Under Construction: Old Port Spirits and Cigars

April 20th, 2014
Old Port Wine Merchants has bought Down East Beverage and is in the process of converting to a new business to be named Old Port Spirits and Cigars.

We are planning on closing down Old Port Spirits for about a month to clean and renovate, but when we open we hope to/will have the best liquor and beer selection in town! So if there is anything special you want to see, please let us know, we want to carry what you guys want!

5 Stars for Central Provisions

April 20th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Central Provisions.

In Portland’s ever-expanding restaurant scene, Central Provisions is this city’s newest and perhaps brightest star. Chef and co-proprietor Chris Gould has created some of the most inventive food in Portland right now. After multiple visits and some 30 dishes, the restaurant’s trendy small-plate concept has been superbly achieved on each occasion. The format further allows you to create your own tasting menu from a list of nearly 50 small plates ($5 to $26) that form a fusion of cooking styles inspired by the cuisines of Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Also in today’s paper are a profile of the Salt + Sea CSF owner Justine Simon, an interview with Food & Wine Best New Chef Cara Stadler, an article about dandelion greens and the rest of this week’s edition of Source.

Pre-Tourist Season Eating

April 20th, 2014

Living, Eating and Aging has put together a list of places “Where to Eat Right Now (before the tourists arrive)“.

Interview with John R. Myers

April 19th, 2014

Knack Factory has published an interview with bartender John R. Myers.

What about those revelations appealed to you?
I think it is just like anything that you start to care about. You start caring about quality on another level, especially when your craft is related to your employment. When you care about doing it, it brings a whole new level of enjoyment. When you care about the quality of ingredients you are using and the fresh juices and the homemade concoctions, it keeps it interesting and makes it worth doing.

Reviews: El Corazon, Po’Boys, Caiola’s

April 19th, 2014

Eat Maine has reviewed El Corazon,

There are other taco choices, like the carnitas, where the pork shoulder is slowly braised in its own fat and slightly crisped up before serving, and the Baja fish taco which Joe insists must “always be fried, NEVER grilled.” All their sauces are made on the truck, including a mild salsa verde and an extra hot salsa made from dried New Mexican Hatch Chilies, which he gets directly from the source because, due to the soil they grow in, there is simply no replacement for these peppers.

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Po’Boys,

Po’ Boys and Pickles serves up authentic Louisiana fare in a relaxed atmosphere.  It’s built a great reputation for delicious food and great prices and we agree wholeheartedly!  While the $2.50 drafts are only Monday and Tuesday they are open 7 days a week. Do yourself a favor and stop by sometime. You’ll be hooked!

and The Golden Dish has reviewed Caiola’s.

I switched my order. The fish was beautifully cooked, flakey, moist and married to flavors worth the price of admission tenfold.

It was those smoked chickpeas, however, that stole the show—so typical of how Harmon comes up with these ingenious devises that are as trendy as haute hipster hangout fare anytime.

Chebeague Island Inn’s New Chef

April 18th, 2014

Maine a la Carte has reported on a preview dinner at Chebeague Island Inn prepared by their new chef Brandon Hicks.

Hicks moved to Maine from ilili Restaurant in New York City, where he spent the last three years as chef de cuisine. Before that, he worked at several New York restaurants, including a stint as chef de cuisine at Brasserie 8 1/2; maitre fromager at Artisinal Restaurant; and chef de partie at Picholine.

Hicks is also a certified master sommelier, and shared some of his knowledge about wine – as well as a bottle or two from his own cellar – during the course of the evening.

Review of MJ’s & Top of the East

April 18th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of MJ’s Wine Bar and Top of the East.

Dive bars are a crucial component of any urban bohemian’s personal mix of high and low culture. Within the paradigm of upscale drinking, however, we considered a different type of high/low juxtaposition: MJ’s Wine Bar at the bottom of One City Center, and the Top of the East Lounge, located on the top floor of what is now the Westin Portland Harborview hotel. The former allows you to drink under 13 stories of home-grown bankers and lawyers; at the other, you’re lounging above a dozen floors of business travelers and tourists.

Review of The North Point

April 17th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of The North Point.

Brothers Dan and Noah Talmatch have created a cavernous wine and cocktail bar in the Old Port with excellent food and exceptional service. Their nightly drink specials are some of the best you will find.

Kickstarter: Weft & Warp

April 17th, 2014

Erik Desjarlais has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help expand Weft & Warp Seamester. Desjarlais is a former Portland chef who now uses his skill at working with fabric and leather to produce knife rolls, aprons and for chefs and home cooks around the country.

The business has an ongoing backlog of orders and Desjarlais will be using the funds to move to a larger space, add staff and buy the supplies and tools needed to expand.

Visit the Weft & Warp Kickstarter page to learn more and to contribute to this effort.

Ana’s Mobile Gourmet (Updated)

April 16th, 2014


Ana’s Mobile Gourmet, Portland’s newest food truck, launched on Monday. Ana’s serves Salvadoran food: pupusas, taquitos, tamales, quesadillas, and burritos. Snap Reviews spotted them yesterday on West Commercial, and according to Ana’s facebook page the truck plans to be at the the Baxter Boulevard parking lot on Sundays.

Update: Ana’s has announced that their launch has been put on hold. They expect to be back on the road within a month.

Q&A with Arlin Smith

April 16th, 2014

Knack Factory has posted a Q&A with Arlin Smith from Hugo’s.

