Archive for March, 2011

Review of Caiola’s

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Caiola’s received 3½ stars from the restaurant review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

Caesar salad with fried spicy oysters ($11.95) is another appetizer ample enough to be a main dish. The six oysters surrounding the romaine bear a thick, breaded crust, and taste peppery. Unfortunately, on this night, more attention could have been paid to their leafy vehicle; the overly dressed greens lack the sharp and lemony character of a good Caesar.

World’s Biggest Whoopie Pie

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Staff from Wicked Whoopies were at the Maine Mall today assembling a 1067 lbs whoopie pie. As you can see from the photos the event attracted quite a crowd. According to organizers the largest whoopie pie ever baked Pennsylvania topped out at about 250 lbs.


For additional reporting see: WMTW, a video report on WGME, and an article in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Maine’s Wine Industry

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Wine distributor Ned Swain has published some interesting observations on the Maine wine industry on his blog Wines; Tasted!

Maine is one of the only states that has bucked this trend and seen a lot of diversification and proliferation in small, grass roots wine distributors. Wine distributors such as myself, SoPo, Crush, and Easterly have built businesses built on unique quality wines and passion. Mark-ups in Maine are also lower than in places like NY, both on restaurant lists and retail.

I have a feeling that this movement to higher quality, exciting, hand made wines has hit a critical mass…

Review of the Micucci Sicilian Slab

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

From Away has published a review of the pizza at Micucci’s.

There is something so sublime about this pizza, unlike any I have had known. Thick as the name implies, but not at all heavy; the dough of the crust is soft and airy.  Sauce that is fruitsome yet not cloying. And a cheese layer that inspires the best of us to employ a lighter hand when slinging mozarella. Each component has integrity and complements the whole…

Chopped and Bizarre

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

A couple news notes from Meredith Goad:

  • Chef Lee Farrington has reportedly made it to the 2nd round of auditions for the TV show Chopped and a “camera crew will be filming there in April.”
  • Andrew Zimmern host of the Travel Chanel show Bizarre Foods has been in town and has posted a few photos of his visit on Twitpic.

Sectors, 18/21, Liquor at a Profit

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Senator Olympia Snow penned a Maine Voices article for today’s Press Herald about progress in the management of Maine fisheries.

When the New England Fisheries Management Council charted a new course in 2009 that gave fishermen more tools to better manage their stocks, I looked no further than Maine’s own industry for critical input in the development and evaluation of national fisheries policies going forward. Two years later, I am pleased to report that preliminary data is promising.

and the Portland Daily Sun wrote about two alcohol related proposals before the Maine Legislature.

One proposal, LD 901, would bar individuals under the age of 21 from being in Class A lounges licensed to sell alcohol, even if alcohol is not being served during an all-ages event. Another, LD 902, would require establishments to sell liquor at a profit — targeting events like 25 cent beer nights which some say encourage irresponsible drinking habits.

Asian Round-up

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Live Work Portland has pulled together an overview of some of the upcoming and recent changes to the Asian food scene in Portland.

There’s always a lot going on in the restaurant scene in Portland, but this spring a few news items combined with some developments since the fall all add up to a significant upgrade in our Asian food infrastructure. When people from away think about Maine, Asian food is not what first comes to mind, yet Portland has a considerable South East Asian population and a sizable Korean community as well.

In addition, I’d add that Shanghai Tokyo opened on Congress Street in February and that two additional Asian restaurants are under construction: China Taste on Washington Ave and Top Thai on Saint John Street.

Ricetta’s Closing in SoPo

Friday, March 25th, 2011

According to a report from the Press Herald, Ricetta’s will be closing their pizzeria in South Portland.

The Western Avenue location’s last day of operation is Sunday. The company cited the rising cost of fuel and operating costs and shrinking revenues in the restaurant industry as factors. The company’s Falmouth location remains open.

