Archive for August, 2017

Island Creek Oyster Opens Today

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

The Island Creek Oyster Shop (website, instagram, twitter, facebook) is scheduled to open today, noon – 8. Island Creek is serving an assortment of oysters from Maine and Massachusetts, littleneck clams, tinned seafood as well as beer and wine. They’ll also be selling shellfish to go.

Here’s an excerpt from their press release:

The Shop gives guests an opportunity to engage with local products in a casual setting, underscored by the deep understanding of aquaculture Island Creek Oysters is known for. Seasonal seafood offerings for purchase include local bivalves such as Little Island oysters from the Bagaduce River and Mookie Blues oysters from Damariscotta, Maine. Inspired by the heritage of Maine’s canneries, The Shop will feature a selection of international tinned fish and caviar. A rotating selection of champagne and wines by the glass will complement The Shop’s simple, ingredient-forward menu. With 75 total seating capacity inside and outside on the seasonal patio, The Shop is designed to reflect Island Creek’s stripped-down, product driven approach to farming oysters and the people who grow them – the oyster is the focal point.

Island Creek is located at 123 Washington Ave. They’re the latest of a string of new restaurants and bars that have opened on inner Washington over the last couple years, including Oxbow, Drifters Wife, Izakaya Minato, Hardshore, Maine Craft Distilling, Cong Tu Bot and A&C Grocery.


Cups of Sea

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The Forecaster has published an article about Cup of Sea (website, facebook, instagram), a Portland company selling seaweed teas.

Each blend of tea uses a different type of seaweed, Rogers said, including bladderwrack, dulse, kelp and sea lettuce. He buys only sustainably harvested seaweed from sources like the Atlantic Holdfast Seaweed Company in Deer Isle.

Once the seaweed is harvested, Rogers said it is dried and milled into flakes. Then, he said, “I get to do the easy part: blending it with other ingredients. The final product is a loose-leaf tea that you can brew just like regular tea.”

The New Roma Cafe

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Today’s Press Herald includes a feature article about the memories of the old Roma Cafe and new incarnation.

The first weeks of the restaurant’s second life were filled with diners who told the staff that the Roma, closed for more than a decade, was where they’d celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, held wedding rehearsal dinners and romantic Valentine’s Day celebrations, and gotten engaged. Teenagers trying to impress each other suffered through awkward prom dates at the Roma.

See more photos of the new Roma Cafe.

Zagat: Restaurants in Maine

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Zagat has published a list of 10 Must-Try Restaurants on the Maine Coast.

From the Portland area the list includes: The Honey Paw, Central Provisions, Hunt & Alpine, Woodford F&B.

This Week’s Events: I Hart Food, Zamboni Lecture

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Monday – the latest episode of the Food TV Network show I Hart Food will feature several restaurants in Portland including Boda.

Tuesday – cinematographer Zach Zamboni will speak at One Longfellow Square. Maine native Zamboni “has won three Primetime Emmys as well as a Peabody Award for his work on Anthony Bourdain’s food and travel shows”.

Wednesday – the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at the Rosemont in the West End.

Saturday – the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

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, please provide details as a comment to this post.

Under Construction: Belleville

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Here’s a look inside Belleville (instagram, website, facebook) the new bakery under construction at the intersection of Congress and North Streets on Munjoy Hill. Co-owner/baker Chris Deutsch hopes to open this fall in October serving French baked goods in the morning, and sandwiches and roman-style pizza at lunch time. Belleville is sourcing coffee from Tandem Coffee Roasters.

Deutsch learned to bake in Paris and prior to moving to Portland he operated a French bakery food cart in DC called Hot Hot Bakery.

The old newspapers below were found in the wall space during construction.

Reviews: North 43, El Corazon, Chaval

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Portland Magazine has reviewed El Corazon,

El Corazon’s tag line is “Mexican food from the heart,” and that it is. It’s also a good value for your dine-out dollar. This cheery little cafe predates the age of hipster small plates and artisanal whatnot in the friendliest possible way.

The Golden Dish has published a first look at North 43, and

The gazpacho was a thick and chunky soup, nicely spicy and served with grilled shrimp on the side. A composed salad was rich and complex with its assertive dressing, croutons and local tomatoes. Entrees like Statler chicken, perfect strip of beef, and classic crab cake were fine examples coming from a chef who knows how to mix flavors and basic ingredients into great dishes.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the Chaval.

Our food was good overall though the potatoes needed a little more of a crisping and the chicken plate could have used more pizzazz. The bigger issue we ran into was that by then end of the meal, with about 5 of 7ish tables seated in the back room, my wife and I couldn’t hear each other speak. I think the small, partially enclosed room creates acoustic an issue which makes it exceptionally loud.

