Archive for January, 2010


Friday, January 22nd, 2010

According to a blog post on Eat Maine Foods, MOOMilk, a new brand of organic milk sourced from Maine farms, will start appearing on store shelves this weekend.

Produced by 10 Maine family organic dairy farms in Washington, Aroostook, Penobscot and Kennebec Counties, the milk will be trucked by Schoppee Milk Transport of Holden to Smiling Hill Dairy in Westbrook for processing, then distributed by Oakhurst Dairy of Portland and Crown O’ Maine Organic Co-op of Gardiner. That makes it the only organic milk available in Maine that is produced, trucked, processed and distributed exclusively by Maine family businesses.

2010 Best of Portland Readership Poll

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

The Portland Phoenix has kicked-off their 2010 Best of Portland readership poll. As in past years its a 2 step process:

  • Step 1, nominate candidates you think are an especially good fit in any or all of the dozens of categories
  • Step 2, based on the nominations, the Phoenix will publish a ballot next month summarizing the top nominees from each category for you to vote on.

There are a plethora of food and drink categories (Bagels, Bars, Barbecue, Beer Selection, Brewpubs, Brunch, etc) there’s even one for food blogs. A list of the 2009 winners is available online as a reference.

Rob Evans on Martha Stewart Show

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Plating Up has posted a reminder that Rob Evans’ appearance on the Martha Stewart Show is set to air tomorrow when he will make “prosciutto consomme with shrimp and bacon-poached egg”. The show airs at 10 am on WMTW Chanel 8.

Help for Haiti

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Several Portland restaurants are raising money for the relief efforts in Haiti.

Pie in the Sky Pizza Open

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Pie in the Sky Pizza, the pizzeria operated by Big Sky on the second floor of the Public Market House is open for business.

Review of Ribollita

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

The Blueberry Files has published a review of Ribollita.

So yeah, I liked Ribollita! I didn’t loooooove Ribollita, but that certianly wasn’t due to any failings on their part. I am glad to know where I can go to get solid and relatively inexpensive Italian food in town. But it doesn’t make my ‘hurry back to’ list (man, I sound hard to please!).

Indoor Winter Farmers’ Market Coming to Portland

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Today’s Press Herald reports on a new indoor Winter Farmers’ Market for Portland. According to the article, it’s scheduled to open on February 13 it will be located at 85 Free Street and will take place on Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm.

…it won’t be bound by city restrictions that prevent vendors such as bread bakers and fishermen from selling at the summer markets in Monument Square and Deering Oaks, said Larry Bruns, who coordinates the Portland Farmers Market.

“It’s going to be a very different market from what Portland’s used to,” said Dean Zoulamis, who runs the Mother Oven Bakery in Bowdoinham and is part of the group that’s organizing the Free Street market. “This will be a much more diverse market.”

Interview with Steve DiMillo

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Today’s Press Herald includes a ShopTalk interview with Steve Dimillo, manager of DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant.

Q: How many in the family are in the business?

A: My mother, Arlene, two aunts, Jeanette and Jay, two brothers Dan and Johnny, my twin sister Stephanie, me, my two kids, my brother-in-law Tony Quatrucci, who runs the kitchen. That would be 10. The most recent family member to join is Steve Junior; he’s the banquet manager. Stephanie does the bookkeeping. The primary management team is my brothers and I, and my mom works with the three of us. Another brother, Chris, doesn’t work in the restaurant, but he runs the marina. I’m one of nine kids, I think I mentioned. Gene now has his own place, G & R DiMillo’s, and my sister Vicki has hers, Bruno’s.

Top Destinations

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

According to an article in the January issue of the US Airways in-flight magazine, Portland is one of their Top 17 Destinations for 2010. Portland slots in at #14 right in between Dallas and Stockholm. Miyake, Paciarino, Hugo’s and Five Fifty-Five all get mentioned.


Thursday, January 21st, 2010

For those of you eagerly awaiting the opening of Nosh, you can get some pre-noshing in by perusing the eatery’s menu which is now available on their website.

Review of The Picnic Basket

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of The Picnic Basket.

So I was glad to try the Picnic Basket in the dead of winter, when there is no reason not to settle in at one of the eclectic set of tables in the cozy second room. The room has a wall of wine and lots of artisanal jars of this or that jam or mustard. It has a very Stonewall-Kitcheny look. There are twigs clinging to the track lighting.

PBJ in the Press

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The Portland Daily Sun has published a profile of Peanut Butter and Jelly Time, the PB&J sandwich shop and breakfast cereal purveyor located on the second floor of the Public Market House.

The combination of Borealis multi-grain bread, cashew butter and raspberry preserves is the most popular sandwich at Peanut Butter Jelly Time, but everybody has their favorite.

Steve Miner, owner of Peanut Butter Jelly Time, reported logging his 500th customer in only three weeks of operating on the second floor of the Market House in Monument Square.

