Allagash Wins Silver Medal

October 5th, 2014

Allagash won a Silver Medal in the Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale category for their Coolship Resurgam over the weekend at the Great American Beer Festival.

The Maine Craft Distilling Industry

October 5th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an article on the Maine craft distilling industry.

Close on the heels of Maine’s micro-brewing boom, and reflecting the interest in all things artisanal, craft distilling is on the rise. Just five years ago, there were three small-batch distilleries in the state; now there are eight, with a ninth under way in a former mill in Biddeford. Including Maine Craft Distilling, five of those now in operation are making whiskey. The others are New England Distilling and In’finiti Fermentation & Distillation in Portland, Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery in Union and Wiggly Bridge Distilling in York Beach.

Boston Globe: Culinary Boom in Portland

October 4th, 2014

The Boston Globe has published a report on the restaurant boom in Portland.

I had heard about a few great places to nosh in Portland, but for the love of Jenny Craig, the number of good restaurants in a city this size is absolutely criminal. Several more bars and eateries are expected to open in the coming months.

“There are so many things that are happening here in Portland,” said Shannon Bard, executive chef and proprietor of Zapoteca. “There’s a huge influx of chefs coming here from out of state; they’re leaving bigger cities to see what’s going on and opening here.”

Venues mentioned in the article: Blue Rooster, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Eventide, Hunt and Alpine Club, Lolita, Piccolo, Sea Glass, Slab, Standard Baking, Sweetgrass, The Holy Donut, Vena’s Fizz House, Zapoteca.

First Review of Maps Cafe

October 4th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Maps Cafe.

So you might expect the worst from a new Old Port grilled-cheese and wine/beer spot run by two music industry folks—one of Lady Gaga’s handlers and a Mumford and Sons merchandise guy, no less. But instead, their Maps Café, tucked away in a downstairs space on Market St., is the rarest of things in today’s Portland food scene: a genuine pleasant surprise. There was no Kickstarter, no big PR push, no pop-up tie-ins, no menu or remodel plans leaked to Portland Food Map. Owners Vikki and Kyle went low-key…

First Review of Golden Lotus

October 3rd, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Golden Lotus.

With bold strokes, The Golden Lotus opens on the heel’s of Empire Chinese, offering a menu of Cantonese specialties that are carbon copies of Empire’s menu but not nearly as fine–yet.

MECA Culinary Arts Program

October 3rd, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has published an article on MECA’s culinary arts program.

“We felt as though there was a real connection to be explored between Maine’s preeminent destination for arts education and a city that has such a passion for culinary arts,” Raffi Der Simonian, director of marketing and communications at MECA, said. “Our new foodie programming directly aligns with MECA’s institutional mission of educating artists for life.”

See the MECA website for details on the current set of classes.

Interview with Alison Pray

October 2nd, 2014


Maine Today has posted a very nice multimedia interview with Alison Pray, co-founder of Standard Baking.

This connection to tradition is a huge part of it and that informs our work every day.

Interview with Bernie Larsen

October 2nd, 2014

The Press Herald has published an interview with Bernie Larsen, co-founder of Moran’s Market in 1956.

Q: Why are you continuing to work at 85?
A: There’s still that touch, that personal touch. People just love to come in and that’s why I’m still working – I enjoy people. I work six days a week, but I go in at 6 (a.m.) and get out at 1 (p.m.), so I don’t want to sound like a hero. It keeps me young, even though my body says no.

Reviews: Slab & Blue Spoon

October 2nd, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Slab,

But the bread seems even better when paired with ingredients that work harder to stand up to it—as in the caponata with its thick layer of near-bitter eggplant in a dark, winey sauce; or in the meatloaf-meatball sandwich, where a crunchier bread encases huge portions of tender beef and pork, mingling with sauce and cheese. One of last week’s specials featured rich pulled pork and soft white cheese between slices of focaccia so delicate and flakey it approached filo. Its accompanying sauce was almost meaty with tomato and pepper.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the Blue Spoon.

Everyone finished their food and happily tapped out. There were no looks of disgust on anyone’s face. In fact, everyone enjoyed their meal greatly. Despite the fact that I ordered a meal where I wouldn’t normally like half the components, it was damn good and the main part of it – the chicken – was superb.

Dinner at the Beard House: Piccolo and Opus Ten

October 1st, 2014

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.


October 1st, 2014

arabicaLong rumored to be in the works, the name of Crema Cafe on Commercial Street has been changed to Arabica Coffee, bringing the coffee shop into alignment with owners original other spot on Free Street.

Check out this report from the Urban Eye blog for more details.

