Archive for August, 2009

It’s Official…We’re the Foodiest

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Bon Appétit has named Portland their 2009 Foodiest Small Town in America. In it BA Foodist blogger Andrew Knowlton explains what made Portland this year’s winner.

First, it’s got great product, from oysters to fiddlehead ferns. Second, the town has attracted stellar chefs who know how to turn these resources into great food. Third, it even has a signature meal, breakfast, that turns the first fare of the day into a celebration of all this bounty. And finally, it has citizens who expect a lot, and get even more.

Knowlton will be blogging about Portland the next few days and then is “off to Maine for the last weekend of the summer and as many lobster rolls as I can possibly eat.”

Tomorrow I’ll share the essential itinerary to Portland, Maine including my favorite restaurants and the best place to stay. Wednesday, I’ll tell you more about three things that Portland does amazingly well–beer, bread, and seafood. I’ll also post the cities that were runners up in this year’s competition. On Thursday, I’ll share some of my personal photos from my visits.

Under Construction: Veranda Noodle Bar

Monday, August 31st, 2009


Veranda Noodle Bar looks like it getting close to opening. The construction has finished up on the interior and as you can see from this photo, they’ve recently put up an exterior sign for the restaurant.

This Week’s Events

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Nick Malgieri, author of The Modern Baker will be at Rabelais for a book signing this afternoon. Also on Monday, Portland Schooner is running a wine and chocolate sail and the weekly  Food and Drink Trivia Contest is taking place at Bull Feeney’s. Felipe Gonzales-Gordon will be at Bar Lola on Tuesday for a dinner featuring wine from his family’s winery. The next Wine Flight 5k Training Run is scheduled for Tuesday. There’s a wine event at The Salt Exchange on Wednesday and on Thursday Cultivating Community is holding the last Twilight Dinner of the year. Rabelais is having an art opening Friday for a show by Rob Sullivan entitled Minumentals: Gastronomique. There are wine tastings at West End Grocery on Friday and Leroux Kitchen on Saturday. 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.

Kon Asian Bistro Review

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Kon Asian Bistro has received 3½ stars from this weeks Taste & Tell review in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

The spectacle of Buddha lost in meditation at the head of a pool makes Kon Asian Bistro intriguing from the moment you walk in. Choose well from the menu and your enjoyment will be sustained, but avoid the shrimp and escolar sashimi.

Breakfast Club Review of The Farmer’s Table

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

The Farmer’s Table received an overall grade of C+ from The Breakfast Club.

overall, my experience at the farmer’s table was highly disappointing. people who come to portland for the first time may be blinded by the great scenery on the picturesque commercial street and be more accepting of a barely mediocre brunch, but if this restaurant wants to make it through the winter with us mainers, they really need to step it up…a lot.

Maine Magazine

Friday, August 28th, 2009

The premiere issue of Maine magazine is now out. It includes an article on a set of six recently launched or up and coming restaurants in Portland as well as Three Tides beer/cocktail/oyster bar in Belfast, Old Vines wine bar in Kennebunk, and a profile of winemaker Brian Smith. There is an online version of the magazine but you’ll find it easier to read the articles if you nab a print copy. I picked up my copy at Bard Coffee.

North Star Bar Review

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Portland Bar Guide has reviewed the North Star Music Cafe.

If you want to meet with your fellow humans in a spot that celebrates the primal, the raw, and the unadorned, come to the purist’s paradise at the North Star Café.

Student Survival Guide

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

This week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix includes a Student Survival Guide for returning college students with recommendations on non-alcoholic beverages for the under 21 set, late night eats and a look at where to find pizza in Portland. The guide also has some advice on stoveless dorm cooking that details a recipe from Five-Fifty-Five co-owners Steve and Michelle Corry on making mac n’ cheese.

Video Interview of North Star Owner

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Portland Food Heads has published a video interview with North Star co-owner Anna Maria Tocci. The interview is the first of a new series from Portland Food Heads called Vidappetit.

Paciarino Review

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Type A Diversions has published a brief review of Paciarino.

Paciarino is my absolute favorite Portland “cheap eat.” Whether dining in for lunch or dinner – or grabbing pasta from the cooler to cook at home, time and again, the pasta does not disappoint.

Maine Fare, etc

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a pair of articles about Maine Fare which is taking place in Camden next month. Meredith Goad authored an overview of the food festival

If you’d like to learn how to pair Maine-made spirits with smoked seafood, if you want to experience an old-fashioned beanhole supper – even if you’re curious about how to properly butcher a whole hog – Maine Fare is the place to be, whether you feel comfortable calling yourself a foodie or not.

“People need to know that it’s OK to care about what you eat, that it’s not being a snob to care about what you eat,” Jenkins said.

and Avery Yale Kamila tackles the topic of the keynote address “Can Maine Feed Itself?”

The panel brings together a number of movers and shakers from Maine’s food scene for a conversation centered on how the state can become more self-reliant when stocking our grocery stores and filling our dinner plates.

Also is today’s paper is an article about a Maine Cooperative Extension seminar designed to help farmers cope with this year’s poor growing season, and a short piece on Chef Hayward’s shaved head.

IIK: Chancho Frito and Vigoron

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Lindsey Sterling has published another ethnic cooking adventures on her blog Inside Immigrant Kitchens. This time she’s cooking with Jenny Sanchez from Nicaragua to make Chancho Frito and Vigoron.

She calls it chancho frito and vigoron. It’s Nicaraguan party food. “Vigoron eat with your fingers,” Jenny Sanchez, my Nicaraguan-American neighbor coaches me. We’re in her kitchen three blocks from L.L. Bean. “No fork o no espoon.” Okay, I think, you eat it with your fingers. I get it. “If you a scared,” she looks at me seriously, “I get you a fork.”

The rewards are big for fearlessness.

Julia in Maine

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Portland Magazine has published an article on Julia Child’s 50 year history with Maine.

For a chef like Julia, who insisted on the freshest possible ingredients, Maine was a delight. The family caught pollock for her Bouillabaisse à la mode de Blue Hill Bay (which she made with the fish, potatoes, fennel, and saffron). At low tide they gathered fat purple mussels for her to make Moulles Marinères. Local lobsters became her Lobster Archduke and Butter-Poached Maine Lobster.

New Maine Magazine

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Maine magazine is set to debut this week with the official launch party taking place on Thursday. According to the their site the party will source food from “The Corner Room, Figa Restaurant, El Rayo Taqueria, and The Salt Exchange with signature drinks by mixologist, John Myers”.

A new article from MaineBiz reports that the 112-page premiere issue will include “a tour of six new Portland restaurants called ‘Eatland.'”

Lobster & Wine on the Radio

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Public radio is on a roll when it comes to food reporting. In addition to the piece mentioned in the prior post there’s also a pair of audio articles that were aired today on disputes among lobstermen and on the confusing new wine tasting law.