Interview with El Rayo

July 30th, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has published an interview with El Rayo general manager Kate Poze.

LO: What do you tell your wait staff the secret is to excellent service?
KP: Always make eye contact, be attentive, accommodating and personal, know the menu. Control the chaos and be ahead of your tables, ask if they would like another drink before their glass is bone dry, mark their table, and don’t serve them soup without a spoon.

The Well TV (Updated)

July 29th, 2015

extravirginA camera crew from the Cooking Channel was onsite at The Well yesterday filming for a show called Extra Virgin. The epsiode which includes The Well is expected to air in January.

Update: On Wednesday the Extra Virgin camera crew was filming at Portland Lobster Company. The Press Herald has posted an article with further info, as does Eater Maine.

National Lobster Day?

July 29th, 2015

The  Press Herald reports that a group of New England senators are advocating for September 25th to be designated National Lobster Day.

OAD Fresh List

July 28th, 2015

Central Provisions (30), Eventide (32) and Caiola’s (97) have made it on to the Opinionated About Dining Fresh List.

The FRESH List celebrates the 100 best American restaurants that feature; F – Farm-to-Table cuisine; R – Regional American Cuisine; E – Ethnic Cuisine; S – Sustainable Ingredients; served with American-style H – Hospitality.

The list is a response to readers who regularly ask for dining advice about where they can find reasonably priced restaurants that offer an interesting take on American regional and ethnic cooking. It’s the perfect list to use to help plan your summer vacations.

F&W Editor in Portland

July 28th, 2015

Dana Cowin, Editor of Food & Wine, was is in Portland over the weekend, posting photos and commentary onliine of the places she visited:

Maine Craft Distilling

July 28th, 2015

Distiller-su15-cover-blk-458x600Distiller magazine has published a profile of Maine Craft Distilling (page 47).

This Week’s Events: Harvest Dinner, Sake Tasting, Vermoth/Bitters Tasting

July 27th, 2015

Monday — Crooners & Cocktails is serving a 7-course Harvest Dinner at Rooted Earth  Farm in Casco.

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

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

Friday — Rosemont on Brighton is holding a vermouth and bitters tasting.

Saturday — the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — MJ’s Wine Bar is celebrating their 2nd anniversary.

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.

Telling Room Reviews

July 27th, 2015

The Press Herald has posted a set of reviews written by kids who participated in The Telling Room summer camp program.

Cassandra Albano and Andrew Miller wrote about The Honey Paw, and Ella Briman and Elinore Kosak wrote about Rosemont Market.

Fifteen students set out across Portland this month visiting art venues, a food market and a popular new restaurant to offer their critiques and hone their skills as writers and reviewers through a summer camp program with The Telling Room.

Old Port Slice Bar Open

July 26th, 2015

The Old Port Slice Bar opened earlier this week. The new pizza shop is located at 420 Fore Street in the space that had been the home of Joe’s NY Pizza before a fire damaged the building in 2013.

Tipping and Minimum Wage Change

July 26th, 2015

An article in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram looks out how a change in minimum wage could impact consumer tipping behavior.

Fears among waitstaff in Portland over the effects of a minimum wage hike may be misplaced. Consider the psychology of why people tip and it’s likely their generosity won’t change at all.

Review of Evo

July 25th, 2015

Portland Magazine has reviewed Evo.

Chef de cuisine Matthew Ginn (executive chef is Brendan Hicks, also chef at Chebeague Island Inn) calls Evo’s menu “refreshing–less butter and cream, more olive oil and sumac.” Succulent sautéed chicken livers ($10) from nearby Sumner Valley Farm are prepared with fresh pomegranate and lemon juices, olive oil, and sumac and served with bite-sized crackers inspired by a 10th-century recipe involving crushed walnuts, pomegranate, and vinegar.

190 State St

July 25th, 2015

190StateIf you’ve taken a look at the commercial real estate listings on Craigslist recently you might have been surprised to spot 190 State Street, the home of Petite Jacqueline, among the spaces available. I checked in with co-owner Michelle Corry who explained that due a rise in rent and interest in expanding the restaurant, they’ve begun looking for a new space. No change in their location is anticipated until 2016.

58% Culinary Tourism

July 24th, 2015

The Press Herald has published a report on culinary tourism in Maine.

Culinary tourism already appears to be strong in Maine, according to a 2014 Maine Office of Tourism study conducted by DPA, a digital research firm in Kennebunk. According to the report, 58 percent of the tourists who came to Maine last year and stayed overnight identified culinary or beverage interests as their reason for coming. Overall, there were 17.3 million overnight visitors in 2014 versus 16.6 million in 2013.

Anthony J. Napolitano, 79

July 24th, 2015

Anthony Napolitano founder of Maria’s Ristorante passed away this weeks at the age of 79.

Mr. Napolitano opened his first restaurant, Napoli’s Restaurant on Veranda Street in Portland, in 1960. He ran it until 1972 and then opened the first Maria’s Ristorante in Westbrook. He ran that restaurant for four years before moving to its current location on Cumberland Avenue.

Review of The Honey Paw

July 23rd, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed The Honey Paw.

The Honey Paw, a third contiguous Middle Street restaurant from the folks behind Hugo’s and Eventide, hews closer to the latter strategy. Like Roger in full flight, Honey Paw seems willing to try anything, certain they have the talent to pull it off.  The menu has a lot of noodles, and the flavors lean toward Asia. But these serve as basic ideas, not rigid constraints, and many of the dishes pleasantly surprise you with unexpected combinations of approaches, textures and ingredients.


July 23rd, 2015

Eating Portland Alive has published a set photos and some commentary on Evo.

That being said, I greatly enjoyed my meal at EVO and I would not hesitate to steer diners in their direction. The stars of the evening for me were the meat courses. The duck meatballs, lamb loin, sweetbreads, and chicken livers were all stand-outs. I also greatly appreciated the bartender’s efforts to develop a selection of mocktails while the other guests were offered wine pairings. I think that EVO is a strong addition to both the growing Mediterranean niche and Portland’s food scene in general.

Under Construction: Mast Landing Brewing

July 22nd, 2015

mastlandingA new brewery called Mast Landing Brewing Co.(facebook) is under development in Freeport. The operation was founded by a “small group of friends that met in college at the University of Maine” that have been brewing together for 2 years.

Food Republic: Eating in Portland

July 22nd, 2015

Food Republic has set of 5 restaurant recommendations for Portland: Bao Bao, Lolita, Salvage, Union, Vinland.

During the summer months, Portland, Maine, is as irresistible as a destination gets. The weather is comfortably warm, with low humidity. The skies are crystal-clear, and the water is, well, right there. Aside from the postcard-perfect backdrop of the city and its natural surroundings, there’s plenty of good eating to be done.

Sam Lives! Smoothies

July 22nd, 2015

The Press Herald has a report on a new smoothy line from Maine called Sam Lives! run by Samantha Levin.

Some would say smoothies run in Samantha Levin’s veins. Including Levin herself.

“I have a love for smoothies and juices because I came from a family where we were always playing around with them,” said Levin, 24, who launched a new line of bottled, superfood smoothies called Sam Lives! at the Portland Whole Foods Market earlier this month. The store sold out of its initial order of 500 bottles in two days.

Those of you who were in Portland back in the ’90s will remember the Fresh Samantha line of smoothies. That company was launched by Levin’s parents and named for Levin.

Snappy’s & Morsel

July 20th, 2015

The Forecaster has published an article about Snappy’s food cart and the new food truck called Morsel.

Two of Portland’s newest food carts are dishing out some rather interesting takes on otherwise ordinary street foods.