Bottle Release of Chaga Stout

October 28th, 2016

chagastoutLone Pine Brewing is releasing a new beer, Chaga Stout, today. It will be on tap and for sale in bottles at their tasting room on Anderson Street. Chaga Stout is a collaboration between Lone Pine and North Spore.

No Tipping: What Do Servers Think?

October 27th, 2016

The Press Herald has interviewed several Portland areas servers to get their thoughts on working at a restaurant that eliminates tipping.

No tips? No thanks.

That’s what some Portland-area servers had to say about the new no-tipping policy that will start Dec. 1 at Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland and Tao Yuan in Brunswick. Others said they were skeptical, but would be willing to give the new policy a try.

Under Construction: Bamboo Bistro, The Holy Donut

October 27th, 2016

A restaurant called Bamboo Bistro is under construction in the space formerly occupied by Siam Square in Westbrook. A sign in the window indicates they hope to open in December.

Urban Eye and the Press Herald report that The Holy Donut will be opening a third location in Scarborough in a building formerly occupied by a Tim Horton’s. Owner Leigh Kellis plan to open in March.

16th Annual PSO Wine Dinner

October 26th, 2016

The Portland Symphony has announced the team of chefs for the 2017 wine dinner. Collaborating on the dinner are:

  • Brian Hill, Francine Bistro
  • Krista Kern Desjarlais, Bresca & the Honey Bee and The Purple House
  • Sam Hayward, Fore Street
  • Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan, Bao Bao and Lio
  • Troy Mains, The Harraseeket Inn

The dinner is scheduled to take place March 15, 2017.

Stadlers to Eliminate Tipping at Bao Bao & Tao Yuan

October 25th, 2016

Cara and Cecile Stadler have announced plans eliminate tipping at Bao Bao and Tao Yuan as of December 1st. The restaurants will add a service charge to the bill that is “a percentage of the pre-tax amount a consumer spends while dining.” According to the press release, the “service charge will allow for an increase in pay for all kitchen employees as well as each restaurants management team. Positions that were once before a, ‘tipped’ position will now be paid hourly.”

It goes on to explain,

With the implementation of this system the wage inequality that currently exists between what is referred to as the, “back of the house,”(kitchen) and the, “front of the house,” (tipped employees) will be drastically reduced at first, with the goal to have pay be equal across the board. It will provide a steady year round income for all restaurant employees. The no-tip system will also allow for numerous benefits to employees, including healthcare, vacation time, and parental leave. With these benefits, Cara also plans to invest significantly in her employees through extra curricular experiences, bonus incentives and educational offerings. “We want to invest in people that want to invest in our company for the long term,” says Cara Stadler, “this system just makes sense.”

The Stadler’s new restaurant Lio will also be tip-free when it opens next year.

Update: the Press Herald has published a front page story about this upcoming change at Bao Bao and Tao Yuan.

This Week’s Events: Rowan Jacobsen, Hardshore Distilling, Fabulous Femmes, Cooking for Crowds, Mami Pop-up

October 24th, 2016

theessential-oysterMondayMami will be serving a pop-up dinner at Bao Bao, and the Portland Spirit Society is holding a women-only Tiki Rum Punch event at Rhum.

Tuesday — the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is teaching a class on Cooking for Crowds.

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

Thursday — award-winning author Rowan Jacobsen will be at Eventide signing copies of his new book The Essential oyster followed by a 5-couse oyster dinner at Hugo’sHardshore Distilling Company is scheduled to open their tasting room at 3 pm, and Bon Vivant Imports will be taking over the wine list at Drifters Wife for the evening.

Friday — Worcester’s Hangover Pub will be serving a dinner in Portland as part of their 4-city Way of Life tour.

Saturday — the Saturday Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — Chefs Ilma Lopez from Piccolo, Melissa Kelly from Primo, Krista Kern Desjarlais from The Purple House, Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan, Kim Rodgers from Hugo’s and Briana Holt from Tandem Bakery, aka the Fabulous Femmes, are collaborating on a dinner at Flanagan’s Table to benefit the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. The Maker’s Mug, Sugarbird Coffee Truck and Vagabound Coffee will be gathering on the Eastern Prom.

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.

Review of Foulmouthed Brewing

October 23rd, 2016

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Foulmouthed Brewing in South Portland,

And as you drink, be sure to sample chef Dan Lindberg’s sandwiches, especially the Spicy BLT, with house-cured pork belly. Lindberg’s bar snacks are also worth a try, particularly the Korean BBQ pork nachos, which are both a little unorthodox and completely addictive. But apart from an iffy Summer Harvest Salad, you can’t go wrong: Everything on the food menu – including desserts like a German chocolate cake sundae – is designed to pair well with at least one of the beers on the constantly changing brew schedule.

