Archive for June, 2012

The Bollard: Maine Beer, The Holy Donut, Scarpa’s

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

The July edition of The Bollard is now out. It includes:

  • A feature article on the latest wave of craft brewers to open in Maine: Maine Beer Company, Bull Jager, Rising Tide, Bunker Brewing, Baxter Brewing, and Oxbow.
  • A review of The Holy Donut (194 Park Ave)
  • A bar review of Scarpa’s (15 Exchange St)

The articles aren’t on The Bollard website yet, but they usually posts them up in the week following print publication. In the meantime you can find free print copies in just about every coffee shop and cafe in Portland.

Greek Heritage Festival

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

The Bangor Daily News has published a report on the Greek Heritage Festival.

The Greek Food Festival, now in its 30th year by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Pleasant Street, has become more than just the church’s biggest annual fundraiser. It’s a key component in keeping alive Greek cultural traditions, with roots dating back hundreds of years and thousands of miles, in Maine’s largest city.

Review of The Lobster Shack

Friday, June 29th, 2012

The Golden Dish has published a review of The Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth.

For those of us who live in Greater Portland, Two Lights is like the neighborhood pound for lobster in the rough and all the fixings. It’s like getting away to someplace exotic and remote, yet it’s so accessible, with gorgeous scenery, very decent food, and I hope it stays that way for at least another 50 years.

Review of Nosh

Friday, June 29th, 2012

USA Today has published a review of Nosh.

No matter what you choose you will probably like it because the food at Nosh is creative, carefully prepared and impeccably sourced, presenting a unique take on classic comfort foods in a neighborhood setting with a fun, family-friendly vibe and reasonable prices. Nosh also has an extensive list of craft beers, wines and specialty cocktails. It works equally well for lunch, dinner or late-night party spot, and presents a different side of Maine dining with no lobster whatsoever on the menu.

Serious Eats: 10 Portland Breakfast Sandwiches

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Malcolm from over at From Away has put together a list of his 10 favorite breakfast sandwiches in Portland for Serious Eats.

You know those bleary mornings after drinking a little too much (OK, a lot too much) when your eyes refuse to focus the next morning? And your skull feels twice as big? Yeah, those are breakfast sandwich mornings.

Review of Vignola/Cinque Terre

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Sfphotocraft has published a review of Vignola/Cinque Terre.

The anti pasta was good.  It had shrimp, mussels, oysters and clams.  It was a nice bite of a taste of the taste of Maine, with some interesting sauces to spice up the bites.  I was a huge fan of the oysters, they were local and had a nice sweet taste to them.  It would be hard to screw up this plate as we were in Maine and seafood is everywhere.  My next course was the mushroom pizza. I loved the crisp, thin and crispy, but not overly so. The best part were the mushrooms…

MDI Ice Cream in View

Friday, June 29th, 2012

According to a report on Maine a la Carte, the owner of MDI Ice Cream will be appearing on ABC TV show The View on Tuesday.

Eventide Oyster Company Now Open

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Hugo’s new companion eatery, Eventide Oyster Company, is now open for business.

The oyster menu is the most extensive in the city with 9 varieties of Maine oysters and another 9 from away (see menu below). Winterpoints, my favorite Maine oysters, are on the menu except these are Winterpoint Selects, which at least for now, are exclusively available at Eventide. In addition to the raw bar, Eventide serves a range of raw and cooked appetizers, as well as a small set of entrees and desserts.

I had the pleasure of attending their open house for friends and family earlier this week, (see photos below) and aside from when I dropped and broke a wine glass, it all went very smoothly. I’m looking forward to a return trip very soon to start making my way through the rest of the oyster list. I wonder if there will be a “mug club” for anyone who tries them all?

Eventide is located immediately adjacent to Hugo’s on Middle Street in the space formerly occupied by Rabelais.

Outside at El Rayo

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Map & Menu has published an endorsement (with beautiful photos, as usual) of the outdoor seating area at El Rayo.

