Gelato Fiasco Open Kitchen

September 23rd, 2016


Gelato Fiasco is launching their Open Kitchen concept today (noon – 8pm) at the Fork Food Lab.

They plan to use the space to “experiment with new flavors and ideas” and to teach gelato making classes. They encourage gelato fans to stop by a try out one of the new flavors their testing.

Fork Food Lab is located at 72 Parris Street. They’ll be holding a grand opening this Tuesday at 6pm.

El Rayo Now Open

September 22nd, 2016


The new El Rayo Taqueria located at 26 Free Street is now open. They’ll initially be open for breakfast and lunch, adding dinner service later.

Best Restaurants in the World: Eventide

September 21st, 2016

Condé Nast Traveller has included Eventide in their list of the 207 greatest restaurants around the globe.

…[W]e enlisted and cross-referenced the impassioned guidance from the real experts, our network of chefs, food writers, and most-in-the-know travelers. What follows is a print-it-out, laminate-it, take-a-screenshot-of-it, globe-spanning hit list so you will never waste a meal again.


Mark’s Sports Now Open

September 21st, 2016

Mark’s Sports Bar (facebook), the sports bar that took over the former Buck’s Naked BBQ spot on Wharf Street, opened over the weekend.

Under Construction: Baristas + Bites (Updated)

September 20th, 2016

baristasandbitesLove Kupcakes leased 469 Fore Street earlier this year and have been working to develop a new quick service business concept called Baristas + Bites which they plan to launch later this year.

Baristas + Bites will be open all day serving grab and go foods three meals a day aiming to attract repeat customers from the downtown area.

Owner Amy Alward is working with USM to build a mobile app that will notify customers when food is new items are just about ready: “when our fresh roasted free range organic rotisserie chicken… [or a] sheet tray of triple treat warm chocolate chip cookies gets pulled from the oven.” The app will also enable customers to pre-order and pay for curbside pick-up.

Alward plans to put in place a tip-free pricing model through a standard fee added to all sales that will enable her to pay staff front of house and kitchen staff $15/hr.

Hours for the Baristas + Bites will be 5 am – 9:30 pm Monday through Saturday, and 6 am – 9 pm on Sundays.

Update: The Bangor Daily News has published an article on Baristas + Bites and their strategy of being a tip-free eatery.

This Week’s Events: Falchini, Maculan, The Coffee Man, Nikita, Noshbow, Cheese Iron 10th

September 19th, 2016

Monday — Solo Italiano is holding a Falchini wine dinner, and the Scarborough Land Trust farm dinner is taking place at Broadturn Farm.

Wednesday — There will be a Cellardoor food pairing event on Thompson’s Point, Black Tie is holding a farm dinner in New Gloucester, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday — special guest Angela Maculan will be at Piccolo for a 5-course dinner featuring her family’s wine from the Veneto region, there will be a cider and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, and Coffee by Design will be screening the movie The Coffee Man (if you can’t make it this week, Arabica will also be screening this film next week on the 29th)

Friday — it’s the fist day of the Common Ground Fair, The Cheese Iron is celebrating their 10th anniversary (Congratulations to Vince and Jill), Rising Tide is releasing their new beer Nikita, and Maine & Loire is holding a Shacksbury wine tasting.

Saturday — the first PSO Symphony & Spirits event of the season and the Saturday Farmers’ Market are taking place.

Sunday — the 2016 edition of Noshbow is taking place at Slab.

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.

Maine Apple Season

September 18th, 2016


Maine Apple season is getting underway and I’m happy to see heirloom varieties starting to  show back up on the shelves at Rosemont Market.

These beautiful Martha Crabs from John Bunker’s Super Chilly Farm are available at the West End store.

You can see a list of many Maine orchards on the Maine Pomological Society website.

Today’s Maine Sunday telegram includes advice on which apple varieties work best for your recipes.

Reviews: Solo Italiano, Brian Boru, Milk & Honey, Salty Sally’s

September 18th, 2016

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Solo Italiano, giving it 3½ stars,

Solo Italiano is full of surprises. Ignore its Commercial Street location and its very chic, newly recast interior, and you’ll discover a restaurant that cares about simplicity and tradition. Paolo Laboa, executive chef and part-owner, is behind the restaurant’s focus on Northern Italian dishes, in particular food from Liguria, where he was raised. By and large, the dishes he and his team prepare are successful ones, most especially a yellowtail carpaccio in a sultry, savory “gazpacho,” and a stupendously good dessert interpretation of a Caprese salad. Laboa’s homemade pastas, like orechiette and papardelle, are also very good, if occasionally let down by seasoning problems.

