Eating Portland Alive has published some photos and first impressions of Bao Bao. He’s also captured pictures of the menus.
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The Press Herald has published a Q & A with Pete McAleney who recently sold his business New Meadows Lobster to DiMillo’s.
Q: Is seasonality a big problem?
A: You need lobsters in the summertime – that’s when people want them. You also have to realize you’ve got your business associates in Canada – notice how I said that – whose season will open up in a month right at the time our lobsters will be getting a firm hard shell. But it’s November and you don’t sell a lot of lobster in November. Then demand comes on strong in December and then it’s kaput. When you ship out at Christmastime, you have to worry about storms. We used to be big shippers to Belgium and France for the holidays – a lot of fishermen would help us pack the trucks and take them to Bangor (for shipping to Europe). But if there was snow, the flight would sit there and you would go crazy. You have to have a sense of humor in this business.
Chefs Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez from Piccolo will be heading down to NYC in early November to prepare a meal at the James Beard House in the West Village.
At Portland, Maine’s intimate Piccolo, chef Damian Sansonetti and wife/partner Ilma Jeil Lopez pay homage to the rustic, soul-satisfying cuisine of Central and Southern Italy with great care and passion. For this Beard House dinner, the former Bar Boulud chef de cuisine will return to his roots with a tantalizing menu inspired by the rich flavors of Italy’s Calabria and Abruzzo regions.
You can see a detailed menu with pairings and make reservations on the JBF site.
As previously reported chef David Turin from Opus Ten is also scheduled to prepare a meal at the James Beard House. His dinner is taking place later this month on October 21st. More details on the meal are now available. You can see a detailed menu with pairings and make reservations on the JBF site.
The new issue of Mainebiz includes a feature article on the challenges farmers and local food stores face in selling and distributing local produce.
Constant negotiating with buyers and other farmers is a way of life in Maine’s fragmented food distribution system, especially for small farmers and purveyors of specialty items like jams and honey. Those small operations practically define the local food and farm-to-table movements that sparked consumer interest in where food comes from and how it is grown or produced.
But that curiosity hasn’t helped broaden Maine’s food distribution system for the small producers to any significant degree, says Spear. The result: many small operations sell only within Maine or at most a day’s delivery drive, thus limiting their market.
Haven’s Candies has a new owner. According to reports from MaineBiz, the Bangor Daily News and the Press Herald, Freeport businesswoman Erin Collins has bought the company from Andy Charles who has run the company since 2001.
Haven’s was founded in 1915 by Herbert Haven. The first store was located at 500 Forest Ave.
Two new restaurants have submitted their liquor license applications with the city:
- Ramen Suzukiya is a new noodle house under construction in the newly renovated store front at 229 Congress Street. According to their cover letter, father and son owners Katsuaki and Cory Suzuki plan to serve “fresh homemade ramen noodles using a variety of flour[s] from grain mills in Maine and New England” and that they eventually hope to “cultivate many of the vegetables we will use in my restaurant.”The Suzukis hope to open the restaurant in October. The draft menu (page 68) includes several ramen dishes (shown below) as well as gyoza and rice bowls.
- Huong’s Vietnamese Restaurant is under construction at 267 Saint John Street in the space formerly occupied by Vietnam Restaurant. Owner Huong Thi Thu Le hopes to open the restaurant later this month serving “authentic Vietnamese food”. Here’s the salad and pho sections of the menu. The full draft menu is on page 47 of the materials for Monday night’s City Council meeting.
For information on all the restaurants under development see the Portland Food Map under construction list.
Eat Maine has published an article about Lolita.
Other dishes go for all-out comfort—the harissa-spiked lamb meatballs are baked in a skillet with tomato sauce, Aleppo chili, hearty croutons, and a single egg then topped with yogurt that with the addition of ghee becomes more decadent and aromatic. “You can eat this morning, noon, and night,” Guy says.
Dobra Tea (website, facebook, twitter, instagram) has announced plans to move to 89 Exchange Street. They’ll be closing their current Middle Street location on August 24 and expect to open on Exchange Street in late September or early October.
For the past several years 89 Exchange Street has been the home of the Aucocisco Gallery.
Family Feast will be serving an Indonesian prix fixe dinner at The Well on Monday June 30.
They’re still planning the details but so far this what the menu looks like:
- Crab and head cheese bao with hackelback caviar
- Chilled cucumber nasturtium soup with coconut and smoked mussels, black lime vinaigrette
- Large format beef tongue salad “Garggouillou” with farm veg, pickled, raw, fermented, shoots and flowers with a cumin lime honey vin, rhubarb mustard, peanuts, beef tongue, black sesame miso puree, sesame bagel croutons, yogurt, farm greens
- Whole duck egg ravioli over a ragu of duck hearts and gizzards, liver, peas, chocolate mint, tofu
- Baba guling, balinese pork presenation
-smoked shoulder in a yellow curry with squid and clams, eggpant, zuchini
-charred blood and pork sausage wheel with chili glaze over seared bitter greens
-rolled stuffed roasted belly with aromatic rice and wok fried broccoli raab in oyster sauce and garlic
-fried bits, ears, skin, intestine with herbs and shallots in nuoc chom
- Dessert will be stone fruit buckle with whipped farm cream, and then small corn cookie and ice cream sandwiches with jackfruit and tamarind
Tickets are $100 per person. Sign-up online at Eventbrite.
Late last summer DiPietro’s closed their neighborhood market on Cumberland Ave after 69 years in operation. Now the new owner, Markos Miller and wife Heather Nichols, are planning to launch a new bakery cafe and market called Ten Ten Pié.
The name is a Spanish expression which refers to a quick snack or bite to eat.
Miller tells me that Ten Ten Pié will serve freshly prepared pastry (with a multi-cultural twist) in the morning, and a take out lunch menu featuring international comfort food. They also expect to have a small retail market that meets some of the light grocery needs for the neighborhood and healthy grab and go foods.
More details should be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
For the details on all upcoming restaurants, bars, bakeries and food trucks check out our Under Construction List.
Find Eat Drink has highlighted some of the newer venues in town: Blue Rooster, Central Provisions, Hunt & Alpine, Maine Craft Distilling, Miyake Diner and Piccolo.
The 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.
- 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.
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.