tag. I agree that we should be supporting those restaurants in portland that have a passion for what they do and are not trying to take over portland. These "rooms" are the closest thing Portland has to a chain restaurant, no one should be supporting this horrible horrible man and his hack of restaurants...it's disgusting.

11:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word from the gutter is that several of Harding's current/former employees have organized, retained legal representation and served the master with papers demanding unpaid wages and overtime... Time to part with some of that "mad bank?"

20:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who was picketing outside the Front Room on Friday or Saturday night? Anyone know?

23:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

an organization called the restaurant opportunities center has stepped in and helped some employees that wanted to see change, they are asking for community members that want to have harding finally be accountable to encourage him to sit down and talk with them and the workers that aren't happy.

21:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this dump even still open? Too bad Mr. Fabulous can't even keep it going a year. That whole block is going under, even Cold Stone Creamery is gone.

15:20  
Anonymous kelsey said...

Harding is one of the most dipsicable human beings on the planet. He recently got thrown out of the a local bar for stating that he wanted to throw darts at an inter-racial child "give me a set of darts so I can throw it at the half-breed"... what a class act :) Eating at his filthy restaurants supports supports his atrocious behavior. His cheating ways extend far beyond his business ethics. Again, he is one of the most dispicable people I have ever had the misfortune of encountering.

21:06  
Anonymous Cindy Ryan said...

How come everyone on here is 'anonymous'? I don't know Mr. Harding, but I have eaten at The Corner Room a couple times and found it quite delicious.

17:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Hour is a GYP. Advertised: $3.00 wine, $3.00 beer, Complimentary snacks.... Wine ordered, nothing special, was $8.50 a glass. Huh? Forgot to ask "Is this a Happy Hour Wine?" Did not know there was a secret to getting the Happy Hour prices. GYP.

21:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found Harding to be okay. Very sleazy with the waitresses. Downstairs in the cellar of the corner room, and where the fridges are kept is not the cleanest. Flies everywhere and fresh food on the floor. The kitchen staff are too nice to be working there, they deserve better. The restaurant manager needs some sort of firework up her ass to make her do something other than sit on her ass all day gazing at Harding, wondering when he's going to nail her. The food is very basic, messy itallian is what he said. I did get the feeling he thought Portland revolved around him and his restaurants. He needs a lesson in life. Maybe a donkey dildo up his ass.....sideways

22:35  

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