Photos of Standard Baking

July 30th, 2014

The Angela Adams blog has published a very nice set of photos of Standard Baking Company.

Standard Baking Company is one of the gems of Portland, Maine. The European style bakery transports you to the old country with it’s rustic interior and beautifully handcrafted baked goods. The breads are the best around, sticky buns are unrivaled and molasses cookies are addicting. I love walking in and watching big trays of fresh dough going into the ovens— or even better, coming out and onto the shelves for our consumption. In warmer months, I recommend going early, grabbing a coffee and sitting outside next to their beautiful planters, enjoying a tasty pastry fresh out of the oven while you watch the waterfront hustle and bustle.

Under Construction: Sur Lie

July 30th, 2014

emilSur Lie is a new bar and restaurant under construction at 11-13 Free Street. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Emil Riverva, the chef who’s slated to lead the kitchen to learn more about his background and what he has planned for the menu.

Rivera moved to Maine after scouting trips to the state this past fall and winter. He’s come to Portland from the DC where he worked for several years as part of the ThinkFoodGroup—a family of 15 restaurants founded by chef/restaurateur Jose Andres.

Rivera tells me he’s excited by the design for the restaurant and looking forward to working in the new kitchen. He’s well on his way to developing a menu that will serve as a starting point for when they open. While it is a tapas-style restaurant Rivera is drawing on a wide range of influences for the menu. He’s especially interested to get a read on customer reactions once they open to further tune the menu. The menu will include some larger plates intended for sharing in addition to the broader range of small plate options.

While construction is under way he’s had the chance to get out and explore the Portland restaurant scene. Pai Men, Eventide, Central Provisions, Hunt & Alpine have been some of the high points so far. In between moving to Maine and helping to launch the restaurant he’s finding the time to plan a wedding, he’s getting married in late August.

Co-owners Antonio Alviar and Krista Cole are combining the spaces formerly occupied by Roost juice bar and Compositions into a single 70-seat restaurant and bar. Their hoping to open sometime in late summer/early fall.


Yahoo Food on Portland

July 30th, 2014

Yahoo Food checked in with Portland Phoenix food writers Brian Duff and Kate McCarty for their recommendations on where to eat and drink in Portland.

Bite into Maine, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Eventide, Salvage BBQ, Small Axe, Standard Baking, Tandem Coffee, The Maine Brew Bus, and The Well all made the cut.

Buffalo Eats: Portland

July 29th, 2014

Buffalo Eats visited Maine last week and published an article on their eating adventures in Portland.

For a city that only has a population of ~60K (200K in the greater area), they have an an incredible selection of restaurants. Most of which pride themselves on sourcing from local vendors, something that we absolutely love. We spent three days in Portland and this is where we ate…

Check out the post for their thoughts on: Bite into Maine, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Fore Street, Hella Good Tacos, Slab, Standard Baking, The Holy Donut and The Lobster Shack.

Zest Magazine

July 29th, 2014

ZEST MAINEA new magazine, Zest, has been under development in Maine for the last few months, and the first issue is now out.

With this quarterly magazine, we invite you to fish and forage, eat and drink, cultivate and discover as we do. With recipes from your favorite chefs and barkeeps, insightful long-form nonfiction, intriguing profiles and destinations—and the occasional how-to—we mean to keep it fresh and fun; a place for everyone who loves Maine to come and be inspired through the seasons.

The first issue includes:

  • Profiles of and recipes from some of Maine’s top chefs
  • Cocktail improvisations on a theme from bartenders at Hunt & Alpine, Eventide and Central Provisions
  • A profile of Rabelais Books in Biddeford
  • An article about Bresca and the Honey Bee
  • A narrative on smelting in Maine

Zest is being published by Nancy Gordon, who was the founder Maine Home and Design, and edited by Michael S. Sanders, author of Fresh from Maine, From Here You Can’t See Paris, and numerous other books and articles.

I picked up my copy at Longfellow Books. You can find Zest across the state at select culinary stores, bookstores and restaurants.

