Archive for February, 2009

Shay’s Review

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

The Portland Bar Guide has reviewed Shay’s.

Being a happy hour hot spot, Shays boasts $5 martinis everyday, all day. Choices include cosmos, Bourbon Lemonade Martini and a questionable choice- the Bleu Martini. That’s right folks, it’s a vodka martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives and the waitress told me people love it. (What is wrong with you people?)

Marcy’s Review

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

The Boston Globe has reviewed Marcy’s.

Earlier, when Michaelene put a hot triple stack of blueberry buttermilk pancakes in front of my husband, he took a bite, handed me a forkful and announced, “When blueberry pancakes were invented, this is what they had in mind.” My beef stew arrives in a “cup” the size of a big cereal bowl. The stew is rich and meaty. Michaelene insists on grilling my peanut-butter-and-chocolate-chip muffin. More calories? Who cares? Lunch for two is less than $14.

RestaurantWeekME Menus

Monday, February 16th, 2009

The menu options for the venues participating in RestaurantWeekME are now available online. For most of the restaurants you’ll have a choice of 3 options each for appetizer, main course and dessert. All the restaurants have chosen a price point of $20.09, $30.09 or $40.09 per person.  There are also a number of special events scheduled for RestaurantWeekME.

This Week’s Events

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Both Piatto per Tutti and Black Tie Bistro are teaching  cooking classes this week on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.   The biweekly Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place in Monument Square on Wednesday.  Wednesday evening the Portland City Council will debate an ordinance to allow raising domesticated chickens within the city. Also Wednesday night The Great Lost Bear is holding a tasting with Maine Mead Works and Old Port Wine Merchants is co-hosting a Greek wine tasting with Emilitsa.   Leavitt & Sons is holding a  wine tasting on Thursday. On Sunday, the Blue Spoon is offering a Winter Sunday SupperFor more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

Meal Deals

Monday, February 16th, 2009

A number of Portland restaurants are now offering specials, giving diners stressed by the bad economy another reason to keep eating out. Here’s a list of the ones I’ve heard about so far:

  • Bar Lola – 5-course prix-fixe menu, Wednesday-Saturday, $36.
  • Blue Spoon – 3-course prix fixe menu, Monday-Saturday, $25.
  • Cinque Terre – “A select chef’s tasting menu”, Wedneday-Saturday, $27.50.
  • Emilitsa – “an endless series of metzethes small plates, chef’s choice, served family style.” Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5-7 pm, $20.
  • Evangeline – 3-course prix fixe menu on Monday nights, $25-30.
  • Hugo’s – 3-course “includes a choice of first course, main course and dessert”, Tuesday-Thursday, $25.
  • Vignola – 4-course prix fixe, Sunday evenings, $25.

And in early March 20+ Portland restaurants are participating in RestaurantWeekME. March 1-10 they’ll all be offering prix fixe menus for $20.09, $30.09 or $40.09.

Brief Reviews

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Type A Diversions has published a brief review of the eats at Brian Boru. Her conclusion?

Go for the Guinness. Skip the food.

Accidental Vegetables has weighed in with a brief review of Loco Pollo.

Otis and I finally made it over to Loco Pollo on Washington Ave yesterday, and we were really glad we did. For $14 we got a filling, flavorful meal for both of us– in a friendly and colorful atmosphere.

Chickens, Pearls, etc

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

The Portland City Council is scheduled to meet Wendnesday night. Urban chickens are on the agenda (link is to a large PDF) as is a liquor license for Pearl, a bar that’s proposed for the former location of Onyx, revisiting the vote on the Cactus Club, as well as liquor licenses for The Farmer’s Table and Typerwriter Tavern. Paperwork submitted to the city confirms that Jeff Landry is behind The Farmer’s Table and includes a draft menu (see page 120 of the agenda).

