This Week’s Events: Mothers & Thieves, Edible Book Contest, Winter Market, Vinland Seder

March 30th, 2015

mothersandthievesMonday — there will be a wine tasting at Flock & Vine.

Tuesday — as part of their new pop-up series, Vinland is hosting chefs Ryan Quigley and Tavis Potter for a Mothers & Thieves 7-course dinner.

WednesdayBlack Tie is teaching a cooking class.

ThursdayThe Great Lost Bear will be showcasing beer from Liquid Riot, and Sur Lie is holding a wine tasting event.

Friday — the Edible Book Contest entries will be on display at the Public Library and there will be wine tastings at the West End Deli and at Rosemont on Brighton.

Saturday —the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — Vinland is serving a Passover Seder.

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.

The Sinful Kitchen Now Open

March 29th, 2015

11055638_341577419384048_1733346659_nThe Sinful Kitchen(facebook, website) is now open. Chef David Mallari plans to serve brunch 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday. It’s located at 906 Brighton Ave in the building formerly occupied by La Familia.

Restaurant Inspection & Food Safety

March 29th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an update on the city’s restaurant inspection program,

The paper revealed that many restaurants hadn’t been inspected for years and that, when the city hired its first health inspector in 2011, 19 out of the first 23 restaurants inspected failed – a failure rate of 82.6 percent. Since then, the failure rate has steadily improved. It was 45.5 percent in 2012 (40 out of 88 restaurants), 10.5 percent in 2013 (33 of 314) and just 6.4 percent in 2014 (31 of 482).

and an article on the crack-down on Portland chef’s use of cooking methods such as sous vide.

In recent months, hundreds of pounds of meat have been embargoed by health officials and are waiting in cold storage until restaurants can prove the food is safe. Several restaurants have been ordered to stop vacuum-sealing their meats, cooking sous vide dishes and offering some types of house-cured meats until they develop special hazard plans and in some cases get formal variances from the Maine Food Code.

Review of the Miss Portland Diner

March 29th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Miss Portland Diner.

The Miss Portland Diner serves all you’d expect at a classic hash house, from scrambled eggs and pancakes to sandwiches and burgers. Ask for a booth in the restored 1949 lunch wagon, and try a traditional Reuben. Stacked with sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss and Thousand Island dressing, it’s a paean to all things deli. Burgers here are good, but sides are even better: ultra-bright and crispy coleslaw, thick-cut potato chips and sweet potato fries with a welcome snap. Definitely try dessert from one of the countertop cake stands. A single slice of homemade whoopie pie cake (a riff on Maine’s official state treat) is weighty and rich, with frosting enough for four.

Review of DiMillo’s

March 28th, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed DiMillo’s.

The entrée menu is hardly ground-breaking, and all one can hope for is for it to be wholesome and tasty. Of the two local haddock dishes, I chose the more complicated one instead of the simpler broiled haddock with bread crumbs. I figured, try the more complex version.  So out came a giant piece of haddock stuffed with butternut squash and cornbread covered in a maple-cream sauce. It was so sweet it could have doubled as dessert. The baked potato was served without butter, and the little tub of sour cream with chopped scallions helped to moisten the dry flesh. With it were the predictable spears of broccoli, slightly overdone.

Best Brews: 21 Breweries, 101 Beers, Beer Madness

March 27th, 2015

Boston magazine has published their list of the 21 best breweries in New England. It includes Banded Horn(17), Marshall Wharf(16), Oxbow(6), Maine Beer Company(5) and Allagash(2).

Men’s Journal has posted their list of the 101 best beers in America which includes Bissell Brothers Substance and Allagash Interlude. Portland’s own Greg Norton, owner of the Bier Cellar helped assemble the list.

Finally, Maine Today has kicked off their Maine Beer Madness bracket survey.

Under Construction: LemonCycle

March 27th, 2015

The Forecaster has posted a report on LemonCycle.

