You Dine, We Donate

November 28th, 2015

Hugo’s, Eventide and The Honey Paw are partnering with the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital program You Dine, We Donate to raise $10,000 during the month of December.

5% of each check at the three restaurants will be donated to the hospital. Arlin Smith, Mike Smith, and Andrew Taylor, owners of Big Tree Hospitality Group, “will contribute a minimum of $10,000”.

Restaurant co-owners Andrew Taylor, Arlin Smith and Mike Wiley feel strongly about partnering about You Dine. We Donate. because they know how important the BBCH is to their local community. Taylor says, “My oldest son was a patient at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital as an infant and the warmth and incredible care meant so much to my wife and I during a difficult time. This is such a great opportunity for us to give back.”

Co-owner Smith says the partnership was a no-brainer. “We have children. Our employees have children. We feel good about supporting such an important institution in our community.” As a non-profit hospital, the BBCH relies on community support to provide world-class healthcare to all children, regardless of their families’ ability to pay.

Interview with Chris Harris

November 26th, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has interviewed Chris Harris, co-owner of Crooners & Cocktails.

LO: What do you feel makes your restaurant stand out from the other dining options in Portland?
CH: Attention to detail. I do my walkthrough of the dining room every single night. I measure the silverware. I measure the glassware. I measure how far the napkins are from the edge of the table. … We don’t want people to think it’s stuffy, because it’s not. But we are such professionals here, in every aspect. Everyone here is after the same goal, and that’s absolute perfection. We’re trying to do something special here in Portland, and there’s nothing else like us here.

Best Bars: Hunt & Alpine

November 26th, 2015

Hunt & Alpine has landed on the list of the Best Bars in America.

Portland’s first craft-cocktail bar continues to shine with a deep cocktail list that spans from approachable to geeky. There’s a smoky spin on a Negroni made with Cynar, tequila, mezcal and Fernet Branca and the simple Green Eyes: a gin sour sharpened to a keen edge with a healthy splash of green Chartreuse.

Bar Review of Eve’s

November 26th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Eve’s.

Tucked away on the second floor of the Portland Harbor Hotel is Eve’s at the Garden, a warm and elegant hotel bar and restaurant that boasts a toasty fireplace nook, superbly comfortable bar stools, and peaceful views of the patio sanctuary, which transforms into an ice sculpture garden come winter. While the cocktail list is mediocre, this is the perfect place to enjoy a nice glass of Scotch, share a bottle of red, or order a warm Irish Dream Coffee.

Hunters for the Hungry

November 25th, 2015

The Times Union has published an article about the state’s Hunters for the Hungry program, which provides a way for hunters to donate to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries.

It’s a cool fall morning outside a red brick warehouse in Maine’s largest city, and Don Morrison is facing a tall order. It’s time to turn 40 pounds of moose and deer meat into enough shepherd’s pie to feed 200 people by sundown.

Morrison, manager of the Portland anti-hunger group Wayside Food Programs, is happy to do it, in part, because of the source of the meat. Tonight’s dinner was acquired through Hunters for the Hungry, a state-run program that allows hunters to donate their game. It has grown exponentially in recent years.

For more information, visit this page on the state’s website.

The Rink at Thompson’s Point

November 25th, 2015

Bramhall and the PB & ME food truck will be serving “food, treats, alcohol and warm beverages” at the 7,500 sq. ft. ice rink at Thompson’s Point. The rink is scheduled to open on December 1 and operate through to February 22.

More info on the rink: website, facebook, twitter.

Tomaso’s Canteen Now Open

November 24th, 2015

Primary_Logo_RGBTomaso’s Canteen(website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is now open.

Tomaso’s is located in the former Sangillo’s building at 18 Hampshire Street. Owner Sam Minervino has fully renovated the space; a long bar runs along the right wall and a kitchen has been installed at the back. The opening night menu includes the Wings (buffalo, Thai chili, or dirt) as well as single, double or triple Flat-Top Burgers and sandwiches such as Blackened Haddock, Fried Chicken and Italian Sausage with peppers and onions.

Tomaso’s is named for Minervino’s great grandfather.

CEI $10k Matching Challenge

November 24th, 2015

CEI—the nonprofit community development corporation Coastal Enterprise Inc—has received a matching challenge from Newman’s Own Foundation to raise $10,000 over the next 7 days. If CEI is successful, Newman’s Own will match the funds with an additional $10k.

CEI plans to devote the money to “help create economic opportunity for young farmers and food related businesses in rural Maine”.

