Under Construction: Exchange Street Club

A new bar called the Exchange Street Club is under development at 10 Exchange in the space formerly occupied by Movies on Exchange and The Purple Caterpillar.

Owners Mark Deane and Amara El plan to open early next year. Deane is also owner of Rosie’s, Mark’s Place, Pearl, Mark’s Sports Bar and the Old Port Slice Bar.

Crab Apples

The Press Herald has published the latest article in their ongoing apple series,

“Here are Super Chilly Farm we have a few favorites – it just depends on the week since they ripen throughout the season,” Watts said, listing Trailman and Centennial to start. “We often offer Martha the first week of our Apple CSA, and it is always a hit. Chestnut and Whitney are usually ripe about the time of the Common Ground Fair, and they have both been winners at the apple tasting there. And then my favorite late-season apple is Wickson, which is also a crab. All of these are amazing for fresh eating because they blend sweet and tart into one tiny package.”

Opening Soon….September and October

A number of new businesses are planning to open in late September and early October.

Between finalizing renovations and passing final inspections it’s always an imprecise game to say exactly when a new food venture will launch. That said:

If all going according to plans, the openings will put quite a dent in the Under Construction list. However, there’s no need to worry that the market is running out of steam, as there are a number of new projects in the works…stay tuned for details.

Blue Lobster Wine Co.

Blue Lobster Wine Company (facebook, website, instagram) launched earlier this month. The”urban winery” import wine and packages it in kegs for service at restaurants as well as in cans for retail sales.

We are Blue Lobster Wine Company, a small urban winery in Portland, Maine. We’re dedicated to bringing exceptional small batch wines to you from wineries from all over in convenient go-anywhere cans and also on tap in restaurants starting summer 2017. We are excited to announce the first release of our Rose and Bayside Blend. Why cans and kegs? Convenient, sustainable, economical and little waste. Stay tuned for the the next two beautiful wines coming soon – Unoaked Chardonnay and Zinfandel.

Blue Lobster wine is available at Bayside Bowl and Taco Trio. Cans are for sale at the Bier Cellar, The Farm Stand and The Honey Exchange.

Makers Mug Wraps Up

Makers Mug/Dirigo Coffee owner Jacob Perry has announced plans to move out of state and so is shuttering his mobile coffee business here in Portland.

For just under the last two years the Maker’s Mug/Dirigo Coffee cart has been an integral part of my life. A humbling, rewarding, and incredibly personal experience that I will never forget. At the end of summer 2017, my wife and I made a big move out of state and bringing the cart along for the ride wasn’t in the cards.

Perry has put the food cart up for sale and is seeking “someone who has aspirations of opening a food business of their own can keep the dream alive in Maine”.

Fall Issue of Edible Maine

The latest issue of Edible Maine has hit newsstands. It includes:

  • Advice from chefs on throw holiday parties
  • An article by John Myers on bourbon and rye cocktails
  • An interview with Michael Landgarten, owner of Bob’s and Lil’s in Kittery
  • A profile of David Buchanan, ciderman and orchardist

This Week’s Events: Madeira Dinner, Alsace Dinner, Maine Food System, Eaux, Bunktoberfest, Rising Tide

WednesdayChaval is hosting a 6-course madeira dinner the line-up includes a 1954 Malvasia, Hugo’s is hosting a 5-course magnum wine dinner, there will be a Portuguese wine tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayMaine Food Strategy holding a 1-hour webinar to provide updates on the food systems initiatives they have underway, and Petite Jacqueline is hosting a 3-course Alsace wine dinner.

SaturdayBunktoberfest is taking place in Libbytown, there will be an Eaux pop-up at A & C Grocery, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayRising Tide is throwing a party to celebrate their 7th anniversary.

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, please provide details as a comment to this post.

Reviews: Mami, Roma Cafe, Island Creek, El Rayo, Congress Squared

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Mami, and

The new, exposed-brick space shares much in common with the truck, including many of its street food dishes, like crisp, golden okonomiyaki – decadent “pancakes” of cabbage, onion and pork belly, topped with a spiced soy sauce and lashings of sweet Kewpie mayonnaise. You’ll also find Mami’s signature grilled onigiri, rounded triangles of sticky sushi rice seared dark and crunchy on a flat, iron teppanyaki grill. If it’s on the menu, don’t miss the lobster nikuman, a dish Miller calls “a bastardized lobster roll” that, with a sophisticated balance of yeasty steamed bun, salty tobiko and flowering dill, could hold its own against any lobster roll in the state.

The Blueberry Files has reviewed the Island Creek Oyster Shop, and

I love the simplicity of The Shop and its menu. While many restaurant and bars opt to attract customers with complex concepts and elaborate dishes, The Shop goes stripped down with a sunny patio and cheap oysters. Works for me.

the Portland Phoenix has reviewed the Roma Cafe, and

Unfortunately, entrées of Bucatini Amatriciana and Chicken Marsala also failed to impress, the former characterized by a thin, watery sauce and saved only by the inclusion of smoky guanciale. While unoffensive enough, the Marsala — flanked by a sauté of summer squash and side of pasta that felt like afterthoughts — somehow lacked flavor despite also being seasoned with a heavy hand. Though a saving grace could be found in a side of meatballs (plump, yielding and unctuous), my dining partner and I both agreed it was too little, too late.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed El Rayo,

I’ve always enjoyed El Rayo and I’m glad I finally returned. Their food is good, and while I wanted more salsa in the tacos, they were so big that I think it might be just the salsa to other stuff ratio that caused the issue. I recommend you go there and try the nachos, tacos, pinapple, and whatever else you like. And don’t forget some tequila, because they’ve got plenty and it’s sure to make you smile, even if you’re not there at happy hour.

the Press Herald has published a bar review of Congress Squared.

Quiet, upscale cocktails and a contemporary setting makes for a refined, upscale evening. Congress Squared isn’t breaking any molds but is putting its own spin on some classics in a memorable and well-crafted way.