Under Construction: All Those Who Wander

May 14th, 2018

A new coffee bar called All Those Who Wander (website, facebook, instagram) is under development at the corner of inner Washington and Marion Street. ATWW is one of several businesses located in the Black Box space including The Cheese Shop.

Owners John-Henry and Cynthia Mlyniec recently moved to Portland from Providence where they worked in the coffee industry. They will be sourcing their coffee for All Those Who Wander from Parlor Coffee in Brooklyn. The Mlyniecs hope to open sometime in June.

Vantage Point Chowder

May 14th, 2018

A new food cart called Vantage Point Chowder (facebook, instagram) recently launched.

Owner Garrett Patteson serves clam chowder by the cup or bowl. You can generally find him and his cart on Commercial Street near Custom House.

Reviews: BlueFin, Scratch Toast Bar

May 13th, 2018

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the BlueFin, and

BlueFin, the seafood-themed restaurant in the Portland Harbor Hotel, is a head-scratcher, with prices that rival the area’s most expensive restaurants, yet little of the allure to justify them. It starts with spotty service, thanks to a front-of-house team who, apart from the lone server during dinner hours, all seem to be employed elsewhere in the hotel. Bartenders and piano players double as valets, front-desk staff double as hosts and bussers, lending the whole enterprise an ad-hoc feel. The menu is just as off-kilter, with a few genuinely enjoyable dishes – dressed lobster served in a custardy homemade popover, and creamy, egg-yolk-enriched lobster mashed potatoes – alongside a few dire ones, like a wet, underseasoned paella; a hazelnut panna cotta so firm you could drive across it served with a hot, salty waffle; and an acrid affogato made with cold espresso.

the Press Herald has reviewed Scratch Toast Bar.

The spreads I picked were a three-berry jam, Yummus (hummus with pureed carrots and other veggies) and an artichoke heart and spinach bake. The jam was like berry pie filling, so good you could eat it with a spoon. But it was also great on the cinnamon raisin nut bread. The Yummus was tangy and flavorful, and oddly, didn’t taste that much like carrots. The spinach and artichoke bake was creamy and rich. It was especially good on the airy miche, which was my favorite of the breads.

Legends Rest Now Open

May 12th, 2018

Legends Rest Taproom (facebook, instagram, twitter) opened Friday in Westbrook. The new restaurant is located at 855 Main Street in the same building as Big Fin Poké. It is owned by Tom Minervino along with his sister Meg and business partner Mike Barton.

Locally Sauced Now Open

May 12th, 2018

Locally Sauced (facebook, instagram, twitter) opened their new restaurant on Thompson’s Point Saturday. The new brick and mortar location serves barbecue in addition to burritos and tacos. Locally Sauced is located in the space formerly occupied by Big J’s Chicken Shack.

Under Construction: Money Cat Fried Chicken and Donuts

May 11th, 2018

Urban Sugar/Eighty 8 Donut Cafe owner Kevin Sandes and his business partner David Gilbert are developing a new restaurant in Waterville called Money Cat Fried Chicken and Donuts. The restaurant will be located at 173 Main Street and is slated to open in summer 2018.

Gilbert and Sandes were culinary school classmates  and are longtime friends.

“This is more than a business,” said Sandes. “It’s about building community, friendships, connections.” Added Gilbert: “This is a partnership that has grown out of friendship. Twenty years after culinary school and some pretty wild adventure travel, we’re reconnecting and bringing together these two concepts—that’s where the magic is.”

Gilbert was a 2013 Beard award semifinalist in the Best Chef: South West category. He has traveled through Asia and  used those experiences to inform the cooking at his restaurant Tuk Tuk Taproom in Texas.

Sandes spent years as a hotel chef and in catering before launching Eighty 8 Donut Cafe (formerly Urban Sugar) first as a food truck and then as a brick-and-mortar location at Sugarloaf Mountain.

The pair selected the restaurant’s name to “reflect the restaurant’s Asian inspiration, abundance for Waterville, and good fortune for all”.

Colicchio Involved in Westbrook Development

May 11th, 2018

Yesterday’s report from Mainebiz on the 100-acre mixed use development off Brighton Ave in Westbrook reports that a business group run by famed chef Tom Colicchio will building out a “25,000-square-foot beer and food hall” on the site.

One of the features of the village area will be 25,000-square-foot beer and food hall, developed by the group run by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio. The hall will have 18 to 22 local and regional vendors, and a brew pub, but also a place where local breweries can showcase their beer. The second floor would be office incubator space, he said.

Update: Mainebiz has excised reference to Tom Colicchio from the article. The business involved in the project is Colicchio Consulting, which isn’t owned by Tom Colicchio.

Ice It

May 10th, 2018

Mainebiz has published a report on the new Ice It bakery that opened late last month on Stevens Ave.

The new Portland Ice It! location has the same items, but will also have breakfast sandwiches and a toast bar featuring spreads and toppings. Coming soon is an expanded lunch menu will also include hand pies, salads and power bowls.

Chef’s Moms Share Stories

May 9th, 2018

The Press Herald sat down with chef’s moms hearing stories about how their interest in restaurants and love for food played out at an early age.