Global food security starts on the farm and requires a strong and vibrant system that supports farmers, producers, the value chain, consumers and the environment. In the rural state of Maine, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) provides loans and technical assistance to smaller, low-income players in innovative farm-food businesses, helping them to increase production, create a livelihood, and connect to markets.

Reversing a generational decline, there are 2,000 more Maine farms with 100,000 more acres in production than 30 years ago. From 2007 to 2012, Maine farmers under 35 increased by 40%. Help us build the foundations of our local food systems to spur sustainable economic growth and revitalization.

You can help CEI meet their goal by making a donation online at Crowdrise. The deadline for the matching challenge is December 1st.

New Winter Farmers’ Market Location

November 23rd, 2015

The winter edition of the Farmers’ Market starts on December 5th. This year the market is moving to a new home at 84 Cove Street which is just around the corner in East Bayside from the Urban Farm Fermentory.

The winter market began February 13, 2010. In its first year it was located at 85 Free Street, for the next 2 years it operated out of the Irish Heritage Center and it has been held at the Urban Farm Fermentory for the past 2 seasons.

This Week’s Events: Farmers’ Market, Thanksgiving, James & Julie, Black Friday, Duckfat/Oxbow Dinner

November 23rd, 2015

Wednesday — the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thanksgiving — If you plan to eat out for Thanksgiving make your reservations now.

  • Brian Boru, Thanksgiving buffet, $23.99 (children under 12 are half priced), noon – 5:30
  • C-Squared, 3-course, $65 per person, 11 – 8.
  • Eve’s at the Garden is serving a buffet, $55 per person, ages 6-12 $24.95 and children under 6 are free.
  • Five Fifty-Five, 4-course dinner for $80 per person, there’s also a 3-course children’s dinner for $35 per person, 1-8.
  • Harraseeket Inn is serving their Thanksgiving Grand Buffet.
  • Old Port Tavern, $20, 3-9.
  • Saltwater Grille is serving a Thanksgiving buffet, $49.99 per person, $14.99 for children.
  • Sea Glass is serving their Thanksgiving Grand Buffet, $60 per adult, children 5-12 are $22, kids under 5 are free, 12-8.
  • Tempo Dulu, 5 courses, $85 per person.
  • Timber, 4-course dinner, $35 per person, vegetarian options available, 1-8.
  • Twenty Milk Street is serving a Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Union is serving 3-($55) and 5-($79) course Thanksgiving dinners, 12:30 – 8:30.
  • Wayside Food Program is holding their annual Thanksgiving Dinner at the Portland Club, 11-1.
  • Zackery’s is serving a Thanksgiving buffet, $27 per adult, $22 for seniors, children under 10 pay their age.
  • While making your own dinner plans, please consider making a donation to the Good Shepherd Food Bank to help them fight hunger in Maine.

Friday — Allagash is holding a bottle release for James and Julie, a “Flemish Sour Brown and offers an aroma of raisins, figs, cherries, and caramelized sugar”, and Oxbow is celebrating Dark Friday with all dark beers on tap and the release of the Black IPA, Snowball.

Sunday – the 4th Annual Duckfat/Oxbow Dinner 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.

Review of Terlingua

November 22nd, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Terlingua.

Terlingua is a boutique BBQ restaurant serving at least three – sometimes as many as five – house-smoked meats, plus a variety of Latin American specialties. With almost every dish available as a large or small plate, it’s also an affordable place for trying and sharing. Start with the bean and corn salad – it’s light, fresh and beautifully balanced – or the intensely flavorful chicharron, a square of pork belly with a crispy, scored skin that’s drizzled with a rosy ribbon of house-infused hibiscus honey.

Why Not Wild Game?

November 22nd, 2015

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram explores why it isn’t legal to sell wild game.

…All these local foods are fair game for the innovative local chef who relishes the concept of terroir – the French term for the distinct flavors of the environment foods grows in…But not local wild game, which can’t be sold commercially in the United States. It was regulated out of the retail market so long ago that even some food professionals don’t know why they’re not allowed to serve it.

Under Construction: Mast Landing Brewing Co.

November 22nd, 2015

The Press Herald reports that Mast Landing(website, facebook, instagram) is under construction at 920 Main Street in Westbrook. Owners Ian Dorsey and Neil Fredrick hope to open in January.

The nautical theme is carried by the names of the company’s brews. Its flagship beer, the Tell Tale Pale Ale, is a reference to a ribbon of the same name that’s tied to a sail, indicating the direction of the wind.

