Archive for January, 2010

Review of The French Press Eatery

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

The Portland Press Herald has published a 4 star endorsement of The French Press Eatery.

Hey, Westbrook.

Listen up: What’s the matter with you?

We stopped by the (relatively) new French Press Eatery early one weekday morning, and except for the guy on his way out the door with a takeout bag, there were no other customers there. If this place were in the Old Port, there would be a long line of folks grabbing an 8 a.m. coffee, a breakfast sandwich or one of the downright decadent house-made doughnuts…The food at the French Press Eatery is good and worth supporting.

Under Construction: Nosh Kitchen Bar

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

The Portland Daily Sun published a report on Nosh Kitchen Bar, the lounge/delicatessen that’s slated to open in the old White Heart spot on Congress Street.

The “urban-style eatery” will combine casual dining and drinks.

“It’s a bar, it’s a lounge, it’s kind of a mix between an old-school New York delicatessen and a new school sandwich shop during the day, and at night we go in the direction more of small-portion antipasta type (meals),” said [co-owner Jason] Loring.

Check out Original Portland for a photo of the interior and Nosh’s website for some additional details.

2 Reviews of Po’Boys & Pickles

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

The Blueberry Files and Edible Obsessions met up at Po’Boys & Pickles and have published a pair of reviews of the New Orleans-style sandwich shop.

Here’s an excerpt from Edible Obsessions,

But, getting back to the here and now and the Po’ boy at hand. From the first bite of the Oyster Po’ Boy($6.95 for the regular or ‘shortie,’ as it’s called in Louisiana) I knew this is what I had missed out on. Packed with fat, spicy fried oysters, dressed with roasted red pepper mayo, lettuce and tomato, this was a perfect sandwich. I don’t believe it was served on the traditional Leidenheimer bread, instead this seemed more like Italian, but it didn’t matter.

Additionally, PortlandTown has published a set of photos from Po’Boys & Pickles.

IIK: Chinese Pot Stickers

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Lindsey Sterling has published another ethnic cooking adventures on her blog Inside Immigrant Kitchens. This time she’s cooking Chinese pot stickers with ingredients picked up on a trip to Haknuman Meanchey.

People are carrying bags of rice as big as couch cushions on their shoulders. We all do a good job of pretending that there’s no difference between those present and me, a third-generation Caucasian-American, born in Wisconsin, accustomed to buying rice in a sac the size of an aerobics weight.

Local Food Online

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

MPBN talked with the creators of Maine Food Trader and soon to be launched Farm Fresh Maine about how their websites can connect people with locally grown food.

Farmfresh for ME, she says, will be targeting consumers in the Bangor area, as well as in Downeast Maine. “I know that a lot of the consumers we’ve talked to can’t get to the farmers’ market during the hours that it’s open, or want to see what’s available online in the comfort of their own home, so I think that interest has grown.”

Ag Show, Eating Advice and Barbecue

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Today’s Press Herald has a report from the 69th Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show

The annual event brings together a mix of agricultural producers: grass growers, maple syrup makers, alpaca breeders, woodland owners and florists. The crowd is equally diverse, with attendees as likely to be sporting dreadlocks and hand-knit organic woolens as John Deere caps and Carhartt work boots.

an interview with Dr. Peter Knight from True North in Falmouth on how to eat right

“With kids, I find that parents are afraid to change things in their kids’ diets,” Knight said.

The fear, he said, is based on a mistaken belief that little Johnny “won’t eat anything else.” There’s typically some validity to this statement, but it can be overcome by introducing the child to a wide variety of whole foods, allowing the child to select food at the farmers market, and gardening together as a family.

and an article on indoor winter barbecuing with Dennis Sherman from DennyMike’s CUE Stuff.

“Tell that writer that indoor barbecue is an oxymoron,” he said. “There is no such thing”

We laugh. We both know that Davis is correct. But Davis doesn’t live in Maine, where the long months of winter can make true-blue barbecue fans go into withdrawal.

Winter Food Recs from Portland Food Coma

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Portland Food Coma has published a trio of winter food recommendations from Tu Casa, Saigon and Happy Teriyaki.

The one positive thing about the whole snow shoveling experience is that when I do something that burns 300 calories, I find that it’s easy to justify going out to lunch and consuming 1800.

Here are 3 things I’ve discovered to make winter a little easier on us….

It’s like a cold weather extension to the Food Coma post last March on his favorite 10 things to eat in Portland.

Rob Evans on Martha Stewart

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

According to a news update from the Press Herald, chef Rob Evans of Hugo’s will be appearing on the Martha Stewart TV show on January 22.

Maine Cheesemakers

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Today’s Portland Daily Sun includes an article about expanding artisanal cheese industry in Maine.

Eric Rector, president of the guild, said the Maine Cheese Guild is working with many cheesemakers as business booms.

“In Maine, artisan cheese movement is growing by leaps and bounds,” he said. “We’re winning awards all over the place, nationally.”

Review of Leonardo’s Pizza

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Portland Food Heads has published a review of Leonardo’s Pizza.

The crust is consistently crispy, the cheese is delicious and the sausage always has great flavor. The only element that doesn’t quite sit well with me is their tomato sauce. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but the only way I can describe it is that it isn’t “bright” enough. I think it needs sugar, but that’s just me.

