Review of Taj

July 1st, 2015

The Bollard has published a  review of Taj in South Portland.

Taj is not flamboyant, and the dishes are not perfectly executed (some were too salty). It’s a modest Indian joint out by the mall. It has funny blue movie-theater carpeting and placemats depicting the 44 Presidents of the United States (which is also funny, and fun). But my parents weren’t wrong: for what it is, Taj is a good restaurant serving modestly priced food. If you’re in the mood for Indian comfort food, give Taj a shot.

This Week’s Events: Dogfish Dinner, Cuvée d’Industrial, Flea Bites, Fourth of July

June 29th, 2015

pliny_terlinguaMonday — Allagash is holding the bottle release for Cuvée d’Industrial, and La Petite Boucher is leading a pig butchering workshop.

Wednesday — Sam Calaglione will be at Terlingua for a Dogfish Head beer dinner, Sur Lie is holding a Banded Horn beer dinner, Allagash and the Maine Medical Center are holding a beer tasting event at Hadlock Field to raise money to fight childhood cancer, Black Tie is teaching a cooking class, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday — there will be a beer and cheese tasting at the Public Market House.

Friday — a group of food trucks is gathering at the Portland Flea-for-All for this summer’s first Flea Bites, there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli, and don’t forget it’s also First Friday Art Walk.

Saturday —the Portland Symphony Orchestra will be performing a Fourth of July concert as of the fireworks display on the Eastern Promenade, 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.

Review of Terlingua

June 29th, 2015

The Golden Dish has posted a first look review of Terlingua.

I did.  And this included the cold smoked fish dip alive with pungent flavors of sour orange, Vidalia onion and sweet peppers. It was served with commercial taco chips, which were good, but they need to replace those with homemade, something that’s in the works, according to management.  Another good preparation was, as mentioned,  the grilled shell-on shrimp ( fresh from the Gulf coast or previously frozen?), though the otherwise winey, sweet flavors of the guajillo chili sauce in which it was bathed could have been more prominent.  I liked the smoked brisket—meltingly tender–and the honey coated flat breads served with it were delicious.

You can take a look at Terlingua’s menu on their website (www.terlingua.me) and follow them online on instagram and facebook.

Review of East Ender

June 28th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the East Ender and given it 4 stars.

East Ender may look simple and casual, but the food at this two-story restaurant in the shadow of Munjoy Hill is creative, sophisticated and super flavorful…start with the lobster tostada, a novel riff on Maine’s favorite shellfish that pairs cool chunks of lobster with crispy vegetables and Latin-inspired sauces; or try the outstanding grilled octopus with crunchy fennel and golden fingerling potatoes. All entrees here are good (and generous), but the smoky roasted lamb shoulder is exceptional, as is whole grilled trout with seasonal vegetables and béarnaise. Leavy and Deuben have worked in some of Portland’s finest restaurant kitchens and it shows.

Yellow Cart Now Open

June 27th, 2015

A new food cart called Yellow Cart(facebook) launched on Thursday. Owner Joel Glatz serves a menu which includes lobster rolls, fish tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches. Yellow Cart was in Monument Square yesterday and expects to operate on Commercial Street on weekdays.

First Review of Evo

June 26th, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed Evo.

Some 10 dishes later, I relished every bit of Evo’s fusion fare that spans the region from Mediterranean to Middle Eastern cuisines in stunning clarity. And the space—all 1,500 square feet that can accommodate about 50 diners—is fashioned like a modernist temple, its two-story atelier evoking playtime in a cathedral.

Interview with John Berry

June 26th, 2015

The Daily Meal has published an interview with John Berry, chef of Union.

The Daily Meal: In a nutshell, what is the concept of UNION and what inspired it? 
Chef Josh Berry: The cuisine at UNION can be best explained as “enhanced local.” We focus on a particular ingredient and try to showcase it at its zenith state through preparation methods and flavors. Inspiration can come from anything at any time. I have no particular muse that I rely on, with the exception of the season. Seasonal cooking is very important to me, and that shows through in the cuisine.  

Terlingua Now Open

June 25th, 2015

terlingua

The new Texas BBQ restaurant on Washington Ave called Terlingua(website, instagram, facebook) is now open.

The Blueberry Files has published a first look at Terlingua,

Everything was fantastic – the pork belly that hard-to-achieve combo of tender, but cooked enough to render the fat palatable, then topped with the crunchy pork skin. The whitefish was very smoky and flecked with crunchy bits of onions and peppers. The accompanying habanero dip added a nice slow burn. 

Review of Home Catering

June 25th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed lunch at Home Catering.

Home’s version of a club sandwich was made on the requisite squishy white bread (untoasted) and contained excellent Home-roasted white turkey meat, shredded romaine (not the ubiquitous and often ill-suited mesclun mix) and “our famous candied bacon,” a happy update for the 21st century. The club was generously – but not too generously – spread with mayonnaise.

Emilitsa

June 25th, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about Emilitsa.

As we tasted each beautifully plated dish, John, Nemo and Niko talked about what inspired each preparation. What resonated for me were references to growing up in a Greek home transplanted in the United States. Although it was important to assimilate, keeping the tradition of Greek food and culture alive had its place. It is this tradition that is the essence of Emilitsa’s success. You are at once transported to a time and place when family gathered around the table and celebrated the bounty of the land.

Maine’s Food Entrepreneurs

June 24th, 2015

The Bangor Daily News has a report on Maine’s food entrepreneurs.

