Archive for October, 2011

This Week’s Events: Ghoulschip, Figa Wine Dinner, Bull Jagger Showcase, Maine Brewers Festival

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Monday — it’s the release date for a new beer from Allagash. Ghoulschip is “ale aged in oak barrels with pumpkin seeds and molasses”. Sales  of the limited 1200 bottle production run start at 8 am.

Wednesday — Wine Wise and the Chadwick Bed & Breakfast are teaming up to teach a Thanksgiving cooking class, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — Five Season Cooking School is teaching a vegan/macrobiotic cooking class, there will be an Italian wine dinner at Figa, the Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Bull Jagger, Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert will be giving a presentation at Merrill Auditorium.

Friday — a 4-course VIP brewers dinner is taking place at the Regency, and there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli.

Saturdaythere are two tasting sessions for the Maine Brewers Festival, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

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.

Interview Jay Villani and Dan Kleban

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

For the 6th episode of the Maine Culinary Podcast, host Dan Bodoff interviewed Jay Villani, owner of Sonny’s/Local 188, and Dan Kleban, co-owner of Maine Beer Company. They discuss plans for the upcoming Maine Beer Week and the experience of scaling up from a home brew set to a commercial operation.

Additionally, Villani lets the cat out of the bag on Bunker Brewing, a new brewery being set up by Villani in Bayside which will initially be sold at Local 188 and Sonny’s.

Reviews of Schulte & Herr, Ribollita and Gingko Blue

Friday, October 28th, 2011

The Maine Magazine Blog has posted a review of Schulte & Herr.

One of the most exciting elements of the fledgling brunch service is the Sunday roast, featuring different meats and gravy each week and served with potato dumplings plus one choice of side. On this particular visit they are serving beef, and based on the knowledge that I have no need to be productive for the next few hours, I am all over it. As a peace offering to my body I also order up a small house salad and a decaf coffee, which is quite flavorful. I drink it black to give other diners the impression that I am hardcore.

From Away has posted a review of Ribollita.

But it was Malcolm’s dinner that won the night, and my heart. You could tell me that all life evolved from the primordial soup of their North End Linguini ($18.50) with clams and mussels in white sauce, and I would not object. A deep plate teeming with mollusks, garlic, butter, juices, the essence of life – what is it exactly? I cannot say; it is ineffable. I couldn’t stop my fork from impinging to twirl more pasta and pluck a sweet clam from its shell. I deeply regretted eating all the bread earlier, as this is a dish meant for swabbing.

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Gingko Blue.

It would be easy to get addicted to the well-rendered cocktails at Gingko. A drink called the “noble experiment” combined whiskey and limoncello to create something like a sublime whiskey sour. Honey dripped down the rim at a calming glacial pace. A French 75 — gin, lemon, and champagne, was light and refreshing. The wine list has some nice glasses to go with food, like a dry, peaty zinfandel by Project Paso. We enjoyed it with a panini that was a bit too dry. It was filled with a nice fatty bratwurst and a kraut that could use more zing

Farms & Fables Interview

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Today’s Press Herald includes an interview with some of the people behind the play Farms & Fables.

“We are seeing a lot of change in the state of Maine – demographic change, environmental change, land-use change,” said Hahn, who directs the play for her theater company, Open Waters Theater Arts. “We are hearing a lot of conversations about food and agriculture, and I feel that sometimes perspectives can get generalized. This play focuses on the people and the lives of the people involved in agriculture. I want people who attend the play to see that, so they have greater appreciation of the agriculture in their community.”

For additional reporting read the article about Farms & Fables in this week’s Portland Phoenix.

Reviews of Anthony’s and Zapoteca

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

The Press Herald has published a review of Anthony’s,

I believe we need more eateries where the servers call you “honey.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I like it when I get treated like a regular, like somebody the staff is actually happy to see.

On a recent trip to Anthony’s Italian Kitchen in Portland, I got such a treatment — not to mention a great sandwich.

and Portland Bar Guide has published a review of Zapoteca.

… On cue, the bartender swung over to assist. After counseling me through a variety of tough decisions (Spicy or mild? Sweet or savory?), he produced a delightfully fresh and spicy margarita – served up, of course – named El Pepino. With a beautifully balanced mix of cucumber and jalapeno, I really couldn’t go wrong. It was different, simple, well done, and stylish. In a nut shell, much like rest of Zapoteca.

Recognition for Hayward and Gerritsen

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Two members of the Maine food community have received recognition for their work:

  • Sam Hayward, chef and co-owner of Fore Street is the recipient of Sustainer award from the Chef’s Collaborative for “his commitment to promoting local, sustainable foods in the culinary world.”
  • The Utne Reader has named Maine organic farmer Jim Gerritsen to their 2011 list of Visionaries for his efforts to “spearhead a lawsuit against corporate agriculture giant Monsanto, filed last spring on behalf of 270,000 family farmers, gardeners, and consumers who are suing to keep some food crops free of genetic modification.”

Hello and Goodbye: PSR&T and BeerBloggers.com

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

There are a couple changes to the Portland food blogging landscape to announce:

  • BeerBloggers.com has decided to call it quits and has put out a Last Call post where he explains that “My own enthusiasm for beer has not waned, but my time to blog about it has been near non-existant for over a year now. I’ve been thinking about what to do with this domain, as having it sit idle for months at a time seems pointless. I was approached about an opportunity to donate the domain name to a worthy cause, and I’ve decided to take it.”
  • A video food blog called Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Tim has recently launched. In the initial episode, the blogger uses an innovative mix of interviews, cooking demos,  and real life situations to explain how to put together a meal featuring Brown Butter Sage Sauce, Goat Cheese, and Beet Pizza.

