Archive for December, 2013

Food Republic Top 25 Beers

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Food Republic has included Allagash FV13 and Oxbow Farmhouse Ale in their list of the Top 25 Beers of 2013.

Completing Novare’s Chalice List

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Active Beer Geek has published an article about his conquest of the Uprising, the Novare Res 230 beer mug club list.

It’s a genius system of privilege that Eric, owner of Novare Res, has concocted. Your mission – if you choose to accept it – is to finish a 3-row, double sided, multi-styled beer list of 230 brews. The reward? A ginormous pimp cup, known as a chalice, that allows you 25% more beer for every pour in that vessel in your lifetime. Also, on the day of your chalice acquisition you drink for free. It’s like a right of passage or ritual of manhood for beer geeks. But wait, there’s more…

Pricey and Scarce: Restaurant Real Estate

Monday, December 30th, 2013

forleaseMeredith Goad has written a feature article for today’s Press Herald about how the scarcity and high cost of restaurant spaces in Portland is impacting young chefs who are seeking to open a restaurant.

The city’s food reputation was built on the backs of young, independent chefs opening their own places where they could serve local, seasonal foods and let creativity and originality reign. But as space shrinks and rents rise, some chefs are worried that soon the only people able to open a restaurant in the Old Port and its outskirts will be big names with much deeper pockets than a 28-year-old just out of culinary school.

This Week’s Events: New Year’s Eve List, First Friday, Wine Tastings, Winter Market

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Tuesday — New Year’s Eve

  • Artemisia Cafe, will be open serving their standard menu.
  • Back Bay Grill, 4-course dinner for $96 per person
  • BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe, 3-course dinner, $50 per person
  • Boone’s is throwing a party with a band, cocktail luges, ice sculptures and balloon drop. 5-course prixe fixe dinner is $85 per person with optional pairings available. More info.
  • David’s Opus Ten, 9-course dinner with wine pairings is $150 per person.
  • East Ender, 4-course dinner for $65 per person.
  • El Rayo, 4-course dinner for $38 per person.
  • Empire Chinese Kitchen, serving the standard menu.
  • Eventide, will be throwing a party, a $25 ticket will get you “$1 oysters and a steady supply of your favorite menu items for snacking (lobster rolls and oyster buns included)”
  • Five Fifty-Five, 5-course dinner in the restaurant for $100 per person
  • Gather, serving a special NYE’s menu
  • Gingko Blue will be open serving their new New Orleans-inspired menu.
  • Grace will be serving their regular dinner menu. A cover charge of $10 (which funds the Good Shepherd Food Bank) will get you into the late night party which comes with complementary champagne toast at midnight.
  • Hugo’s, 5-course dinner, $120 with optional wine pairings for $75
  • Hunt & Alpine Club, will be serving “special food and cocktail menus. Included will be options for multiple punches, bottled cocktails and Champagne”. They’ll be taking reservation up to 10pm and staying open until 2am.
  • Miyake, will be serving a special 5-course omakase in addition to their usual menu
  • MJ’s Wine Bar “will be offering ten different sparkling wines by the glass this year. All at either $5 or $10 a glass”.
  • Oscar’s New American, 4-course dinner for $75 per person with optional wine pairings for $45
  • Outliers Eatery, 7-course dinner
  • Pai Men Miyake will be “tapping a couple of special kegs and have an extensive specials selection in addition to the regular menu”
  • Petite Jacqueline, 3-course dinner for $65 per person, there are also optional wine and champagne pairings
  • Piccolo, 5-course dinner with a glass of sparkling wine, $85 per person
  • Roost House of Juice, 3-course raw organic dinner, $30 per person, optional juice and wine pairings are $12
  • Schulte & Herr, will be open 5-9pm
  • Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea, 4-course menu, $85 per person with optional wine pairing for $30
  • Spread, will be open, details still TBD
  • The Frog & Turtle, 2 seatings (4:30-7:30, 8-12:30) at $40 and $65 per person
  • The Good Table, will be serving a special New Year’s Eve menu
  • The Salt Exchange, 4-course dinner, $65 per person
  • Vignola will be serving a speecial NYE menu, $55 per person
  • Vinland, 5-course tasting menu with a wild fermented sparkling wine for $75, optional wine pairing are available for $25. Email info@vinland.me for reservations.
  • Walter’s will be open serving their regular menu.
  • Zackery’s, room and dinner package starting at $119 plus tax
  • Zapoteca, 5-course preview of dinner the chef will serve at the James Beard House, $50 per person with optional wine/tequila pairings for $25.