“Food is Maine’s brand,” said Tanya Swain, project co-director of The Maine Food Strategy, who spoke on a panel with entrepreneurs Joel Alex, founder of Blue Ox Malthouse, and Aaron Anker of Grandy Oats. “People are recognizing there is an opportunity to develop food businesses in Maine.”

There are several barriers, such as infrastructure needs and distribution, but the determination of the earnest ravioli maker and chocolatier who asked questions from the floor shone through.

This Week’s Events: Allagash Street Fair, Greek Festival, Strawberry Festival, Taste of the Nation, Noshbow

June 22nd, 2015

allagashTuesdayPiccolo is holding a 5-course French wine dinner.

Wednesday — there will be a community dinner in Congress Square to celebrate the Heart of the Community grant (El Corazon and Mami food trucks plus food from Figgy’s and Home Catering), and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayThe Honey Paw is hosting a release party for Oxbow’s 2015 edition of Liquid Swords, it’s the kick-off of the Greek Heritage Festival, and Tandem Bakery is hosting a Pies-n-Thighs Pop-up.

Friday — A group of food trucks are holding the Summer Solstice Celebration on Saint John Street.

SaturdayAllgash is holding a street festival to celebrate their 20th anniversary, the 7th Annual Strawberry Festival is taking place, there will be a wine tasting at Maine & Loire, Aurora Provisions is collaborating with Devenish Wines on a Rose tasting, the Craft Brew Race Festival and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market are taking place; Porterfield Cider will be launching Saturday at the market.

sos_maine 2_0Sunday — the 2015 Taste of the Nation and the 3rd annual Noshbow Block Party are taking place, Coffee by Design is throwing a party to celebrate their 21st anniversary, Rising Tide and Browne Trading are working together on a beer and oyster event, Vinland is holding a dinner and book signing with author Diana Rodgers.

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.

Now Open: Abilene & Joy’s Crepe Cafe

June 21st, 2015

Two new businesses are now open on Forest Ave:

  • Abilene is located in Woodfords Corner next to Bayou Kitchen. They opened on Friday serving lunch, dinner and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Today’s brunch menu includes options like Spicy Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash, a Roasted Vegetable Benedict, and a Pork Belly LT sandwich. The entrance is at 539 Deering Ave across from Big Sky.
  • Joy’s Crepe Cafe(facebook) opened a couple weeks ago. They’re located at 849 Forest Ave in the former Haggarty’s space. They serve a wide range of sweet crepes, as well as some savory options with lobster, crab, and one with capicola, Canadian ham, pastrami and buffalo turkey.

Tempo Dulu Opens Tonight

June 20th, 2015

tempoduluTempo Dulu(facebook, website, open table) held a friends and family-ish dinner dry run last night and opens to the public tonight. The Indonesian restaurant is located in the Danforth Inn at 163 Danforth Street in the West End. Chef Lawrence Klang leads the kitchen and Trevin Hutchins is the creative talent behind the bar.

For more information and photos of the space see this article from Maine magazine.

Pictured on the right is a quail egg amuse bouche from last night’s dinner.

Emilitsa’s Summer Menu

June 18th, 2015

emilitsaBoth Maine a la Carte and Urban Eye have posted reports on Monday’s press preview of Emilitsa’s new summer menu.

Juicy duck that melts in your mouth. Nutty, flaky baklava infused with clove and honey. A medley of asparagus, toasted walnuts and farm chèvre tossed in mint tarragon dressing. Artisan mushrooms served with pan-fried eggplant on a bed of wilted kale and farro, the entire mess drizzled in top-shelf olive oil — what’s not to like?

Review of Figgy’s

June 18th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Figgy’s.

Once you’ve downed all that fried chicken and a couple of carby sides, might as well destroy your diet completely and order dessert. I was thrilled to see they have a decent banana pudding (or as we call it back home, nanner puddin’), complete with Nilla wafers and whipped topping. The other dessert option is a homemade ice cream sandwich, with flavors changing daily.

What have I left out? Oh yes, there are a couple of salads on the menu, but if I were you I’d save the self denial for another day and another dinner. Don’t visit Figgy’s without trying the fried chicken.

Portland Patisserie Now Open

June 17th, 2015

patisserie_logoPortland Patisserie(website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is now open. The French bakery and “grand cafe” is located at the corner of Milk and Market Streets. The pastry chef is Catherine Coté-Eliot, who’s resume includes time at Standard Baking and at Financier in in New York City.

You can find a full menu for Portland Patisserie on their website. The pain au chocolat I had was exceptional.

Under Construction: Abilene

June 17th, 2015

abilene_signA new restaurant called Abilene is under construction at 539 Deering Ave at the former location of Tipico in Woodfords Corner. According to the sign in the window they plan to serve lunch and dinner, and hope to open on Friday.

Evo Opening Today

June 17th, 2015

evo_logoEvo(twitter, website, facebook) has announced they’ll be opening tonight. Evo is serving a menu that’s described as a “modern fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines”. Matt Ginn is on staff as the chef de cuisine.

Evo is located at the corner of Fore and Union Streets. It’s run by the Prentice Hospitality Group.

Lincolns Now Open

June 16th, 2015

A new bar on Market Street called Lincolns(instagram) is now open. Lincolns was launched by Mark Ohlson, Nathan Drinkwater and Stephen Briggs. All items on the menu are priced at $5, hence the name.