While most 15-year-olds get summer jobs at grocery stores or pizza places, Nat Jordan has decided to do something a little more entrepreneurial.

The Cape Elizabeth High School sophomore is starting his own business, LemonCycle, and plans to launch it this summer in Portland.

Jordan is putting a twist on the classic lemonade stand: he plans to use a tricycle with a cart built on the front to ride around and sell homemade lemonade.

Portland Phoenix Readership Poll

March 26th, 2015

phoenix2015The nominees have been announced and voting has begun in the Portland Phoenix 2015 Best of Portland Readership Poll.

Portland Food Map is a nominee this year in two categories:

  • Best Food Blog/Column category (along with Portland Food Coma, From AwayEater Maine and The Daily Dish)
  • Best Blog category (along with Spinster Jane, Fighting the Tides, Hilly Town, and Knack Factory).

Now is the time to review the full list of categories/nominees  and to vote for your favorites.

Review of East Ender

March 26th, 2015

Map & Menu have reviewed the new East Ender.

It turns out that all of our worrying was for naught because now that we’ve tried Karl Deuben & Bill Leavy’s reincarnation of the East Ender on our favorite block of Middle Street (read: one of the most delicious blocks in all of Portland), we realized that it’s not the truck that made the meal, but the chefs behind the grill.

Review of Sur Lie

March 26th, 2015

The Portland Phoenix restaurant critic Brian Duff has reviewed Sur Lie.

Sur Lie calls their very first category “to settle” and their dessert category “closure” (the latter features a pair of fantastic fresh donuts, with a tart blueberry filling). But the power of a well-designed list is to trigger what anthropologists call the seeking instinct — rooted in our brain’s most robust neurocircuitry — which never settles nor reaches closure. It’s what drives us through the Internet, click by click, and the rest of life, too. Sur lie’s best innovation might be making small plate dining seem affordable and accessible, but still intriguing and ambitious. It will leave you seeking another chance to visit.

This week’s edition also includes a visit to Lolita with Petite Jacqueline’s chef Fred Eliot.

A.C.: Now that you’re back on marrow, what makes this version special?
It’s super rich, but not an enormous portion. After a long day at work I like to have something that’s not too big because I want to go to bed. But I do like something rich like this or ramen noodles. What’s really cool here is they do it over the fire, so it adds this smokey flavor to it. It’s nothing intense but it’s woody. It’s messy, interactive. It gets everywhere. You need a lot of bread.

Tony’s Donuts Expanding

March 25th, 2015

The Press Herald reports that Tony’s Donuts has closed their South Portland location and is planning to expand their Portland store.

Fournier plans to expand the original family business at Congress and Bolton streets by renovating a former auto maintenance garage on the property into a coffee shop, he said.

“By the time I get done with renovations, you won’t recognize it,” Fournier said.

Sea Fantasy: Eventide

March 25th, 2015

The Angela Adams blog Sea Fantasy has posted a photo essay of Eventide.

2015 James Beard Award Nominees (Updated)

March 24th, 2015

JBF_AWARDS_MEDALLION-BLOGJames Beard Foundation has announced the final nominees for this year’s awards competition. Of the 10 Maine-based semi-finalists announced in February, 4 are final nominees:

  • Best New Restaurant – Central Provisions
  • Best Chef: Northeast – Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley at Eventide Oyster Company, and Masa Miyake at Miyake
  • Rising Star of the Year – Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan

The award winners will be announced May 4th at the Lyric Opera in Chicago at the JBF Awards Gala hosted by Alton Brown.

Update: Both the Press Herald and Bangor Daily News have published reports on the award nominees.

The Sinful Kitchen Opening Sunday

March 24th, 2015

Chef David Mallari has announced plans to open The Sinful Kitchen(facebook, website) this Sunday, 8-2.

The last inspection passed!
We are going to do a soft opening for the general public this coming Sunday 3/29 from 8-2pm.
We will then start our regular business hours on Wednesday, April 1st.

The restaurant will be serving brunch menu 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday.

