Archive for January, 2010

Beer & Cheese at Vignola

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

A Blog About Beer has published a report on the 2010 Beer and Cheese Festival at Vignola.

Last weekend marked the fourth annual Beer & Cheese party at Vignola restaurant here in Portland’s Old Port. As I mentioned before, this has quickly become one of my favorite annual Maine beer events. You can literally pig out on some of the best cheeses and beers in the world until you feel like you’re going to burst — in the best possible way — for a mere $25.

More Meal Deals

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Here are some additional meal deal options:

  • El Rayo – weekly $6 Starving Artists Supper which promises a “hearty entree special every Sunday evening”
  • Susan’s Fish and Chips – to celebrate their 21st anniversary Susan’s has a 2-for-1 special on Mondays 4-8 pm
  • Andy’s Old Port Pub – eat at Andy’s any day 4-8 pm and according to the ad “when you’re ready to settle up, your server will flip a coin . . . call it right, you’ll get half off any pizzas, soups, sandwiches or pub meals.”
  • Tropa Wine is closing and is selling off its remaining stock at a 20-50% discount.

More Ice Bar Reportage

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

PortlandTown made a return trip to the Ice Bar with his camera and has published a new set of photos and The Examiner also made a visit,

Hip, happening and hypothermia; all three can be found here at The Ice Bar. The Portland Harbor Hotel is a gracious glacier, hosting an annual magnificent and crystalline fundraiser for many a cool cause. Proceeds benefit The Center for Grieving Children, Share Our Strength, Junior Achievement, and now Haitian help as well.

Photos from the Ice Bar

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

PortlandTown has published some photos from his Friday night visit to the Ice Bar.

As I walked up to the Portland Harbor Hotel just after eight O’clock the crowd was spilling out of the lobby.  The restaurant dining room was filled with people standing,  drinks in hand and the corridor leading to the food was packed. I unpacked my gear and grabbed a camera and flash then headed to the outside Ice Bar.  Good vibes were apparent everywhere and no one seem to notice the 15 degree weather.

Haiti Help from the Suburbs

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Local restaurants continue (see prior list here) to line-up to help with Haitian relief efforts:

  • O’Naturals will be donating 10% of sales on February 5th to Partners in Health
  • Chefs Kaldrovich and Matthews from the Sea Glass Restaurant and The Back Bay Grill will be collaborating on a February 11th meal at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth.

Protesters Protest

Friday, January 29th, 2010

A Maine Voices opinion article in today’s Press Herald takes issue with last week’s Bill Nemitz column about the law suit and ongoing protests by former works against The Front Room.

Opening of Nosh Kitchen Bar

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Nosh Kitchen Bar is having a friends and family soft opening tonight (although they are serving the occasional non-F&F diner that wanders in) and will be fully open to the public starting Monday at 11 am tomorrow. The “upscale delicatessen and lounge” is in the  space formerly occupied by The White Heart. Take a look at this post on Hilly Town for a photo of the interior.

Photos of the Ice Bar Construction

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

PortlandTown has published a set of photos showing chef Earl Morse hard at work crafting this year’s Ice Bar. The bar will be open tonight through Saturday at the Portland Harbor Hotel. Proceeds from the $10 entrance fee will go to support charitable organizations.

Photo Credit: Michael Barriault

Review of The Salt Exchange

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The Portsmouth Herald has published a review of The Salt Exchange.

It’s that variety that works together on many levels that makes the food terrific here. Ingredients are seasonal and used inventively but there aren’t so many elements in each dish that it’s overwhelming or confusing. Still, there is always something surprising, whimsical and always something delicious.

Phoenix Review of Binga’s Stadium

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Binga’s Stadium.

While they are meaty enough, it is the skin and the sauce/seasoning that makes or breaks a wing — and Binga’s offers you about 20 options. The best wings tend to be seasoned with a dry rub, but Binga’s mostly coats theirs in syrupy sauces.

This works best when there is some heat to cut though the sugars. The Thai chili sauce was too mild, and seemed unreasonably sweet. The thin, orange-tinged classic Buffalo sauce was much better . . .

SMCC Cooking School, Pizza Bowl, MOOMilk

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald reports on a visit to the Culinary Arts program at SMCC and the discount meals that the students serve up 3 times a week.

Today’s menu is called “A Taste of France,” and includes a choice of four entrees: Medallions of Beef, Buerre Maitre D’; Chicken Chasseur; Salmon Bearnaise; and Roast Loin of Pork “Moutarde.” All entrees come with a baked stuffed potato and green beans.

The entire meal costs just $12, which is why you’ll find a lot of retirees and other folks on a budget in the dining room.

There’s also a report on the 2nd Annual Pizza Bowl taking place this weekend,

With 11 local pizza places on the roster this year, attendees will have the option of testing a cheese pizza and a specialty pizza from each place. Committee chairman Loretta Rowe said as people purchase their tickets, they will be given a tally sheet to keep track of the slices they taste. In the end, she said, they’ll be asked to vote for their favorite pizza.

And an article about MOOMilk, the new brand of Maine organic milk

The organic milk, in green-red-and-blue cardboard cartons, is being produced by 10 farms in Aroostook, Kennebec, Penobscot and Washington counties, and processed and packaged at Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook.

Wine Tastings Hearing in Augusta

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Both MPBN and the Press Herald have reported on yesterday’s hearings about Maine’s wine tasting legislation at the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee in Augusta.

“At our Bangor location, we have had customers after the fact apologizing for missing a tasting because they saw the windows covered in paper and thought we were either closed to remodel or out of business,” [retailer Scott Worcester] testified. “During a tasting in Southwest Harbor, I had to explain to a gentleman that he could not come into my store while carrying his infant, even to buy cheese and crackers, because I was conducting a tasting.”

For a wider perspective on how legislation is impacting the state’s wine making and retailing industry be sure to read the article published earlier this month in Down East.

From Mecca to Heaven

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Earlier this month Imbibe magazine had named Portland an emerging beer mecca. Not to be out done, The Atlantic (via Beer Locavore) has published an article calling our city a Craft Beer Heaven.

Maine Food on the Small Screen

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Publicist Jim Britt and chef Harding Lee Smith appeared on NECN to promote Maine Restaurant Week.

The City of Westbrook is running a TV ad on that highlights the in-town dining options.

According to Maine Restaurant Week, Cold River Vodka is part of a show airing Thursday night on The History Channel about potatoes.

Review of Silly’s

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The USM Free Press has published a review of Silly’s.

As a college student in Portland, it can be hard to find a restaurant that fits your budget. With books to buy and student loans to pay off, who has the money? If you’re looking for affordability, good service and great food, Silly’s Restaurant, at 40 Washington Ave. has it all.