Archive for September, 2010

North Star Ends on the 19th

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

North Star Music Cafe owner Kim Anderson announced today that the cafe will be closing their doors for the last time this Sunday at 5 pm. It’s certainly sad news for the East End and the community of people from all over the city that made North Star a regular part of their lives.

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today.  I have come to the difficult decision to close the doors of North Star.  I have so much love for this community and this city.  I am sad to say goodbye, but I am grateful for the three years you have embraced me and the North Star as family…

For additional reporting see articles in the Munjoy Hill News, Portland Daily Sun and Press Herald.

Review of Blue Burrito & Article on Maine Beer Co.

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Blue Burrito Cafe in Westbrook received 4 stars from the Eat & Run review in today’s Press Herald.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the meat in my quesadilla was tender and still lightly pink in the center. It came with caramelized poblano peppers, onions and sauteed mushrooms, with sour cream on the side. The smaller version of this dish costs $7, and is plenty for one person’s lunch. A larger version is also available for $8.50, if you’re really hungry or want leftovers.

Today’s paper also includes a What Ales You column on Maine Beer Company, makers of Spring Peeper Ale.

“Even as we speak, we are expanding to a 15-barrel brewhouse, which will speed things up dramatically,” David said.

Not only will their beers be more available when the new system comes online, probably in mid-October, the company will be able to introduce new styles and, perhaps, come closer to making some money.

Brunch Review of Havana South

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Appetite Portland has published a brunch review of Havana South.

While the benes were pretty good, the highlight of the meal was the side — little fried potato nuggets spiced with ancho chile powder, cumin, cinnamon and paprika. Crisp and full of zest, they were a delight.

Photos of the 7th Annual Harvest Dinner

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Portland Town has published a set of photos from the 7th Annual Harvest Dinner hosted by Cinque Terre and Vignola at their farm in Greene, Maine.

Pai Men Miyake Now Open

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Pai Men Miyake, Masa Miyake’s new noodle house, is now open for business in Longfellow Square.

They’ll be on a cash basis until Friday and have a slightly limited menu tonight. The pork gyoza were especially good.

Update: See Portland Food Coma for photos and details on the menu.

Dean’s Sweets Profile

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Mainebiz has published an interview with Dean Bingham, owner of Dean’s Sweets.

Owner Dean Bingham attributes success to his persistent use of local products. His seasonal special, for instance, consists of fresh Maine blueberries covered in rich chocolate. His popular “Chocolate Stout” features Maine-made beer Allagash Black, a Belgian-style stout brewed by Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland. Bingham also uses vodka distilled from Maine potatoes made by Freeport-based Cold River Vodka to make the “Needham Coconut.”

Review of Micucci’s

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

1840 Farm has published a review of the pizza at Micucci Grocery Company.

Five minutes can seem like a lifetime when you’re left to stand there staring at an empty stainless steel shelf smelling pizza this good.  Once the slabs hit the window, you’ll notice that they come on simple, white paper plates.  You can either box each slab up to take home or walk it back through the maze of grocery items to the cashier.  Once you’ve paid for your slab, you can return to the back room and sit at one of the two patio tables and finally dig in with your plastic knife and fork.  Welcome to pizza nirvana.  Now you know the secret handshake.

This Week’s Events

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Wednesday Wine Wise is teaching a class on Merlot at The Wine Bar.

Thursday — there will be wine tastings at Kitchen & Cork in Scarborough and Leavitt & Sons in Falmouth, and Cultivating Community is holding one of their biweekly Twilight Dinners.

Friday — an Italian wine tasting is scheduled to take place at the Rosemont Market on Munjoy Hill.

Saturday — there will be a wine tasting at the Black Cherry Provisions.

Sunday — the next 20/20 wine tasting/charity event is being held at the Snow Squall in South Portland, Wine Wise is coordinating a sailing wine class aboard the Casablanca, and Cinque Terre is holding their 3rd Annual Eco Appetito to raise funds for the Ferry Beach Ecology School.

Farmer’s Markets — the traditional series of Farmer’s Markets are taking place Monday (Monument Square), Wednesday (Monument Square) and Saturday (Deering Oaks Park). Cultivating Community is running their new series of markets Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at various locations around the city.

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.

Review of Havana South

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of Havana South.

Havana South’s Latin take on dinner is a welcome innovation in Portland dining, and its seafood dishes in particular make a good choice for dinner.

Portland Farmers Market

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

The Maine Observer has published a piece about the Portland Farmers Market.

Located directly across from the Portland Public Library and surrounded by the high-standing buildings of corporate offices, the market is hard to miss. You know you’ve entered it when you see the reusable shopping bags decorated with cheerful images of trees and animals. Stamped messages like “I am a plastic bottle” or “I am earth-wise” gloss over the underlying goal of buying and grown locally: to personally meet your food’s producer and to pollute less.

The weekend market is taking place this morning in Deering-Oaks Park and will be there until noon. For more information on the market, visit their website.

Review of Local Sprouts

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Local Sprouts.

