Archive for March, 2012

The Menu

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Aurora Provisions has published the menu from the dinner they catered last night for President Obama at the Portland Museum of Art. From what I’ve heard it all went off without a hitch. Here’s  a photo of the menu card used at the event.

According to the AP Facebook wall, you can stop by their location on Pine Street today to sample some of the dishes from the dinner.

Neal and Ricky

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Today’s Portland Daily Sun includes an article on Portland’s prohibitional past and a story about the naming of Rockin’ Ricky’s Tavern,

Back to famous bars though. One of my favorite bar stories is one I was told about Ricky’s, on Portland Street, across from the post office. It seems that when Italy changed sides in the Second World War an Italian submarine navigated into Portland Harbor and turned itself in, and because Italy was in dire straits at the end of the war some of the Italian crewmen decided to stay in this country. They were each given a stake by the federal government to establish themselves in their new country and the story goes that a man named Ricci used his cash to start a tavern on Portland Street, which he named after himself, and over time Ricci’s became anglicized to Ricky’s. Rockin’ Ricky’s Tavern, who would’a thought.

Hugo’s Past/Hugo’s Future

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Down East magazine’s blog The Golden Dish and Maine magazine’s blog Eat Maine have both published articles about the transition in ownership at Hugo’s.

[Chef Andrew] Taylor feels very much the same way. “I love Hugo’s,” he says. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had and I don’t want to change that. I love what Rob and Nancy have done and I know they are equally fond of the fact that we have taken it over.”

Now that he will finally call Hugo’s style of cuisine his very own, Taylor discusses plans to continue developing and improving the menu. This feeling of liberation is often what truly allows a chef to flourish and produce some of their very best work. So far the response from patrons has been overwhelmingly positive.

The Honey Exchange

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Instant Portland has published a profile of The Honey Exchange.

“Would you like to see a bee being born?” With those intriguing words, owner Phil Gaven graciously welcomed me into The Honey Exchange, where I learned more about bees and honey in a short visit than I knew it was possible to know.

Reviews: Big Sky & El Rayo Cantina

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Today’s Press Herald includes a bar review of El Rayo Cantina,

If you’re interested in testing your tequila taste buds, El Rayo also offers “Tequila Flites” for $15 to $19. The tasting allows you to compare tequilas from their three favorite producers to help you determine which you prefer.

and a Eat & Run review of Big Sky Bread.

The sandwich shop operates in the Market House at 28 Monument Square, and I frequent it most often mid-afternoon for an oatmeal raisin cookie ($1.55). The cookies, which are about the size of large saucers, strike a balance between being crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey in the middle.

And the paper continues its fascination with what meals will be served by who and when for President Obama’s visit.

Portland Food Trucks

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

The Portland Phoenix has published an update on the effort to bring food trucks to Portland.

It’s nearly summer, and eating outdoors is one of the prime luxuries Maine can offer its residents and visitors. Portland’s considering making that easier, with its Food Truck Task Force determining how to organize the debut of the latest nationwide foodie-fad.

Full Belly Deli & The Portland Food Co-op

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Wednesday’s Portland Daily Sun includes articles about the Full Bely Deli,

Full Belly Deli on Brighton Avenue is celebrating their 25th anniversary this month and owner David Rosen is proud, yet plagued with a bit of tzuris (Yiddish for troubles, woes or worries) experienced by most long-time restaurant owners these days when thinking about the future.

and the Portland Food Co-op.

A half-dozen years after initial meetings and more than three years after its formal incorporation, the Portland Food Co-Op is finally ready to begin stocking shelves and welcoming members at its new Hampshire Street store, one block up from Congress Street at the foot of Munjoy Hill.


Presidential Eats, Evans Act II, Public Market House, Wine Dreams, Holy Donuts

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Today’s Press Herald contains a bumper crop of articles about the meal being served at President Obama’s dinner in Portland this Friday,

The White House has thrown up a strict no-talk zone over the dinner menu for the president’s whirlwind Friday fundraising mission to Maine. But here’s what we know.

an interview with Rob Evans on what he plans on doing next now that he’s sold Hugo’s,

Evans said the sale of the restaurant where he built his culinary reputation will give the couple the time and money they need to establish a small farm on 82 acres they bought in Limington. “And then we’re going to be looking at doing more businesses in Portland,” Evans said. “So we’re not retiring. We’re not opening up restaurants in New York like a lot of people think we’re doing. Actually, quite the opposite. We’re looking to get more connected to the state.”

an article about the success of the Public Market House,

The company that Horton formed with the owners of two other stores in the building in Monument Square announced this week that four more businesses are moving in, making 11 in all and essentially filling the place.