This Week’s Events: Food Day, Latte Art, UFF Workshops, Gothic Halloween Dinner, Farms & Fables

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Monday — it’s the 2011 Food Day. As one of the many events taking place nation-wide Congresswoman Chellie Pingree will be at Jordan’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth at noon to “announce the introduction of The Local Farm, Food, and Jobs Act, a bill that prioritizes local and regional food systems in the 2012 Farm Bill.”

Tuesday — the Urban Farm Fermentory is holding a kombucha workshop.

WednesdayWine Wise is teaching a class on the top white grape varietals, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — Bard Coffee is hosting the monthly Latte Art Throwdown, Bibo’s is holding  a beer and wine dinner, there will be a wine tasting at Browne Trading, Urban Farm Fermentory is offering a hard cider workshop, there will be a preview performance of Farms & Fables, and  the South Portland Farmers Market is taking place.

Friday — it’s the first of two nights that Hugo’s will be serving a 6-course Gothic Halloween Dinner, and there will be a performance of the play Farms & Fables.

SaturdayNovare Res is celebrating Harvest Fest with a special line-up of ciders, meads and Fall beers, there will be two performances of Farms & Fables, a Tutti a Tavola cooking class will be held at Cinque Terre and a mead workshop at the Urban Farm Fermentory, it’s the last night of the Gothic Halloween dinner at Hugo’s, the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

SundayDobra Tea is teaching an Intro to Tea class and the last performance of Farms & Fables is taking place.

 

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.

And Another Review of Emilitsa

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Eat Here. Go There. has published a review of Emilitsa.

We both decided Greek Comfort food was the way to go. I can never turn down lamb in any form and I had never, ever, had lamb’s neck before so ordering the Lemo Arnou was a no brainer for me. This dish was an all-natural grass-fed lamb neck, slow braised in a mastic yogurt honey sauce and then served with olive oil pomme puree and fire roasted florina peppers. It was perfectly fresh and definitely heavy. I loved the subtle gaminess of the lamb paired with the light sauce and pomme puree. I would go back a hundred more times to eat that dish again. Perfection.

Review of Emilitsa

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Down East has published a review of Emilitsa.

In a city of great restaurants, yet one more might have trouble standing out. And that may be the case with Emilitsa, which flies a bit under the radar despite its stellar cuisine and top-notch service. Just a few doors down from Five Fifty-five, in a slim storefront on Congress Street in Portland, brothers John and Demos Regas serve refined Greek fare that will erase the memory of the last mystery-meat gyro you grabbed at a street fair — and add one more name to the ever-growing list of must-visit Portland restaurants.

Review of Fez

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of Fez.

Throw aside most expectations of fine dining to enjoy Fez, a hole-in-the-wall neighborhood establishment where the food is mostly good, and the owners, who also serve and cook, welcome you like an old friend. Dishes in hues of brown and yellow bear robust flavors of north Africa. Zaalouk, an eggplant appetizer, is a must-order. The falafel is tasty, too. You’d be hard-pressed to get such hearty and inexpensive portions of halal meat anywhere else in Maine. Still, three months after opening, the establishment shows disorganization. The happiest customers will be those who come with a flexible attitude.

Maine Farmland Trust

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Zester Daily has published an article explaining the important work being done by the Maine Farmland Trust to protect farmland for the future.

Into the breach came John Piotti, executive director of the Maine Farmland Trust. Founded in 1999, MFT is a nonprofit whose mission is to retain Maine’s vulnerable agricultural land base and keep Maine’s prime farmland from disappearing into “a vast tract of ranch homes.”

MFT is working to support and secure the transfer of farming from one generation to the next. Through a variety of easements that guarantee the land in perpetuity for farming use, and a series of creative and flexible cooperative ventures with counties, the state, the federal government and private benefactors, MFT is able to purchase land from families like the Jordan family at close to market price and sell, lease, or lease with a buy-back provision, to a next generation of family farmers.

SoPo Farmers Market Location Issues

Friday, October 21st, 2011

The Forecaster reports on the South Portland Farmers Market and interest in moving it to a more visible and high traffic location.

Vendors say that business at the market at Thomas Knight Park, which opened for the first time on July 14, limped along after a relatively successful first month.

Rainy weather on many Thursdays hasn’t helped, they said. But according to Caitlin Jordan, business manager of Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth and head of the South Portland Farmers Market Association, the less-than-stellar turnout has one root cause.

“Like any business,” she said, “it’s location, location, location.”

Fall Dishes and Drinks

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Appetite Portland and The Blueberry Files have coordinated a pair of articles with recommendation for Fall dishes and Fall drinks.

As the temps drop my focus shifts to comfort food. The stewed and brothy. The ample and starchy. The earthy and rich. I scan menus for things I’d never consider in warmer weather. Cheesy noodles. Heavy sauces.

Review of Taco Escobarr

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

The Press Herald has published a review of Taco Escobarr.

I would go back to Taco Escobarr in a heartbeat because the food here is, overall, very good. It’s a great new addition to downtown Portland, and a perfect alternative to fast food for those late-night munchies.