Friday — it’s First Friday Art Walk and the restaurants will be busy so be sure to make reservations in advance.

SaturdayBrowne Trading and LeRoux Kitchen are holding wine tastings, and the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Urban Farm Fermenntory on Anderson Street.

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.

Peter Peter’s 2013 Wrap-up

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Peter Peter Portland Eater has published his 2013 food awards.

Review of the Cafe at Pat’s

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Cafe at Pat’s.

Instead, a dish called Greek island chicken ($19) seemed interesting. The chicken breast was adorned with wild mushrooms, spinach, basil and goat cheese. The quality of the chicken was excellent, and the dish might have been one prepared by a home cook trying out a magazine recipe. It wasn’t extraordinary by any means, just tasty and simple. And perhaps that’s what The Cafe is all about, serving satisfactorily prepared food without fuss or flourishes in a relaxed neighborhood setting.

Maine Craft Brewing & Annual Food Calendar

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

The new issue of Portland Magazine reports on the growth of Maine’s beer industry that features 3 new breweries: Bissell Brothers, Foundation Brewing and Banded Horn.

Also in the new issue is the magazine’s annual Maine food calendar. The article includes an interview with chef Cara Stadler about the new dumpling restaurant she has under development on Spring Street in the building that’s been the longtime home of the West End Deli.

And what becomes of West End Deli and its tasty takeout sandwiches? “Look for us to open in the former Gleason Fine Art Gallery at 545 Congress by the end of January,” says owner Nancy Arnold. “It’s a great spot. We’ll have more room for specialty foods–cheese, meats, pastries.”

Vinland Now Open (Updated)

Friday, December 27th, 2013

vinland_opening

Vinland (website, facebook, twitter)opened tonight. The restaurant is located at 593 Congress St, adjacent to Congress Square Park.

For Friday and Saturday dinner chef/owner David Levi is serving a “$40 three course menu, your choice of starter, main, and dessert” with a full bar. For reservation email info@vinland.me.

Update: See this article from the Huffington Post for more info on Vinland.

Golden’s Best Dishes of 2013

Friday, December 27th, 2013

The Golden Dish has posted a list of his “best, most memorable dishes of 2013“.

But what impressed me was not only the new restaurants that came to us this year but the new or reliably excellent dishes that were created at these establishments old and new. Take a look at some stand-out dishes for 2013.

Reviews of Zen and Little Tap House

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Zen Chinese Bistro,

So where does Zen stand in comparison to the rest of the Chinese food in the greater Portland area? It’s near the top. That’s not saying much, but it was good. The drink I had was superb. Our entrees were particularly delicious; however our apps could have been better. But make no mistake, the issues with the food were not huge and could be easily fixed if the desire is there to fix them.

and Living, Eating and Aging has reviewed Little Tap House.

So, what’s the verdict?  The space is convenient, comfortable and friendly.  The beer alone makes Little Tap House worthy of repeated visits.  The food is a nice addition and, when it’s really good, it’s worth a trip for the food itself with a nice beer or two as an accompaniment.  When the food is “just” good, it’s still worth a trip for a great place to have a beer and something nice to eat.  My hope is that the food will become as consistent as the beer so TA, who is not interested in the beer, will regularly give me the thumbs up when I suggest Little Tap House.

Looking Forward to 2014

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Brian Duff from the Portland Phoenix shares the restaurant openings he’s most looking forward to in the coming year. Vinland, Slab, the new restaurants from Tao and Bar Lola and new food trucks are among them.

