Archive for March, 2012

48 Hours in Portland & a Review of Bar Lola

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

The new issue of Maine magazine showed up in my mailbox this week. Tucked in along the articles on Wellness (the theme of the April issue) is Portland in 48 Hours which tracks the wanderings of 4 members of the magazine staff over the same weekend in Portland. The article highlights a plethora of local restaurants and watering holes: Pai Men, Caiola’s, Novare Res, etc. In keeping with the April theme there’s also an article on “restorative foods” and where to source them.

Also this week, Maine magazine’s Eat Maine blog has published a review of Bar Lola.

Confit of rabbit leg falls right off the bone at the slightest touch of the fork and rests neatly by a small pool of silky potato and leek purée, flecked with chopped tarragon. I make proper use of the last of my bread by sopping up any trace of the purée that has been mingling with the juices of the succulent rabbit.

Reviews of Susan’s and Geno’s

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

The Press Herald has published reviews of Susan’s Fish and Chips,

Upon diving into my meal, three words came to mind: Hot, fresh and delicious. During a whirlwind feeding frenzy, I still managed to savor every bite. Speaking of rolls, you bet Susan’s has a “Lobstah” roll for $11.99 and a fried veggie boat for $7.99 so that your vegetarian comrades can join in the merriment.

and of Geno’s Rock Club.

The bartender said Geno’s doesn’t really have a specialty drink that it’s known for, but a popular beverage among its customers is Pabst Blue Ribbon — lovingly known by its acronym, PBR.

Today’s paper also includes the latest What Ales You column.


Review of SeaGrass Bistro

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of the SeaGrass Bistro.

The menu at Seagrass, which changes frequently, did not need any tweaking. The four starters, two salads, and five entrées offered a thoughtful variety of ingredients in wintery flavors — even the salads offered something toasty. One starter featured three perfectly seared scallops — the smokey-char flavor made them seem grilled. They sat in a red pepper reduction that had a marmalade look, and slightly citrus taste.

Boston Globe on Maine “Road Food”

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

The Boston Globe travel section has posted a guide to destination dining in Maine. The guide highlights ten spots where the “fresh ingredients, inventive preparation, and various ethnic touches, make the meal worth a drive.” Portland locations included are Pai Men Miyake, Petite Jacqueline, Nosh, Schulte & Herr and Tu Casa.

Maple Syrup & Vegan Cooking

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes articles on the potential health benefits (and good taste) of maple syrup,

And now there’s even more reason to stick with the real thing and attend Maine Maple Sunday events at participating sugarhouses this weekend: Recent research has uncovered a hidden benefit to eating maple syrup — it’s swimming with antioxidants that may help keep you healthy.

and an interview with vegan chef Christy Morgan.

A book signing and recipe demonstration will take place at Whole Foods Market on Thursday. On Friday night, she will offer a full-blown cooking class at the Five Seasons Cooking School, where she’ll take attendees on a culinary world tour and show how to prepare Indian-spiced sweet potato cakes with mint coconut chutney, Moroccan vegetable tagine, tofu larb (a spicy Thai appetizer) and fruit-kissed ceviche.

Reviews of Dobra Tea and The Porthole

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Instant Portland has published a review of Dobra Tea.

I have to confess that tea is my weakness. Not just any tea, mind you, but carefully brewed tea … it is the ritual of tea, if you will, that is my weakness. The teapot. The quiet moment of waiting while the leaves steep. The sound of the water pouring into the cup. The feel of the warm steam just before you take your first sip. If this is your weakness as well, then Dobra Tea will become your new favorite place.

Eat Here. Go There. has published a brunch review of The Porthole.

While the service was slow (it took 45 minutes to get our breakfast after we ordered), I have decided to give them a free pass since it was a holiday (and that place was being overrun by early morning drunk people). The Porthole is a great staple for a cheap brunch in the Old Port, and I have yet to be disappointed with their food. After we ate, we walked around, full bellied, and basked in the early spring sunshine. Who could ask for more?

Union Bagel, Farmers Market and 2012 Maple Season

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

This week’s Forecaster includes articles about Union Bagel,

On the 18th day, the Kickstarter crowd spoke, and the word was “bagels.”

