Archive for April, 2009

Bar Installation at Grace

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Tivi Design has posted photos of the new bar they’ve built and installed at Grace. The circular bar has a canopy of glass that echoes the window design of the historic Chestnut Street Church. Grace is still under construction, they plan on opening for business this summer. Eric Simeon is coming on board as their Executive Chef.

Burrito Bar Review

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Portland Bar Guide has reviewed Burrito! in Westbrook.

A small deck in front of the restaurant beckons but you better get there early, or else that seat will be taken by someone unwilling to give it up. Margaritas on a deck, can you blame them?

PeRx-U-Up Cafe

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

PeRx-U-Up Cafe received 4 stars from the Eat & Run column in today’s Portland Press Herald.

The cafe is not a big place – just a couple of small tables, some counter seating and, now that the weather has improved, some outdoor tables. The bottom line: The food is fresh, good and reasonably priced.

Sunday Brunch

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

This week’s Portland Phoenix provides guidance for cooking up your own Eggs Benedict at home for those times when “it might have been better for your constitution (and reputation) to stay home in your bathrobe.” If you still want to venture out check the Sunday Brunch List for your options.

There are several terrific places where this brunch might go down in Greater Portland, but they are all likely to share one ingredient: a line stretching out the door. Your arrival in last night’s party clothes and disheveled hair barely elicits a nod from your equally hung-over companions, already there staking out a place on the waiting list.

Port City Life

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

pcl11_3The new print issue of Port City Life includes a profile of Paciarino along with co-owner Fabiana DeSavino’s tiramasu recipe, a look at local food distribution networks, and an article about Local Sprouts, Portland’s community supported kitchen.

Kelp Noodles

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The Boston Globe has a report on kelp noodles, “seaweed in long, green strips cut to the rough dimensions of linguine” produced here in Portland by Ocean Approved. The noodles are available at Browne Trading, Harbor Fish Market and Whole Foods.

Like pasta noodles, kelp is a submissive plate-mate, wrapping neatly around the tender mussels on a fork and bending nicely to their sweet, meaty flavor. Hot, simple food has a tendency to make you smile after a few hours on a cold ocean, and we slip into port a happy crew. The ocean provides – noodles and all.

North Star Music Cafe Review

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The Maine Switch has reviewed North Star.

Once in a while when a restaurant opens, the stars and the moon align and the crowds descend. Such was the case when Kim Anderson and Anna Maria Tocci opened North Star Music Café two years ago at the base of Munjoy Hill. A packed entertainment schedule, the simply prepared food and the free wi-fi quickly solidified its status as one of the city’s most popular gathering spots and eateries.

Maine Cheese

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The Portland Daily Sun ran an article this weekend about Maine-based cheese production and the Maine Cheese Guild.

The group provides education around cheesemaking and is trying to encourage new cheesemakers. “We aren’t making enough cheese to meet demand,” noted current guild president Eric Rector, “we still need more cheesemakers making high quality cheese to meet demand before we start marketing outside the state.”

This Week’s Events

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Bar Lola is holding a wine dinner Tuesday evening contrasting wines of the same varietal from the Old World and the New. The Slow Food Book Group is meeting Wednesday, they’ll be discussing Down and Out in Paris by George Orwell. There are four classes scheduled this week: cooking clases at Piatto per Tutti on Monday and Black Tie Bistro on Wednesday; as well as Maine Ambassadors of Food and Drink classes on Tuesday and Thursday. There are two wine tasting: at the West End Grocery on Friday and Leroux Kitchen on Saturday. Sunday evening the next movie in the Food Film Series, Tampopo, will be screened at One Longfellow Square with dinner sourced from Miyake. Farmers’ Markets are being held in Monument Square on Wednesday and at Deering Oaks Park on Saturday. If you’re up for a road trip, Ruth Reichl, the Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine, will be speaking in Portsmouth on Friday night. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

Asmara Review

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Asmara, the Eritrean restaurant on Oak Street, has received 3½ stars from the Taste & Tell column in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

Asmara, an established culinary outpost of Eritrea in Portland, serves dinners with the scents and tastes of eastern Africa. Spicy cayenne, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, thyme and cloves imbue meats, greens, dried peas and lentils with an exotic allure. Red cayenne in a paste called berbere livens up lamb, chicken and beef with a trickle of fire.

Under Construction Updates

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Old Port Wine Merchants is building a new retail space at 221 Commercial street and will be moving out of their space on Fore street relatively soon.

According to a report from Justin Henry’s Green Galoshes, Viet Bangkok Cuisine is up for sale and plans to close if no buyer is found within the next month.

Good News Portland has a news brief about the re-opening of the renovated Porthole.

A new liquor license for Binga’s Wingas is on the agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting. Binga’s location at the corner of Deering and Congress was the site of a fire back in November of last year. Binga’s plans on opening their new Portland restaurant at 50 Wharf street in the space formerly occupied by Cake.

Grace will also be at the City Council meeting Monday for their liquor license application. A sample menu for the restaurant (located on page 163 of the agenda) provides a first look at what Chef Eric Simeon has planned.

Potatoes, Wine & Beer

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

There are a few late additions to this weekend’s calendar worth drawing attention to. This morning Cultivating Community is holding their 8th Annual Potato Planting and Farm Clean Up Day out at Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth. Go for the pancake breakfast and stay for the potato planting. This afternoon Rosemont Market is holding a tasting of some excellent wines from Burgundy. Tomorrow there will be a group of Belgian brewers and associated professionals at Novare Res where they will be “pouring hard to find draughts and rare bottles.” For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

Bagkok Thai Review

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Mitten Machen has published a review of Bangkok Thai.

There is an ample vegetarian section, and many dishes can be made vegan by omitting egg or fish sauce. On the chickpea scale of vegan-friendliness, I give Bangkok Thai a very respectable three chickpeas. It’s a safe bet if you’re looking for a quick, economical vegan meal.

Under Construction: The Salt Exchange

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009


Martha and Charlie Bryon, the owners of The Salt Exchange, sent along this photo of their work site on Commercial street. The Bryons write that the kitchen will lead by Jacob Jascinski, who’s resume includes the White Barn Inn. They hope to open their “small plates endeavor” in late May with “regional ‘New American’ cuisine designed for sampling and sharing”.

As you might be able to discern from the blueprint (Commercial street is shown on the right) the plan calls for a bar, seating for 50+ and tables on the  sidewalk.


Eve’s at the Garden

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Eve’s at the Garden has hired an Executive Chef , Earl Anthony Morse, to fill the gap left by Jeff Landry’s departure. According to the press release, Morse’s job history includes time spent at Le Cirque in Las Vegas, Van Dender in Belgium, Four Seasons in Boston, and Agaria and PS7’s in Washington, DC. Morse’s last position was as the Chef de Cuisine at the White Barn Inn.