…So perhaps I should not have been surprised that the food at the Local Sprouts Café, worker-owned and democratically run by the Local Sprouts Cooperative, was so very good.

But I was surprised, and very pleasantly so. One gets nervous about group-think, and it is worrisome that the cooperative’s first decision was to call itself “local sprouts.” And perhaps the big, curving bird-themed earthen bench that dominates the dining room, as well as the dormitory-style couch occupying prime territory near the window, reflect iffy decision-making. But when it comes to food, Local Sprouts is making all the right calls — from ingredients, to preparation, to price.

Fall Maine Restaurant Week

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Maine Restaurant Week has expanded their calendar to include a Fall series which will take place October 24-31. The standard MRW in the Spring is scheduled March 1-12, 2011.

At both the Fall and Spring series, participating restaurants will offer 3-course dinners for $20, $30, or $40, and some are planning $15 lunches. Menus and a list of participating restaurants will be published in October on

Twilight Dinners

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Tuesday’s Locavore column in the Portland Daily Sun was about the work done by Cultivating Community and the biweekly Twilight Dinners they run throughout the Summer at their farm in Cape Elizabeth.

For the fourth year running, area chefs will display their locavore prowess by preparing dishes using produce grown, meat raised and fish landed within 20 miles of the farm. No chocolate. No olive oil. Yes delicious.

Eating outdoors is rare these days but for most of history and throughout much of the world beyond these shores, it has been the norm.

First Review of WhaddaPita

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

WhaddaPita received 4 stars from the Eat & Run review in today’s Press Herald.

Whaddapita! is a dining spot where Greek meets West. Where gyros are ordered, eaten and enjoyed, though no one quite agrees on the correct pronunciation. And where a souvlaki pita can be washed down with a Moxie energy drink.

PPH: Apples, Evangeline and Permaculture

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

The Food  & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about this year’s apple harvest,

“We have two orchards, and at the one in Manchester, which is near Augusta, we ended up with half a crop because of the frost when we were in full bloom,” said Marilyn Meyerhans, who owns the orchards with her husband, Steve. “But the rest of the crop is good. And then our Fairfield orchard, it’s a full crop but it’s coming so early that we’re picking like crazy about a week before we should be. But they’re ready.”

a report on the Apple, Swine and Wine menu taking place all this month at Evangeline,

“Since the apples are in microseasons all through September and October, and the pig has so many parts, it will give me the opportunity to do a new preparation every day,” Desjarlais said.

Look for shaved Liberty apple with peameal bacon and fennel.

and an interview with Lisa Fernandez and David Whitten on their permaculture backyard farm in Cape Elizabeth.

Tucked into a typical suburban neighborhood in Cape Elizabeth where lawns and flower beds dominate the landscape, Fernandes and her husband, David Whitten, have done away with their lawn and packed their third of an acre lot, just two houses from the South Portland line, with a growing backyard farm.

Video Interview with Matt Moran from Nosh

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 has published a video interview with co-owner Matt Moran from Nosh KitchenBar.

Nosh will be appearing tonight’s Man vs Food episode on the Travel Channel at 9 pm.

Urban Farm Fermentory

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

The Forecaster has published an article about the work Eli Cayer and David Homa are doing to launch the Urban Farm Fermentory in Bayside.

Hops grow up from a pot of soil along lines of string connected to the wall. Bees swirl around two hives next to a makeshift greenhouse that grows nasturtium, lavender, hyssop, ginger, lemongrass and mint, among other things.

Homa, who oversees the garden, said the idea is to work with the landscape, even if it is of the industrial variety.

Maine Ahead: Chef Lee Skawinski and Simply Divine Brownies

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

The new issue of Maine Ahead includes an article about Simply Divine Brownies and an interview with Lee Skawinski, chef/owner of Cinque Terre and Vignola.

Cinque Terre was born from Skawinski’s friendship with a physician and gentleman farmer named Dan Kary. “Our business relationship started with conversations on what Kary can grow and what I would make with it,” Skawinski says. The synergy of agricultural and culinary abilities became the seeds of Cinque Terre.

Review of Local 188

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Vin et Grub has published a review of Local 188.

i decided to go on the more “lunch-like” route.  i picked the local 1/2 lb burger, which is served on their in house baked bun, with lettuce, tomato, onion, and homefries.  the burger was cooked medium well- just like i asked, and the meat was seasoned well, with a small amount of fresh herbs, and salt n pepa.  my homefries did me quite well, the little pieces of onion and green pepper were delicious, and i was very happy.  i do have to say, that this burger is one of the best in town- not to mention well priced.

Review of Portland Pie

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Mitten Machen has published a review of the gluten-free/vegan pizza options at Portland Pie.

Of course, as a gluten-free vegan, I’m grateful anytime a restaurant provides me with more than an undressed garden salad. Portland Pie Co. doesn’t do gluten-free pizza as well as Flatbread Company, but it’s another option for gluten-free, dairy-free folks who want to enjoy a meal alongside omnivorous friends. Next time, I’ll probably skip the vegan cheese and spring for lots more veggie toppings.