The Maine Squeeze Juice Cafe, Y-Limes Gourmet Desserts, Union Bagel Co. and La Cocina Dominicana are either moving in or have already opened in the market.

Joe Appel’s list of “Ten [wine-related] things that will never happen

The Maine Legislature will summon the courage necessary to override restaurant-industry protectionism and enact a law allowing diners to bring their own bottles of wine to dinner if they pay a “corkage” fee. Restaurants, despite their legitimate concerns regarding waitstaff gratuities and customers’ abuse of the leeway offered, will permit BYO and set parameters that curtail the risks.

and a reprint of the Maine a la Carte blog post about The Holy Donut.

The Holy Donut opened a week ago last Friday at the former site of Terroni’s Market on Park Avenue, near Hadlock Field. Leigh Kellis, the owner, had been using the kitchen at the East Ender and selling her products wholesale at Coffee By Design, Whole Foods and Bard Coffee.

Local Butchers & Maine Maple Sunday

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The Press Herald has published an article about local butchers,

A growing number of consumers like Graf are buying their meat from neighborhood butchers who work with locally raised animals, rejecting the idea of pre-cut, pre-packaged meats shipped from large, anonymous farms hundreds or thousands of miles away.

The Hannaford ground beef recall, and federal investigators’ failure to find the source of the salmonella contamination, has prompted some local butchers to change their meat grinding practices and encouraged a “buy local” attitude among shoppers like Graf.

and a report on yesterday’s Maine Maple Sunday.

Steam billowed out of the Nash Valley Farm sugarhouse, sending out the usual welcome to Maine Maple Sunday visitors.

But not much else was usual at the farm. The buckets hanging on the maple trees stood empty, the maple trees were bursting with flowers and there was a green carpet of grass instead of the usual mix of snow and mud underfoot. And it was water, not sap, boiling away in the evaporator.

This Week’s Events: World Food Party, Latte Art Competition, Latin Vegan, Old HLT

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Monday — Grace is hosting a charity wine event to benefit the Cancer Community Center.

TuesdayBar Lola is holding a wine dinner.

Wednesday — Lindsay Sterling from Immigrant Kitchen is the emcee for the Phoenix’s World Food Party.

Thursday — Bard Coffee is holding the monthly TNT Latte Art Competition, there will be a wine tasting at the Browne Trading, the UFF is teaching a Kombucha workshop, Maine Mead Works and Silver Moon Creamery are hosting a charity tasting to raise money for the Wayside Food Program, and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Bunker Brewing.

Friday — Chef Michelle Goldman of Sea Change Cooking School will be holding a Latin Vegan tasting at the Danforth Inn.

SaturdaySweet Marguerites is holding the Grand Opening for their new store in South Portland, Allagash is releasing Old HLT (8% ABV, aged with cherries for 2 years) and the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Irish Heritage Center.

Sunday — the 26th Annual Chocolate Lover’s Fling 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.

Review of David’s 388

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

David’s 388 has received 4½ stars from the review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

David’s 388 is a South Portland neighborhood treat for high-end casual food lovers.  Intimate and cozy, the kitchen creates meals that feel fancy, not fussy, and with $7 appetizers and $15 main dishes, dining here is an accessible treat. An excellent date locale, David’s 388 is worth the trip over the bridge.

Crema is Now Open

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Crema opened for business today. The coffee shop is located near the corner of India and Commercial Streets adjacent to the new Rosemont Produce store.

Visit Portland Daily Photo to see some photos of Portland’s newest coffee shop.

Review of Rosemont

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Put That in My Face has published a review of Rosemont on Brighton.

Rustic places have always warmed my heart with soulful pieces of culinary delight. Rosemont Bakery on Brighton Ave. in Portland warmed me from head to toe for like an hour today. Just to walk into this place is like sheer heaven. It smells divine. To the right, immediately upon arrival is an array of fresh local vegetables that you wouldn’t even imagine could be possible. Beautiful crimini & trumpet mushrooms, artichoke heads which are nice and tight, thick asparagus spears, bountiful herbs. I could go on and on.

Profile of The Holy Donut

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

The Press Herald food blog Maine a la Carte has published a profile of The Holy Donut.

[Owner Leigh] Kellis, a single mom, says she develops flavors in her head, on a whim. “I’m really passionate about donuts,” she said, “so I just try to make things that I would want to eat.”

Review of David’s and Survey of In-Town Lunch Spots

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

The new issue of Down East magazine arrived this week, and it includes a review of David’s in Monument Square. The article isn’t online yet but should be within the next few days.

DE’s food blog, The Golden Dish has just published a survey of in-town lunch destinations.