Archive for November, 2009

Review of Shima

Monday, November 30th, 2009

The USM Free Press has published a review of Shima.

Shima offers delicious food at a great price, a feat that has not been executed as well in this town since Portland food legend Harding Lee Smith opened The Front Room.  If you’re looking to get a solid dose of excellent food and a healthy bit of culture, don’t miss it.

Digging Clams & Harvesting Shrimp

Monday, November 30th, 2009

The Maine at Work article in today’s Press Herald tags along with Tim Downs as he digs clams in Scarborough.

“It’s important to keep the hole clean, so you can see where the clams are at,” Downs said.

Once he had a hole dug, he began digging up mud more strategically, looking for air holes the clams had made, and placing two of his four tines on either side of the hole so as to not pierce the clam. Then he’d flip a chunk of mud over, and more often than not, find clams.

“We’ll get this one next year,” said Downs, holding a clam that looked less than 2 inches long, which means the state deems it too small to keep.

Today’s newspaper also includes an article on the 2009-2010 Maine Shrimp Season.

Northern shrimp are believed to be so plentiful in the Gulf of Maine that regulators have declared a full six-month fishing season for a second straight year. And, unlike last year, fishermen and dealers are hopeful that there will be enough of a market to make money on the small pink crustaceans.

This Week’s Events

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Monday—The weekly Piatto per Tutti cooking class and Foodie Trivia Contest are taking place tonight.

Tuesday—is the start of Maine Shrimp Season.

WednesdayBlack Tie Bistro is holding a cooking class.

FridayFirst Friday Art Walk is taking place, and there will be an art exhibit and information session at the Meg Perry Center  by the co-owners of Local Sprouts.  West End Grocery is holding their monthly wine tasting.

Saturday—A wine tasting is taking place at Leroux Kitchen.

Sundayculinary superstar David Chang from Momofuku will be at Rabelais for a book signing. Sweet Marguerites will be at an opening at the Toby Rosenberg Gallery for a chocolate tasting.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

Coastal Maine Popcorn

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Friday’s Press Herald included an article about the Coastal Maine Popcorn shop that’s under construction at 43 Exchange Street.

They have a 6-foot-tall, stainless steel industrial hot air popper, capable of popping 50 pounds of kernels at a time. After the popcorn is popped, it’s flavored. The company offers 30 to 50 flavors at any one time, broken down into sweets (toasted coconut, maple, berry) and savories (salt and vinegar, buffalo wing, garlic).

The plan is to keep popping the popcorn in Boothbay Harbor, supplying the seasonal retail operation there and the year-round operation in Portland.

Review of the North Star

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Appetite Portland has published a review of the North Star Music Cafe.

It truly is impossible to overstate what a marvelously enveloping environment owners Kim Anderson and Anna Maria Tocci have created on Munjoy Hill. Everything — from the organic mesclun greens in the salads, to the creative daily soups, to the acoustic performers singing onstage – fires on all cylinders.

Review of The Corner Room

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Portland Magazine has published a review of The Corner Room.

A notch above ‘Italian for Beginners,’ this raucous, fun eatery, perfect for a winter snuggle, is more like ‘Italian for Intermediates’ than anything else in Portland.

Phoenix Reviews Shima

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Shima.

Shima’s eclecticism is not the product of an effort to please all tastes, but rather the peripatetic development of a single palate. Chef David Shima is from a Japanese-Hawaiian family, but spent many years in Paris. His menu shows it, including traditional sushi and traditional French, with Hawaiian hints of Polynesian and Chinese along the way. The combination sounds unusual, but it can work well.

This week’s newspaper also includes a “precautionary list of what Thanksgiving food you should avoid seeking out or making” for your holiday guests.

Staff Meals at Miyake

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Portland Food Coma has posted a list (with photos) of past staff meals he’s enjoyed while working at Miyake.

Katayaki Soba (crispy fried noodles with shrimp, scallops, and bacon) / Takoyaki (deep fried balls of octopus garnished with kewpie mayo, nori, bonito, and togarashi).

Interesting side fact: Takoyaki street hawker stalls are all run by the Yakuza in Japan.

Cookie Swaps

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Meredith Goad’s article in today’s Press Herald catalogs the 3 types of cookie bakers and interviews Julia Usher, author of Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year.

When it comes to holiday cookies, there are three types of bakers.

The first type sticks to an old family recipe like Taylor Swift trying to hold onto the microphone at the VMA Awards.

The second type is more like Adam Lambert at the American Music Awards — always pushing the envelope with something new and more, um, challenging.

The third type is like a karaoke performer. These folks buy pre-mixed, pre-sliced cookies in the grocer’s freezer, pop them in the oven, and they’re done. They like to call themselves singers, but they’re not fooling anyone but themselves.

Do you want to participate in a cookie swap? Rabelais is holding a cookie swap and book signing with Julia Usher this Sunday.

Leftover Wine

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The blogosphere will soon be awash in articles providing advice on what to do with leftover turkey. The Portland Daily Sun has taken a different tack. An article in Tuesday’s paper polled a number of local experts on what to do with leftover wine.

Erin Lynch, the kitchen manager at Rosemont Market and Bakery, recommends using leftover wine to poach pears or dried fruit.

“Add a vanilla bean and some sugar to make a delicious wine sauce,” she suggested. “We use red wine in our pasta sauce and red wine is also what turns an ordinary beef stew into Boeuf Bourguignon.”

Four Season Farming Editorial

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The Press Herald has published an editorial extolling virtues of local farms operating year round.

The demand for locally grown produce distributed at year-round farm-stands, farmers markets and community-supported agriculture share systems provide enough income to support the greenhouse building and heating bills that extend the growing season.

The interest in local food is good for both the farmers and their customers.

Numerical Breakfast Commentary

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The Blueberry Files posted her first impressions of breakfast at 158, and Portland Food Heads has published a review of a recent brunch visit to 555.

Winter Farming

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

An front page article in today’s Press Herald looks at the “increasing number of farmers are pushing the growing season into the winter to take advantage of the surging demand for locally grown food”.

Under Construction: Sonny’s

Monday, November 23rd, 2009


Construction is ongoing at Sonny’s at 83 Exchange, Jay Villani’s new restaurant. The latest word is that they hope to open in December. As you can see from the floor plan, the overall layout is the same with the exception of a bar along the south wall.


This Week’s Events

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Monday—The weekly Piatto per Tutti cooking class and Foodie Trivia Contest are taking place tonight.

Wednesday—The Monument Square Farmers’ Market takes places in the morning. Brewer Rob Todd will be at The Great Lost Bear for their annual Allagash Showcase which takes place each year on the night before Thanksgiving. They plan on serving a “huge line-up of Allagash rarities cask conditioned and Allagash White”.

ThursdaySeveral restaurants are holding special Thanksgiving Day dinners: Black Point Inn, Eastland Park Hotel, Eves at the Garden, Sea Glass Restaurant, Twenty Milk Street and Verillo’s. North Star is hosting a potluck dinner.

Sunday—A cookie swap and book signing with Julia Usher author of Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year is scheduled at Rabelais Books. Bring a couple dozen cookies to swap and trade with others.