Profile of Caiola’s

July 29th, 2014

Eat Maine has profiled Caiola’s.

Much of Caiola’s success can be attributed to Harmon, who approaches cooking with an almost fanatical devotion. She is constantly applying new technique from a myriad of different cultures. She goes to extraordinary lengths to thoroughly understand every element of a dish and immerses herself not only in preparation but also the history of a recipe to a point where I am reminded of well-known American cookbook author Paula Wolfert. This is evident in Harmon’s scallop and lobster rossejat with toasted vermicelli and basil crema, a classic that takes roots in Catalonia and pays homage to Rome.

Fictional Hot Dogs

July 28th, 2014

Chubby Werewolf has posted his list of 6 people he’d like to see design a Blue Rooster specialty hot dog.

With the Blue Rooster Chef Series an undeniable culinary success—and perhaps preoccupied with the notion of building many a fantasy football roster in the weeks to come—I found myself wondering, “What if they do this again next year? Who should participate?”

With that said, here are five (completely fictional, non-existent) hot dogs that I’d like to see the next time around…

Level 1 Sommelier Training Class

July 28th, 2014

The Court of Master Sommeliers will be holding the Introductory Sommelier training class and exam in Portland this October. This course is a required step to becoming a Certified Sommelier, and the first class along the way to full certification as a Master Sommelier. It’s targeted towards restaurant industry staff wishing to develop their wine expertise and wine enthusiasts.

The 2-day $525 class will be taking place October 6-7 at the Portland Harbor Hotel.

Visit for:

This Week’s Events: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp, Flea Bites, Eat Street

July 28th, 2014

WednesdayBlack Tie is holding a farm dinner in New Gloucester, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

ThursdayMainely Burgers will be featured on an episode of the Food TV Network show Eat Street, Sebago is holding a Beer Camp Block Party, and there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House.

Friday — the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp is taking place at Thompson’s Point, a group of food trucks will be at the Flea For All for Flea Bites, and the West End Deli is holding a wine tasting.

Saturday — there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market 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.

5 Stars for Vinland

July 27th, 2014

Vinland has received 5 stars from today’s review in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Vinland takes farm-to-table another step to use only ingredients grown or produced in Maine. Chef David Levi pulls it off with creativity and inspired dishes, but no lack of flavor. He uses yogurt whey in place of citrus, lardo and ghee instead of olive oil, and honey and maple syrup for sugar, in a small-plates menu that is entirely gluten free. All of the dishes are flavorful and familiar, from lobster and halibut to pork, steak, chicken and pork belly. The location is bright and welcoming, and the clientele is healthy and enthusiastic. Try creative cocktails and griddled cornbread and beet chips at the bar, or call ahead for an eight-course tasting menu orchestrated by Levi for $90, or five courses for $60. And don’t forget to try the homemade ice cream.

Review of Street & Co.

July 27th, 2014

Diningsense has reviewed Street & Co.

As long as the appetizers and main dishes continue to operate in different directions, it will be hard to see how much Street is capable of accomplishing. I think it tries to offer simple, rustic cuisine (these descriptors are referenced on the website, at least) and I respect this, but simplicity doesn’t preclude creativity and this is where the main plates disappointed. After a two-year hiatus, I’m glad to have returned to Street and Company, but the apparent struggle to construct a coherent plate of fish makes me wonder whether their skills have grown coarser than before.

Food & Wine Editor in Portland

July 26th, 2014

Dana Cowin, Editor of Food & Wine, was is in Portland Friday and Saturday, posting photos and commentary on Instagram of the places she visited. She stopped by:

See this post for information on where she visited in 2012.

MOFGA Receices $1M Grant

July 25th, 2014

The Partridge Foundation has made a $1 million grant to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. The grant comes with an additional $1 million challenge provided MOFGA can raise an equal amount.

According to a report from the Press Herald,

The Partridge Foundation awarded the money to “seed MOFGA’s work in encouraging a new generation of organic farmers,” according to a written statement from the foundation.

