Maine Craft Distilling Tasting Room/Mixology Shop

November 24th, 2014


Maine Craft Distilling (website, twitter, facebook, instagram) has leased the historic Mallet Building on Mill Street in Freeport where they plan to open a tasting room and mixology shop.

Distiller Luke Davidson tells me the new two-story space will increase exposure and retail sales of their spirits and enable MCD to expand into selling cocktail accessories, glassware, shakers, mixers, bitters, books and, of course, MCD-emblazoned merchandise. Davidson also plans to use the Freeport location to host events including ” educational events,evenings of music, book authors and joint events with other area businesses (e.g. spirits and cheese pairings farm to table/flask catered events etc)”.

MCD hopes to open their Freeport store by early January.

This Week’s Events: Porchetta Feast, Oxbowzakaya, Thanksgiving, Coffee Smuggler

November 24th, 2014

lolita_porchettaTuesdayLolita is throwing their inaugural Pre-Thanksgiving Porchetta Feast, and Oxbowzakaya an annual Oxbow tap take-over/izakaya menu is scheduled for Pai Men Miyake.

Wednesday — the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — the following restaurants are serving Thanksgiving Dinner:

Saturday — Coffee by Design is hosting a book launch party for Coffee Smuggler, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — author Josh Christie will be at Rising Tide for a book signing of his Handbook of Porters & Stouts.

Thanksgiving — Check out the PFM Thanksgiving Resource Guide for ideas on where to source ingredients for your meal at home.

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.

Reviews: Slab, Ebb & Flow

November 23rd, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Slab,

Skip breakfast and over-indulge in the flavorful Sicilian street food at this informal lunch-and-dinner restaurant. Named for the gargantuan servings of thick-crust pizza created by chef/owner Stephen Lanzalotta, Slab also offers delicious open-faced oven melts, braised meats and lasagnas. Make sure to ask your server about the day’s specials – and don’t skimp on dessert: The baci (chocolate) and ricciarelli (almond) cookies are extra rich and satisfying.

and Eating Portland Alive has posted a first look review of Ebb & Flow.

The za’atar-spiced pita was the perfect vessel for the cold eggplant salad. I was definitely still tearing away at the flatbread after the salad was long gone…The cauliflower soup took savory to another level with the inclusion of rock crab and chorizo. The server who delivered my lamb keftedakia declared it “the king of dishes.” I may have to try a few more items for comparison, but I’m a pretty happy camper with lamb meatballs especially with such a nice char on them.

Crowdfunding: Als Pals Pickles

November 22nd, 2014

Westbrook-based Als Pals Pickles(twitter, facebook, instagram) has launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Kickstarter-clone site Indiegogo. Owner Al Arsenault is hoping to raise $5,000 to “better pickling equipment, promotion and building up a stock”.

I am passionate about making awesome pickles, I take pride in the quality of my product and I’ve really enjoyed all of the pickle lovers I have come across in my time as a pickler What your contribution will go towards is better equipment for maintaining a great quality pickle, this includes kitchen equipment such as knives, cutting boards, pickling pots and gloves and would allow me to buy my pickle jars in bulk. It also includes promotional equipment like banners, business cards, label paper, label printers, promo art and a tablet for mobile card transactions.

For more information or to contribute to the campaign visit the Als Pals page on Indigogo.

Portland Food Co-op

November 22nd, 2014

The Forecaster has published an article about the new Portland Food Co-op.

West End resident Jennifer Morrison works nearby on India Street, and said her first store visit came after months of anticipation.

“It’s beautiful,” she said, clutching a carton of almond milk and an orange. “I feel like I could do all my shopping here.”

Morrison said she tries to shop at locally owned markets, and was pleased to find a large selection of organic fruits and vegetables. Before leaving, she stopped at a table in the front of the store and signed on as a co-op member.

The co-op has a grand opening planned for December 10.

Reviews: Bao Bao & Timber

November 21st, 2014

pArts has reviewed Bao Bao,

Next up, my single order of dumplings (which come boiled, steamed or pan fried, I chose the last). Six beauties stuffed with a sausage ball of lamb, black bean, peanuts, and chilis, served with a homemade tomato relish/ketchup. I will likely order these every time I return. I was sorry I didn’t order the Hake dumplings which looked amazing . . . but I need something to look forward to next time.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Timber.

My verdict on Timber is to go there for happy hour. The mac and cheese is half price and there are some cheap drinks – all of which I loved. For the price, I can’t say I was pleased with the main courses. Our meal came to over $100 with tax and tip, so it wasn’t cheap and we didn’t get any steak which would have upped the price significantly.  Nonetheless, the restaurant has an allure under the right circumstances, but it’s not for an entire meal.

MCD x Sur Lie Collaboration

November 21st, 2014

mcdxsurlieMaine Craft Distilling and Sur Lie are c0-hosting a 2-step collaboration next week:

Monday – stop by the MCD distillery on Fox Street to taste some of the drinks Sur Lie bartenders come up with as they experiment with MCD’s spirits. 3 – 6 pm.

Wednesday – visit Sur Lie on Free Street for a Maine Craft Distilling bar takeover. Bartenders will be serving up the new drinks they developed as part of Monday’s experimentation at the distillery.

Under Construction: Maine & Loire

November 20th, 2014

63WashingtonAveMaine & Loire (website, instagram) owners Orenda and Peter Hale have leased a space at 63 Washington Ave for their new wine store. The couple are aiming to open in early/mid-January.

Photo Credit: Maine & Loire

Review of DiMillo’s

November 20th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of DiMillo’s.

DiMillo’s is a Portland institution. A floating restaurant since 1982, this 701-ton yacht can seat up to 600 in the summertime. The bar scene in the winter is more mellow but the place can still get crowded on weekends and Tuesday nights. Expect to find excellent service, a jovial atmosphere and strong drinks.

