Archive for January, 2010

Immigrant Food System Knowledge

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

The Portland Daily Sun has a report on a United Way program taking place on Friday to educate immigrants about “avoiding unhealthy foods, how-to’s on using kitchen appliances and even an explanation on following a recipe

The 90-minute forums will be held at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at United Way headquarters at 400 Congress St. The morning session will focus on adult nutrition while the afternoon session will center around adolescent and teenage nutrition. Both events are free and open to the public.

Theater/Food Collaborations

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

There’s a report in this week’s Portland Phoenix about the Of Farms and Fables collaborative effort between farmers and theater to “foster a civic conversation about local agriculture, farming, and the future of small family farms in Maine.”

Over 12 weeks starting in May, Open Waters will bring three artists to three Maine farms — Wm. H. Jordan Farm of Cape Elizabeth, Broadturn Farm of Scarborough, and Benson Farm of Gorham — for residencies that will engage artists in farm work and farm workers in acting and storytelling. The cultural exchange will culminate in the summer of 2011 with an outdoor performance by both theater artists and farm workers, which will draw its audience into a conversation about our land, agriculture and food, those so basic and so sublime elements of how we live.

For those of you looking for a food/theater fix now check out this month’s “psychogeographic dinner theater” taking place at The Whitney Art Works.

Reviews for Rosie’s and Pearl

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

The Press Herald has published reviews of Rosie’s

Rosie’s is billed as the oldest pub in Portland. But don’t think it doesn’t have the freshest food.

We go often for the atmosphere and a favorite meal. It’s like a college bar for adults; just a friendly community with good service and exceptional food.

and Pearl

The sultans of swank who operate the place have the old-school chic down; the Pearl oozes finesse and skill with its smooth operating, especially for being the new kid on the block. But the ever-thirsty Portland club crowd can get its dance on in a hurry when the staff moves the luscious leather couches out of the way. So whether you want to unleash your inner Shakira after hours or enjoy a quiet cocktail in upscale environs, the Pearl brings you the kind of chic you crave.

Workers Sue The Front Room

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

An article in today’s Press Herald reports that a group of six current and former employees are suing The Front Room.

A group of restaurant workers is suing The Front Room, claiming that it violated state and federal wage and hour rules.

The restaurant’s owner, Harding Lee Smith, disputes the claims, calling the lawsuit “frivolous.”

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland, is likely to be followed closely by the state’s restaurant owners because many of the alleged practices are widespread in the industry.

There’s also been news coverage from The Forecaster, MPBN, WMTW, Munjoy Hill News and the Portland Daily Sun.

Under Construction: Sonny’s

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

PortlandTown has published some interior photos of Sonny’s and details on its planned opening this Friday night.

Well the buzz for Local 188′s Jay Villani’s new place…  Sonny’s, 83 Exchnge Street, at Post Office Park is about to get a little louder with the opening night happening this Friday at 5PM.  You’ll be able to sample some of the South American tinted menu like Brazilian Style Mussels, Fried Plantains and Yam Fries, Rice & Beans, Empanadas and Cuban Chicken.  They’ll have a cash bar and a party atmosphere! I’ll be there taking more pictures so the next post will have both food & foodies, so dress to kill.

When It Rains, It Pours Soup

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Fast on the heels of this monrning’s Press Herald profile of Kamasouptra, the Portland Phoenix has published a set of soup highlights on the menus at Brian Boru, Rosemont, Big Sky, West End Deli and Local 188.

As such, Portland is a great city for soup. We’ve discovered plenty of delicious liquid lunches (not that kind), and while this is by no means a comprehensive review of those options, it is a survey of some personal highlights. We’d love to hear your favorites.

The Only Constant Is Change So Eat Soup

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald provides insight on:

  • Bresca’s plans for offering lunch services and expanded menu to include “European and classic American pastries and tarts”
  • the New Orleans-style sandwich shop Po’Boys & Pickles that opened on Forest Ave in late December
  • El Rayo‘s delivery service
  • the plans for Havana South which is under construction on Wharf Street
  • Walter’s under construction bar Gingko Blue
  • the transformation of Bangkok Thai into Boda which “will feature homestyle Thai cooking and Thai street-vendor specialties”
  • and information on a new seafood CSF

There’s also a nice profile of the Kamasouptra soup delivery services in Avery Yale Kamila’s Natural Foodie column this week.

With the snow piling up and the wind howling around the house, who couldn’t use a steaming bowl of soup? Even better if it’s delivered piping hot to your door.

Enter Kamasouptra, the Portland-based vegetarian soup purveyor which makes house calls.

The Sun’s Year in Food Review

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

The Portland Daily Sun has published an omnibus review of the 2009 year in food.

