Archive for March, 2013

Food Truck News: Deuben & Leavy

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Portland’s food truck ordinance passed late last summer. 2013 will be the first full season for trucks to hit the streets and there will be a handful of vendors in the freshmen class.

One that I’m especially looking forward to is being developed by Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy, a pair of of chefs who have some serious fine dining credits on their resume. Deuben has worked at Alinea in Chicago, Hugo’s and Miyake. Leavy’s resume includes time in the kitchen at Back Bay Grill, Hugo’s and Miyake. You may also recall that Karl was the guest chef for last October’s Pocket Brunch at Broadturn Farm.

They’re in the process of renovating a food truck for a mid-May launch. The truck will be located in East Bayside on Anderson Street, near Tandem Coffee and Bunker Brewing. This new venture will give them an opportunity to apply all the skills they’ve developed in their fine dining careers in a more casual setting and format.

The business name is SmallAxe but the name for the truck itself is still TBD. Karl and Bill are working with The Brand Company, Maine magazine’s consulting division of branding, logo, etc.

Blue Rooster

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

The Munjoy Hill News has published an article about Blue Rooster Food Company (website, twitter, facebook).

Location is key to any successful business.  Located at 5 Dana Street, the Rooster is in the epicenter of the bar district in the Old Port and the options for those patrons are somewhat limited.  “We are tryng to fill the need for a good spot for lunch and late night without spending a bundle,” said Damian Sansonsetti, one of the four partners who started the business.

Open to the Square: Spartan Grill

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Spartan Grill owner Mike Rolyos has a proposal in to the Historic Preservation Board to update the store front of his Monument Square cafe. The new store front would consist of a glass-paneled overhead door that in warm weather would open up the entire space on to the square.

Under Construction: Food Factory Miyake

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

As reported back in November, Miyake plans on reopening Food Factory Miyake at their original spot, 129 Spring Street, serving “Japanese comfort food”. The City Council is reviewing their liquor license application Monday and that means we get a peak at the draft menu (see page 67). It consists a mix of small plates (hijiki umani, shrimp with wakame sunomono, etc.) and a small list of entrees (pork with koji salt marinade, braised mackerel with ginger miso, etc.).

The liquor license application would seem to indicate that the new FFM will not be BYOB. The restaurant is likely to open sometime in July.

Reviews of Schulte & Herr and David’s Opus Ten

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

The April issues of Down East and Maine magazines are now out. Down East has published a review of Schulte & Herr,

A must-have is the potato pancakes with house-cured lox. The pancakes, pillowy puffs with a slightly crunchy exterior, are the perfect vehicle for a pile of buttery ribbons of delicate salmon, topped with cornichons, capers, matchstick radishes, and a dollop of horseradish sour cream.

and Maine has published a review of David’s Opus Ten.

My faith in [chef David] Turin has been justified time and time again, with every bite leaving me in excited anticipation of what may be coming next. The meal is an incredible sensory experience, with Turin’s bold signature flavors becoming even more intense in smaller preparations.

The Opus Ten review is not yet available online.

Fluid Farms

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

The Portland Daily Sun has published an article about Fluid Farms, an aquaponic farm that’s been operating in Bayside for 2 years growing herbs, greens and fish.

“We have outgrown our cramped in-town greenhouse and have decided to expand. Powered by the momentum of the past two years of operation, we have committed to an expansion and purchased a production-scale 2,600-square foot greenhouse. We are building and moving into our new greenhouse this spring.”

Owners Tyler Gaudet and Jackson Mcleod are using Kickstarter to get the capital they need to expand their business. They have met their initial goal of $5,000 and are stretching to $10k which would enable them to increase the length of their growing season.

You can follow their progress on Facebook.

Review of In’finiti & Little Tap House

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Active Beer Geek has published a joint review of In’finiti and Little Tap House,

If you want a more laid back environment with a slightly better menu, than you should choose Little Tap House. If you want to spend a little more money and enjoy beer and spirits made in-house than you should choose In’Finiti. As for me, both destinations are on my “go-to” list for beer destinations. That means there’s a chance you will see me at both locations enjoying local craft beer.

Under Construction: Changes at Empire (Updated)

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Culture Shock reports that Empire has changed hands and is going to be split into 2 different venues.

The word on the street is that the downstairs area will be reopened in early summer as a Chinese restaurant – which the Empire building originally was, back in the day – and the upstairs is tentatively planned to reopen this summer as well, still as a music venue.

