Review of Ten Ten Pié

October 25th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Ten Ten Pié.

A terrific almond croissant has more pastry and less paste than Standard’s version, making it feel a bit more adult. A little bundt-shaped cannelé, made with burnt custard, had that combination of crunchy-chewy crust and softly chewy interior that marks great bagels. Chocolate pudding was rich and creamy, and topped with a miso-caramel cream (which tasted more of caramel).

Another Bao Bao Review

October 24th, 2014

The Golden Dish has posted a first look review of Bao Bao.

Dumplings remain the star of the show — prepared boiled or pan fried. Not to be missed are the wondrous steamed hake sheathed in shredded dumpling dough wrapped around the filling. They’re like the Asian version of quenelles — delicate, sweetly flavored and incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Up Next: Ebb & Flow

October 24th, 2014


Ebb & Flow (website, facebook, twitter, instagram) received all their final permits licenses earlier this week. They’re now in the final stretch to an opening night. Ebb & Flow plans on holding some friends and family dinners next week and should be opening to the public soon after that—the specific date hasn’t been released yet.




Review and Report on Bao Bao

October 23rd, 2014

The Blueberry Files has published a first look review of Bao Bao.

By the time we left Bao Bao, the 40-ish seat restaurant was full, with a few people waiting outside. Several people came into ask about take-out options (none yet). The restaurant never felt too loud or crowded, although we did clearly overhear our neighbors’ conversation, so it’s not the place for secret transactions.

Rather, Bao Bao offers comforting Chinese delights, for which West Enders seem eager. Check out Bao Bao Dumpling House (open for lunch at 11:30am and until 1am); I’ll be back for those fun cocktails and to sample the many more flavors of dumplings.

The Urban Eye also paid a visit and has a report on the scene Tuesday night,

I sidled up to the sunken bar and ordered an Oxbow farmhouse (best with dumplings) and perused the menu. Seated to my left was Sam Hayward and Dana Street. The power duo behind Fore Street, Street and Co. and soon Scales (2), were halfway through a five-course meal and ready to socialize.

I asked the epicure elder statesmen for a recommendation, because that’s what you do in situations like this. “Order the hake or lamb,” they said between chop sticking and white wine drinking.

Review of Ten Ten Pié

October 23rd, 2014

The Bowdoin Orient has reviewed Ten Ten Pié.

After devouring the croissant, which combined sweet almond filling with savory matcha depth, I took a moment to look around. The sparse seating, wide selection of goods and reasonable prices add to the unique appeal of Ten Ten Pié. The owners prioritize quality food over trendiness. In an era when hip décor, twee gimmicks and overwrought menu typography seem to be the norm, Ten Ten provides a refreshing departure.

This week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix also includes a review of Ten Ten Pié. I’ll have a post about it once the article makes it onto the Phoenix website.

O’Maine Media Kitchen

October 23rd, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports on O’Maine Studios and owner Rory Strunk’s current initiative to launch the O’Maine Media Kitchen.

Popular in larger cities such as New York and Los Angeles, the media kitchen concept is new to Maine. But marketing pros such as Cynthia Fisher of Bar Harbor Foods in Whiting are ready to roll.

“Oh my God. I don’t have to go to Philadelphia to shoot a video,” the company’s vice president of marketing said to the group. “We need to get everyone behind us because this is huge for Maine.”

For more information visit the O’Maine Media Kitchen Kickstarter page. Strunk has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise $65,000 for the project.

Bar Review of Walter’s

October 23rd, 2014

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

More than anything else, Walter’s bar scene is perhaps one of the best values in town, which, despite its non-youngster appeal, is pretty darn cool.

Indie Biz Awards

October 23rd, 2014

Portland Buy Local held an awards ceremony last night. Three local food business among the winners of this year’s Indie Biz Awards:

  • Local Flavor – Local Sprouts Cafe
  • Out of Sight but Not Out of Mind – Maine Brew Bus
  • Portland Icon – Rosemont Market and Bakery

Kickstarter: ‘Wich, Please Food Truck

October 22nd, 2014

Malcolm Bedell, who along with his wife Jillian run the Maine food blog From Away, is in the process of launching a food truck. ‘Wich, Please(website, facebook, twitter) will serve a focused mostly sandwich-based menu year round on the streets of Rockland.

Malcolm has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 for the food truck.

Next month Malcolm will be competing at the World Food Championships in the sandwich category. He plans to open ‘Wich, Please in April and at an as yet unreleased location near Main Street.

For more information or to contribute to the campaign visit the ‘Wich, Please Kickstarter page.

Triangle Cafe

October 22nd, 2014

Foundation House, an alcohol and drug addiction recovery program, has leased the former Portland & Rochester. They’re renamed the space Triangle Cafe and plan on using it as “a multi-function space that provides a nutritional and occupational based holistic component to our program as well as a location for our residents and alumni to gather.”

According to their marketing materials their plans also include making “This new venture is also open to the public”.

Maine Butcher Series

October 22nd, 2014

The Golden Dish has published the second installment in an (part 1, part 2) ongoing series on butcher shops in Maine.

The revival of the neighborhood butcher shop is strong in Maine, with master butchers relying on nose-to-tail butchery and the bounty from local farms.

Best Desserts in Portland

October 22nd, 2014

Travel + Leisure have included Duckfat, Gelato Fiasco, Maine Pie Line and Piccolo in their list of the best dessert destinations in Portland.

Do you have some favorites you’d add to the list?