This year saw many openings, including: Papaya King, Paciarino, Bard, Mornings in Paris, Maine Bean Cafe, The Farmer’s Table, El Rayo, Grace, Binga’s Stadium Smokehouse and Sports Bar, the Salt Exchange, Peace Food Market, Otto’s, Kon Asian Bistro, the Corner Room, Shima, JPs, Veranda Noodle Bar, Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll, the second floor of the Public Market House, Saigon Restaurant, GRO Organics and Po Boys and Pickles.

Ammending the 2009 Wine Tasting Law

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Chow Maine’s Bob Rossi has published an update on the effort to revise the flawed wine tasting law that went into effect last year. Hopefully the revisions make it quickly through the legislative process so wine shops can resume their normal tasting schedules.

There are currently two proposed bills aimed at correcting the “no children” aspect of the tasting law. One is sponsored by Representative Stacey Fitts of Pittsfield; the other is sponsored by Representative David Webster of Freeport, the legislator who introduced the “no children” amendment that made it into the final bill that was passed in 2009.

Review of Green Elephant

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Appetite Portland has published a review of Green Elephant.

Green Elephant’s small but thoughtful wine list (with generous pours) also earns high marks from me, as do the affordable prices and the ambiance. Stylish drop lights and quirky crystal chandeliers mix with faux golden brick, bamboo floors, and giant flatware cut outs that double as coat hooks. The effect is all cozy and ”Buddhist hip.”

But, it is the food – specifically that Roti Canai – that keeps me going back.

Anthony Bourdain at J’s and Street & Co.

Monday, January 4th, 2010

According to a Press Herald news update, Anthony Bourdain was in town on Saturday. His Portland eating itinerary included J’s Oyster Bar (see photo) and Street & Co.

[J's bartender Sandy] D’Alfonso said Bourdain sampled the restaurant’s steamed clams, oysters and mussels. Bourdain’s crew “interviewed him, and he had someone with him who lived in the area,” D’Alfonso said. “They interviewed a couple of the people that work here. He had a good visit as far as I could tell.”

Bourdain’s camera “crew told the staff at J’s that the Portland episode [of the TV show] would be on in April”.

For a first-hand account you can listen in to the Dining With the Duleys radio show on WMPG on Tuesday night at 7:30.

More Photos of Walter’s

Monday, January 4th, 2010

PortlandTown has published a second set of photos from the 500 or so he shot opening night featuring close-ups of the dishes served that evening.

This Week’s Events

Monday, January 4th, 2010

WednesdayBlack Tie Bistro is teaching a cooking class.

Thursday—Sea Glass Restaurant is holding a 5-course dinner featuring wines from the Cellardoor Winery.

Friday opening night of the Dual Site “psychogeographic dinner theater” taking place at Whitney Art Works.

SaturdayLeroux Kitchen is holding a wine tasting, the next pick-up for the winter farmers’ market will be in Deering Oaks Park, and there’s a Jam Workshop taking place at Wolfe Neck Farm.

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.

Taste & Tell Review of Shima

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Shima has received 4 stars from the Taste & Tell review in this week’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

But Shima’s menu focuses on variety. Born in Hawaii, raised in London and Tokyo, and boasting a Parisian culinary education and work in a Tokyo hotel, chef Shima is a peacemaker of international cuisine.

You can hear the sushi lover outside the door, saying to a friend with no interest in raw seafood, why not eat here? “What about roast chicken? Moules marinieres? Duck confit? Or Hawaiian barbecue short rib?” They are all on the menu.

Under Construction: Pat’s Pizza

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Pat’s Pizza is planning on opening a new location in Portland on Market Street in the former location of Market Street Eats. Pat’s has 11 locations throughout Maine. The restaurant traces its roots back to 1931 when C.D. “Pat” Farnsworth opened a restaurant in Orono. For a full accounting of upcoming restaurants take a look at the Under Construction List.

SMCC & Maine Ambassadors

Friday, January 1st, 2010

The Maine Ambassadors of Food & Drink are teaming up with the Culinary Arts department at SMCC to offer a four week program (see page 6) on “the historical and cultural factors that affect what Maine grows and produces to eat and drink.” The class takes place Tuesday nights in February and will cost $275.

December 2009 Stats

Friday, January 1st, 2010

The 10 eateries looked up most often in December were:

  1. Five Fifty-Five (10)
  2. Bresca (3)
  3. Bar Lola (12)
  4. Shima (2)
  5. Walter’s (28)
  6. Hugo’s (4)
  7. Blue Spoon (6)
  8. The Farmer’s Table (13)
  9. JP’s Bistro (-)
  10. Miyake (8)

The numbers in parentheses indicates their rank last month.