Archive for April, 2014

Kosher BBQ

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a feature on the kosher BBQ taking place this weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Levey Day School in South Portland.

Why is a rabbi getting so close to a barbecue smoker, a device that is most often used to cook decidedly unkosher pork? This particular smoker, built by Doors Services Inc. (owned by a Levey alum) and never used before, will make its debut Sunday at a kosher barbecue at the school on Deering Avenue. A kosher barbecue is an event so rare that organizers could find reference to only one other like it in the whole country.

For more info see the event listing on

Best Cities for Foodies

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Conde Naste Traveller has included Portland in their list of the 20 Best American Cities for Foodies.

Sam Hayward’s Fore Street is the restaurant that kicked off Portland’s food revolution nearly 20 years ago and continues to be one of its great innovators with a daily changing menu of locally sourced items, prepared rustic-style in a wood-burning oven. While (relative) newcomers like Eventide Oyster Co. (pictured), a tribute to the old-fashioned raw bar, and the Miyake family of Japan-meets-Maine eateries are a testament to the city’s increasingly adventurous palate.

Sangillo’s Postponement

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports that the City Council has voted to postpone sending the liquor license denial to the state to address a procedural matter.

Councilors unanimously approved the postponement to Monday, May 5, but cautioned Bryant and Sangillo that public comments will be limited to the record of the council action.

“This is not a do-over,” warned Councilor Ed Suslovic, one of the strongest opponents of the liquor license renewal because of incidents city police linked to the bar or its patrons.

More Food Truck Reporting

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald includes an article on the Good Shepherd Food Bank food truck and its chef Matt Brown.

The Blueberry Files has published an addendum to the food truck article she wrote last week for the Portland Phoenix.

Interview with Stephen Lanzalotta

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Knack Factory has published an interview with Stephen Lanzalotta. In the interview Lanzalotta share details on his upcoming restaurant Slab (instagram) and his early history as a cook and baker.

What about baking specifically?
The way I got into baking was crazy. My ex-wife—my wife at the time—and I had moved to Maine to get back to the land. I built a house out of the trees of the land, cut the Spruce logs down and built a log house. I built all of the furniture. While I was doing this incredible endeavor I needed some carb sustenance so I would make these big piles to burn off the Spruce and when it would get down to ash, I would make very crude breads by burying it in that ash.

Under Construction: Hilltop Superette

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014


Workers renovating the Hilltop Superette (formerly Colucci’s) recently put up the signage for the store.

Portland is in Out

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Out magazine has highlighted 6 “new and classic dining destinations” in Portland: J’s Oyster Bar, Eventide, Fore Street, Hugo’s, The Porthole, and the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club.

This Week’s Events: Phoenix Poll, Belgian Biere Fest, Slow Money Gathering, Food Paradise, Street Eats, Star Wars, Chopped Challenge

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Wednesday — it’s the last day you can vote in the Phoenix Readership Poll (food blog category), the Maine Brew Bus is leading a Sebago beer dinner, GMRI is holding a lecture on “How Warming Waters are Bringing New Species to the Gulf of Maine“, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — it’s the first night of 6th Annual Belgian Biere Fest at Novare Res, and The Great Lost Bear will be showcasing beer from Run of the Mill.

Friday — the 2014 Slow Money Maine Regional Gathering is taking place, and the Travel Channel show Food Paradise will be filming at Five Fifty-Five.

Saturday — El Rayo is kicking off a 2-day Cinco de Mayo celebration, the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place as is the Street Eats Food Truck Festival, LeRoux is holding a wine tasting, and chefs Sam Hayward, Nathan Nadeau and Ken Thomas are serving a dinner at Flanagan’s Table.

Sunday — Piccolo is holding a Star Wars Dinner, Elsmere is preparing a Kosher BBQ dinner to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Levey School in South Portland, and Grace is hosting the 2nd annual Chopped Challenge.

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.

Under Construction: BaoBao Dumpling House

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Chef Cara Stadler has submitted a liquor license application for BaoBao Dumpling House, the new restaurant she has under construction at 133 Spring Street, the former home of the West End Deli. Stadler is the chef/owner of Tao Yuan in Brunswick; she recently was named one of the Food & Wine Best New Chefs of 2014.

According to the cover letter sent with the application,

The concept of baobao is to take the more popular menu items from the Tao Yuan, in particular dumplings and vegetable sides, and offer them in a more casual setting (lower price point and faster service model) but in greater varieties and, of course, the same food quality.

See below for a draft menu and floor plan for the 36-seat restaurant.


Under Construction: Lazzari

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Restauranteur Tom Barr has submitted a liquor license application for Lazzari, a new restaurant he has under development at 618 Congress Street, the former location of Mesa Verde. According to the application,

Lazzari will showcase Maine’s exceptional local agriculture by employing culinary techniques from across the Mediterranean region.

Barr is the owner of Taco Escobarr and is a partner in Blue Rooster Food Co. You can see a draft menu on pages 54-55 of the meeting materials.


Food Truck Update

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has published an update on Portland’s 2014 food truck fleet.

Portland food trucks are coming out of hibernation, so we thought we’d check in with the existing fleet for an update on their upcoming season. First, the good news: most truck owners were very happy with their first year of service in Portland. Only one truck ran out of gas, so to speak, after a season in Back Cove Park — Portside Picnic. Owner Rich Earle cites costly permits as well as size and location restrictions as his reasons for closure.

Review of Back Bay Grill

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed The Back Bay Grill.

Finally a beautiful specimen of pan roasted chicken breast is served as my main course.  It’s from the local Serendipity Acres Farm and has been marinated in thyme and sea salt and accompanied by potato gnocchi–the proverbial gossamer light pillows of pasta–arranged around English pea puree and salt-roasted beets.  [Maître‘d Adrian] Stratton suggested a glass of Bandol to go with my entrée, which worked perfectly.

Evans/Miyake Heritage Pork Dinner

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014


Chefs Masa Miyake and Rob Evans are collaborating on a 6-course dinner, a “celebration of Maine-raised pure breed heritage pork” featuring American Guinea, Red Wattle, Berkshire and Mangalista hog breeds. Tickets are $90 per person with optional pairings from Oxbow, Allagash and Sebago for an additional $35. The dinner is scheduled for May 18 and tickets go on sale May 1 (call 207-871-9170).

Under Construction: Arcadia

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The USM Free Press has published an article about Arcadia National Bar.

Arcadia National Bar is looking to light up 24 Preble St. with its pixelated colors and ambery brews. With the assistance of the crowdfunding platform,, the bar’s owners Dave Aceto and Ben Culver hope to get this nostalgia inducing bar up and running soon.

Under Construction: Tiqa Grille

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Tiqa Grille, a “[f]ine dining restaurant serving innovative Mediterranean Cuisine including kabobs with an open grill and open bakery”, is under development in Portland. They’re currently advertising for an Executive Chef on Craigslist.

See the PFM Under Construction page for a complete list of restaurants under development.