Completing Novare’s Chalice List

Active Beer Geek has published an article about his conquest of the Uprising, the Novare Res 230 beer mug club list.

It’s a genius system of privilege that Eric, owner of Novare Res, has concocted. Your mission – if you choose to accept it – is to finish a 3-row, double sided, multi-styled beer list of 230 brews. The reward? A ginormous pimp cup, known as a chalice, that allows you 25% more beer for every pour in that vessel in your lifetime. Also, on the day of your chalice acquisition you drink for free. It’s like a right of passage or ritual of manhood for beer geeks. But wait, there’s more…

Pricey and Scarce: Restaurant Real Estate

forleaseMeredith Goad has written a feature article for today’s Press Herald about how the scarcity and high cost of restaurant spaces in Portland is impacting young chefs who are seeking to open a restaurant.

The city’s food reputation was built on the backs of young, independent chefs opening their own places where they could serve local, seasonal foods and let creativity and originality reign. But as space shrinks and rents rise, some chefs are worried that soon the only people able to open a restaurant in the Old Port and its outskirts will be big names with much deeper pockets than a 28-year-old just out of culinary school.

This Week’s Events: New Year’s Eve List, First Friday, Wine Tastings, Winter Market

Tuesday — New Year’s Eve

  • Artemisia Cafe, will be open serving their standard menu.
  • Back Bay Grill, 4-course dinner for $96 per person
  • BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe, 3-course dinner, $50 per person
  • Boone’s is throwing a party with a band, cocktail luges, ice sculptures and balloon drop. 5-course prixe fixe dinner is $85 per person with optional pairings available. More info.
  • David’s Opus Ten, 9-course dinner with wine pairings is $150 per person.
  • East Ender, 4-course dinner for $65 per person.
  • El Rayo, 4-course dinner for $38 per person.
  • Empire Chinese Kitchen, serving the standard menu.
  • Eventide, will be throwing a party, a $25 ticket will get you “$1 oysters and a steady supply of your favorite menu items for snacking (lobster rolls and oyster buns included)”
  • Five Fifty-Five, 5-course dinner in the restaurant for $100 per person
  • Gather, serving a special NYE’s menu
  • Gingko Blue will be open serving their new New Orleans-inspired menu.
  • Grace will be serving their regular dinner menu. A cover charge of $10 (which funds the Good Shepherd Food Bank) will get you into the late night party which comes with complementary champagne toast at midnight.
  • Hugo’s, 5-course dinner, $120 with optional wine pairings for $75
  • Hunt & Alpine Club, will be serving “special food and cocktail menus. Included will be options for multiple punches, bottled cocktails and Champagne”. They’ll be taking reservation up to 10pm and staying open until 2am.
  • Miyake, will be serving a special 5-course omakase in addition to their usual menu
  • MJ’s Wine Bar “will be offering ten different sparkling wines by the glass this year. All at either $5 or $10 a glass”.
  • Oscar’s New American, 4-course dinner for $75 per person with optional wine pairings for $45
  • Outliers Eatery, 7-course dinner
  • Pai Men Miyake will be “tapping a couple of special kegs and have an extensive specials selection in addition to the regular menu”
  • Petite Jacqueline, 3-course dinner for $65 per person, there are also optional wine and champagne pairings
  • Piccolo, 5-course dinner with a glass of sparkling wine, $85 per person
  • Roost House of Juice, 3-course raw organic dinner, $30 per person, optional juice and wine pairings are $12
  • Schulte & Herr, will be open 5-9pm
  • Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea, 4-course menu, $85 per person with optional wine pairing for $30
  • Spread, will be open, details still TBD
  • The Frog & Turtle, 2 seatings (4:30-7:30, 8-12:30) at $40 and $65 per person
  • The Good Table, will be serving a special New Year’s Eve menu
  • The Salt Exchange, 4-course dinner, $65 per person
  • Vignola will be serving a speecial NYE menu, $55 per person
  • Vinland, 5-course tasting menu with a wild fermented sparkling wine for $75, optional wine pairing are available for $25. Email info@vinland.me for reservations.
  • Walter’s will be open serving their regular menu.
  • Zackery’s, room and dinner package starting at $119 plus tax
  • Zapoteca, 5-course preview of dinner the chef will serve at the James Beard House, $50 per person with optional wine/tequila pairings for $25.

Friday — it’s First Friday Art Walk and the restaurants will be busy so be sure to make reservations in advance.

SaturdayBrowne Trading and LeRoux Kitchen are holding wine tastings, and the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Urban Farm Fermenntory on Anderson Street.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Review of the Cafe at Pat’s

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Cafe at Pat’s.

Instead, a dish called Greek island chicken ($19) seemed interesting. The chicken breast was adorned with wild mushrooms, spinach, basil and goat cheese. The quality of the chicken was excellent, and the dish might have been one prepared by a home cook trying out a magazine recipe. It wasn’t extraordinary by any means, just tasty and simple. And perhaps that’s what The Cafe is all about, serving satisfactorily prepared food without fuss or flourishes in a relaxed neighborhood setting.

Maine Craft Brewing & Annual Food Calendar

The new issue of Portland Magazine reports on the growth of Maine’s beer industry that features 3 new breweries: Bissell Brothers, Foundation Brewing and Banded Horn.

Also in the new issue is the magazine’s annual Maine food calendar. The article includes an interview with chef Cara Stadler about the new dumpling restaurant she has under development on Spring Street in the building that’s been the longtime home of the West End Deli.

And what becomes of West End Deli and its tasty takeout sandwiches? “Look for us to open in the former Gleason Fine Art Gallery at 545 Congress by the end of January,” says owner Nancy Arnold. “It’s a great spot. We’ll have more room for specialty foods–cheese, meats, pastries.”

Reviews of Zen and Little Tap House

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Zen Chinese Bistro,

So where does Zen stand in comparison to the rest of the Chinese food in the greater Portland area? It’s near the top. That’s not saying much, but it was good. The drink I had was superb. Our entrees were particularly delicious; however our apps could have been better. But make no mistake, the issues with the food were not huge and could be easily fixed if the desire is there to fix them.

and Living, Eating and Aging has reviewed Little Tap House.

So, what’s the verdict?  The space is convenient, comfortable and friendly.  The beer alone makes Little Tap House worthy of repeated visits.  The food is a nice addition and, when it’s really good, it’s worth a trip for the food itself with a nice beer or two as an accompaniment.  When the food is “just” good, it’s still worth a trip for a great place to have a beer and something nice to eat.  My hope is that the food will become as consistent as the beer so TA, who is not interested in the beer, will regularly give me the thumbs up when I suggest Little Tap House.