Chickens and Waterfront Zoning

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

This week’s issue of The Forecaster has a couple food-related articles. There’s a report on the proposal before the City Council to allow raising domesticated chickens in the city,

Residents like Elaine McGillicuddy are excited about the prospect. McGillicuddy said she heard about the proposal and immediately began educating herself about chickens and sending e-mails to friends encouraging them to support the urban chicken movement.

and news on the struggle over the appropriate use of waterfront property along Commercial Street,

The owner of the Comedy Connection and Porthole restaurant wants to reopen the former Boone’s Restaurant space on Custom House Wharf, but is meeting resistance from the city in a new challenge to waterfront zoning rules.

Turf’s Sports Bar Review

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The Portland Bar Guide formerly known as 1:00 a.m. Curfew and before that know as John Everett’s Bar Guide has reviewed Turf’s Sports Bar. The reviews conclusion was that Turf’s is “Nothing special. Just the average, bland, Warren Avenue sports bar.”

What is good about the place? It’s huge. If you have a very large party and looking to get everyone seated for food and drinks, Turf’s can accommodate you. If you’re stuck with a kid and want to have a few drinks, you can ditch the baby at Joker’s and kick back with a tall one on the other side of the building.

They must be doing something right because they’re still in business while many others are folding.

Bogey’s Review

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The Bogey’s Bar and Grill received 3½ stars from this week’s Eat & Run column in today’s Press Herald.

Our chili connoisseur (who’s eaten this classic in at least a dozen Old Port eateries) gives the Bogey’s version ($4.95) five out of five stars.

The green peppers, meat and beans were fresh, spicy and satisfying. She cleaned the bowl.

A Call to Raise

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Tracy Allen from the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Maine has called for raising the minimum wage for tipped workers in a guest editorial that appeared in today’s Press Herald.

Despite the fact that they make up such a huge portion of the workforce, many restaurant workers are paid the tipped minimum wage, which is less than the overall minimum wage.

Federally, that means tipped workers are paid just $2.13 per hour plus tips.

The tipped minimum wage has been frozen at just $2.13 per hour since 1991 — that’s 18 years! With the passing of each year, tipped workers effectively earn less and less, and many struggle to make ends meet.

La Bodega Latina

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

The Portland Phoenix tries to decode culinary secret behind the bollos de yuca from La Bodega Latina.

Now that I know this thing is basically a meat-filled doughnut, I get why that Saturday my five-year-old daughter gobbled up nearly the whole thing before I intercepted the last bite. The crispy, golden outside gives way to a soft, steamy layer of deliciousness (a little bit more chewy than fried potato) and inside, magically seasoned ground beef.

The article’s author, Lindsay Sterling, has launched her own blog, Inside Immigrant Kitchens, where you can find some additional photos and a recipe for bollos de yuca.

Alcohol Sting Operation

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

According to a report in today’s Portland Daily Sun, several local business were caught up in a sting operation for selling alcohol to underage customers.

Lt. Michael Sauschuck said three summons were issued Jan. 23 and six more were issued on Jan. 24 during a compliance check that used a civilian decoy “between the ages of 18 and 20” who attempted to purchase alcohol without identification. Sauschuck said the 31 locations chosen for the sting were randomly-generated and part of an “ongoing operation” by the department to curb sales to minors.

Colucci’s, Vespucci’s and La Bodega Latina were among those “cited by Portland Police for underage alcohol sales”.

The Farmer’s Table

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Portland Psst! is reporting that a new restaurant called The Farmer’s Table is slated for 205 Commercial Street at the old Mims location.

Fore Street

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Travels with Hilary has reviewed the bar food at Fore Street.

It’s easy to make a meal out of the apps here, especially if starting with the wood oven roasted wild Maine mussels. Oh my! These are a must. A hefty bowl of plump mussels hailing Gurnet Strait, Brunswick, served in a rich garlic almond butter, accompanied by crusty bread and a soup spoon. I savored, I dunked and dredged, I slurped (quietly, very quietly). If it had been socially acceptable, I would have licked the bowl.