Vogue: A Perfect Weekend Away

September 7th, 2017

Vogue has published an article on where to eat, shop and stay in Southern Maine.

Portland was once thought to simply be a small, weather-worn coastal city playing second fiddle to big shots like Boston, but this has thankfully changed. This gem of a city is now a major destination for those looking for incredible food, small-batch breweries with cult followings, and amazing independent shops that will tempt you to blow your weekend budget in a ten-minute period. And if Portland isn’t enough, the rest of southern Maine presents ample attractions like cute coastal towns and hikes offering vistas that make breaking a sweat very worthwhile.

The article mentions Central Provisions, Little Giant Market, Fore Street, Drifters Wife, Urban Farm Fermentory, and Allagash, Foundation, and Austin Street breweries.

New Maine Apple Column

September 6th, 2017

The first of this Fall’s weekly apple column was published today in the Press Herald.

Heirloom apples, though, are another matter. They are beguiling subjects of intense adoration for many people because they have so much more to say. Each one offers insights into our region’s history, its values, its sense of community and the interplay between the landscape that surrounds us and the terroir of the food we consume. Oh, and they often taste great, too.

You can follow columnist Sean Ryan Turley on instagram at The Righteous Russet.

Under Construction: Elda

September 6th, 2017

A new restaurant called Elda (instagram) is under construction in the space formerly occupied by Custom Deluxe in Biddeford. Chef/owner Bowman Brown has also leased the adjacent storefront and is in the process of renovating and connecting the two spaces. Overall Elda will seat 32 including an 8-seat bar in the addition, and four seats at chef’s counter looking into the open kitchen.

Brown has moved to Maine from Salt Lake City where he was the co-owner and chef of Forage (instagram). He and co-founding chef Viet Pham were recognized as part of the 2011 class of Best New Chefs by Food & Wine. Additionally, Brown has been a Beard semifinalists in the Best Chef: Southwest category for six years running from 2011 to 2016.

At Elda Brown plans to serve a menu “driven by seafood and vegetables with a focus on seasonality and New England ingredients”.  Diners will be able to choose from a 10-12 dishes or go with a set nightly 4-course menu. The bar program will include “a small selection of rotating seasonal cocktails based around house infusions, tinctures, bitters, and shrubs as well as a vibrant food-focused wine, beer, and cider” options.

The name Elda is a reference to the Icelandic word meaning ‘to cook’ as well as the name of Brown’s great grandmother. Chef Brown plans to open Elda by the end of October.

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent

September 6th, 2017

The Portland Museum of Art is screening Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent explores the remarkable life of Jeremiah Tower, one of the most controversial and influential figures in the history of American gastronomy. Tower began his career at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1972, becoming a pioneering figure in the emerging California cuisine movement. After leaving Chez Panisse, due in part to a famously contentious relationship with founder Alice Waters, Tower went on to launch his own legendary Stars Restaurant in San Francisco. Stars was an overnight sensation and soon became one of America’s top-grossing U.S. restaurants. After several years, Tower mysteriously walked away from Stars and then disappeared from the scene for nearly two decades, only to resurface in the most unlikely of places: New York City’s fabled but troubled Tavern on the Green. There, he launched a journey of self-discovery familiar to anyone who has ever imagined themselves to be an artist. Featuring interviews by Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain, Ruth Reichl and Martha Stewart, this delicious documentary tells the story of the rise and fall of America’s first celebrity chef, whose brash personality and culinary genius has made him a living legend.

Under Construction: Uncle Billy’s

September 5th, 2017

The Forecaster has published an article about the new Uncle Billy’s under construction at 166 Cumberland Ave.

Uncle Billy’s returns to a burgeoning food platescape with barbecue firmly entrenched in the city and South Portland. This time, he will serve more of a Texas style, headlined by beef brisket.

“I have also become fascinated with pork belly,” St. Laurent said. “I’m going to put pork belly on everything, baby.”

Zapoteca Owners Face Lawsuits

September 4th, 2017

Tom and Shannon Bard, who closed Zapoteca in June, are the target of several lawsuits, reports the Press Herald.

Celebrated chef Shannon Bard and her husband are facing at least a dozen lawsuits from vendors who say the couple left a trail of unpaid bills when they closed Zapoteca, their popular Portland restaurant, in June.

This Week’s Events

September 4th, 2017

Monday – it’s Labor Day, and the 6th Annual Summer Ender Bender is taking place at the Inn on Peaks Island.

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

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at Rosemont on Munjoy Hill.

Saturday – there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and 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.

Nonesuch River Brewing Now Open

September 3rd, 2017

Nonesuch River Brewing (website, facebook) opened their “craft brewery + seasonally inspired restaurant” in Scarborough on Thursday. They’re open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.

Reviews: Maiz, Luis’s, The 5 Spot, Bayside

September 3rd, 2017

The Press Herald has reviewed The 5 Spot,

I’ve never been to Philadelphia, so I don’t know what a “real” Philly cheesesteak exactly is, but I can tell you that what’s being served up at The 5 Spot is absolutely delicious.

the Portland Phoenix has reviewed Luis’s Arepera and Maiz Columbian Street Food, and

The Colombian arepa is bigger and softer — one step closer to a tortilla. But there is no mistaking it for something so thin and floppy, especially when you see the thick bumpy beauties served up at Maiz — which occupies the front section upstairs at the Public Market House. The menu is simple, with just five arepas and a cheese bread. It is all they need. While Luis’s arepas are stiff enough to maintain a jaunty tilt, the Maiz version sags a bit to form a sort of pocket.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the Bayside American Cafe.

I was very happy with the food; both sweet and savory items were excellent which makes it easy to be confident that whatever I order in the future, it will be solid. In addition, I thought the drinks were good, and overall, the prices were quite reasonable.

BA: Where to Drink

September 2nd, 2017

Portland expat Adam Callaghan has penned a guide on where to drink in Portland for the Beer Advocate.

Maine’s reputation as Vacationland, and millions of yearly tourists, have allowed a food and beverage scene to flourish here in a way normally reserved for huge metropolises. In Portland alone, the state’s largest city at nearly 67,000 residents, close to 20 breweries ensure the world-class restaurants and bars lining the Old Port’s cobblestone streets have access to the best bottles of fruited sours, cans of pristine European-style lagers, and kegs of coveted New England-style IPAs reeking of trendy hops.

‘Outsized Food Town in a Small Package’

September 1st, 2017

American Way magazine has published a well written article about the Portland food scene.

Portland certainly has the right ingredients for culinary success: a natural bounty from land and sea, a tradition of locavorism and a wealth of homegrown gastronomic talent combined with an influx from elsewhere, improving the quality and variety of food on offer. Sure, you could argue that the city has been on the nation’s food radar since at least 2009, when Bon Appétit named it “America’s Foodiest Small Town.” But in the years since (especially the last three), it’s upped its own ante, thanks to a second wave of chefs and a populace that’s literally eating it up.

The author interviewed Paige Gould, Andrew Taylor, Mike Wiley, Michelle Corry, Courtney Packer, Clayton Norris and Peter Hale for the article.

Hardshore Distilling Finalist in Competition

September 1st, 2017

Hardshore Distilling in Portland has been selected as a finalist in a national spirits awards competition by a panel of experts.

The final ranking will be determined by a readers choice process.

You can see the full list of finalists and cast your vote for Hardshore online at usatoday.com.

Island Creek Oyster Opens Today

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

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

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.