Red Sea Restaurant Now Open

March 29th, 2014

Red Sea Restaurant is holding its grand opening today, 11 am to 10 pm. The restaurant is located at 30 Washington Ave. The menu includes a variety of Eritrean and Ethiopian dishes like Sambusa, Falafel, Zigni as well as vegetarian entrees and rice-based dishes.

Hugo’s Yankee Swap Series

March 29th, 2014

yankeeswap_logoHugo’s has announced a new guest chef dinner series called The Yankee Swap,

We’re thrilled to announce The Yankee Swap Dinner Series, a collaborative dinner series where Chefs Andrew and Mike will swap kitchens and host dinners with some of New England’s most talented young chefs. We can’t wait to show Portland diners what’s going on in other great restaurants in our region, and to bring Hugo’s food to neighboring states.

The first two dinners at Hugo’s are with:

Yankee Swap Dinners include a cocktail reception and multi-course meal for $100 per person. Optional wine pairings are $65.

Tortilleria Pachanga

March 29th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has published a profile of Tortilleria Pachanga.

Rowe has expanded her tortilla operation into a production space on Industrial Way in Portland next to established brewers Allagash Brewing and up-and-comers Foundation and Bissell Brothers Brewing Companies. A new machine, purchased with funding from a successful Indiegogo campaign, is capable of pressing and cooking 12,000 tortillas per hour. Rowe has learned to talk about “fixed overhead costs” and “profit margins,” while ensuring she stays true to her mission of using Maine-grown corn to produce fresh tortillas.

MECA Offering Culinary Classes

March 28th, 2014

meca-logoThe Maine College of Art is offering a set of Culinary Arts classes this Summer as part of their continuing education program. Here’s the list of the Summer options:

  • The Art and Craft of Food Writing taught by Susan Axelrod from the Press Herald
  • Pastry Perfection taught by Tara Smith from Standard Baking
  • Farm to Fork Workshop taught by chef David Levi, owner of Vinland
  • All About Cheese taught by Sarah Wiederkehr from Winter Hill Farm
  • Microbrewing taught by Chresten Sorensen from Bunker Brewing

According to the release:

To help orchestrate this new realm of programming, MECA has engaged the expertise of Culinary Consultant and former Executive Vice President of The International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute), Christopher Papagni, Ph.D. According to Papagni, “Some of the best of Portland’s culinary scene has been selected for this first round of MECA classes. Keeping up with new food trends and the rapid growth of artisan talent in Maine, will insure dynamic programming for a long time to come.”

Papagni is now working to recruit instructors for the Fall semester at MECA.

Brewer:Farmer Connection at Risk

March 28th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News, MPBN and Press Herald have all reported on the impact of proposed federal rules that would limit the ability of farmers to source spent grain from brewers to feed their livestock.

Commercial beer makers are seeking a reprieve from a proposed federal rule that they say will cost them a lot of money, and also hurt local farmers. For centuries, brewers have been handing over their spent grain – a byproduct of the beer-making process – to farmers to use as cattle feed. But they’re worried that mutually beneficial arrangement could soon come to an end.

Interview with Chefs Wiley and Taylor

March 28th, 2014

Sadierae & Co. have published and interview with chefs Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor from Hugo’s/Eventide.

Do you have a favorite chef that you really, really admire?
Andrew: There are so many both from way back when and now… but when I was getting into cooking, I really loved Chris Schlesinger at East Coast Grill in Cambridge, MA. It definitely wasn’t the fanciest restaurant and he doesn’t own it anymore, but fifteen years ago, the food was so much fun – way ahead of its time in Boston. Chris really seems like a very intelligent guy too. He’s written several great cookbooks and he’s still a contributor to the NY Times.

Mike: I’m a reader, and right now, I’m way into David Kinch’s new book, Manresa. I’m so impressed by Chef Kinch’s approach to agriculture, food, seasonality, and even training young cooks. The guy makes his own finishing salt, I mean, come on!

Review of Walter’s

March 28th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Walter’s.

Walter’s continues to impress me every time I go. They’ve been rock solid over the long haul and that consistency keeps bringing me back. Don’t hesitate to go there and sit at the bar either. If you’re looking for a night out with some awesome cocktails, you can’t go wrong with their drinks. They are delicious and pack both flavor and a potent punch inside your glass. Regardless of why your going though, Walter’s is sure to please even the most discerning foodie’s pallet.

Closing of Roost

March 27th, 2014

Urban Eye has published a report on the closing of Roost.

Preparing to pack up their juicers for good, proprietors Kathleen Flanagan and Jeanette Richelson put a positive spin on the situation. ”An ending is just an opportunity for a new beginning,” said Flanagan. ”We are still processing the whole thing.”

Low foot traffic, high overhead and a health-conscious consumer getting handy with a blender ate away at their business plan.

Reviews: Vinland, Otto Pizza

March 27th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Vinland,

Vinland isn’t just a restaurant or a bar – it’s an experience. Adjacent to Congress Square in Portland, Vinland might look unassuming from the outside, but you’re sure to leave feeling at least a little more educated about food, drink and the possibilities of a 100 percent local menu. The cocktails are playful and artistic, and the service is first-rate.

and a review of the South Portland Otto.

