Under Construction: Maine Lobster Shack

February 1st, 2018

After 3 years in development, an ownership change and a name change the lobster shack under construction at 425 Fore Street continues to move forward. The Maine Lobster Shack (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has applied for a liquor license and has recently started recruiting staff. The 38-seat restaurant will also have additional seating for 14 outdoors in the Summer.

Here’s the draft menu (pages 50-51) supplied with the application:

Under Construction: The Truffle Truck

January 31st, 2018

A new Italian food truck called The Truffle Truck (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is under development with plans to launch later this year on Commercial Street.

Chef Corrado Cassoni is planning a menu that includes tajarin and truffles, potato stuffed agnolotti and truffles, arancini, pasta e fagioli, carbonara with lobster and truffles, and pannaacotta with truffles. Truffle Truck promises “Authentic Italian Cuisine of the highest quality at an affordable price”.

Arcadia Expanding

January 31st, 2018

Arcadia has leased additional space adjacent to their bar/arcade on Preble Street to expand their business. The additional space will enable the build out of a kitchen, tables and booths for seating and “a more open flow” to Arcadia overall. As part of the project they’re rebuilding the bar and adding a 12-line tap system.

Construction has already begun. Arcadia plans to close for a few weeks starting at the end of February when they’re ready to connect the two space and move the bar, and plan to re-open in Mid-April. During that time they’ll be running a Night Pinball League at Coast City Comics and their “games will be scattered across breweries and a restaurant or two around town”.

Drifters and Maine & Loire Opening in February

January 30th, 2018

Owners Orenda and Peter Hale have announced plans to open Drifters Wife and Maine & Loire at their new location, 59 Washington Ave, on February 9th. The new space will provide chef Ben Jackson with use of a full kitchen and that the restaurant will feature a full bar. You can see a few photos of the construction on instagram.

Drifters Wife was a semi-finalist for a James Beard award for Best New Restaurant and recognized by Bon Appétit as one of the 50 best new restaurants in America in 2017.

Drifters will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 4 – 10 pm, and Maine & Loire will be open 7 days a week opening at noon.

This Week’s Events: Food Council, Chef Summit, Rising Tide, Oakleaf Dinner, Foley’s Baking Class

January 29th, 2018

Monday – the Portland Food Council is meeting at One Longfellow Square.

Thursday – it’s the first day of the Chef Summit, and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing Rising Tide Brewing.

Saturday – chef Tyler Vorce is kicking-off his Oakleaf dinner series at the Fork Food Lab, and the Winter 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: Bolster Snow, Tuscan Table, North 43

January 28th, 2018

The Portland Phoenix and The Golden Dish have reviewed Bolster Snow,

Verdisco’s talents are obvious right from the start in his beautiful food, making smart use of colorful garnishes like pink peppercorn, tobiko, and various herbs and microgreens to make each dish visually pop. The technique is there, too — sauces with lasting structure, foams that tantalize without being distracting, proteins approached with true care and cooked to perfection.

Steffy Amondi has reviewed Tuscan Table, and

Fluffy yet true to the definition of melting in your mouth we are served 3 medium sized meatballs sitting atop a deep-red sauce. For its rich color, you would expect rich flavor. Instead, you are met with a sweet and acidic sauce. I imagine that paired with the right wine would bring the fresh herbs to the forefront. The sauce is further sweetened by currants which cut through the acidity and almost make the sauce too sweet, but stops just short and instead, adds texture to the moist meatballs. A winner in my books.

the Press Herald has reviewed North 43.

A newly renovated space in a stunning location, North 43 Bistro is a modern, minimalist take on seafood. Even though the water views alone are enough to entice you inside for a drink (or dinner), what will keep you coming back is the food, service, drinks and ambiance that make for an understated, elegant experience.

Portland Beer Abroad

January 27th, 2018

Maine Public has published a report on Shipyard’s exports to the UK where their beer is in 900 pubs.

This international marketing strategies appear to be paying off. Coles says sales of the American Pale Ale have grown 30%, year over year in the UK- 50% for the IPA. Marston’s even has plans to lead a group of visitors from the U.K. to Portland later this year in order to visit the original birthplace of Shipyard.