Press Herald: Chef Kaldrovich, Gus’ Gluten Free, Fox Urine

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes profiles of chef Mitchell Kaldrovich from the Sea Glass Restaurant

“I met the real cooks (in Maine), I have to say,” Kaldrovich said in a thick accent that carries traces of Spanish and French, the other two languages he speaks. “Working for hotels in California and Florida, I just met French chefs doing fancy stuff. But there was not a soul cook. Here, there are soul cooks.

and of Pam Wellin from Gus’ Gluten Free Baking Co.

As a busy mom of three boys, Pam Wellin admits she’s doesn’t devote much time to promoting her business. She started Gus’ Gluten Free Baking Co. three years ago in her Falmouth Foreside kitchen as a way to provide her youngest son Gus, who’s now 17 and has had celiac disease his whole life, with treats that don’t contain gluten.

There’s also a Bill Nemitz column on the strange fox urine incident that took place Sunday at a protest by ROC-ME outside The Front Room.

We can only assume that when Portland’s fledgling Restaurant Opportunities Center of Maine holds its first “summit” next month, it will be high on the agenda: “Fox Urine: The Untold Story.”

It happened Sunday night outside The Front Room on Munjoy Hill, where protestors from so-called ROC-ME gathered for the second time in as many months to demonstrate against owner and chef Harding Lee Smith.

Food Article in Tuesday’s Sun

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Tuesday’s Portland Daily Sun includes some observations on customer service at Portland restaurants.

But for all of the accolades and buzz about the food itself, a restaurant’s bottom line and longevity are dependent on consistently good service. With so many excellent food choices in Portland, it’s the service that is a key differentiater.

This Week’s Events

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Last week’s famine of food events has turned into a 13 item feast this week:

Tuesday B. Nektar Meadery is at Novare Res for a tasting, Churchill Catered Events is teaching an Italian cooking class, wine dinners are taking place at Bar Lola and Walter’s.

Wednesday — Black Tie Bistro is teaching a cooking class and Black Cherry Provisions is providing a class on wine and food pairings for Indian cuisine, spicy foods, bloomy cheese and smoked meats.

Thursday Kitchen and Cork is holding a wine tasting and there will be a wine dinner at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth.

Friday BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe is holding a wine dinner.

Saturday — Wolf Neck Farm is hosting an apple preservation workshop, Vignola’s 4th Annual Beer & Cheese Tasting is taking place, pick-up for the Port Clyde Fresh Catch Maine shrimp CSF is at El Rayo in the afternoon and the 3rd performance of the Dual Site psychogeographic dinner theater is Saturday night.

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

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

More Meal Deals

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Here’s a few additional meal deals I’ve come across since last week’s post:

  • Pepperclub – in celebration of their 21st anniversary, Pepperclub has a 4 course for $21 special
  • G & R Dimillo’s – two pasta dishes for the price of one from a selection of 4 options, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • J’s Oyster Bar – any 2 pasta or seafood dishes for $25
  • Borealis Breads – in celebration of National Pie Day on the 23rd, Borealis is offering 10% off all apple, blueberry, chocolate mouse and chicken pot pies ordered by the 20th.

Blue Review

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Appetite Portland gives two thumbs up to the baked goods at Blue.

Well, Therese has baked her way into my heart. Not with fancy pastries or complicated desserts, but with bakery traditions made with care.

At Thanksgiving her pumpkin pie was more spice than sweet and topped with luscious homemade whipped cream. Christmas brought a plump and flavorful gingerbread — part chewy, part crumbly and all good.

DL Geary & Maine Beer Company

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Beer Blogger Josh Christie is writing a series of articles on Hop Press about beer in Maine. His first piece profiles D.L. Geary Brewing and the Maine Beer Company.

Today, I’ll introduce you to two craft breweries here in my hometown of Portland.  There’s a lot of history and potential in these two breweries – DL Geary Brewing is the oldest craft brewery in the state at about 24 years old, and Maine Beer Company is the newest.  I’ll start filling in the rest of the chronology next week.

Under Construction: Otto, Urban, Season’s, Figa, Katahdin

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Here’s a round-up of the latest Under Construction news:

  • Otto Pizza – Otto has plans to expand into the Good Earth Furniture space so they can have a bar and table seating for 24 (36 in total).
  • Urban General Store – according to a post from Original Portland, Urban General Store is replacing Urban Hardware on Congress. They plan on selling “beer, wine, sandwiches, groceries, coffee”.
  • Season’s Grille is taking over the space formerly occupied by Verrillo’s on Riverside Street.
  • A new post from the Munjoy Hill News includes a few details about the menu at Figa.
  • Katahdin has published a few photos of the construction site for their new place on Forest Ave.

Unreviewed but not Forgotten

Friday, January 15th, 2010

There are so many publications and blogs writing Portland area restaurant reviews you might think it’s all been covered already but it’s not so. The Unreviewed List has shrunk a lot since I first put it up from around 100 in 2007 to to half that size where it’s remained for the last few months.

A restaurant reviewer once told me that the list is the 7th circle of hell for reviewers but I think there are still some good stories to be found: both new restaurants that haven’t been written up yet (both Po’Boys and French Press Eatery came off the list this week) and ones that have been around for a while. Here’s a few: