Opening Today: Vieux Port Creole, A & C Grocery

Two new businesses open today:

  • Vieux Port Creole – A Movable  Feast at 431 Congress Street has launched a Cajun and Creole lunch cafe, open 11 – 2:30 Monday through Friday
  • A & C Grocery – Rosemont alum and co-founder of The Farm Stand is launching his new neighborhood market today at 131 Washington Ave, 9 – 7 Monday through Saturday

Farmers’ Market Stalwarts

Today’s Press Herald reports on two Farmers’ Market stalwarts that continue to serve customers in Monument Square throughout the winter months.

The Wednesday edition of the Portland Farmers Market, which draws more than two dozen farmers downtown every week, officially ended in November, but Piper shows up throughout the winter to sell his meats, honey and prepared foods. It’s not a big money-maker. Piper, 73, says it’s mostly enjoyment that brings him out. He needs to get away from his Buckfield farm and socialize.

The Purple House

Urban Eye has posted an article about The Purple House and its owner Krista Kern Desjarlais.

On Sunday, Desjarlais, the chef/owner behind Portland’s top-tier and long gone Bresca restaurant, stood at the hearth removing thick slices of pizza as customers seated at the community table inches away nodded at each other in silent ecstasy.

This Week’s Events: A & C Opens, Tessellation, Maine Restaurant Week, Evo Preview Dinner, Breakfast Cook-Off, Foodscapes Lecture

TuesdayA & C Grocery (website, facebook) is opening for business at 131 Washington Ave at 9 am, Hannah Semler will be giving a lecture on “Triangulating Food Recovery, Food Security and Economic Development”, the MRW Incredible Breakfast Cook-Off is taking place at Sea Dog Brewing.

Wednesday – it’s the first day of Maine Restaurant Week.

ThursdayEvo is holding a preview of the dinner they’ll be serving at the James Beard House on March 6th, and Lone Pine is having a can release for Tessellation, their double IPA.

Friday – the MRW Cocktail Competition is taking place, and there will be a wine tasting at the West End Rosemont.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – the MRW Perfect Pairings event is taking place.

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 Round-up: Emilitsa, Izakaya Minato, Tipo, Bao Bao, Sichuan Kitchen

The Golden Dish has reviewed Tipo,

My favorite dish was the full-flavored roast chicken, spice rubbed, served with pickled peppers and over creamy polenta. Though not a small plate restaurant per se, all these dishes were sharable and added up to a very nice meal at a reasonable price.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Emilitsa, Izakaya Minato and Bao Bao,

From the comfortable atmosphere, the welcoming staff, and the stunning, incredible, intensely flavorful food, it’s hard to overstate just how good Emilitsa truly is. The entire staff should be really proud of what they are doing. They are most definitely providing a high end brand of happiness to all who are lucky enough to visit.

and Portland Magazine has reviewed Sichuan Kitchen.

Bypassing the limp, greasy fare of pseudo-Chinese takeout joints, Sichuan Kitchen delivers authentic regional cuisine thanks to Shen’s exciting and accessible cooking. Quite exceptionally, flavor is not lost in translation at Sichuan Kitchen.

Under Construction: 43North

The Press Herald has published an update on the new restaurant slated to replace Joe’s Boathouse in South Portland,

Laura Argitis, owner of the Old Port Sea Grill, said the dockside, two-level 43North is named after the location’s latitude. The chef will be Stephanie Brown, who is now executive chef at the Woodlands Club in Falmouth. Brown previously owned Sea Grass Bistro, a small restaurant in Yarmouth that is now closed.

The owners of 43North hope to open in early summer.

Allagash Bottle Release: Map 40

Allagash is releasing their coffee/beer collaboration, Map 40, today at 10 am. The beer is a “Belgian-style stout blended with cold-brewed coffee from” Speckled Ax. It has a “light nuttiness that accompanies tastes of chocolate, raisin, and coffee”

Hunt & Alpine Chacuterie Board

Plate magazine interviewed Portland Hunt & Alpine Club chef Stan Dzengelewski for an article about charcuterie boards.

For inspiration, he draws on his experiences cooking with his family and with other chefs. “For example, I use a lot of fish sauce in meat dishes,” he says. “This comes from both my background in Asian cuisines and my Italian grandmother using things like anchovies to enhance a braised lamb or pork. A little goes a long way, and if you’re doing it right, people notice the deep umami without knowing where it’s coming from. Also, if you can find good miso, it works in nearly everything.”

Favorite Dishes & How to Order Wine

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article by Big Tree Hospitality wine manager, Brian Flewelling on how to order wine when dining out,

Even with a good sommelier, you are not totally absolved of responsibility: What you have to do is make a decision. It’s not the one you may think, namely what wine do I order? Rather, you have to decide what kind of wine experience you want and then you have to trust the sommelier to help you to have it.

and a set of dining recommendations from local chefs.

So with Maine Restaurant Week just a week away, we revisit a favorite topic, asking local chefs about their most memorable meals over the past year. Chefs, like the rest of us, often flock to the buzzy new places, which may be why many of them are talking about Tipo, Chris Gould’s latest – it opened six weeks ago. And perhaps it was inevitable that at least one chef would mention the beef salad from Thanh Thanh 2 on Forest Avenue in Portland. If one dish could be proclaimed Portland chefs’ favorite, this would probably be it. As Josh Berry, executive chef at Union put it, “Nothing fancy about this salad. It’s just awesome!”