Bao Bao Opening

October 21st, 2014

Bao Bao Dumpling House is scheduled to open today at 5 pm. The restaurant was open to the public Saturday night after two days of invitation-only dinner services that saw dedicated fans of chef Cara Stadler lined up on the sidewalk waiting for a table.

MaineBiz, Maine Today and Eater Maine have also posted photos and details on Bao Bao. Check-out Eating Portland Alive some initial impressions on the food and the space.

Wine Dinners: Terry Theise, Italian Organics, Frank Cornelissen, La Spinetta (Updated)

October 20th, 2014

Several wine dinners have been announced:

  • A group of four Northern Italian organic winemakers—Elisabetta Foradori, Silvio Messana, Alessandra Bera, and Elena Pantaleoni—will be at Vinland for a dinner on October 29th.
  • Winemaker Giorgio Rivetti and Rosemont are teaming up on a wine dinner at O’Maine Studios featuring “rich, graceful, intense wines, from organically grown grapes, biodynamically farmed” from La Spinetta Winery in Piedmont and Tuscany. The dinner is on November 1st, tickets are $85 per person.
  • Winemaker Giorgio Rivetti will be at The Corner Room for a dinner featuring La Spinetta Winery in Piedmont on November 2nd.
  • Hugo’s is hosting James Beard award-winning author Terry Theise for a dinner on November 6th. Theise is the author of Reading Between the Wines. $165 per person.
  • Terry Theise will be joining Rosemont at the Mayo Street Arts Center on November 7th to lead a tasting of several “special, rare, and never-before-available-in-Maine grower-produced Champagnes” along with small plates provided by chef Brad Messier. $85 per person.
  • Frank Cornelissen, a leader in the in the natural wine movement, will be at Vinland for a dinner featuring his wines from his vineyard on Mount Etna on December 6th. Natural wine guru Zev Rovine and Ned Swain from Devenish Wines in Portland are co-hosting the event.

This Week’s Events: Harvest on the Harbor, Rising Tide, Indie Biz, Triple Nickel

October 20th, 2014

harvestonthebar_logoTuesdayKate McCarty will be speaking about her book Portland Food: The Culinary Capital of Maine at the Maine Women Writers Collection, the monthly Local Foods Networking Breakfast is taking place.

Wednesday — the winners of the 7th Annual Indie Biz Awards are being announced, it’s the first day of Harvest on the Harbor, Black Tie is serving a farm dinner in New Gloucester, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — artist Sam Van Aken will be at Thompson’s Point for a kick-off of the Tree of 40 Fruit grove, tastings are taking place at the Public Market House and The Corner Store, Five Fifty-Five is throwing the Triple Nickel Bourbon & Bacon Bash, and Harvest on the Harbor continues.

Friday — it’s the third day of Harvest on the Harbor.

Saturday — Oxbow is holding The Goods from the Woods at their homebase in Newcastle, it’s the last day of Harvest on the Harbor, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market are taking place.

SundayRising Tide is throwing a party to celebrate their 4th Anniversary.

Pocket Brunch Tickets — after nearly a year and a half sabbatical the Pocket Brunch crew is back with a 6-course brunch in collaboration with Marshall Wharf, Novare Res and In’finiti. It’s scheduled for November 2nd. Tickets are now on sale.

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.

Gorgeous Gelato’s Liquor License Application

October 19th, 2014

Gorgeous Gelato(website, facebook, twitter) has applied for a liquor license. As they explain in their cover letter (page 77),

Espresso coffee and certain Gelato sundaes become really exquisite when some liquor is added. We would also love to serve our customers a very small selection of famous Italian liquors, such as: Lemoncello, Grappa and Sambuca.


October 19th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram features a check-in with chef/owner David Levi as his restaurant Vinland(website, facebook) approaches its 1-year anniversary.

It started slowly. Other restaurateurs had told him not to expect business to pick up until after the Fourth of July, but still, June dragged on. He shook up the menu with a new small plate theme – letting customers build a meal of any five plates for $60. He’d had good press in the Wall Street Journal in May. The cruise ships came in, but those passengers never seemed to make it up the hill. He decided to stay open on the 4th itself; other restaurants were closing, but if there were customers to be had, he resolved to take advantage. “It turned out to be a really big night for us,” he said. For the next couple of weeks, there would be sporadic bursts of business, huge nights on a Monday or Tuesday and then relative calm again. Then around the middle of the month, high season started in a big way. “Every night was a huge night until Labor Day,” Levi said.

First Look: Bao Bao

October 18th, 2014

Eating Portland Alive has published some photos and first impressions of Bao Bao. He’s also captured pictures of the menus.

Under Construction: Isa

October 18th, 2014

Isa, the new restaurant under construction at 79 Portland Street, has applied for a liquor license. Owner Suzie Saint Pierre is converting the former New World Kitchens building into a “40-seat bistro serving casual and affordable fare”.

Saint Pierre has 15 years of experience in the industry as a server, bartender and manager. She hopes to open Isa in December.




Under Construction: Tiqa

October 18th, 2014

Tiqa, the restaurant under construction in the new Marriott on Commercial Street, has applied for a liquor license. As we reported back in August, Tiqa will be serving Mediterranean cuisine. Owners Deen Haleem and Carol Mitchell have included a description of the menu (page 63) in the materials submitted for review.

In total Tiqa will be able to seat 276 people: 57 in the lounge/bar, 35 on the patio, a 15 at the chef’s bar, 58 in the dining room and 111 in the private dining room. Haleem and Mitchell hope to open Tiqa in early next year.