Food Trucks for Sale (Updated)

March 24th, 2015

Several food trucks are for sale:

On the flip side, at least two new food trucks are set to launch this year: Cannoli Joe’s and an, as yet unnamed, Japanese food truck.

Update: the Press Herald reports that Don’s Lunch has been sold.

This Week’s Events: JBF Nominees, Louis/Dressner, Ardeche Wine Dinner, Sebastien Riffault Wine Dinner, Flanagan’s Table

March 23rd, 2015

2015-02-11_21-36-56Tuesday — the list of final nominees for this year’s James Beard Awards will be released. 10 Maine semi-finalists are on the long list for 2015.

WednesdayBlack Tie is teaching a cooking class.

Thursday — Maine & Loire is holding a Louis/Dressner tasting, Devenish Wines and Congress Squared are collaborating on an Ardeche wine dinner, it’s community family night at Grace, The Great Lost Bear will be showcasing beer from Oxbow Brewing, and there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House.

Friday — winemaker Sebastien Riffault will be at Vinland for a natural Sancerre wine dinner.

SaturdayDavid Turn will be the featured chef at a sold out Flanagan’s Table dinner, the Portland Food Co-op is holding a bitters workshop, and the Winter 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.

Chef Cara Stadler

March 22nd, 2015

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about chef Cara Stadler.

Also on her 10-year agenda is expanding her business. She doesn’t want any more restaurants, but hopes to develop some food businesses that will give her employees a living wage, health care, and some growth opportunities so they’ll stay with her longer. She’d like, for example, to start some kind of fermentation company with [Josh] Fratoni, who is an expert on the topic. She also wants to start making and selling the hot sauces that [Saskia] Poulos has been experimenting with the past few years.

But for now, she’s still enjoying the national spotlight and the boost it has given to her business. While loyal locals keep Tao Yuan busy in winter, summer traffic was “way more intense” last year.

Review of JP’s Bistro

March 22nd, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed JP’s Bistro.

If you’re looking for ease and comfort in a neighborhood bistro, JP’s fits the bill. The small dining room is appealing and the wait staff uber-welcoming. Dishes, however, can be overly complicated, and with prices north of $25 for steak and a few pasta-based entrees, it’s worth ordering with care. Keep it simple and try chicken, sausage and white bean soup, a flavorful starter filled with chunks of white meat, spinach and ditalini pasta. Ribeye is nicely marbled and competently grilled, but skip the bourbon sauce and enjoy it solo. Definitely get two spoons to share chef John Paul Gagnon’s excellent bread pudding for dessert. Made with slices of challah from Sorella’s Bakehouse, it’s surprisingly delicate and pleasingly sweet; you may find yourselves dueling over the last bite.

Down East: Best New Restaurants

March 20th, 2015

The cover article of the April issue of Down East is the magazine’s list of the Best New Restaurants in Maine.

Portland area restaurants on the list are: Bao Bao, Blue Rooster, Bramhall, Central Provisions, Dutch’s, East Ender, Ebb & Flow, El Rayo in Scarborough, Elsmere BBQ, Empire, Enio’s, Hugo’s, Isa, Outlier’s, Lolita, Piccolo, Salvage BBQ, Slab, Sur Lie, Timber, Tiqa and Vinland as well as the upcoming restaurants The Honey Paw, MC Union, Scales and Tempo Dulu.

The article is not available online yet.

Isa Is Now Open (Updated)

March 19th, 2015

isa_dessertIsa(facebook, website) is opening for business tonight. Owners Suzie St. Pierre and Isaul Perez have a number of years experience working in restaurants in New York City. It’s billed as a “cozy neighborhood bistro serving an eclectic yet seasonally driven menu“.

The restaurant is located at 79 Portland Street just a couple doors down from Back Bay Grill. Isa will be open 6 days a week Wednesday through Monday. They’ll initially be serving just dinner but plan to eventually be open daily 11am – close.

Update: The Golden Dish has published a first look post on Isa.