I’m going to regret doing this, because I already hate waiting for open picnic tables on the gorgeous days, but I strongly recommend that the next time the sun comes out, and you find yourself in Portland, grab a seat, a drink, and a taco, and kick back to enjoy the Maine summer.

Bar Review of Flask & What Ales You Column

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Flask,

I met a friend out for a weekend-welcoming drink at Flask on a recent Friday. For both of us, it was our first time hitting up the lounge near Portland’s West End. Shortly after we walked in, I spotted the lineup of flasks on a ledge near the ceiling. Each one had a little funky flair to it, just like the bar.

and the What Ales You column in today’s paper challenges its readers to reach past their go-to brew for something new this 4th of July.

So, I am going to suggest you try something new — three established craft breweries that have been around for a decade or more, but which have just been introduced to store shelves in Maine. They are Lagunitas, from Petaluma, Calif.; Founders, from Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Green Flash, from San Diego, Calif.

Mark’s Place Opening

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

The Grand Opening for Mark’s Place is scheduled to take place this Friday. According to a full page ad in this week’s Portland Phoenix, the doors at Fore Street’s newest bar will open at 4 pm and there will be free hors d’oeuvres, 4-6.

Mark’s is located at 416 Fore Street which most recently was a venue called The Edge.

Prepping for the Greek Heritage Festival

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about all the prep work that goes into creating the food for the Greek Heritage Festival.

There will be marinated and grilled lamb souvlaki (kabobs), rice pilaf, Greek salad, spanakopita (spinach pie), moussaka (eggplant casserole), pastitsio (Greek lasagna), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and an assortment of desserts, most of which non-Greeks can get nowhere else in Portland except on these three days. I spent a couple hours with the pastry team last week as they prepared for the event.

The festival starts on Thursday and runs through Saturday night.

Strawberries Squared & Kids Gone Raw

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald has an article on strawberries which includes recipes from 3 Portland chefs, a guide to farms where you can pick your own strawberries, details strawberry dishes on the menu at local restaurants, a calendar of strawberry festivals in Maine and info on a strawberry jam making class taught by Kate McCarty.

“My advice to people is to get out a little earlier this year to get what you want, and certainly call the farmer ahead of time to see how things are going,” David Handley, a small-fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, said in an interview after last week’s stretch of hot weather. “I’ve been out in the fields for the last couple of days, and I’ve been amazed how two days of temperatures approaching the 90s will ripen strawberries so quickly.”

The season started a little early as well, anywhere from a week ahead of schedule to just a day or two, depending on the location of the farm.

Also in today’s paper is an article about Kids Gone Raw,

Sensing an opportunity, Knowles quickly contacted her friend Elizabeth Fraser, who runs the Girl Gone Raw cooking school in Portland. Over lunch at Local Sprouts Cooperative Cafe, the two came up with the idea of a raw foods cookbook filled with kid-friendly recipes.

The book is now written and the pair is in the process of determining which publisher they want to work with…In the meantime, the two are busy creating a line of raw vegan foods for children, making appearances at events and teaching classes.

Strawberries, Strawberries, Strawberries

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Both Sweeter Salt and Map & Menu have written up their recent trips to Maxwell’s Farm for strawberry picking,

…There seemed to be quite the contest to see who could pick the most perfect looking strawberry (I maintain that I was a clear winner in this contest) – in the end, we ended up picking quite a lot of these perfectly shaped beautiful, bright berries, and have enjoyed eating them on just about everything since! They’ve accompanied our morning oatmeal and daily salads, and have made the perfect topping for an angel food cake we picked up at Whole Foods. Strawberry pie & strawberry jam are both on our list of things to make this week as well.

and via a pair of re-tweets from Maine Foodie Tours we learned that Allagash is working on a strawberry-infused variant of Allagash Four called Avance (pic 1, pic 2), and that Maine Mead Works will be putting out a strawberry-flavored mead in July.


Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

NPR’s food blog, The Salt, has published an article about MOOMilk.

Now, things are looking up, albeit modestly. MOOMilk has been picked up by Whole Foods and Hannaford’s, as well as by a swath of small purveyors across northern New England. Even with demand for organic milk booming, though, the cooperative is struggling to push past 5,000 gallons in weekly sales.