The Press Herald has reviewed Brian Boru,

A local hang with an Irish flavor, Brian Boru brings in visitors of all ages, from 20-something brunchers to 60-something retirees. Drinks are strong and inexpensive, and the beer list features plenty of local craft brews alongside national staples.

The Golden Dish has published the first review of Milk & Honey,

It was her take on a Reuben done in the manner of a Monte Cristo, with corned   beef, beet pesto (out of this world delicious), with ricotta salata–all of which is layered onto the farm’s whole-wheat bread and put on a panini press until everything melts into incredible flavors.  Served with a zucchini saladslaw and ice tea, it was a lunch of perfection.

and Future Fun Stuff has published the first review of Salty Sally’s.

The environment is decidedly casual, in a good way. It feels like a neighborhood bar. They have fun things like a tabletop arcade game with the classics, boozy milkshakes, and a sweet slogan. They also have a gluten-free fryer and say that most menu items can be prepared gluten-free.

Under Construction: Proper Charlie’s

September 16th, 2016

A new cocktail bar called Proper Charlie’s is under development at 26 Exchange Street.

Owner and Maine native Joshua Miranda “hopes to appeal to Portland’s more refined cocktail consumer” and “bring a modern interpretation of a classic cocktail bar to one of our City’s more iconic thoroughfares.”

Here’s an excerpt of the draft cocktail menu (page 38) supplied with the liquor license application,


and the draft food menu (page 40).


Business Insider: Portland Guide

September 16th, 2016

Business Insider has posted a travel guide to Portland.

The article mentions Allagash, Central Provisions, Fore Street, Liquid Riot, The Blue Rooster, The Holy Donut, The Porthole.

Wild Terrains Guide to Portland

September 15th, 2016

The Wild Terrains travel site has published a guide to Portland.

Come for the small town charm, stay for the food. This travel guide is going to sound like a fat kid wrote it and we have no shame. Portland is a foodie wonderland – it’s filled with award winning restaurants all within walking distance of downtown, and they do not disappoint. Get ready to gain a few lbs because you’re about to pack a lot of eating into a quick weekend trip.

The restaurants featured are Bard, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Eventide, Hunt & Alpine, Piccolo, Scales, Street & Co, Tandem and The Honey Paw

Botto’s Bakery

September 15th, 2016

The Portland Phoenix has published an article on Botto’s Bakery,

“A lot of people know we do bread. They come in and say, ‘I didn’t know you made pastries,’” Jessica said. Their Washington Avenue location sees a lot of foot traffic from the neighborhood and the morning commute. The storefront business, with a quaint design and a couple of tables and chairs, has tripled since they expanded and upgraded their equipment in 2002, she added. They now bake everything in-house, switching from offering a few frozen items.

and a report on organic farming.

The general impression, from casual conversations with farmer’s market foodies, is that buying organic produce comes with certain expectations: the food will be safer, healthier, tastier and less of a strain on the environment. It’s the “you are what you eat,” kind of mentality and firm believers are willing to pay extra money to adhere to it.

New USM Food Studies Program

September 14th, 2016

The Press Herald has published an article on a new Food Studies program at USM,

The University of Southern Maine is launching a food studies program next spring to provide a broad, liberal arts-style education in food and offer at least 30 paid internships a year to students who want to try working in food-related businesses or anti-hunger organizations in Maine.

as has the Bangor Daily News.

The first of its kind in the state, USM’s Food Studies Program will launch as an undergraduate minor in the spring semester, and cover subjects such as the economics of Maine’s thriving microbreweries and how public policy might improve food insecurity in the state. The university plans to expand the program over the next two years to include graduate-level courses, a graduate certificate program in food studies and internship placements for students in the various food enterprises around Portland.

For more detail see the original proposal to establish the program (82 pages).

Mike Wiley Series

September 14th, 2016

Mike Wiley, co-chef/owner, of Hugo’s, Eventide, and The Honey Paw, has penned an article providing a behind the scenes look at staffing a restaurant. This is the first of a three-part series by Wiley.

When I try to be frank with our guests about where the ideas and food come from, I get the sense they think my explanations are false modesty. That’s not it at all: A lot of really talented and hardworking people work in our restaurants, and everything is a collaboration.

Scratch Reopened

September 13th, 2016


Scratch Baking Company reopened in Willard Square on Tuesday. Bagel production has been delayed due to an equipment malfunction.