Bar of Chocolate Cafe Profile

October 1st, 2014

John Myers has written a profile on the Bar of Chocolate Cafe for Eater Maine.

Somewhere along the way, Martin developed a flair for chocolates; she’d bring them to work to hand out to her favorite guests. Sam Beringer was one of those guests. A longtime bartender at Brian Boru’s sister bar, Una, Beringer encouraged Martin to enter her desserts in the Chocolate Lover’s Fling, an annual competition and fundraiser. If she could win there, he argued, they could leverage that momentum to open a dessert and cocktail lounge.

Blueberry Files: Geary’s, Eventide, The Well

October 1st, 2014

A new post from The Blueberry Files combines a report from the grand opening of the Geary’s tasting room, a review of Eventide and a review of The Well.

My connection to the food scene was obvious in thinking about what makes Portland my home. My love affair with Portland was ignited by the incredible food and drink scene I discovered upon moving here. And nowhere is that sense of place through food expressed better than at Eventide. Local this, local that; in tune with the seasons, the land, and the ocean…and of course, tasting great at every step.

New Episode of Booze, Fish & Coffee

October 1st, 2014

For the new issue of Booze, Fish and Coffee co-hosts Bo Bigelow and Brian Ericson have lunch at Lolita and discuss Fuji, Oxbow, Lolita, Timber, Taj, Boda, Arcadia, Hugo’s, Central Provisions and Veranda Asian Market.

Top Ten for September 2014

October 1st, 2014

The 10 eateries looked up most often on Portland Food Map in September were:

  1. Timber (9)
  2. Lolita (5)
  3. Central Provisions (2)
  4. Slab (1)
  5. Tandem Coffee (>50)
  6. Yosaku (>50)
  7. Golden Lotus (-)
  8. The King’s Head (4)
  9. Fore Street (27)
  10. Blue Spoon (49)

The numbers in parentheses indicates their rank last month.

The Holy Donut Algorithm

September 30th, 2014

holydonutHoly Donut owner Leigh Kellis has an evolving set of rules that help her determine just how many doughnuts to make on any given day so there are just enough without having any left unsold at closing time.

Check out this article in today’s Press Herald to read more about it.

So Kellis took careful notes on the constellation of factors that seemed to impact doughnut demand…In some cases, demand varied, inexplicably from week to week. Sales dropped by 20 percent the week after Labor Day, for instance. The next week, they jumped by 10 percent.

But other, unique buying patterns also started to emerge.

Awards: Food & Wine, Indie Biz & SEDCO

September 30th, 2014

Awards season is here:

  • Indie Biz Awards – Portland Buy Local has kicked off the voting for the 2014 Indie Biz Awards. Food businesses are contenders in nearly every category. Visit the Buy Local website to cast your vote.
  • F & W Best New Bartoday is the last day to cast your vote in the F & W People’s Best New Bar competition in support of the hometown favorite, the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club.
  • SEDCO – the Scarborough Economic Development Corporation has recognized El Rayo as their 2014 Outstanding Project of the Year and Broadturn Farm as their 2014 Outstanding Hidden Gem.

Sur Lie Now Open (Updated)

September 29th, 2014

surlieSur Lie (facebook) is now open. They’re located at 11 Free Street.

Sur Lie serves a small plate menu divided into three main categories: Crisp, Pleasant and Bold along with some cheeses, charcuterie and other smaller starters. Chef Emil Rivera moved to Maine from DC where he worked for several years as part of the ThinkFoodGroup—a family of 15 restaurants founded by chef/restaurateur Jose Andres.

Update: For a look at the restaurant take a look at these photos by Ryan Brownewell.

Under Construction: 409 Cumberland Ave

September 29th, 2014


Plans for the new building currently under construction at 409 Cumberland Avenue include a rooftop greenhouse for growing vegetables and a teaching kitchen where residents can learn about turning produce into healthy meals. The greenhouse and kitchen are part of a collaboration between Avesta and Cultivating Community.

This Week’s Events: Vinland Flanagan’s Table, Cowspiracy, Flea Bites

September 29th, 2014

fleabitesMonday — David Levi from Vinland is the featured chef at this month’s Maine Farmland Trust dinner at Flanagan’s Table, and Rob Tod will be at Old Port Spirits for an Allagash beer tasting.

Wednesday — Black Tie is serving a farm dinner in New Gloucester, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — the Signature Chef’s Auction is being hosted at DiMillo’s, and there will be screening of Cowspiracy at Cinemagic.

Friday — a group of food trucks will be in Bayside at the Portland Flea-for-All for Flea Bites, and there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli.

SaturdayLeRoux Kitchen is holding a wine tasting, The Farm Stand is having a grand opening, 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, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.