Under Construction: Rover Woodfired Bagels & Pizza

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

As reported last week, Rover Bagel (instagram, facebook) is moving their business from Salem, Massachusetts to Biddeford, Maine. Here’s some additional information shared by the Rover team about their plans:

  • The new bagel bakery will be located at 111 Elm Street
  • They are making good progress on building out the space and hope to be open in September
  • They’ve outgrown their current digs and are moving to Biddeford for a number of reasons including co-owner Alec Rutter’s Maine roots. The growing community of food businesses in Biddeford have made that city an appealing place to locate.
  • In addition to bagels, they’ll be selling bagel sandwiches and, on Friday and Saturday nights, wood-fired pizza.

Campaign for a Lobster Emoji

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Luke’s Lobster founder Luke Holden has launched a campaign to convince the Unicode Consortium to add a lobster to the standard set of emojis, reports the Press Herald.

You can make your voice heard and show your support for this initiative by signing the petition.

Beverage Lawyer, Peach Crop

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Today’s Press Herald has an article on mead maker turned law student  Nick Higgins,

Higgins hopes to eventually use his experience as a mead maker to help other food and beverage entrepreneurs with the kind of legal issues that pop up while trying to start a food company.

and a report on this year’s bumper peach crop.

This Week’s Events: Channing Daughters, MCD Grand Opening, Bangkok Dinner, Farm to Fork Fondo

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Wednesday – Hugo’s is holding dinner featuring wines from Channing Daughters, there will be a wine tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday – The Great Lost Bear is featuring beer from Foundation Brewing.

SaturdayMaine Craft Distilling is holding the Grand Opening of their new distillery on Washington Ave with a lobster bake and live music, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayLocal 188 is holding a Bangkok themed prix fixe dinner, and the Farm to Fork Fondo event is returning to Wolfe’s Neck for another year.

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, please provide details as a comment to this post.

Fire Closes Art District Otto’s

Monday, August 21st, 2017

there was a fire at the Otto’s Pizza at 576 Congress on Sunday,

Sprinklers in the three-story building, which also houses Otto’s administrative offices on the upper floors, turned on and kept the fire from spreading. However, the water damage caused by the sprinklers was widespread and forced the business to close Sunday, Walsh said.

Reviews: Noble BBQ, Little Giant, Roma Cafe

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

The Portland Press Herald has reviewed Noble Barbecue,

I’ve waited and waited for the day when Portlanders would finally get to experience truly excellent pulled pork. Now I think I’ve finally found it. This is no slap in the face to other places around town that put out perfectly fine pulled pork. But the pork at Noble Barbecue, the new restaurant on outer Forest Avenue, is on a whole other level. It’s tender and incredibly juicy. It’s aggressively smoky. And there is plenty of bark.

the Portland Press Herald has published a bar review of Little Giant, and

Little Giant is looking to be the West End’s one-stop shop for good food, great drinks and carefully curated sundries. The newly opened restaurant component will be sure to add a little hipness to the Danforth Street lineup.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the Roma Cafe.

I think Roma will stand with the big boys in the Italian food scene here in Portland. They are a little more on the traditional side than some, but their classic food is strong. Their atmosphere is warm, service friendly, and they offer a pretty comprehensive selection of traditional favorites. I’m confident they’ll be a very welcome addition to the food scene in this city.

The Maine Course

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Wall Street Journal editor Polya Lesova has written about here eating trip to Maine for The Australian.

She mentions: The Holy Donut, Eventide, The Lobster Shack, Long Grain, Suzuki and The Lost Kitchen, Vena’s Fizz House, Young’s Lobster Pound, Beal’s Lobster Pier and MDI Ice Cream.

I wake up hungry. Fortunately, I am in a town that is able to satiate a big appetite. My husband Paul and I have flown to Portland, Maine, from New York late the previous night for a five-day road trip up the coast. We want to savour the state’s spring beauty, hike some seaside trails, dip our toes in the still-icy Atlantic. But mostly we plan to eat. 

Under Construction: Uncle Billy’s Bar-B-Que

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Chef Jonny St. Laurent has leased the former Bayside Variety at 166 Cumberland where he plans to open Uncle Billy’s Bar-B-Que (website, facebook, twitter). According to the cover letter supplied with their liquor license application,

The restaurant will be a reincarnation of the famous Uncle Billy’s Bar-B-Que that originally opened in 1989 in South Portland…The new location will feature many of the same smoked meats along with some new ideas that will be in line with the original concept.

Here’s a look at the draft menu (page 46):

The 32-seat restaurant will be augmented in the summer time by an “outdoor dining area in the back, outfitted with Maine-made picnic tables” behind the restaurant. St. Laurent hopes to open Uncle Billy’s in October for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.

Here’s the floor plan:

Saint Laurent last operated a restaurant in Portland called Uncle Billy’s Resto-bar at 653 Congress Street in the space currently occupied by Kushiya Benkay. Uncle Billy’s closed in 2007. He also had run restaurants in South Portland, Portland and Yarmouth in the past.