Vinland

The March issue of Down East includes an article about Vinland.

As an intellectual exercise — is it possible to build a fine-dining restaurant in northern New England on local ingredients only? — Vinland succeeds wildly. But it remains to be seen whether Levi’s experiment can attract large numbers of diners in Portland, where options for a $200 dinner for two with a local emphasis (if not a manifesto) isn’t hard to come by. “I stand by it 100 percent,” Levi says confidently. “Some people love it; some people don’t. But I know it comes from a good place, and that’s what matters.”

Breakfast Cook-off Results

Vignola/Cinque Terre took first place at yesterday’s Incredible Breakfast Cook-off competition.

The buzz at the Incredible Breakfast Cook-Off Friday was all about the Portland restaurant’s savory smoked brisket hash patties with scrambled eggs and pea shoots, Italian cheese fonduta and salsa verde. This was their first time at the cook-off, and they took home first place.

Four time winner The Good Table came in second and Sea Dog Brewing took third place.

Lolita

The March issue of Maine magazine includes an article about Lolita.

It is impossible to deny the sensory delight that one experiences upon first stepping through the doors of Lolita Vinoteca and Asador on Munjoy Hill. Warm, pungent aromas of clams and garlic roasting in the wood oven, which is constantly tended to by diligent cooks, are prevalent even amidst the din of patrons stationed up and down the long zinc bar on a busy night. Much of the menu is inspired by the ancient spice routes of Venice, successfully marrying flavors from the Mediterranean, Africa, and the Middle East, resulting in dishes like burrata with lemon zest and Aleppo chili oil on toast,or cured Spanish sardines augmented with harissa.

Bayside American Cafe

Portland Street breakfast restaurant Bintliff’s American Cafe is changing its  name to Bayside American Cafe. The current owners, Joe and Diane Catoggio, purchased the restaurant from Roger Bintliff in 2003. According to the press release,

The name change will be rolled out in the coming months. While the Catoggios are excited to embrace the cafe’s new identity, the message to their customers is clear: the name is the only thing changing. The menu, style and staff that diners have come to know and love will remain the same.

DiMillo’s Fundraiser for Adam Sousa

This past Sunday falling ice totaled bartender Adam Sousa’s car which was parked on Exchange Street. Sousa’s insurance doesn’t cover falling ice and so friends have set-up a gofund.me page to help raise money for Sousa to replace his car.

The local chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild is holding a fundraiser this Sunday at DiMillo’s, 3-5 pm. A portion of the sales from the drink specials will go toward the the gofund.me campaign.

Under Construction: East Ender

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Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy are planning to re-open the East Ender on March  9. The restaurant has been undergoing some renovations including new signage by Will Sears and seating by Pistol Pete. Small Axe fans will be happy to learn that the burger safely made the transition to the East Ender menu. The Pastrami Salmon Tartine (house made pastrami salmon open faced sandwich on SouthSide Rye with radish, pickled onion, mustard seed, creme fraiche) sounds particularly delicious.

Under Construction: Portland Patisserie

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Steve and Michelle Corry have released some additional information about Portland Patisserie(facebook), the new cafe and bakery they have under construction at 46 Market Street.

The focus will be on the traditional Patisserie theme-with beautiful displays of whimsical pastries, pies, cakes, desserts, breakfast pastries, etc.  Although there will be a constant rotation of sweets such as crème brulee, chocolate mousse, cookies and brownies, as well as sweet crepes with peaches and vanilla cream or Nutella and banana served hot right out of the pan, additionally, there will be some limited fresh baked breads and in the theme of a true “Grand Café,” there will be full lunch and lighter dinner fare such as an array of savory crepes, salads, and sandwiches: Think duck confit, caramelized onion, and figs wrapped in a warm crepe or imagine an avocado and shrimp salad on house baked croissant- just a sample of some of the savary fare that will be offered.

Catherine Côté-Eliot who has worked at Financier in NYC and at Standard Baking will be pastry chef. The Corry’s hope to open Portland Patisserie in May. A sample menu was supplied with the press release.

Reviews: Sur Lie & Otherside Deli

The Press Herald has published a review of the Otherside Deli,

I ignored my longing for breakfast when I saw the sandwich board and chose instead the pork schnitzel, a boneless, breaded pork cutlet paired with a tangy egg-and-caper relish, topped with mustard and served on a bulky roll. The pork was tender, the bread incredibly fresh, and the egg satisfied my craving for early-morning fare.

and a bar review of Sur Lie.

Babcock’s definition of a cocktail menu is a mix of pre-prohibition knowledge infused with a quirky modern-day palate. He whips up two or three drinks at once, and can talk you through your food choices as he goes – “start with one or two plates, and then order more from there,” he’ll say. He’ll offer tastes of whiskeys you’ve never heard of and tell you all about the distilling process for each. In other words, Babcock is the real deal. His Grey Ghost cocktail was recently featured on the happy hour menu (4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday) for $8 (usually $10). Dickel white whiskey is combined with house made apple and pear syrup, angostura bitters and pink peppercorn. This drink will hook you from the first sweet sip – savor it.

The Maine Dish Food Theater

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about a set of 12 short food related plays being staged during Maine Restaurant Week by the Snowlion Repertory Company.

The idea for “The Maine Dish” began with Margit Ahlin and Al D’Andrea, co-founders of Snowlion Repertory Company in Portland. They have an in-house playwriting group, and suggested food as a theme for the playwrights. They were invited to write a short play about food; that was the sole restriction.

The result is a menu of wildly diverse plays featuring 17 actors, a dozen playwrights and four directors. There are comedies, dramas and a musical. Some are set in restaurants, others in the kitchen.

For more information visit www.snowlionrep.org. Tickets are $18 and are on sale at Brown Paper Tickets.