Down East Review of Hugo’s

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Down East has reviewed Hugo’s.

The quail, crusted with flakes of dried bonito, sits beside a deviled quail egg and dollops of kimchi puree. That dish followed the lightly pickled local mackerel served with bits of matsutake-mushroom-flavored ice. It can all seem a bit precious, but a sense of whimsy in each dish deflates any of the stuffiness attributed with fine dining. An everything bialy with butter is served between courses of poussin (young chicken) and chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard). For dessert, a doughnut hole and bits of popcorn balance apple foam and caramel mousse…

SoMe Brewing, Reviews of Mathew’s & The Bridgeway

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Today’s Press Herald includes a bar review of Mathew’s,

Mathew’s Pub, advertised as “the oldest pub in Portland,” is as gritty as they come, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Pay nearly nothing for beer and even less for a pool table, and Mathew’s is not just the oldest bar in Portland but perhaps the cheapest. If it’s your first time venturing into Mathew’s, bring a friend or two.

a review of The Bridgeway,

The Brideway isn’t hip, it doesn’t offer any kind of funky fusion fare, and some could argue it could use some updating. But you know what? It’s also a respectable spot that is honest about what is has to offer. This wasn’t lost on me or my lunch date, and for that reason I’m glad it’s there and I am glad that it surely has a legion of longtime diners who keep the historic place in business.

and an article about SoMe Brewing.

Crystal Persuasion is in imperial pale ale made with 100 percent Crystal hops. Rowland said the recipe came about because his hop supplier offered him the hops, and he created first a regular pale ale – which will come on the menu at some point – and then the imperial version, which is 8 percent ABV. This was a nicely malty beer, with just enough hops bite to make it interesting.

5-star Easy-Bake Oven Pastry Chefs

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

For today’s edition of the Press Herald, columnist Meredith Goad handed out Easy-Bake Ovens to the pastry chefs at Hugo’s, Five Fifty-Five and Fore Street. Chefs Kim Rodgers, Addie Davis and Brant Dadaleares were challenged to create a great dessert using the purple toy from Hasbro instead of their usual professional grade equipment.

“That’s perfect for custard,” Dadaleares said. So the chef made six custards, topped them with some turbinado sugar and torched them. (It took 15 to 20 minutes for each custard to bake.) He chose the three best, and layered them with vanilla rice pudding, caramelized Rice Krispies, candied pecans, port-poached pears and cherries. He topped his Easy-Bake napoleon with sweetened whipped cream.

Dadaleares also made a persimmon pudding with the oven. It worked, he said, “but I liked the flavor combinations of this (the napoleon) a little bit more.”

Today’s Food & Wine section also includes a column by local wine expert Joe Appel on Champagne and sparkling wine.

If you want to drink a truly expressive nonvintage Champagne, one to make your eyes widen and your heart race, you need to work for it. And it will cost you (though not much more than generic big-house Champagne will). Some of the best available in Maine are Gimmonet, Egly-Ouriet, Aubry, Beaudoin, Vilmart & Cie, and Maillart.

Fly Points & Maine Shrimp

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

MPBN has aired an interview with Eric Horne and Valy Steverlynk about their Flying Points oyster farm in Freeport.

Eric Horne and his wife, Valy Steverlynk (above), fire up their skiff and motor down the Royal River away from the Yarmouth marina and out into Casco Bay. It’s a cold December morning and theirs is the only boat on the water.

They’re on their way to check an oyster bed they’ve been leasing for more than 10 years. After a bone-chilling five-minute trip, they arrive at the site, where they hope to collect about 500 oysters.

Working Waterfront has published a report that explores the possible causes of the collapse of the Maine shrimp fishery.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission did not close this fishery simply because the population was low, but more because we don’t seem to have enough baby shrimp to build a future upon. It was determined by managers that to give this stock the best chance for recovery we needed to leave all the shrimp now in the water in the hope that they spawn and produce abundant offspring.