Archive for January, 2014

Review of Miyake Diner

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Miyake Diner.

Miyake Diner is definitely still a work in progress.  Its casual airs as a do-drop-in-anytime until 1:00 AM will surely become another Portland scene stealer where good food will serve hungry aspirants well.

Central Kitchen’s Focuses on Local Foods

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Forecaster has published an article about the new central kitchen that serves Portland’s public schools and increasing amount of local foods being used by the school district.

Increasingly, the food students eat is grown on farms throughout Maine. A small amount comes from students themselves.

Last year, the kitchen served 50,000 pounds of local produce and 15,000 pounds of local meats. This year, the kitchen is on track to double those amounts, according to Blair Currier, the School District’s local food specialist.

America’s Best Oyter Bars: Eventide

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Eventide has clocked in at the #2 spot on the The Daily Meal list of America’s Best Oyster Bars.

Eventide Oyster Co. showcases the finest oysters in the state of Maine. Oysters like the Norumbega, John’s River, and Basket Island are popular, as well as the selection from other locations such as the Fire River, Kusshi and Kumamoto. Also a main draw for the restaurant is its New England Clambake, which includes steamers, lobsters, potatoes, salt pork, and hard boiled eggs.

2014 Maine Restaurant Week

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

mrw_logo2The 6th Annual Maine Restaurant Week is taking place March 1-10 this year. A number of MRW special events have been announced:

  • Incredible Breakfast Cook-off, restaurants compete to earn the title of Maine’s Best Breakfast. February 28, 7-9 am, $20-22.50 per person
  • Bowl Big Tournament, teams of four people will be paired with a restaurant professional to compete in a bowling tournament. March 2, 2-5 pm. $100 per team
  • Portland Chinese Restaurants, a lecture on the history of Chinese restaurants in Portland presented by Gary Libby, March 4, noon.
  • Pancake Race, teams of four will compete in a pancake flipping relay race. March 4, 6:30 pm. $40 per team
  • Maine Restaurant Fare, a lecture by eminent food historian Sandy Oliver, March 8, 7 pm.
  • Signature Event, a tasting event featuring cocktails and desserts from Maine restaurants. March 9, 5:30 – 8 pm. $40 -50 per person.

PigTrip Review of Salvage

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

PigTrip has published a review of Salvage BBQ.

On my most recent visit I overheard two customers who bumped into each other unplanned. One said to the other, “To be honest, I wasn’t very impressed when they first opened, but I really liked what I had today.” Substitute ‘somewhat liked’ for ‘really liked’ (I’m not opposed to substitutions) and I’m in agreement. The chili and cornbread rocked; the rest of the meats were at least decent.

Bar Review of Caiola’s

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Caiola’s.

Caiola’s is a cozy neighborhood restaurant with a compact eight-seat bar. Good for pairs or groups under four, this West End eatery focuses its drink menu on wine, but also offers a long list of cocktails and good beer selections. The food menu is first-rate, with relatively inexpensive and generously portioned appetizer choices. Most nights the bar will be occupied by regulars.

Mesa Verde Closed (Updated)

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Mesa Verde has gone out of business, reports the Bangor Daily News.

A long-time Congress Street Mexican restaurant closed its doors this week in an abrupt manner.

According to the city’s Public Health Division website, Mesa Verde failed two food safety inspections since June, including one on Jan. 17. The report documents a litany of problems from fruit flies in the kitchen to food not properly refrigerated.

Update: the Press Herald published an article on Friday about Mesa Verde closing.

Take-out Tipping

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The Portland Daily Sun has published the first of a 2-part series on take-out tipping.

Varying industry sources on the Web say the percentage should be anywhere from the change in your pocket to treating the transaction as if it were a dine-in experience. I typically do 10 to 20 percent for food packaged or delivered and $1 for coffee. As always, tipping is your call. Chances are slim someone will violate your food if you don’t tip, but your service next time will be even better if you do.

More Flanagan’s On Tap

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Flanagan’s Table has announced some additions to the line-up of chef tasting dinners taking place this year:

  • April 6 – Chef Steve Corry, Five Fifty-Five
  • May 3 – Chef Sam Hayward, Fore Street
  • June 8 – Chefs Andrew Taylor and Michael Wiley, Hugo’s
  • July 20 – Chefs Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez, Piccolo

Kamasouptra

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Kamasouptra.

In The Maine Mall’s bustling food court, Kamasouptra sticks out like a sore, independent thumb.

Named after the ancient Indian treatise on sensuality, the Portland soup company is doing its best to arouse your palate.

Review of Silly’s

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The 207 Foodie has reviewed Silly’s.

Bottom Line: Silly’s may be exactly that…Silly! However, nobody ever said silly was a bad thing, and when you can pull off great food with a fun vibe, it works…Breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner: they serve it all. Take your pick…Silly’s will not disappoint.

Restaurant Inspection Bill

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Industry groups oppose a bill that would let cities and towns handle more of the load of performing restaurant inspections, according to a report in today’s Press Herald.

The Maine Restaurant Association, the Maine Innkeepers Association and the Maine Tourism Association opposed the bill during a public hearing before the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, which oversees the restaurant inspection program. The industry groups said they fear the bill would confuse restaurant owners with inconsistent rules.

Under Construction: Interview with Chef Cara Stadler

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Booze, Fish & Coffee has posted an interview with Tao’s chef/owner Cara Stadler. Among other topics, they discuss Stadler’s plans to launch a Chinese dumpling shop in Portland later this year (late night hours, full bar, likely launching in late spring/early summer). Stadler also provides a rundown of some of her favorite eating destinations in Portland.

Chef Bard at the Beard House

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on the dinner chef Shannon Bard prepared last night at the Beard House.

An hour and a half before her sold-out “Mexico meets Maine” dinner on Monday night, the ebullient chef, in the kitchen since 8 a.m., admitted she had been too wrapped up in preparation to fully take in her surroundings – the very same kitchen where not only the great Beard himself had cooked, but also nearly every luminary in the culinary world.

Review of Vinland

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Wines; Tasted! has reviewed Vinland.

Bottom line for me is that David is an idealistic and passionate guy with some lofty goals.  I’ve had some really good food at Vinland and as the restaurant refines what they do it should keep improving.  David’s put himself out there and sacrificed a lot to open Vinland, like all chef owners do.  I feel that when someone believes in something that strongly and invests so much of themselves into it, they deserve a fair open minded chance.  Chef owners as a rare entrepreneurial breed and I respect them all very much.  Vinland and it’s philosophy is a great addition to Portland’s fantastic food culture and it’s something you should go and make up your own mind about.