Under Construction: 185 Cottage Rd

January 27th, 2018

The Forecaster has published an update on the collaboration between Rawanda Bean, White Cap Coffee and Cape Whoopies under construction at 185 Cottage Rd.

No name has been decided on yet, but Marcia Wiggins, of Cape Whoopies, said she has been lobbying for “Coffee Guys and Whoopie Pies,” to encompass all aspects of the business and those involved — Ben Graffius and Tom Marlow of White Cap Coffee, and Mike Mwenedata and Nick Mazuroski of Rwanda Bean Coffee.

The businesses are all relatively young, and less than five years into operation, and the owners said they are pleased with the growth that has allowed them to lease the space on Cottage Road at the foot of Meetinghouse Hill.

Oakleaf Dinner Series

January 25th, 2018

Chef Tyler Vorce has returned to his home state of Maine and is holding a pop-up dinner series during the month of February.

Originally from Kennebunk, Maine, Tyler started working in restaurants as a dishwasher at age fourteen. He most recently was a sous chef at The French Laundry in Yountville, California where he worked for five years. He also worked at Dovetail restaurant in New York City and spent time in the kitchens of La Maison Troisgros and Epicure in France.

The 5-course the Oakleaf (website, facebook, instagram) dinners are taking place at Fork Food Lab on February 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th. According to the Oakleaf website, “[e]ach dinner will feature five courses including canapés, a few savory courses, and dessert, as well as an optional wine pairing.”.

Tickets are now on sale at Eventbrite.

Under Construction: Dunstan Tap & Table

January 25th, 2018

Mainebiz has posted an update on Dunstan Tap & Table (website, facebook, instagram) which is under construction on Route 1 in Scarborough.

The 90-seat restaurant, located at 1000 Portland Road (U.S. Route 1), will feature American pub fare. It’s owned by Brian and Jen Brenerman, who also own Shays Grill Pub in Monument Square in Portland.

Francine Bistro Closed

January 24th, 2018

The Press Herald reports the very sad news that Francine Bistro in Camden has gone out of business.

The restaurant closed for the winter in November with a sign on the door that indicated it would reopen in May. But chef/owner Brian Hill confirmed Wednesday that he has shuttered the restaurant for good after 15 years, citing a combination of “insurmountable debt” and a desire to spend more time with his young daughter, who lives with her mother in southern California.

Under Construction: Poké Pop

January 24th, 2018

The Press Herald has posted an updated on Poké Pop (instagram) which has been under construction at 658 Congress Street.

Limsitong said his Portland restaurant will offer something different. His goal, he said, is to target Asian customers with a variety of Asian dishes, “and local people who want to try something new and of good quality.” He said he believes he will be the first restaurateur in Maine to serve bingsu. In his version, the shaved ice will be flavored with things like green tea, and toppings will include fruit such as mango and strawberry.

Heart of Hospitality

January 24th, 2018

The Press Herald has published a report on Heart of Hospitality, a new training program for restaurant workers “recognize and de-escalate harassment”.

To tackle potential sexual harassment, a few local bar and restaurant owners are launching the Heart of Hospitality program Thursday. It will offer two-hour sessions to train servers, bartenders and other hospitality staff to recognize and de-escalate harassment, whether from an employer, an employee or a customer who’s had too much to drink.

Snacks on Snacks

January 24th, 2018

A new delivery service called Snacks on Snacks (website, facebook, instagram) launched this week. The service enables you to order online and “have your favorite snacks, medicine, and everyday essentials delivered to your door here in Portland, Maine.”

CNN: Vena’s Fizz House

January 23rd, 2018

CNN has published an interview with Vena’s Fizz House owners, Steve and Johanna Corman.

“I had this whole vision,” she said. “A bar with bartenders, and they’re mixing and muddling and shaking. But there’s no alcohol. It’s seltzer-based, but they’re using really good, healthy ingredients.

“I love old fashioned ingredients, like bitters and tonics and shrubs and syrups. I just could see the whole thing in my brain.”