Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

MECA Offering Culinary Classes

Friday, March 28th, 2014

meca-logoThe Maine College of Art is offering a set of Culinary Arts classes this Summer as part of their continuing education program. Here’s the list of the Summer options:

  • The Art and Craft of Food Writing taught by Susan Axelrod from the Press Herald
  • Pastry Perfection taught by Tara Smith from Standard Baking
  • Farm to Fork Workshop taught by chef David Levi, owner of Vinland
  • All About Cheese taught by Sarah Wiederkehr from Winter Hill Farm
  • Microbrewing taught by Chresten Sorensen from Bunker Brewing

According to the release:

To help orchestrate this new realm of programming, MECA has engaged the expertise of Culinary Consultant and former Executive Vice President of The International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute), Christopher Papagni, Ph.D. According to Papagni, “Some of the best of Portland’s culinary scene has been selected for this first round of MECA classes. Keeping up with new food trends and the rapid growth of artisan talent in Maine, will insure dynamic programming for a long time to come.”

Papagni is now working to recruit instructors for the Fall semester at MECA.

Beer/Cheese Event & Apothecary Cocktails

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

apothecarycocktailsHere are two more food events taking place this week for you to fit into your calendar:

  • Warren Bobrow, author of Apothecary Cocktails will be a Vena’s Fizz House Friday 4-7 pm for a talk and book signing.
  • Saturday 1-5 pm, Vignola/Cinque Terre is holding their 7th Annual Beer & Cheese Tasting, $30 per person.

Reviews of Mainely Wraps and Boda

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Boda,

Most of the house cocktails are $8 and all but the Winter Manhattan are under $10. In keeping with an authentic Thai “street food” theme, the drink menu seems to use a variety of traditional Thai spices and ingredients and you get the sense that the drink menu was created with humor and ease.

and a review of the new Mainely Wraps on Fore Street.

There are a lot of places to grab lunch in the Old Port. Some are ho-hum, others are great but maybe serve a little bit more than what you want for just a quick lunch.

Mainely Wraps lies in the happy middle, offering delicious, creative sandwiches fast and at reasonable prices.

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.

Interview with Stephen Lanzalotta

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Eater Maine has published the first part of an extensive interview with Stephen Lanzalotta.

The concept of Sicilian street food is a unique one in these parts. What should we expect to see?…We want to bring a fresh meeting place — not that that hasn’t been done, there are other places where people meet — but the idea is to take this ancient culture and make it viable in the 21st century. It’s like, Hey, this is a hip aspect of Sicilian culture — sharing a bite with someone else and lingering, or not. That’s the beauty of it. You can grab a bite here and go out, or linger and get several things and make a meal.

Update: Part 2 of the interview is now available on Eater.

Review of Ernie’s & Gritty’s 25th

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

The Press Herald has reviewed Ernie’s Pool and Darts,

The bartenders are friends or family members of owner Ernie Rouleau, and if you’re a new face, they’ll welcome you with a warm smile and quick run-down of the menu. There’s no happy hour, but none of the drinks are more than $4 (Natural Light and Busch Light are always $1 on tap) and the bar food – like the steak ’n cheese and meatball sub – are all made to order (unless you grab a bag of chips or a candy bar for a $1). The kitchen space is small, but there might be some steak sizzling on the grill, a handmade personal pizza cooking in the oven and a soft pretzel plumping in the microwave.

and this week’s What Ales You Column reports on a collaboration between Gritty’s and Deschutes Brewing Company from Portland Oregon.

Getting back to the Bachelor Bitter. This is a clear but unfiltered bitter, a West Coast style but with English roots evident. It is hoppier than other Gritty beers, but not overpowering, and balanced, with a good amount of malt in the finish.

It is only 4.8 percent alcohol by volume, so it is a session beer, although a highly flavorful one.

Both Gritty’s and Deschutes were founded in 1988 and are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.

Maine #4 in Beer Revenue

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

IMPACT_CAPITA_lrThe Brewers Association has released data that shows Maine’s beer industry have the 4th highest economic impact per capita in the nation at $324.36 per person. The economic impact is “derived from the total impact of beer brewed by craft brewers as it moves through the three-tier system (breweries, wholesalers and retailers), as well as all non-beer products that brewpub restaurants sell.”

Review of Vena’s and Omi’s

Friday, November 1st, 2013

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Omi’s Coffee Shop and Vena’s Fizz House.

The Italian was rich, dark, and roasty without any of the bitterness dark roast often brings. It was smooth and a touch chocolaty. A cappuccino had the same virtues but intensified. [Omi's]

The results are pretty fantastic, and what initially seems like it will be a bit of a hoot ends up as a revelation. The sodas look gorgeous and taste like nothing else in town. For a ginger julep, fresh ginger and spearmint are muddled and mixed with a root soda. The first sip sends an explosion of ginger through your head, filling your sinuses and tickling the front of your brain, while the spearmint spice lingers on your tongue. A cider bite also gets a head-filling heat from ginger, but mellows it with apple and clove rather than an intensifying minty spice. [Vena's]

Holy Donut Delayed

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The Holy Donut had been slated to open their Exchange Street store this morning. Unfortunately they’ve had an equipment malfunction and will have to delay. They’re currently aiming for Thursday.