The Press Herald published an article late Friday with additional information,

The five-year-old restaurant and music venue has been sold by Umbel and will be run by Theresa Chan, a Maine restaurateur, and Todd Bernard, a veteran of Portland’s arts scene. Bernard is a former owner of the Space Gallery music and arts venue, at 538 Congress St.

Umbel said the new operators will close Empire Dine and Dance temporarily so that the downstairs, which now is a bar and restaurant with space for small music groups, can be renovated into a Chinese restaurant.

Review of Zapoteca

Friday, March 29th, 2013

The Kennebec Journal has published a review of Zapoteca.

We were nonplussed by the lengthy bar menu, until Kelsey helped us select a couple of outstanding Magaritas…Ours went extremely well with our appetizers. All I can say about the Guacamole is holy mole! I would have bought a gallon to go. The chefs sent out two delicious tacos that are not on the dinner menu. And our Tres Sopes, a “tasting of three golden masa bites” for just $9, could easily be a meal.

Interview with Bartender Kaite Welch

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Dispatch has published an interview with bartender Kaite Welch.

Bartending how long: Since she was tall enough to stand on a box and pour beer, professionally one year
Where to find her: Slainte
Why she’s cool: She’s a five foot tall bad-ass who is sweet on the outside but knows when to lay down the law (in a nice way)!

Tending the Firebox

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Speckled Ax owner Matt Bolinder has authored an article entitle Tending the Firebox for Roast Magazine.

“But why roast with wood?” I’m frequently asked…the drum roasters being used by many roasters today do not look or operate very differently from those used in production 150 years ago. Indeed, many of us prefer old machinery. Quality drum roasters with a century of service on them are not liabilities, but precious commodities. So while roasting with wood may not be “simple,” in a field with a larger than normal percentage of professional Luddites, preferring pour-over to push-button drip and manual paddles to super automatics, roasting with wood in the 21st century is not as anachronistic as it might seem.

Geary’s & Bar of Chocolate Review

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Today’s Press Herald includes a bar review of the Bar of Chocolate Cafe,

The Bar of Chocolate may easily be the Old Port’s best-kept secret. Tucked between the Oasis and Amigos, this bar is unlike any other I’ve been to in Maine.

Patrons walk in off the cobblestone street to find comfy chairs, a few tables and a small L-shaped bar with stools. To the right of the bar is a nicely lit dessert case filled with delectable treats for some late-night snacking.

and a What Ales You column about Geary’s Summer Ale and a plan to sell the beer in cans.

In a related topic, Geary said that later this summer, the company will be selling the Summer Ale in cans in a partnership with Wachusett Brewing Co. in Westminster, Mass., near Fitchburg.

“Wachusett has the canning equipment,” Geary said. “What is good about this is that we will brew the beer here, doing everything but the packaging. Then a 200-barrel tank truck shows up and will take it directly to Wachusett’s.”

Growing Your Own Garlic

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

This week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix has an article about growing garlic and the plant diseases that afflict the crop in Maine.

As a garlic connoisseur, you should learn your varieties. Commercial growers favor softneck garlic (Silverskins and Artichokes), which stores better, lends itself to braids, and yields more concentrated — albeit smaller and harder to peel — cloves. Home gardeners and small farmers often plant hardneck (Porcelain, Rocambole, and Purple Stripe) varieties for their marketable scapes and large, meaty cloves. Nate Drummond of Six River Farm in Bowdoinham grows mostly Music and German Extra Hardy garlic, juicy, white-skinned Porcelain breeds.

Cape Elizabeth Farms

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

The Forecaster has published an article about the community of farms in Cape Elizabeth.

She said despite having so many farms, the owners don’t really compete for customers. Instead, the farmers often collaborate and help out where they’re needed in each other’s operations, which is part of the reason they’re able to be successful.

The Wine Bar is Closing

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

After 27 years in operation, The Wine Bar is going out of business. Erica Archer at Wine Wise has all the details plus reminiscences of her experience with this longtime Wharf Street establishment.

My heart was heavy today when I got a call from Janet Barry, co-owner of the Wine Bar, it was news I never wanted to hear, this Saturday night, March 30, 2013, The Wine Bar and Cafe will be closing its doors after 27 years. Please join me there this Saturday night for their “help drink us dry” last hoorah!