Food Co-op Opening Today

November 19th, 2014

coop_logoThe Portland Food Co-op (website, facebook, twitter) is opening today, 11 – 4. Starting Thursday they’ll be open 9 – 7 and hope to expand the hours of operation as the store’s customer base grows.

The co-op is located at 290 Congress Street at the foot of Munjoy Hill.

Interview with Chef Andrew Taylor

November 18th, 2014

A Blissful Interlude has published an interview with Andrew Taylor co-chef/owner of Eventide and Hugo’s.

Taylor says that the distinguishing factor about Eventide Oyster Co. is that “we wanted to be able to take as many liberties as we could with that style.  Our culinary approach is that we are farm to table, but what really excites us is our love of international food.  One of the things we love is that the techniques are so unique compared to what we were taught.  Using the basic blueprint, we then applied our own framework using the culinary influence of international cuisine.”

Friday Pie Club

November 18th, 2014

fpcThe Press Herald has published an article about the Friday Pie Club.

For instance, wild blueberry pies – as iconic as the lobster roll in Maine – fell flat this summer. Yet blueberry ginger pies were wildly popular. At the farmers markets, slices of squash pie turned out to be a hit with teenage boys, while the girls coveted slices of lemon chess pie, a sweet blend of lemon, sugar, eggs and milk. Apple crumb, pear cranberry and green tomato pies were all best-sellers.

For more information visit the Friday Pie Club website or facebook page.

Under Construction: East Ender

November 17th, 2014

Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy co-owners of the popular Small Axe food truck are in the final stages of purchasing the East Ender at 47 Middle Street.

Deuben and Leavy will be completing the purchase of the restaurant from Megan Schroeter in January and after some renovation plan to re-open by early March “continuing the commitment to local ingredients and creative, high quality food that our customers have come to expect“. (Hopefully that means the Korean Pork Belly sandwich will make the transition to the East Ender menu.)

The Small Axe food truck is up for sale so they can “give the restaurant our undivided attention“. Prior to running Small Axe, the pair have worked at Miyake, Hugo’s. Bill has also been part of the staff at Back Bay Grill and before moving to Portland Karl worked at Alinea.

Schroeter and then partner Mitch Gerow opened the East Ender nearly 4 years ago. Prior to that it had been the longtime home of Norm’s East End Grill.

See the PFM Under Construction page for a list of other restaurant projects in development.

Review of Dutch’s

November 17th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Dutch’s.

Lucy’s time with Tartine might account for the exquisiteness of her breads and pastries.  Layers of butter define their incredible croissants or the brioche dough for the sandwich rolls.  The all-butter fruit Danish would remind you of one from a Parisian patisserie. Speaking of butter, they make their own, taking pasteurized local cream, mixing it with buttermilk to form a culture until it cures several days later into a rich high-fat spread that they use on everything.

This Week’s Events: Flanagan’s Table, Beaujolais Nouveau Dinner, BiBo’s

November 17th, 2014

bnatpjTuesday — the local foods networking breakfast is taking place at Local Sprouts.

Wednesday — there will be a Grey Goose cocktail dinner at Petite Jacqueline, Rosemont is holding a Thanksgiving wine tasting at their store on Brighton, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — MJ’s Wine Bar is throwing a Beaujolais Nouveau release party, and the Public Market House is holding a wine and cheese tasting.

Friday — Rosemont is holding a Thanksgiving wine tasting at their Commercial Street store, and BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe is hosting a wine dinner.

Saturday — the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — Central Provisions’ Chris Gould is the featured chef at a sold out Flanagan’s Table dinner and Petite Jacqueline is holding their annual Beaujolais Nouveau dinner.

Thanksgiving — turkey day is just around the corner. Check out the PFM Thanksgiving Resource Guide for ideas on where to eat or where to source ingredients for your meal at home.

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.

Outdoor Seating Regulation

November 17th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald reports on discussions between city officials and restaurant owners regarding regulation of outdoor seating.

Portland planning officials are struggling to find a way to protect the city’s vibrant restaurant scene while also making sure that pedestrians can maneuver through sidewalks and public spaces cluttered with outdoor seating.

Review of The Good Table

November 16th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed The Good Table in Cape Elizabeth.

The best of The Good Table is old-fashioned, hearty fare – from nicely grilled beef burgers with fried onions to moist and flavorful fish and chips with cole slaw. Start with a pail of fresh mussels served in a broth infused with butter and garlic. Move onto a rich standard such as rib eye steak with horseradish cream, or a lighter, Greek-style baked fish. All the food here is comforting – and filling.

Turkey Buying Guide

November 15th, 2014

The Blueberry Files has published her annual Thanksgiving turkey buying guide. It includes price per pound details on 18 different turkey brands available from local farms and markets.

Ah, meat. The epicenter of the local food dilemma. On one side, you could argue that meat should not be cheap. On the other side, you have your desire to serve a huge, perfectly-roasted, glistening bird that will satisfy all of your guests, with plenty of leftovers for the next day. Somewhere lost in all of that is the financial reality that locally-raised or organic meat simply costs more than the unethical alternative. 

Coastal Root Bitters

November 15th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has profiled Coastal Root Bitters.

With a classic aromatic on the market since May, he is gearing up for a few more varieties. Coffee bitters made with Tandem Coffee Roasters coffee, star anise, oak and chocolate is in progress, as is an Indian spice, garam masala, and possibly a pine.

“I’m working on giving it a Maine identity,” [Nolan] Stewart said. “The possibilities are endless.”

Vinland at the James Beard House

November 15th, 2014

David Levi from Vinland will be the featured chef for a dinner at the James Beard House January 13th.

See Urban Eye for details on the menu.