Photos from Taste of the Nation 2012

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Edible Obsessions has published a large set of photo’s from Sunday’s Taste of the Nation fundraiser at Diamond Cove.

Photo Credit: Edible Obsessions

Update: Eat Maine has also posted a set of photos on Facebook.

Portland Coffee

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Mainebiz has published an article about Portland’s growing coffee industry.

“We believe there’s lots of room in Portland for people who are serious about our craft,” says [Bard co-owner Bob] Garver from behind the bar on a busy afternoon as [co-owner Jeremy] Pelkey and two baristas zip around him, pouring water over fresh grounds set over a weighed glass Kalita server and pulling espresso from the shiny Simonelli machine Garver bought recently from the World Barista Championships. “Portland’s got a wonderful food scene and we feel like the coffee in Portland should meet or exceed that standard.”

Under Construction: Salt Cellar

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Salt Cellar is under construction in the basement space on the corner of Middle and Market Streets. Salt Cellar was founded in Portsmouth NH and this will be there second location. You can see there full product line of finishing salts on their e-commerce site.

The windows of the new retail store are filled with a set of quotes about salt:

  •  It’s a true saying that a man must eat a peck of salt before he knows him. -Cervantes
  • Thou hadst better eat salt with the Philosophers of Greece than the Courtiers of Italy. -Ben Franklin
  • Salt is what makes things taste bad when it isn’t in them. -Anonymous
  • Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt. -George Herbert
  • Salt is the policeman of taste: it keeps the various flavors of a dish in order and restrains the stronger from tyrannizing over the weaker. -Margaret Visser
  • Salt is born of the purest parents: the sun and the sea. -Pythagoras
  • It takes four men to make a salad: a madman for the pepper, a miser for the vinegar, a spendthrift for the oil, and a wiseman for the salt. -Unknown


This Week’s Events: Kathy Freston, Cloak & Dagger, Greek Heritage Festival, Latte Art Competition, Petite Jacqueline, Strawberry Festival & Vinald Tasting Dinner

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Monday — vegan chef and author, Kathy Freston, will be at Whole Foods for a book signing.

Wednesday — Sea Change Cooking is teaching a farm share cooking class, the 4th Clock & Dagger supper club dinner is scheduled to take place, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — it’s the first day of the Greek Heritage Festival, Bard Coffee is hosting the monthly latte art competition, there will be  wine tastings at Browne Trading and Aurora Provisions, a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, The Great Lost Bear is showcasing the beers from 4 Vermont breweries.

Friday — there will be a wine tasting at Rosemont on Brighton, Petite Jacqueline’s namesake will be at the restaurant for a special 3-course dinner, and it’s the second day of the Greek Heritage Festival.

Saturday — the 4th Annual Strawberry Festival is taking place in Cape Elizabeth, Wine Wise is leading a wine walk in the Old Port, chef David Levi is hosting a tasting dinner, the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place, and it’s the last day of the Greek Heritage Festival.

Sunday — chef David Levi is offering  the Vinland tasting dinner #5 for a second night.

Bastille Day Feast — Devenish Wines and Cultivating Community with the help of chefs Brad Messier, David Levi, and Philippe Donald are putting together this 4-course with wine pairings feast to celebrate Bastille Day on July 14. The cost is $48 per person. You can buy tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets.

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 Boda

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Diningsense has published a review of Boda.

Boda is an example of a restaurant that really benefits from its location in a semicircular restaurant row in the Arts District, and the energy of each restaurant builds off of each other. There is a French restaurant in Hyde Park (Chicago) whose motto is “Hyde Park to Paris and Back” and I think this is the sort of philosophy that characterizes many ethnic restaurants in this country, which market themselves as though they were transporting the diner to a foreign culture. In the case of Thai restaurants, this involves assenting to an Orientalism that makes the restaurant nothing more than a cliché. I appreciate how Boda is able to avoid such artificial exoticism, introducing a new facet of Thai cuisine to Maine while at the same time integrating seamlessly within the geographical setting.