The statement adds that the grant reflects foundation founder Polly Guth’s “deep interest in healthful food and farming in her native New England.” Guth is a native of Manchester, New Hampshire, and her foundation has made grants to Maine organizations before, including several smaller grants to MOFGA.

Maine Open Farm Day

July 25th, 2014

PrintThis Sunday is Maine Open Farm Day, an opportunity to visit and learn more about our local farms. Two dozen farms in Cumberland and York counties are participating in the event this year.

For more information read this article from the American Journal.

Interview with Luke Davidson, Distiller

July 24th, 2014

The Press Herald has published an interview with Luke Davidson from Maine Craft Distilling.

Q. What are some other unique spirits you make?
We have two other great ones – one we’re calling “Sea Smoke,” an aged whiskey, and we’re taking sugar kelp and Maine-grown peat and heating it to smoke some of the grains. Then we distill the barley and make a nice, richly profiled whiskey. The other up-our-sleeve one is taking traditional-styled gin and putting it in a barrel and making it age. It’s sort of a hybrid of whiskey and gin.

Under Construction: Otto Pizza

July 24th, 2014

The Forecaster has published an update on the 2nd South Portland Otto under construction by the Mall.

Otto Pizza’s second South Portland location at 125 John Roberts Road will open in early August, according to a liquor license application councilors approved Monday.

Maine’s Best Lobster Roll

July 23rd, 2014

deaug2014For the 60th anniversary issue, Down East magazine intensively searched the state for the best lobster roll, trying “scores of lobster rolls served up by food trucks, lobster shacks, and restaurants from Eastport to Kittery.”

Greets Eats, a food truck on Vinalhaven, scored the top spot. Local Portland-area favorites Eventide and Bite into Maine were among the 4 runners-up.

The article includes the online ad-on video of chef Sam Hayward at Fore Street demonstrating how he prepares a lobster roll.


WSJ: Food Financials at the Westin

July 23rd, 2014

An article in the Wall Street Journal about the Westin Harborview Hotel in Portland reports that strong food/drink sales at the Top of the East and other part of the hotel for a big role in its financial success.

New Castle President Gerry Chase is projecting revenue this year from the bar at $1.2 million, which would be more than double what it was before the renovation. April brought sales of $130,000, compared with previous years when that month had revenue of $15,000 or less, he says.

The bar’s success is one reason the hotel’s food-and-beverage revenue accounts for nearly half the property’s overall revenue, Mr. Chase says.

Portland’s Food Carts and Trucks

July 22nd, 2014

The latest issue of Portland Magazine includes an article on Portland’s food trucks and carts.

Mentioned in the article are: Mark’s, Little Jamaica, Taco Trio, Small Axe, Urban Sugar, CN Shawarma, El Corazon, Wicked Good, Fishin’ Ships, Mainely Meatballs, Love Cupcakes.

The Huffington Post has interviewed Valerie Sandes, co-owner of the Urban Sugar food truck,

How did you choose donuts? How did you decide what donuts to make?
I grew up on these little bite-sized donuts at the race tracks (motorsport tracks in SoCal) my dad brought me to every weekend for his 1/4 midget racing addiction. They were just the traditional sugar donuts but I was instantly hooked from the first melt in my mouth bite. I was a donut lover from that point on, cakes, yeasties, round or square I don’t care…I love ‘em all! I decided to go with the cake variety for the truck because that is what made the most sense logistically with the self imposed space restriction of the vehicle.


Interview with Karl Deuben

July 21st, 2014

Knack Factory hasposted an interview with Karl Deuben from Small Axe.

Without being precious, your food is perhaps more sophisticated than one might expect to get from a truck. How did you decide to go that route?
It is food that we like to cook in a style we thought was accessible for people who would be coming to a food truck. We wanted to put into our business everything we had learned at Hugo’s and Miyake. Bill had been in New York and I was in Chicago, and we wanted to utilize the techniques and philosophies behind cooking food that we had picked up over time. You have to have pride in what you are doing. This isn’t necessarily the optimal business model, but we are very proud of the food that we execute.