Review’s of Kim’s Sandwich & Cafe

Friday, March 25th, 2011

From Away has published a review of Kim’s Sandwich & Cafe.

Kim’s is the kind of hidden treasure of a shop that you really want to love, from its small, unassuming storefront with its handpainted signage, to its strikingly friendly staff. They are serving up several different types of perfectly respectable banh mi, and strong, caffeine-spiked cups of iced coffee, for next to no money; most sandwiches clock in at under $3.00 . The meats were delicious, and the pickled vegetables were lively and crisp. The bread was my banh mi’s downfall…

Burger Review of Dogfish Cafe

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Chubby Werewolf has published a review of The Dogfish Cafe.

So how did the burger stack up? Overall, pretty well. I found it to be a teensy bit overcooked (I ordered mine cooked medium), but not to the point of being dry. The beef had a nice consistency, though I felt that—in terms of the flavor—it struggled to stand out amidst all of the toppings.

Whoopie Pie Compromise and World’s Biggest W Pie Construction

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

According to a report from Maine Things Considered, the Maine House voted 107-34 to approve a compromise that would designate the whoopie Pie as the Maine State Treat and blueberry pie as the Maine State Dessert.

What started out as a fairly benign piece of legislation designating the whoopie pie as the state dessert, has whipped up an interstate dispute between Maine and Pennsylvania, and served up a dollop of national publicity. Although the bill has since been amended in committee to change the whoopie pie’s title to “state treat,” rather than state dessert, lawmakers representing the interests of the blueberry industry took to the floor of the House today in an effort to carve out their own share of the pie.

Wicked Whoopies will be at the Maine Mall this Saturday to assemble what they hope will be the World’s Biggest Whoopie Pie (take note Pennsylvania). They’ll be selling off slices of the 750-800 lb behemoth for $1 a slice and using the proceeds to send whoopie pies to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. (via Maine magazine)

Review of Pai Men Miyake

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Pai Men Miyake.

But at his new spot he has embraced mayonnaise, infused with a variety of spices, which pops up all over the menu — on the pork buns, under salt cod fritters, with fried flounder. The mustardy version served with the fritters also had a sharp capery bite. It was terrific with the light, moist, almost gooey balls of fried salt cod. With the flounder a sweeter mayo, and a greasier fry, obscured some interesting flavors of mushroom sauce and garnish.

Review of Street & Company

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Golden Dish has published a review of Street & Company.

My main course of oven baked whole branzino, which was filleted at the table, was served over a cilantro sauce that was at once provocative yet fresh. Branzino, a European sea bass, is a wonderful delicate fish and the restaurant cooked it perfectly.

Maine Farming & Looking Past the Pancake

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

An article in the Food & Dining section of today’s Press Herald looks past the pancake at cocktail and other drink ideas that incorporate maple syrup,

We usually run stories on how the season is going and share ideas for what you can do with all that springtime sweetness besides pour it over pancakes and ice cream. This year, inspired by a maple latte from Arabica, I decided to take a look at maple drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

and the Natural Foodie column exams how Maine’s growing network of small farms creates a better food system for the state.

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maine is home to 8,100 farms, and more than 90 percent of them are classified as small operations. Maine is also ahead of the curve in the organic farming movement, with the number of certified farms doubling between 2006 and 2008, the latest years for which the USDA’s figures are available.

Jet Set Maine

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Jason Oliver Nixon, author of Delta’s Jet Set blog, was in Maine for a visit this weekend,

We kicked off the weekend at a spirited brunch with L.L.Bean’s superstar public relations guru Mary Rose MacKinnon and her husband, James, at Portland’s Local 188. (Try the Caribbean-style hash with a potent Bloody Mary). Then we hit P-town’s cobblestone byways: Don’t miss Rogues Gallery and Portland Dry Goods for exceptional menswear. I am crazy about the kitchenware and gourmet delicacies at LeRoux Kitchen and Browne Trading Company.