The Golden Dish has posted a report on a press dinner at Tempo Dulu, and Peter Peter Portland Eater has posted a report on the Pairings at the Point event hosted by Cellardoor.

Down East: Where to Eat Now

October 22nd, 2016

img_2521The new issue of Down East highlights to 20 restaurants and 1 town that are Where [You Should] Eat Now.

We’re not asking you to dine out at every amazing restaurant in Maine. Just these 20. Plus one entire town. Hope you’re hungry.

Mentioned in the article: Caiola’s, Drifters Wife, East Ender, Eventide, Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, Rhum, and Woodford Food & Beverage.

The article isn’t online yet.

Beard Awards: Open Call

October 22nd, 2016

JBF_AWARDS_MEDALLION-BLOGIs there an outstanding chef or restaurant you think should be considered for a James Beard Award in 2017?

Every year the Beard Foundation receives tens of thousands of recommendations from the public as part of the process to select the 20 semi-finalists in each category.

Fill out this form to send in your favorites for consideration.

Under Construction: Big Fin Poke, Mini Mogadishu

October 21st, 2016

Two new restaurants are under development:

  • A Somali restaurant called Mini Mogadishu is slated for Woodfords corner next to Merrill’s Seafood. You can get a taste of their menu at the Taste the World event taking place November 2nd at Fork Food Lab.
  • In Westbrook, Big Fin Poke is taking over the space formerly occupied by Dancing Elephant on Main Street.

See the PFM Under Construction page for a list of other restaurants under development in and around Portland.

Interview with Josh Moody

October 20th, 2016

Dispatch has published an interview with Styxx owner Josh Moody about his experience running the bar and the decision to close it at the end of this year.

What’s next for you?
I don’t know exactly. I’ve considered looking for a smaller location, because the rent here is very expensive. When people hear that, they go, “What, like $1,200?” Yeah, I wish it was $1,200. That’s hilarious. I think a smaller location is something I’d consider, but it’d have to be perfect.

I really wouldn’t mind if it didn’t happen right away. I think a breather would be nice.

Interview with Leigh Kellis

October 19th, 2016

Maine Women magazine has published an intehrview with Leigh Kellis, owner of The Holy Donut.

Six years ago, Portland native Leigh Kellis, founder of The Holy Donut, did just that—she went for it. Kellis didn’t have a business or culinary degree, and she admits she wasn’t even interested in owning a business or becoming the next celebrity chef. Her only motivation was a craving for a not-so-junky doughnut.

Under Construction: Hardshore Distilling Co.

October 18th, 2016

Hardshore Distilling Co. has announced they’ll be opening on Thursday October 27th.

The gin is ready and so are we! Our tasting room at 53 Washington Avenue opens Thursday, Oct. 27th at 3 PM. Come have a cocktail and snag a bottle of our inaugural batch of Original Gin.

Invite a Chef to Dinner

October 18th, 2016

The Portland Phoenix checked in with six chefs about how often they get invited over for dinner and what  happens when they are.

DT:  That is very often the case.  A typical exchange would be like this:  the husband says, “You should come over for dinner . . . when I told my wife I invited you for dinner she asked if I was crazy, he’s a chef . . . I can’t cook for him . . .”  Then the conversation changes to talking about where do you like to go out for dinner.  I tell them I really am easy to please and not to worry, but I rarely end up getting the invitation. It feels awesome to be invited for dinner.  I joke with people that it’s so nice to have someone else cook and that if they were heating up spaghetti O’s, I would be just fine.

This Week’s Events: Rob Tod, Food Business Conference, Librandi Dinner, Harvest on the Harbor, Latte Art Competition

October 17th, 2016

TuesdayMechanics Hall is holding an open house for event planners, Roustabout is serving a Harvest Moon Dinner, and Allagash founder Rob Tod will be speaking at One Longfellow.

Wednesday — the Maine Food Means Business conference is taking place in Freeport, special guest Paolo Librandi will be at Piccolo for a 5-course Librandi Calabrian wine dinner, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday — it’s the first day of Harvest on the Harbor, Coffee by Design is hosting a barista latte art competition at their Diamond Street cafe, 19 Gneiss beers will be on tap at Slab, there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, and the Portland Farmers’ Market and The Bearded Lady are collaborating on the Agricultural Gems Pop-up.

Saturday — David’s Opus Ten is kicking off a Saturday Supper prix fixe dinner series, Ned Swain from Devenish Wines is teaching a Tuscan Sangiovese wine seminar at Rossobianco, and the Saturday Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — it’s the last day of Harvest on the Harbor.

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.