Dine, Feed, Wolf, Nosh (and Sip)

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

de_oct2013The October issue of Down East features an article entitle Dine, Feed, Wolf, Gorge, Much, Nosh about the “62 places to eat your way through Maine’s hottest dining trends”.

Elsemere BBQ, Miyake Farm, the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club (shown right, click to enlarge), Flanagan’s Table, Gorgeous Gelato, Maple’s Organics, MDI Ice Cream, Beal’s, Gelato Fiasco and food trucks Love Cupcakes, Mainely Treats, Bite into Maine, Small Axe, Mainely Burgers and Wicked Good were all included.

The article isn’t yet online but you can find a copy of the October issue at your local newsstand.

Salvage BBQ Now Open (Updated)

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

salvage_logoSalvage BBQ & Smokehouse (facebook, twitter, website) is now open for business. Portland’s newest restaurant is located at 919 Congress Street near the intersection of Congress and Saint John Streets. Salvage is being launched by chef/owner Jay Villani and the Local 188/Sonny’s crew.

Villani also is working on launching Ideal Bakery further up Congress Street near Rite Aid.

Update: For more info on the menu at Salvage see this blog post from The Golden Dish.

Salvage, Hunt & Alpine and Omi’s Plan Openings

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Salvage BBQ, the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club and Omi’s Coffee Shop all plan on opening in the next week:

  • Salvage is first out of the gate. They sent out a press release yesterday to announce they’re opening day will be this Sunday.
  • Omi’s plans on opening their Harbor View Park neighborhood coffee shop on Tuesday, September 3.
  • The Hunt & Alpine Club has announced their ‘official’ grand opening will take place Thursday September 5 at 4 pm. They’ve published some photos of the furnishings and elements of the space on Facebook.

For those of you keeping score that means in one week there will have been 2 tv crews filming restaurants in Portland, 2 national press articles about Portland restaurants and the chance to try 3 new venues. Yes, restaurant life is good in Portland.

Snap Reviews Dining Diary

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Sheldoyle has stepped up publication of restaurant photos and mini-commentary on her Flickr dining diary. Recent posts include Black Cat Coffee, The Well and Gather.

Review of Duckfat

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

The Associated Press has published a review of Duckfat.

Your best bet is to treat the fries as the main course, then share a few other dishes as sides. The charred broccoli and goat cheese salad is terrific. And the roasted pork belly panini with manchego and saffron-Tabasco mayo will make your eyes roll back. And despite appearances, Duckfat is family friendly. The little ones will love their handcrafted sodas (try the Roots, Bark, Sticks and Leaves — also known as root beer).

Love Cupcakes on WCSH

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

WCSH has broadcast a report on Love Cupcakes.

Pocket Picnic Photos

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Edible Obsessions has published a set of photos from last weekend’s Pocket Brunch.

Dallas and Boston Eat in Portland

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Culture Map advises the residents of Dallas to “Escape the Texas Heat with a Weekend Trip to Maine“. While here they visited Fore Street, Bard Coffee, Duckfat, Two Fat Cats, Eve’s at the Garden, Street & Co and Beal’s Ice Cream.

The Boston Globe has published a travel article that calls Portland “hardworking [and] unpretenious“. While in our city they paid a visit to Local 188, Petite Jacqueline, Mount Desert Ice Cream, Two Fat Cats, Duckfat, Gritty McDuff’s and went on a Maine Foodie Tour as well as a cruise aboard Lucky Catch.

Crowdsourcing Campaigns: Tortillería Pachanga & UFF Community Kitchen

Monday, June 24th, 2013

A pair of Portland companies are raising funds on the Indiegogo crowdsourcing site:

The Urban Farm Fermentory (facebook) is trying to raise $16,000 to fund the build out of a community kitchen and the construction of a greenhouse along the back side of their building on Anderson Street. The community kitchen will provide commercial kitchen space that’s needed by small food business that don’t yet have their own building. To watch a short video by owner Eli Cayer and contribute visit the UFF page on Indiegogo.

Tortilleria Pachanga (facebook) is a new company still under development that wants to manufacture “fresh, local corn tortillas using organic and heritage varieties of corn grown” in Maine. They have all the equipment needed, and are raising the funds to build our their space and to underwrite the other start-up costs associated with getting the business running. To watch a short video about Tortilleria Pachanga and contribute visit the Pachanga page on Indiegogo.

While not a Portland food business, it’s interesting to see that Samantha Hoyt Lindgren, co-owner of Rabelais, also has a new company called A Gathering of Stitches that raising funds on Indiegogo.

122 Coffee IPA

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

The Bee Babe has published a review of Bunker’s 122 Coffee IPA,

It arrived fresh from the tap with a slightly muddy light amber color. The aroma, however, was immediately unmistakable. Clear coffee notes arrived first, followed by something else entirely. Not strong hops, but a beery characteristic that offered up some additional spice notes.

and today’s What Ales You column in the Press Herald comments on the coffee beer as well as some additions to the Rising Tide line-up.

The 122 Coffee IPA is good and flavorful, but I have not completely gotten comfortable with the coffee and beer mix. It makes me think I should be having it for breakfast, and there are very few days each year when I want beer with breakfast.

Immigrant Kitchens: Burundian Beans, Greens and Goat

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

In the latest entry from Immigrant Kitchens, Lindsay Sterling learns how to make Burundian Beans, Greens and Goat from a East African immigrant living in Gorham (read the recipe and see the photos).