Archive for May, 2009

Bear Garden

Sunday, May 31st, 2009


Shown in the photo above is Craig Howard hard at work tending The Great Lost Bear‘s new rooftop vegetable garden. Howard has beans, tomatoes, tomatillos, shallots, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, and a variety of peppers as well as lemongrass, and mint under cultivation—all destined for use in the GLB’s kitchen. If the rooftop concept works out, the hope is to expand it in the coming year.

Paciarino Review

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Paciarino received 4 stars in this week’s Taste and Tell review from the Maine Sunday Telegram.

The impeccable, fresh pasta at Paciarino, compelling Italian recipes and the fine Italian wine make dealing with a noisy dining room very much worth your while.

Reception Report

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Portland Fodder was part of kitchen crew that cooked for the wedding reception recently held at Grace, and he has published a report on the food at the event:

Passed items included Truffled Grilled Cheese, Gougeres, Chicken Confit Tartlet, Braised Duck Tacos, Oysters with Blood Orange Mignonette, Fried Clams with Chorizo Mayonnaise and several other finger foods. Also a carving, crudite, dipping and chef manned pasta station were setup throughout the dining room for guests to choose from. The flavors and aromas acheived were amazing! The flavor of the chicken confit was hands down the best chicken I have ever had!

Public Market House Expansion

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

The Public Market House on Monument Square is moving ahead with plans to expand to the second floor with space for 4-5 new shops and an eating area, according to an article in today’s Press Herald.

[Kris] Horton said the expansion will include a second floor and four or five new shops – averaging 380 square feet of space each – as well as new public restrooms and eating areas looking out over the square.

Horton and her partners are meeting with potential businesses.

Horton said they hope to fill the space with businesses that sell locally grown and produced products.

A butcher, a flower shop, a home-made clothing shop and a soup restaurant have shown interest, she said, and the space will be available by midsummer.

Hill[y]to[wn]p Cookie Review

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Hilly Town has published another installment in it’s weekly cookie review series. This week Hilltop Coffee Shop‘s peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie was the focus.

Hilltop’s PBCCC contained a goodly amount of salt, which suits my personal taste, and despite its age the insides were wonderfully soft and chewy. However, the bottom was greasy and the edges ever so slightly sandy, two minor design flaws that I will blame on the peanut butter. And peanut butter, as you know, is delicious, as long as you are not one of those poor people who is allergic.

The Food Switch

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

The latest edition of The Maine Switch includes articles about Cultivating Community “a Portland-based nonprofit that connects people to the earth, their food and one another through agriculture” and about Grown@Home which provides “weekly maintenance and new plantings throughout the growing season” for your home garden. There’s also an article by Harding Smith about barbecuing and additional piece about local barbecue sauce manufacturers. Especially interesting in this edition is a piece by Avery Yale Kamila as she tries to establish which watering hole is truly Portland’s oldest bar.

Pugsley’s Porter Wins 2nd Place Finish

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Shipyard Brewing‘s Imperial Porter won 2nd place at the 10th West Coast Beer Fest earlier this month.

Wedding at Grace

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

More photos of the interior of Grace have surfaced. This set is from a wedding reception that was recently held there. The restaurant is scheduled to open to the public sometime in late June.

Locavore Canola Oil?

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

The Boston Globe has an article about the canola crop being grown in Maine and pressed into cooking oil by Maine Natural Oils.

Rodney Chamberland has been working straight out plowing and planting over 100 acres of seed potatoes. The farm’s potatoes come first.

Then, Chamberland plants rotation crops. One he’s seeding this spring will turn into 30 acres of flowering yellow canola. The crop not only improves the potatoes he’ll grow on the same land next year, says Chamberland, but its seeds will also be pressed into one of the Northeast’s only regional cooking oils: Maine Natural Oils.

The article also quotes Leslie Oster from Aurora Provisions,

“I am more than all for it,” says Leslie Oster, the general manager of Aurora Provisions and a Slow Food Portland organizer. “Now, if we could just get someone to invest in a full-scale wheat production mill.”

Portland Lobster Co. Review

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Portland Bar Guide has reviewed Portland Lobster Company.

This Week’s Events

Monday, May 25th, 2009

The weekly Food and Drink Trivia Contest is at Bull Feeney’s tonight. The Wine Flight 5k Training Series kicks-off tomorrow. Black Tie Bistro is teaching a cooking class on Wednesday. On Thursday there will be a wine tasting at Browne Trading and a Marshall Wharf Brewing showcase at Great Lost Bear. Farmers’ Markets are being held in Monument Square on Wednesday and at Deering Oaks Park on Saturday.  For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

The Farmer’s Table Review

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

The Farmer’s Table received 4 stars in this week’s Taste and Tell review from the Maine Sunday Telegram.

The simplest things can be the hardest to accomplish.

A bowl of perfectly cooked fresh mussels, juicy roasted chicken, a cup of espresso and semifreddo or half-frozen chocolate terrine are all good examples of basic pleasures you can enjoy at the Farmer’s Table in Portland.

Evans & Hasty

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Rob Evans and Ben Hasty’s cooking class earlier this week at Stonewall Kitchen was written up in both the Portsmouth Herald

Evans explained just how much American cuisine has changed since his days at the legendary French Laundry Restaurant in Napa Valley. “Everyone’s awareness of food is elevated. We have local farmers and artisan food producers bringing us ingredients. The American chefs coming up, they don’t want to wear a suit or tie. And even American service has changed, it’s casual, fun.”

and by the blog Soooo.. You Really Like Cats, Don’t You

When asked his favorite late-night snack, Evans explained, “By the time I remember to eat after service, the kitchen’s already been cleaned up and it’s 2AM. And I keep in mind that I don’t like cooking at home. So, sometimes I’ll just head down to Cumberland Farms, get a Red Baron Pizza to pop into the microwave – sprinkle some Malden salt and give me a glass of wine and I’d be set.”

El Rayo Review

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

el-rayo-portland-maine-insideType A Diversions has reviewed El Rayo, providing an early take on the new restaurant.

Bottom line: El Rayo lived up to expectations, at long last bringing fantastic Mexican fare to Portland.

For additional input see reader comments here and here.

And you might also want to take a look at this article from Portland in a Snap.

Photo Credit: Type A Diversions

El Rayo Now Open

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

elrayoEl Rayo is now open. They started lunch service yesterday and, according to owner Cheryl Lewis, they’ll be begin doing dinner sometime in the next few days as soon as they work out a few more details.