Why are you in this business?
I love taking care of people in a way that they didn’t even think was possible. I would say that fact alone is what drives me. Ultimately it is what I do every day for people. Most people see service as service, where they have a server and they get to beckon them, call them over, whatever is brought over, they pay them and they are on their way. I feel like hospitality is an anticipation of needs, it is making suggestions, it is getting guests something they wanted that they didn’t even know they wanted.

Liquid M2

April 15th, 2014

Urban Eye has posted an article on the opening of Liquid M2.

Opening three days ago on the emerging end of Fore Street, this heath-bar-meets-hip-lounge is the newest refueling station by Jacqueline Bradley.

Farm to bar means fruit and vegetables are added to smoothies and spirits for cocktails with a wholesome edge. Beet-infused vodka gives the ruby martini its hue. Not purple food coloring no. 2.

Family Feast

April 15th, 2014

Knack Factory has published a report from Sunday night’s Indonesian Family Feast.

We can genuinely say that the food and the event itself were both spectacular. We were seated at a table with Arlin Smith and Roxanne Dragon of Hugo’s Restaurant, Jessica Sueltenfuss, [Jason] Loring and others—all worthy judges of spectacular food—and we were collectively impressed plate after plate. Not only was the food worthy of celebration, the communal atmosphere that Pisha-Duffly stresses is imperative to this experience was in full effect and everyone was in the best of spirits.

Winnegance Oyster Farm

April 14th, 2014

Winnegance Oyster Farm has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $7,500 for their oyster and seaweed aquaculture farm.

Winnegance Oyster Farm is located on Maine’s New Meadows River. Our aim is to grow high quality oysters and edible seaweeds using techniques that are good for the environment. We chose the New Meadows for its clean water, its ability to support abundant sea life, and its proximity to the Portland market.

Jordan, Winnegance Oyster Co’s owner and sea-farmer, spent much of the last ten years working in wildlife biology. His background in environmental science, the food industry, and horticulture led him to the world of aquaculture.

Winnegance will be seeding their first batch of oysters this Spring and expect them to take 18 to 24 months to reach full size. Their first seaweed crop will be available in the spring of 2015.

Visit the Winnegance page to support their new venture. For more information on the farm checkout their blog and Facebook page.

Eating in Maine by From Away

April 14th, 2014

eating-in-maine-240x300Another new book about the Maine food scene, Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road is now available.

Discover places and plates old and new under the expert guidance of Jillian and Malcolm Bedell, who bring a unique Millennial Generation perspective to the Maine food scene. Month by month, the Bedells dish great Maine food, and their tastes are as wide-ranging as this book. Restaurant reviews range from Dysart s Truck Stop to Fore Street, from Fat Boy Drive-In to Duckfat. Recipes range from a riff on the Maine Italian sandwich to Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Roasted Golden Beets and Moroccan Couscous.

Eating in Maine is by Malcolm and Jillian Bedell, authors of From Away.

The book ($22.95, 288 pages) is available on the Tilbury House  website.

This Week’s Events: Vinland Seder, Michele D’Aprix

April 14th, 2014

Tuesday — the Local Foods Networking Breakfast is taking place at Local Sprouts, and Vinland is holding a Passover Seder.

Thursday — the Bier Cellar is hosting Foundation Brewing for a tasting and to kick-off the store’s retail growler program, The Great Lost Bear will be showcasing beer from Magic Hat.

FridayMichele D’Aprix will be the featured guest at a Rosemont’s Bordeaux wine dinner.

Saturday — there will be a salmon and gin tasting at the Sweetgrass retail space on Fore Street, and the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Urban Farm Fermentory on Anderson Street.

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.

Under Construction: Lolita

April 13th, 2014

Maine Today has posted an interview with the owners of Lolita, Guy and Stella Hernandez and Neil Reiter, about their new restaurant.

SA: So you’re going to be doing Italian-inspired food?
GUY: I would say Mediterranean more than Italian. Certainly we all have flavor profiles and dishes that we are attracted to and it is only in retrospect that we say, Oh, those are Italian, Oh, you’re really into those oily fish of North Africa and Spain or the Greek cultures of these slow-cooked foods or whatever it is. All of those things are what we like to eat and we secondarily say those are influences. It’s driven by ‘What do you want to eat? Oh, this is what I like .. Great.’ And that makes it easy for us to say ‘Should this be on the menu? Well would you buy it?

The partners hope to open Lolita (facebook, website) in mid-May.

Lifecycle of the American Eel

April 13th, 2014

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a feature article on the culinary and commercial ecology of elvers.

The short-term profits for baby eels are sweet – elvers are Maine’s second most lucrative water-based resource after lobster – but the long-term potential of growing those eels out to the more valuable adults here in Maine? Much sweeter, [fisherman Don] Sprague believes. Eel might be low on the list of Mainers’ favorite foods, but that doesn’t mean more of a profit couldn’t be made from other cultures’ love for it, or from the American sushi market. Sprague spells out the equation. “That $2,000 the fisherman got?” he said. “Now you multiply it times six.”

Wolfe’s Neck Farm Dinner Series

April 12th, 2014

Wolfe’s Neck Farm is collaboration with Miyake, Gather and Frontier on a Farm Dinner series:

  • June 22 – Miyake Pig Roast, $75 person.
  • August 24 – Frontier/Gather Family Farm Feast, $50 per person.
  • September 14 – Miyake Harvest Dinner. $125 per person.

For more information visit wolfesneckfarm.org.

Liquid M2 Opening Today

April 12th, 2014

liquidm2_logoLiquid M2 (facebook, twitter, website, instagram) a new juice bar and cafe will be opening today at noon.

Liquid M2 is located at 465 Fore Street, across from Miyake and Paciarino. You can see their juice, lunch, dinner and cocktail menus on their website.