Archive for December, 2011

Under Construction: Crema

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

The Munjoy Hill News has posted an update on Crema, a new coffee shop under construction on Commercial Street.

“We wanted a coffeehouse in the business district and now we are looking forward to being in the tourist district,” said Kathy Walsh this afternnon. Walsh was referring to the opening of Crema, an Italian themed coffeehouse which is expected to open early in February on the Portland waterfront – 9 Commercial Street…

Maine Shrimp & Chef Pay

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on the abbreviated 2012 Maine Shrimp season.

Shrimp fishermen have been given a catch limit of 4.4 million pounds for the upcoming season, down from the 13 million pounds they caught last season. The new season will begin Monday and end when the catch limit is reached.

Also in today’s paper is letter to the editor in favor of better pay for chefs.

Review of LeRoux Kitchen

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Instant Portland has published a review of LeRoux Kitchen.

Here’s what the locals know about LeRoux Kitchen: if you need something — anything — for your kitchen, be it a humble whisk or a high-end stockpot you’ve been saving up for years to get, then LeRoux is the place to go. Sure, there’s that place in the Mall, with the catalogs and the fancy name, but — I kid you not — their selection pales when compared to the selection at LeRoux.

Chef Nicholas Nappi

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Vin et Grub has posted an article about Nicholas Nappi who is the chef at Local 188.

If you’ve ever been into Local 188 on a busy Friday or Saturday night, there’s really no way you could miss Chef Nappi.  He expedites on these evenings, and his voice certainly carries throughout the majority of the dining room and lounge area.  Commanding respect in the kitchen, but also incredibly friendly to his back-of-the-house team, Nicholas understands the importance of a strong relationship between back-of-the-house workers.  Much like Jay, he also agrees with the notion that education in any kitchen is imperative.

 

2012 Scallop Harvest

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on this year’s scallop harvest.

“The prices these guys are going to get are probably going to be higher than they’ve ever gotten in the history of this fishery,” said Temple, who has been selling scallops for 35 years. The higher price for fishermen means that consumers will pay more in restaurants and food stores.

Sea scallops, which are similar to but bigger than bay scallops, have been harvested along the Maine coast since the late 1800s. At times, scallops have been the state’s second-most valuable seafood, behind lobster.

Reviews of Crooked Mile & Binga’s Stadium

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

The Press Herald has published reviews of the Crooked Mile Cafe,

Dare I say it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had? Yep, I’m saying it, and with good reason. First off, the baguette on which it was served was sheer perfection. Crispy yet chewy, it afforded a comfortable home to the dense stack of ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, mayo, oil, vinegar and oregano. (Hold the tomatoes for me, thanks).

and Binga’s Stadium.

I got mine smothered in the Jamaican Jerk sauce, which was absolutely delicious. My friend got the Thai BBQ version, which was equally delicious. She also insisted on getting the fried pickle chips side dish. I’m not as big a fan of them as she is.

I polished off my half order of tenders, though, washing it down with some hard cider. There’s nothing like wings and a good drink for a break from the bustle.

New Year’s Brews

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

This week’s edition of the What Ales You column suggests a few brewery alternatives to Champagne for ringing in the New Year,

Curieux, an ale with 11 percent alcohol aged in bourbon barrels, is the first Allagash that comes to mind. It’s available year-round, it’s won all sorts of awards, and Allagash sells as much of it as it can make. The cloudy, golden color would be nice for a midnight toast.

Review of Cobblestones

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Instant Portland has published a review of Cobblestones.

The menu is full of foods you’d find in any sandwich shop from here to Ohio – but the food is clearly crafted with love and care, and that careful attention to the most important thing in food – flavor – is that sets Cobblestones a little apart from the onslaught of salad and sandwich places in this city.

Urchin Industry

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

The Press Herald has published a report on efforts to energize the Maine sea urchin fishery.

During the heyday, Maine urchin fishermen harvested more than 40 million pounds of the spiny creatures a year. A move is now under way to jumpstart the industry, which has fallen on hard times and is just a skeleton of its former self.

Christmas Feasts

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Both Edible Obsessions and Mister Meatball have posted reports of their Christmas Day feasts.

There is a serious holiday hangover happening in our house right now. For nearly 36 hours straight, we were absolute holiday gluttons. We feasted, opened presents and watched ‘A Christmas Story’ at least 1.5 times. It was a wonderful past few days with The Missus, but we probably could have done without a helping of thirds of the Vinegretas.

 

This Week’s Events: Drinking Made Easy, Paella Fest, New Year’s Eve List

Monday, December 26th, 2011

WednesdayWine Wise is teaching a class on sparkling wines. Both Sonny’s and The Foreside Tavern are hosting viewing parties for the Portland episode of Drinking Made Easy. Several local restaurants and bars are collaborating in a cocktail competition named after a slip of the tongue made by UFF owner Eli Cayer when he was being interviewed for the show.

Thursday — there will be a wine tasting at the Public Market House.

Saturday — the Winter Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — Sonny’s is celebrating the New Year with an all you can eat Paella Fest.

New Year’s Eve
Here’s a list of restaurants that will be open on New Year’s Eve. Many in the list are planning special prix fixe dinners and a few will be open with their standard menu. If you know of any other options, post a comment with the details and I’ll add them to the list.

Everyone and their cousin wants to go out on New Year’s Eve so reservations are essential. I’d recommend you call soon before all the good spots get booked up.

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.

Grace in Top 4

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

The Phantom Gourmet included Grace in their list of the Top 4 Restaurants of 2011.

Grace in Portland, Maine also topped the list, serving new American comfort food in a renovated gothic revival church. Some of the standouts here include the bone-in tenderloin and the pan-roasted cod.

Reviewof Plush West End

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Plush West End received 3 stars from the review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

This bar and tapas lounge offers enough satisfying food to make it a good spot to drop in for a casual dinner and a drink with friends, especially when appetites vary. It’s also a late-night nosh option. The dishes are interesting if not outrageously original, but most are very well-prepared, and a collection makes for an agreeable and filling meal in a relaxing, stylish and spacious atmosphere.

Down East: Miyake, Bootleggers and Farming

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

The January issue of Down East magazine includes a review of Miyake,

What impresses most about Miyake’s creations is his mastery of a wide range of techniques and the quality of the ingredients. This isn’t your standard fish. It glistens. The spicy tuna roll combines tender tuna with creamy avocado slices, topped with seared yellowtail, toasted almonds, plum paste, and radish sprouts. The combination of color, texture, and flavors makes you rethink sushi.

as well as articles about bootleggers,

Mark’s applejack — that’s what distilled hard cider becomes — is the best I’ve ever tasted. Better than apple brandy that’s been aged twelve years. Better than imported Calvados at forty bucks a bottle. It’s dry, robust, and carries spicy hints of the fruit it was made from as well as the smoky flavors of the autumn harvest. When I first tried it a couple of years ago after a leisurely lunch at a mutual friend’s house, I thought it was paradise in a bottle.

and Farming in Maine.

What’s in the middle? Not all that much, actually. Rare are the midsized producers who can send a steady supply of crops to even a handful of grocery stores. If Mainers are to follow through on their demonstrated interest in eating locally — as well as making progress on existing efforts to further develop the state’s food system — we’re going to need some of those little farms to grow a bit bigger, while keeping the bigger guys healthy and strong.

Review of Bayou Kitchen

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

The Blueberry Files has published a review of Bayou Kitchen.

So check out Bayou Kitchen for a brunch that’s a bit different than the tried and true served up at Becky’s, Miss Portland Diner, Marcy’s, etc.  Between the charming service and the southern food, I bet you’ll find something that makes you want to return.