Snowmageddon Eats

January 27th, 2015

A few Portland eateries are still scheduled to be open today. Here are the one’s I’ve heard  about:

If you hear of any others, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

WBUR: Vinland’s Local Cuisine

January 27th, 2015

WBUR has posted an article on Vinland.

David Levi is the brain behind Vinland. His food is 100 percent locally produced. Every leaf, every grain, every fish — is from Maine or pretty darn close. Going hyper local in Southern California is one thing. Doing it here, where the growing season is 156 days long, seems like a risky business plan.

“It forces us to be creative,” says Levi. “It’s like I’m writing a sonnet. I only have so many syllables in this line; I have to come up with something other than my first inclination.”

MECA Culinary Arts

January 27th, 2015

The winter/spring semester of MECA’s Culinary Arts program begins this week. Here’s the full list of classes:

  • Food Blogging Workshop, taught by Susan and Ted Axelrod
  • Puff Pastry, taught by Andrea Swanson from Foley’s
  • Professional Cake Building, taught by Andrea Swanson from Foley’s
  • Whole Pig Butchering, taught by Evan Mills from from Rosemont
  • World of Wine, taught by certified sommelier Jennifer Flock

You can see the full program on the MECA website.

Food Film Series

January 26th, 2015

Rosemont Market & Bakery, Cultivating Community and Maine College of Art are working together on a food film series. The films will be screened on Sundays at 4pm at MECA in Osher Hall. Here’s the line-up:

This Week’s Events: R. Stuart Dinner, Brew Pub Cap, Brewers wo/ Borders, Natural Wine Tastings

January 26th, 2015

bwbWednesday — Outliers is serving a 5-course dinner featuring Willamette Valley wines with special guest Rob Stuart from from R. Stuart Wines.

Thursday — The Farm Stand is holding natural wine tasting , Rosemont is also holding a wine tasting, there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, the Bier Cellar is hosting an Allagash tasting, and the 16th annual Brew Pub Cup is taking place.

Friday — Novare Res is holding a Brewers Without Borders event to raise funds for the Hof ten Dormaal brewery is Belgium that was recently damaged by a fire,  and The Farm Stand is holding another wine tasting.

Saturday —  Maine & Loire is holding their first wine tasting, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Valentine’s Day — restaurants have started announcing their plans for Valentine’s Day. I’ll be adding to this list and reposting it on a weekly basis now through then.

  • Congress Squared, special menu served on both the 13th and 14th.
  • David’s Opus Ten, 9-course dinner for 2 with wine pairings for $150
  • Five Fifty-Five, 4-course dinner for $75 per person; with optional pairings and supplements.
  • Novare Res is teaming up with La Crème Chocolat to serve beer and chocolate pairings on the 13th and 14th.
  • Petite Jacqueline, 3-course menu for $65 per person; optional wine pairings available.
  • Piccolo, 5-course dinner and a glass of rose prosecco, $75 per person; optional wine pairings available.
  • Rising Tide, on the 13th Rising Tide Brewing will be releasing Nuit D’Hiver, a “limited rum barrel aged version of D’Hiver, our dark rye saison with winter spices and sweet orange peel” along with D’Hiver, 2013 Cellared D’Hiver, Nuit D’Hiver on tap and chocolates truffles from La Crème Chocolat.
  • Vinland has a number of options including a 10-course dinner for 4 for $300.

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.

Scallop Divers

January 25th, 2015

Today’s issue of the Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about Maine’s diver scallop fishermen.

“I’ve been caught in currents and dragged,” said Brian Preney, 55, a diver out of Boothbay who is a member of the Urchin Advisory Council and has been fishing with scuba gear since 1980. He learned how to dive at Colby College, in the pool, and married into a family of fishermen. Fishing for urchins, which generally don’t take a diver below 30 feet, is like “picking cotton” in comparison to the more exciting pursuit of scallops, which have the power to dart away, fast. “I liken scalloping more to hunting.”

The Salt: Brewers Gone Wild

January 25th, 2015

NPR’s blog The Salt has posted an article about Allagash and wild fermented beers.

The team at Allagash has been experimenting with Brett and other “nontraditional brewing microbes” (for making wild and sour beers) for about a dozen years. The first time the brewers discovered that an ambient strain of local, wild Brett had contaminated a barrel of beer, “we panicked!” Perkins recalls. “We learned quickly that the character was very unique.” So they isolated it, cultured it and created a small but ambitious wild beer program that puts Brett on center stage.

Review of Ebb & Flow

January 25th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Ebb & Flow.

If looks could kill, Ebb & Flow would be slaying customers in the Old Port. The dining room is attractive, the presentation colorful and the tableware sparkling and elegant. But three months after opening, the Mediterranean-inspired cooking here remains uneven. Play to the kitchen’s strengths and order a selection of mezze (small dishes) served with the outstanding house-made pita. Or go for dessert and share a plate of sugary galaktoboureko, the chef’s lighter version of a traditional custard-and-phyllo confection that tastes like food for the (Greek) gods.

First Review of Tiqa

January 24th, 2015

The Golden Dish has published a first look review of Tiqa.

Expansive space, beautiful design, and a bit of exotica coming from its pan-Mediterranean-inspired kitchen add up to Tiqa being one of the most unique establishments to grace the city in recent memory.

Photos of Empire

January 23rd, 2015

The Angela Adams blog Sea Fantasy has published a set of images of Empire Chinese Kitchen.

We all love the Empire Chinese Kitchen!

Portland was in dire need of a dim sum restaurant and Empire has aced it. Whether you sit at the bar or in a cozy booth, the experience is always a treat. I never go without getting the green beans. Nicole’s recent visit included some new items that are calling me back. Don’t wait. Go now! Then go back again! We will likely be there eating tasty pockets of goodness.