It’s fitting, [co-owner Ian] Dorsey said, as the company will look to that beer’s reception as an indicator of whether it’s going in the right direction.

The company also has two India pale ales, a blonde ale, an amber ale, a milk stout and a peanut butter stout.

Veranda Noodle House Now Open

November 21st, 2015

Veranda Noodle House is now open at 245 Commercial Street. It’s located in the space formerly occupied by The Salt Exchange.

The Noodle House serves several types of Phô, Tom Yum of Mi soups as well as Thai appetizer, curries and rice/noodle dishes. They’re open until 10 pm tonight.

Under Construction: Rhum

November 21st, 2015
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Here’s a look inside the construction site for Rhum, the new tiki bar and restaurant under development just off the corner of Cross and Free Streets.

The center of the room is dominated by a large rectangular bar which in addition to being tiki cocktail central will also house Rhum’s raw bar. The east wall of the subterranean space is a long and low serpentine lounge area where larger groups can gather and share some of Rhum’s large scale cocktails.

Rhum is a collaboration between Jason Loring, owner of Nosh and Slab; Mike Fraser, owner of Bramhall Pub; Nat Towl, builder and designer. The kitchen and bar will be led by the talented team of Frank Warren Anderson and Rebecca Ambrosi.

They’ve made a lot of progress on construction since the project began and hope to open Rhum this winter. You can get a taste of the menu at the Rhum sneak peak being held December 1st at Bramhall.

Fall Portland Eating Tour

November 21st, 2015

Bill Addison, Eater’s roving national restaurant critic, has posted an article about his recent visit to Portland.

Given its favor as a vacation destination, it’s widely known that the town has an astounding breadth of quality restaurants. And the options only keep growing broader and better. It is Maine’s largest city, though the population of the town proper only numbers around 67,000. In my 16 months of near-constant travel for Eater, I’ve yet to encounter a U.S. metropolis of its modest size where I eat more superbly.

The article provides tasting notes and observations on: Central Provisions, Chez Okapi, Emilitsa, Eventide, Fore Street, Hugo’s, Miyake, Palace Diner, Rabelais, Tempo Dulu and The Honey Paw.

Chef Mike Smith at Scales

November 20th, 2015

Mike Smith has been hired to lead the kitchen at Scales. Smith is a Culinary Institute of America graduate. He has spent six years in Boston working for Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. Rising through the ranks of their restaurant group to serve as chef de cuisine at Toro. Smith returned to live in Maine last year.

Sam Hayward shared with me that he’s looking forward to working with Smith and to seeing his interpretation of the vision for Scales. The 100+ seat waterfront seafood restaurant being developed by Dana Street and Sam Hayward. It’s currently under construction on the Maine Wharf off of Commercial Street, and is  set to open in 2016.

Food & Wine/Bon Appétit

November 19th, 2015

Retiring Food & Wine editor Dana Cowin named a dinner at The Lost Kitchen this summer as one of her Favorite Meals of 2015.

The new issue of Bon Appétit calls out Maine & Loire as an exemplar of what a good wine shop should be, “a small, focused shop with a staff who has probably tasted most of what they’re selling and who genuinely want you to find something great—in your budget.”

Ben Alfiero, 59

November 19th, 2015

benalfieroBen Alfiero, co-owner of Harbor Fish Market, passed away earlier this week at the age of 59.

Alfiero and his brothers, Nick Alfiero and Mike Alfiero, have been involved in the operation of the Harbor Fish Market since their father Ben Alfiero Sr. founded the business in 1969.

For years, Benjamin A. Alfiero ran the retail store for Harbor Fish Market, which is located at 9 Custom House Wharf on the city’s waterfront.

For more information and public comment see this facebook post by Harbor Fish.

Interview with Damian Sansonetti

November 19th, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has interviewed Damian Sansonetti, co-owner/chef of Piccolo.

CP: Why did you and Ilma move to Portland?
DS: We knew NYC wasn’t going to be for us in the long run even though we accomplished so much while there. We wanted a family and our own place. We traveled to other cities and couldn’t find a place we both felt good in, and then our friend Rod Mitchell who owns Browne Trading in Portland, kept asking me to visit Maine. So we did, and the first night we hit up four places to eat and found ourselves coming back four more times in six months and fell in love with the place and the people.

Sansonetti and his wife Ilma Lopez will be the featured chefs for a dinner at the Beard House in New York City this weekend.