Meal Deals & Maine Restaurant Week

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Last year was such a success, the organizers of the Maine Restaurant Week 2009 are bringing the program back in 2010 and expanding its reach to include fixed price lunches ($15.10) as well as dinners ($20.10, $30.10, or $40.10).

However, with discount prices of Maine Restaurant Week still over the horizon in March it’s worth taking a look a what pricing specials, seasonal and otherwise, are available right now:

  • Bar Lola – 5-course prix-fixe menu, Wednesday-Saturday, $36, optional wine pairings are an additional $24.
  • Bonobo – slice and soup or salad for $6.50, get all three for $9, lunch Wednesday – Saturday.
  • Emilitsa – wine and meze pairings, Monday – Thursday, 5-7 pm, $5 for wine, $7 for mezes. Starts January 11.
  • Evangeline – 3-course prix fixe menu on Monday nights, $25-30.
  • Hugo’s – 3-course (first course, main course and dessert), Tuesday-Thursday, $35.
  • Duckfat – 3 courses, choice of soup or salad, panini specials & dessert, $15. Mondays – Thursdays, 5pm to 9pm; Monday – Saturday 11am to 9pm; Sunday 11am to 6pm.
  • Five Fifty-Five – raw oysters $1.55 each & drink specials, Thursdays.
  • Pom’s Thai Taste$1 sushi, Monday & Tuesday.
  • The Salt Exchange – Cioppino fish stew and green salad, Tuesday 5:30 – 9:00 pm, $20.10; $5 add on for a glass of Pinot Noir or a bottle of Anchor Steam. Starts January 19.

If you prefer you discount calories in a more liquid form take a look at the happy hour specials listed at Portland Taps.

Anything missing from the list? Post a comment and share what you know.

Employees Defend Harding

Monday, January 11th, 2010

According to an article in today’s Press Herald, a group of 22 current and former employees at Harding Lee Smith restaurants have written a letter in his defense. See the article for the full text of the letter.

Bob Murphy, a bartender at The Front Room, said he came up with the idea for the letter in support of Smith because he wanted the public to know that he and other employees feel Smith has treated them fairly.

Murphy said he worries that publicity about the lawsuit could hurt business at Smith’s restaurants, thus affecting employees, who earn much of their income through tips.

January Bollard

Monday, January 11th, 2010

The January issue of The Bollard includes reminiscences of Portland Coffee Roasters by Elizabeth Peavey, a new installment in The Land of Forgotten Cocktails series and a breakfast review of Siano’s Pizzeria.

This Week’s Events

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Few as they are, here is a list of events taking place this week:

Tuesday — The 69th Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show is taking place Tuesday through Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Wednesday RSVP is holding a wine tasting.

Saturday — the Scarborough Wine Outlet is holding a wine tasting.

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.

January Issue of Maine Magazine

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

The new issue of Maine magazine includes an interview with Rob Evans of Hugo’s and with Rob Tod of Allagash, as well as another installment of the A-List series by Joe Ricchio. Bonobo and Caiola’s are both mentioned in a story about the West End. The articles aren’t online yet but the magazine should be available at your local newsstand.

Imbibe: America’s Emerging Beer Mecca’s

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

The January/February issue of Imbibe magazine list Reno, Austin, Atlanta, Minneapolis-St Paul and Portland as their Fab 5 of America’s emerging beer mecca’s. Portland beer blogger Luke Livingston from Blog About Beer is quoted in the article which calls out Allagash, Geary’s, Gritty’s, Maine Beer Co, Sebago, Shipyard, Downeast Everage, RSVP, Great Lost Bear, Novare Res, and Three Dollar Deweys as evidence of Portland’s beer meccaness. The article isn’t available online but you can pick-up a copy of the magazine at Longfellow Books.

Review of Bull Feeney’s

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Bull Feeney’s received 3½ stars from this week’s Taste & Tell column in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Familiarity with a certain number of Maine’s brew pubs might give you the impression that they can’t be trusted to make especially good meals. But a dinner at Bull Feeney’s will change that misapprehension.

Down East: Is Maine Screwing Up its Wine Industry?

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Down East has published an in-depth look at the convoluted and complex set of laws governing wine sales, production and shipping as well as wine tastings in the state.

Yet even such codified situations seem to have exceptions. Winterport Winery, for instance, had a liquor license for three years by virtue of maintaining a restaurant next door (separate door, separate corporation) where it conducted wine pairings with meals and cooking classes. Owner Michael Anderson was surprised, therefore, when he was told that he would not be able to renew his license in 2009.

“Mike, we’ve got a problem,” a state liquor inspector told him. “I want you to become a brewery.”

“You what?”

Photos of Sonny’s Opening

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

PortlandTown has posted a set of photograph’s from yesterday’s opening night at Sonny’s.

Chef/owner Jay Villani is shown here plating up some Brazilian Style Mussels.

Photo Credit: Michael Barriault

Sonny’s Opening

Friday, January 8th, 2010

sonnys_mapSonny’s is scheduled to open for business today. The restaurant is in the space off Post Office Park formerly occupied by O’Naturals. It is the creation of Jay Villani, the chef/owner of Local 188.