East Ender @ Central Provisions

January 22nd, 2015

Central Provisions has announced that the Small Axe founders and now owners of East Ender, Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy will be the guest chefs at Central Provisions for CP’s 1-year anniversary on February 4th.

Whiskey and the Old Fashioned

January 22nd, 2015

2015-01-22_6-27-22Andrew Volk, co-owner of the Hunt and Alpine Club, appeared on WCSH’s show 207 earlier this week along with Jim Britt from Eat Drink Lucky to demonstrate how to make an Old Fashioned and talk about the increasing popularity of whiskey.

Under Construction: Isa

January 21st, 2015

Eater Maine has posted an interview with Suzie St. Pierre, who along with her husband are opening Isa (facebook) on Portland Street.

What makes you eager to open it in Portland, which is packed with places to eat?
We love Maine and we love Portland and we’re encouraged by the city’s passion for good food. Every city has competition and, of course, Portland doesn’t lack it. But the residents and visitors support this industry better than almost any other city in the nation, which makes us think there’s always room for another good restaurant with a different experience to offer.

Tiqa Opening Today

January 21st, 2015


Tiqa (facebook, twitter) is scheduled to open today. The pan-Mediterranean restaurant is the creation of husband and wife team Deen Haleem and Carol Mitchell with chef Bryan Dame heading up the kitchen staff and Patrick Morang as the bar manager.

Tiqa is located at 321 Commercial Street in the ground floor of the new Marriott hotel.

Full Belly Deli Has Closed

January 20th, 2015

The Press Herald has confirmed that the Full Belly Deli has gone out of business.

After 28 years of serving overstuffed pastrami sandwiches, lokshen kugel and hot brisket dinners, Full Belly Deli, Portland’s only Jewish delicatessen, has closed its doors.

Owner David Rosen said the Brighton Avenue deli was a victim of the economy, rising food prices, and competition from the chain restaurants that have proliferated nearby as that part of the city, on the border of Westbrook, has developed in recent years.

Under Construction: Otherside Delicatessen

January 20th, 2015

The Forecaster has posted an update on the Otherside Delicatessen.

Quattrucci’s Variety at 164 Veranda St. was a neighborhood staple for more than three decades. The store closed without fanfare late last year, but the building won’t be empty very long.

Peter Sueltenfuss leased the building on Jan. 1 for the Otherside Delicatessen, which will open around Jan. 26, he said – as long as telephone and Internet connections are done.

New Spirits from MCD

January 20th, 2015

Sprigge-Tashtego-(600x800)Maine Craft Distilling has announced the upcoming launch of two new products:

  • Sprigge is a version of Alchemy gin aged in MCD’s whiskey and rum oak barrels. “The combination of used whiskey barrel and Alchemy Gin creates a hearty, full flavored spirit combining hints of juniper with the barrel richness of vanilla.”
  • Tashtego is a pot distilled white rum named for a harpooner in the Melville’s Moby Dick.

Both will available for sale starting this Saturday at Maine Craft Distilling’s tasting room on Fox Street and in Freeport.

This Week’s Events: Growing Local, Ice Bar, Emotional Honey, Honey Dinner, Bean Suppah

January 19th, 2015

Tuesday — Local Sprouts is hosting the Local Foods Networking Breakfast.

Wednesday — Space Gallery is screening Growing Local followed by a discussion with the director, Baxter Brewing owner Luke Livingston will be speaking at Peleton LabsThe Corner Room is holding a  wine dinner and Black Tie is teaching a cooking class.

Thursday — it’s the first night of the 2015 Ice Bar, the Thirsty Pig is hosting a rlease party for episode 4 of Local Brew TV, and GMRI is hosting a talk on How Climate Change is Affecting Fish and People by scientist Andy Pershing and Kathy Mills.

Friday — it’s the second night of the Ice Bar.

Saturday — Allagash is having a bottle release for Emotional Honey,  it’s the last night of the Ice Bar, the Portland On Tap beer festival is taking place as is the Winter Farmers’ Market.

Sunday — The Good Table is holding a 5-course dinner made with 5 local honeys paired with mead, wine, beer, and Rosemont Market cooking a Grange Bean Suppah.

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.

Tortilleria Pachanga Interview

January 18th, 2015

Today’s Telegram includes an interview with Tortilleria Pachanga owner Lynne Rowe.

WHAT’S IN A NAME: We figured out that a tortilleria is the place where tortillas are made, but what does “pachanga” mean? Rowe picked it up from her days in Mexico. “It can be like a drunken bash,” Rowe said. “But it doesn’t have to be like that. It can also be a rhythm or a dance. In Mexico it is sort of a fun word for a gathering.” When she worked at the Waynflete School she introduced pachanga to the school lexicon, using it to describe family gatherings.

Vinland at the James Beard House

January 18th, 2015

For the final installment in her four-part series Vinland, Mary Pols has written a report on the James Beard House dinner Vinland chef David Levi served this past week in NYC.

Levi said the foundation offered him dates in January through March, but worried whether he could pull it off when nearly everything in Maine, even the bays, tend to freeze. He relished the challenge. “If we’re going to showcase what Maine cuisine is all about, it is much more compelling to do it in the winter than the summer,” he said. “In the summer, we have many of the same things that you’d find in any part of the country.” In the winter, Maine’s famed resiliency materializes in its foods, and he was eager to put any concerns to rest.

Read the Full Series
Part 1: Bold Idea for Portland
Part 2: What’s for Dinner
Part 3: Bountiful Summer