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Chefs have moms, too, obviously. So we wondered: Back when the rest of us were handing our moms lame homemade cards and flowers we picked from her own garden, were chefs-to-be dazzling their mothers with gourmet dinners? Did their moms see any signs that their little one would overtake their parents in the kitchen one day?

This Week’s Events: Beard Awards, Salu-Salo, Eight Great Plates

May 7th, 2018

Monday – The James Beard Awards Gala is taking place in Chicago tonight. Portland Food Map is onsite to cheer on Maine Outstanding Baker nominee Alison Pray from Standard Baking. Arcadia is hosting the Salu-Salo Filipina dinner.

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

SaturdayAllagash is holding their Eight Great Plates event with Big Tree Hospitality, Noble BBQ, Little Bee Ice Cream, Sur Lie, Fore Street, The Clam Shack, Woodhull Public House, and Chaval as a benefit for Cultivating Community, there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayFoley’s is teaching a baking class.

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.

Reviews: The Shop, Elda, Bolster Snow, BRGR Bar, One Six Green

May 6th, 2018

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Island Creek Oyster Shop,

you will find a host of briny treats, like Eider Coves and sweet bay scallops from Stonington, along with rare and memorably strange Maine Belon oysters from Harpswell. For those averse to raw shellfish, The Shop also provides a half-dozen tinned seafood options, like Galician octopus in a tomato-and-paprika sauce, or squid in olive oil and its own ink. Visit on a Sunday, and you’ll even find caviar served three ways (on a non-reactive spoon, an oyster and a blini) for $18.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Elda,

Elda has a truly inviting, comfortable atmosphere. The food and drink is crafted in a way that makes it more exciting than even most of what I’ve seen a few exits north on I-95 recently. And there’s certainly a touch – maybe more – of genius in the way its presented too. From the little wooden utensils and metal straw, to their incredible bread, they make an impression with every detail. Elda gave us a stunning meal that will bring me back, even if it’s out of the way. And I’ll be sending people to Biddeford now when they need a “good place to go eat”.

The Bollard has reviewed BRGR Bar,

Our meal had some redeeming elements: we thoroughly enjoyed the cool, retro-industrial decor and ’80s tunes. But while I’d consider dropping in for a milkshake sometime, I probably wouldn’t go back for brunch unless I had a serious hangover to cure.

the Press Herald has reviewed One Six Green, and

I haven’t tried all the falafel in Portland, but I have to admit that this was a step above what I’ve had at many other lunch spots in the city. It was more strongly seasoned (lots more cumin), and chunks of chickpeas gave the falafel balls added texture and visual appeal, but were still cooked and soft enough to eat without feeling like you were biting into an undercooked chickpea.

the Portsmouth Herald has reviewed Bolster Snow.

He brings a refreshing playfulness to his dishes, including snacks like a Jenga-like stack of crisp carrot fries made from baked carrot sticks dusted with cornstarch and flash-fried. They come out sweet, tender and hot inside and very crisp outside for dipping into a curry mayo.

BA Best New Breweries: Battery Steele

May 5th, 2018

Beer Advocate has named Battery Steele to their list of the 50 Best New Breweries of the past year.

On Portland, Maine’s Industrial Way, the avenue that birthed titans like Maine Beer Co. and Bissell Brothers, 2017 saw the beginnings of Battery Steele Brewing. The industrial setting, with shining tanks directly in front of consumers, harkens back to the craft breweries in years past. Co-founder Jacob Condon says Battery Steele is a product of exploration and “pushing the limits of ourselves and the beers we produce.” The well-received Flume is an 8 percent Double IPA brewed with English malts and Citra and Mosaic hops. Battery Steele also brews an IPA as part of its OnSight Experimental Series. In 2018, Condon says, the brewery will expand its physical space and “add some variety” to the hop-heavy lineup, which already includes Knox Bière de Garde and Telos Stout.

Under Construction: Sagamore Hill

May 3rd, 2018

Here’s a look inside the construction site of Sagamore Hill (website, instagram), the new cocktail bar going in to the former lobby of the Lafayette Hotel at the corner of Park and Congress. Owner Ryan Deskins is planning to open the 58-seat lounge in late May. An additional 30+ seats are planned for the sidewalk. Sagamore references Teddy Roosevelt, the nation’s 26th president, as a touchstone for the bar’s name, interior design and cocktail menu.

Under Construction: Shipyard Brewtel

May 2nd, 2018

The Press Herald reports that Shipyard is planning to completely renovate its facility on Hancock Street, retaining the brewery and tasting room but replacing the rest of the building. The new structures will include a 105-room brewery/hotel aka ‘brewtel’.

According to planning documents given to the city last month, the existing brick brewery building and tasting room would be renovated. But the rest of the buildings on the 2-acre site – including the bottling plant – would be demolished to make way for the 105-room hotel, a three-story residential building with nine units at Hancock and Newbury streets, a large office building and a four-story garage for 360 vehicles.

Under Construction: Crepe Elizabeth

May 1st, 2018

A new food truck called Crepe Elizabeth (facebook, instagram, twitter) will be lauunching this Saturday at Fore River Brewing, 4 – 9 pm.

Click on the image to see their menu.