Year In Review: Best New Restaurant, Trends, Most Popular Articles and Restaurants, Obituaries

thehoneypaw

I’ve scanned through the records for the past year and here’s my summary of the key events and trends. Perhaps I’ve just gotten acclimated to the pace, but 2015 seemed a touch less fast paced than 2014 0r 2013 had been.

  • Best New Restaurant – The Honey Paw is a shear pleasure to dine at. The excellent food crafted by a chefs who are clearly passionate about what they do, warm hospitality provided by the friendly professional staff and high energy beautiful space make it easy to select The Honey Paw as the best new restaurant of 2015.
  • Breweries/Distilleries – The brewing and distilling industries are a growing and vital part of the Portland area food community.  The city is home to 13 breweries, 3 distilleries. More are on their way. Fore River Brewing, Mast Landing Brewing, Gruit, Foulmouthed Brewing, Second Pint Brewing and Lone Pine Brewing are all under development as are Hardshore Distilling, Stroudwater Spirits and a tasting room for the Mid-coast’s Cellardoor Winery. Insert your favorite Neal Dow rolling in his grave reference here as it’s joyously well justified.
  • Washington Ave – The little in-town stretch of Washington Ave had been a bit of a backwater for many years. All that changed in 2015. Oxbow, Maine & Loire, Terlingua, Roustabout all opened. A Lively Palate, the Drifter’s Wife, a honey production facility and Hardshore Distillery are under construction and other projects are in earlier stages of development. Nearby on Congress Street Lee Farrington is opening LB Kitchen and down the hill in East Bayside I expect we’ll see continued businesses development including Lone Pine Brewing and perhaps a restaurant on the first floor of the new building on the corner of Anderson and Fox.
  • The Suburbs – restaurateurs and food entrepreneurs aren’t limiting their horizons to the Portland peninsula. As good locations in town become more scarce and their rental rates go up there’s been a renewed interest in the outer neighborhoods of Portland and the suburbs:
    • Mitchell Kaldrovitch opened MK Kitchen in Gorham
    • In Westbrook Catbird Creamery reopened, Northspore and Rosen’s moved in and Mast Landing Brewing is under development
    • Custom Deluxe, Biscuit & Co, Round Turn Distilling and Portland Pie joined the Palace Diner, Elements and Rabelais Books in Biddeford.
    • Fore River Brewing and Foulmouthed Brewing choose to locate in South Portland.
    • Scarborough has provided a home for El Rayo, Casco Bay Butter and On the Vine Market.
    • The development of Thompson Point has resulted in a flurry of announcements including a tasting room for Cellardoor, Stroudwater Spirits, The Point, The Rink and at least 2 more new businesses are expected to announce plans for Thompson’s Point in 2016.
    • I think the upcoming opening of Woodford Food & Beverage is just the first of many new restaurants we’ll see open on that stretch of outer Forest Ave in the next few years.
  • woodfordsUpcoming in 2016 – The pace of new restaurant and bar projects looks likely to continue in 2016 unabated. 30+ new ventures are already being tracked on the PFM Under Construction list and I’m aware of several other ventures in earlier stages of development. The ones I’m most looking forward to in 2016 are:
    • The Purple House – Krista Kern Desjarlais’ wood-fired bakery and cafe in North Yarmouth.
    • Scales – Sam Hayward and Dana Street’s new waterfront 145-seat “American brasserie”.
    • Rhum – a tiki bar being launched by Jason Loring and Michael Fraser with the strong team of chef Frank Anderson, front of house manager Rebecca Ambrosi and bar manager Sam Babcock.
    • Drifter’s Wife – the new natural wine bar being constructed by Maine & Loire in the front half of their retail space on Washington Ave.
    • Woodford F&B – a neighborhood restaurant under development in Woodford Square.

Notable Events of 2015

Top 10 Articles

  1. Other Side Delicatessen – first word on Pete Sultenfuss’ plans to open the Other Side Delicatessen (January 5)
  2. Woodfords F&B – details on Woodford menu and floor plan (July 17)
  3. Taco Trio in Riverton – first word on Taco Trio’s plans to open a 2nd location (June 8)
  4. The Honey Paw – opening of Honey Paw (April 15)
  5. Roustabout – first word on Roustabout (May 15)
  6. Snowmageddon – the PFM round-up of eateries open during Snowmageddon (January 17)
  7. Maine & Loire – opening announcement for Maine & Loire (January 5)
  8. Rosen’s in Westbrook – initial report on Rosen’s Deli plans to open in Westbrook (April 13)
  9. Chez Okapi – announcement that Congolese restaurant Chez Okapi is open (October 5)
  10. Petite Jacqueline – report that Petite Jacqueline is moving (July 25)

Top 25 Restaurants

  1. Isa (-)
  2. The Honey Paw (-)
  3. Terlingua (-)
  4. Sur Lie (21)
  5. Tiqa (-)
  6. Bao Bao Dumpling House (8)
  7. East Ender (18)
  8. Union (-)
  9. Evo (-)
  10. Ebb & Flow (37)
  11. Abilene (-)
  12. Tempo Dulu (-)
  13. The Treehouse (-)
  14. Central Provisions (1)
  15. Five Fifty-Five (17)
  16. Empire Chinese Kitchen (5)
  17. Piccolo (14)
  18. Lolita (6)
  19. Outliers Eatery (7)
  20. Petite Jacqueline (22)
  21. Back Bay Grill (10)
  22. ArtemisiaCafe (42)
  23. Walter’s (35)
  24. Figgy’s (-)
  25. Caiola’s (11)

The numbers in parentheses indicate their rank last year. The order of the list is determined by the number of times these restaurants were looked up on PFM during the year.

Passings

For some other perspectives on the past year see The Golden Dish, Eater Maine, Portland Phoenix and Peter Peter Portland Eater.

Here are links to the Portland Food Map year in review reports for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

5 Responses to “Year In Review: Best New Restaurant, Trends, Most Popular Articles and Restaurants, Obituaries”

  1. Nick Says:

    Impressive work PFM!

    Where are you getting it being second hand brewing going to TP? Thought they were looking at bayside. Everyone I’ve talked to is that it’s bissell going to TP and that foundation is indeed expanding to their vacated space. Maybe they’re both going

  2. PFM Says:

    Nick, thanks for the correction. I’ve removed the ref to Second Pint going in at TP.

  3. Caiitlin Says:

    Thank you for this amazing blog!! It is just as amazing as Portland’s food scene!

  4. Bill Says:

    Great website. Very much appreciated. Thanks.

  5. Corey Templeton Says:

    Happy 2016 P.F.M.! Here’s to another great year.