Paul Farrell, a burly boat-builder turned labor organizer turned bagel baker and the driving force behind the upstart Union Bagel Co., couldn’t be happier.

an effort by farmers to gain more direct control over the management of the Farmers Market,

Market coordinator Dan Price asked the city to give the Farmers Market Association the power to determine membership, enforce association rules, and collect fees from participating farmers, according to a memo from the city’s associate corporation counsel, Anne Freeman.

and the 2012 maple syrup season.

“It won’t be a banner year,” Gorham resident Lyle Merrifield said. “This may be a about half to three-quarters crop.”

Under Construction: Eventide Oyster & Speckled Ax Espresso

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

A pair of updates for the Under Construction list:

  • The new coffee shop under development on Congress Street by the owner of Matt’s Wood-Roasted Coffee is slated to be named Speckled Ax Espresso. A regular contributor to PFM wrote to inform me that Speckled Ax is a reference to a story from Ben Franklin autobiography. Speckled Ax is scheduled to open sometime in April.
  • The new owners of Hugo’s have leased the space formally occupied by Rabelais and plan on remaking it into a companion restaurant called Eventide Oyster Company. In addition to oysters the owners plan on serving a more casual menu of other items. Eventide will have a separate entrance but the two restaurants will be connected by sharing a common kitchen. It’s scheduled to open this Spring.

Catbird Creamery Opening Today

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Catbird Creamery is holding an hot chocolate ice cream social to celebrate the grand opening of their new shop in Westbrook at 2pm today. Catbird’s new shop is located at 846 Maine St.

2012 Beard Awards . . . There’s Always Next Year

Monday, March 19th, 2012

The James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for this year’s JBF awards.

Sadly, none of the 8 semi-finalists from Maine made it through to the final list this year.

This Week’s Events: JBF Finalists, Gala for Gary, Maine Maple Sunday, Wine Brunch, Taste of the Nation Tickets

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Monday — the final list of nominees for this year’s James Beard Awards are scheduled to be announced. Check back later today for details on which semi-finalists from Maine made the short list.

Tuesday — Local Sprouts is hosting their monthly local foods networking breakfast, and the Urban Farm Fermentory is teaching a workshop on how to plan an herb garden.

Wednesday — The 7th annual Gala for Gary is taking place, and Wine Wise is leading an French Reds wine walk.

Thursday — there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Harpoon Brewery.

Friday — there will be a wine tasting at Rosemont on Brighton.

Saturday —there will be a gelato tasting at Rosemont on Brighton and the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Irish Heritage Center.

Sunday — it’s Maine Maple Sunday, and BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe is holding a Wine Brunch (menu).

Taste of the Nationtickets are now on sale for this year’s Taste of the Nation fundraiser to fight hunger in Maine.

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 Schulte & Herr

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Schulte & Herr received 4 stars from the review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

Delicious, high-quality, homestyle German food, most of it made in-house, served in a storefront restaurant in downtown Portland. The proprietors bring skill, personal attention and passion to their small eatery, which fills an ethnic gap in Portland’s celebrated culinary scene and offers a very good value to boot.

Change in Ownership at Hugo’s

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

According to their liquor license application filed with the city, partners Arlin Smith, Michael Wiley and Andrew Taylor are in the process of buying Hugo’s from the current owners, chef Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh.

Smith, Wiley and Taylor are not new faces at Hugo’s. They’ve served as the general manager, chef-de-cuisine and sous chef at the restaurant for the past 2 years.

A letter filed with their application states,

Today Hugo’s is a restaurant with a firm footing, a national reputation and a loyal following of vacationers and locals alike. With continuity as its primary goal, AMA LLC proudly accepts the responsibility, passed down from Rob and Nancy, to lead Hugo’s into another profitable decade. We are confident that the transition of ownership will be seamless: employees, patrons and our purveyors will continue to enjoy their profitable relationship with Hugo’s.

For additional information, read this article from the Press Herald.

Under Construction: Sebastian’s

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Sebastian’s, the restaurant under construction on the corner of Fore and Silver Streets, has submitted a liquor license application which includes draft lunch and dinner menus (pages 76-77).

Crowdfunding: Union Bagel & Gelato Fiasco

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Owners of Union Bagel Company and Gelato Fiasco were interviewed for a story on MPBN Radio about how Maine businesses are using funding sources like Kickstarter to expand and establish their businesses.

Once you’ve got that, you post a video to the Kickstarter website and a pitch, set a minimum funding goal and a timeframe, then spread the word so that people go to the website to make a donation. Union Bagel met its goal of $7,500 in just 18 days, and donations are still coming in.