When I tried the mashed potato pizza, which I had before and loved, its potatoes were more smashed than mashed, with chunks of potato sitting atop the pie. The bacon was smoky and crisp. Overall a very nice pie.

Under Construction: Red Sea Restaurant

March 26th, 2014

A new eatery named Red Sea Restaurant is under construction at 30 Washington Ave in the space that had been occupied by Safari. According to a sign in the window they hope to open soon, perhaps by the end of March.

Q&A with Jason Loring

March 26th, 2014

Knack Factory has posted a Q&A with Nosh co-owner Jason Loring.

What appeals to you about the industry now that you own your own places.
I think I am growing out of cooking and I like building businesses. That’s what I want to do. Sometimes I feel guilty about it because cooking… those are my roots. It’s what I did for so long. You’re there on Friday nights and you’re sweating behind the line. Now I sometimes feel like maybe I am not doing something [when I am not doing that], or like I should be doing something more.

This is the second interview in a series. The first was with Amber Dorcus who works at Local 188 and LFK.

Women in Maine’s Brewing Industry

March 26th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald includes an article on the growing role women are playing in Maine’s brewing industry.

[In addition to Shonee Strickland] There are other women working in Maine’s booming craft beer industry, either as brewery owners or brewers, but their numbers are still tiny. Among the most notable: Heather Sanborn owns Portland’s Rising Tide Brewing with her husband, Nathan; she handles the business side of things while he makes the beer. Ashley Fendler does some brewing at Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland, while her primary job is to lead tours and educate customers in the brewery’s tasting room. Stasia Brewczynski, one of the founders of Maine Beer Mavens, holds a similar position at Rising Tide.

Petty Table Larceny

March 26th, 2014

Today’s Portland Daily Sun reports on restaurant patrons who clear a table of items they can pocket for later use at home.

The elderly couple sitting at table 12 were either siblings or close cousins who had not connected in quite some time. They were sharing childhood stories and laughing about events that had obviously taken place well over 50 years ago. Also, they were swiping stuff off the table with no shame.

Launchpad: Holy Donut, Bixby, Litl’ Squirts

March 25th, 2014

The Holy Donut, Litl’ Squirts and Bixby  Bars are in  contention to win $30,000 from Gorham Savings Bank as part of their Launchpad competition. The top five winners of the popular vote will get the chance to pitch their ideas to the judges.

Visit the Launchpad website to read their business plans and vote on your favorite.

If they win The Holy Donut plans to open a new store outside of Maine.

Under Construction: Otto in South Portland

March 25th, 2014

The Forecaster has posted an update on Otto’s 2nd South Portland location.

According to Community Planner Stephen Puleo, approval would allow Otto to build a prep kitchen for storage of supplies and ingredients, as well as a 36-seat restaurant.

Food & Wine: People’s Best New Chef

March 24th, 2014

pbnc2014Three Maine chefs are contenders in this year’s Food & Wine Best New Chef Competition:

  • Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley from Hugo’s/Eventide
  • Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan in Brunswick

You can see the full list on candidates and vote for the hometown favorites online.

Novare Res Uprising App

March 24th, 2014

theuprisingappJustin Velgos, Mark Woollard and Billy Flaherty have produced an unofficial Uprising iPhone app (websitetwitter) for people who have taken on the challenge of drinking their way through The Uprising beer list at Novare Res.

You can download it from the Apple App Store.

For more info on The Uprising and Novare Res’s Chalice Room see Active Beer Geek.

Under Construction: Foodworks Moving

March 24th, 2014

Foodworks, the catering company and sandwich shop located at 47 India Street, is planning to move to 61 India Street—where the Blue Lobster Urban Winery was originally planning to locate.

This Week’s Events: A Place at the Table, PSO Wine Dinner, Vietti Dinner, Allagash Tasting

March 24th, 2014

aplaceatthetableMonday — Space Gallery is screening the movie A Place at the Table which is about hunger in America. The film will be followed by a discussion led by Maine Hunger Initiative.

Wednesdaythe 13th Annual PSO Wine Dinner (sold out) is taking place; this year’s dinner features Greek wines paired with dishes prepared by Emilitsa, Piccolo, Fore Street, Inn by the Sea and the Harraseeket Inn. Black Tie is teaching a cooking class.

ThursdayWine Wise and Vignola are collaborating on a Vietti wine dinner, Eve’s is hosting a South American dinner featuring dishes from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, and the Bier Cellar is holding an Allagash beer tasting.

Saturday — the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Urban Farm Fermentory on Anderson Street.

American Sommelier Classes – the Maine chapter of American Sommelier is offering several wine education programs this year: monthly seminars on a wide range of topics, a 6-week foundation series on major grape varietals, and a 10-week series on viticulture.

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.

Brew News: Peak Organic & Bissell Brothers

March 22nd, 2014

A  pair of Portland brewery updates: