Under Construction: Izakaya Minato

April 1st, 2016

The Golden Dish has posted a report on the Izakaya Minato pop-up dinner that took place earlier this week at Bao Bao.

The cured sardines were beautifully presented: the body of the sardine was fried and towered over the slices of cured fish in a fan of neat slices.  The deeply fried bones were like eating candy.  This was a great dish that I would hope to see often at the forthcoming restaurant.

Food x Art

March 30th, 2016

A pair of events are taking place next week that team the restaurant industry and two leading art organizations:

  • 15th Annual Portland Symphony Wine Dinner
    Chefs from Fore Street, Evo, The Honey Paw, Union and the Haraseeket In are collaborating on a 5-course dinner featuring wines from Spain.Call (207) 773-6128 to reserve a seat.
  • Portland Stage Overnight for the Arts
    Featuring a 3-course dinner by Lolita and Maine & Loire, attend a production of  My Name is Asher Lev, special backstage tour, a talk by executive director Anita Stewart and an overnight stay at the Pomegranate Inn. Call (207) 774-0465 for tickets.

2 Perspectives on Minimum Wage Referendum

March 30th, 2016

The Press Herald has provided space on their op/ed page for both Five Fifty-Five co-owner, Michelle Corry, and a server at the restaurant, Heather McIntosh, to share their perspectives on the referendum to increase the state’s minimum wage.

The paper also followed up yesterday to interview them others about the opposing views on the issue,

The debate over the tipped minimum wage has restaurant workers and their employers – in some restaurants, anyway – talking about more than plating sauces and table turnover, especially when they are at odds with one another. The initiative would gradually increase the minimum wage paid to tip earners from $3.75 to $5 per hour in 2017, then add a dollar a year until tipped employees make the same minimum wage as other workers. That means by 2024, they would be earning $12 an hour.

Crofter and Artisan Market Launching

March 29th, 2016

The Bangor Daily News has posted a report on the weekly Sunday Crofter and Artisan Market set to open April 10th in East Bayside.

Scores of vendors from across Maine are lining up for the chance to peddle their wares in Portland’s emerging neighborhood of brewers, coffee roasters and artists. So far, the interest is statewide.

Goat milk caramels from Copper Tail Farm in Waldoboro, Herbal Revolution’s mineral and fire tonics, Dulse and Rugosa seaweed body care, Shepherds and Such Homestead beeswax and wool craft and Portland’s Liquid Riot Bottling Company are all on board.

Portland Cooking Channel Episode to Air

March 29th, 2016

The Portland episode of the new Cooking Channel show Extra Virgin is airing Wednesday night, according a report from the Press Herald.

The series premiered March 2 with an episode about the Grand Canyon. In the Maine episode, titled “The Love Boat in Portland,” Mazar and Corcos take a weekend for themselves and have a romantic dinner aboard a houseboat. The show features seven recipes, including a lobster roll recipe provided by the Portland Lobster Co. and three recipes from The Well at Jordan’s Farm: seared cod with farro, lamb-ricotta meatballs, and wood-grilled pork with roasted new potatoes.

A video crew was in Portland last July recording the sessions that will appear in the show.

This Week’s Events: Izakaya Minato, MRA Gala, Beer Summit, Real Ones, A Maple Celebration, Chocolate Lovers’ Fling

March 28th, 2016

2016-03-28_8-25-45Tuesday — Elaine Alden and Thomas Takashi Cooke are holding  a pop-up at Bao Bao for Izakaya Minato, and the Maine Restaurant Association awards banquet is taking place.

Wednesday — there will be an Italian wine tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants.

Friday — the New England Craft Beer Summit is taking place.

Saturday — The Thirsty Pig is hosting a release party for the Real Ones Bissell x Austin collaboration beer, ‘Gasharoo is taking place at Novare Res, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — Chefs Rob Evans, Josh Potocki, Nate Nadeau and Renee Lohrey are collaborating with Oxbow to hold A Maple Celebration, and the 30th annual Chocolate Lovers’ Fling 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.

Sip of Europe Now Open

March 27th, 2016

A new coffee shop opened this morning in the East End. Sip of Europe (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is located at 229 Congress  Street next to Ramen Suzukiya.

The 9-seat shop is serving drip coffee, espresso-based drinks, tea, hot cocoa, chai, iced drinks, shakes and crepes. The coffee is sourced from Italian roastery Lavazza.

During this first week in operation owner Yulia Aleksandrovna is using a pay what you want pricing model.

Reviews: Scales, Terlingua, Patisserie, City Deli

March 27th, 2016

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed the happy hour at Portland Patisserie,

It’s a great vibe at the Patisserie and we love a place that is perfect to grab breakfast and lasts right through till dinner. The only thing that would add to the Parisian feel are some bistro tables outside to sit and sip our beverages.

the Press Herald has reviewed City Deli,

The line is sometimes long at City Deli, but it always goes quickly as it’s a well-staffed and well-oiled team. The food court at One City Center isn’t particularly hip or “of the moment,” but it’s comfortable and the food at City Deli makes it a destination for not only those of us who work in the building but a whole mess of Portland High School students and local workers of all kinds.

The Blueberry Files has reviewed brunch at Terlingua, and

The french toast transcended a lot of other versions that are just egg-coated bread. This was custardy on the inside and as you can see, it came covered in fruit, which helped to add interest and keep the dish light.

both Peter Peter Portland Eater and The Golden Dish have reviewed Scales.

The lobster bisque isn’t the typical Sherry-laced butter-rich cup of soup that is the standard in Maine.  Instead the lobster stock is intense, spiked with an acidic touch of tomato and tastes of the sea with a big chunk of lobster meat floating within.  Served with the kitchen’s house-made crackers—everything is made from scratch here—it’s a marvelous cup of soup.

 

The Lives of Brewer’s Wives

March 25th, 2016

For their latest episode the Great Beer Adventure has interviewed the wives of brewers from Fore River, Dirigo and Mast Landing.

Here in Maine the Brewer’s Wife has a lot in common with the Sea Captain’s Wife: many nights are spent home alone or with the kids while the men work late into the night and they provide moral and financial support while the new business blooms into something we beer drinkers take for granted. Surprisingly, there is more to being a brewer’s wife than you think. Listen in to learn what is is like to find all your missing sweaters and scarves wrapped around a fermentor in the bathroom sink and how one woman turned her Coors only drinking husband into a craft brewer.

Food Movies: City of Gold, Noma My Perfect Storm

March 24th, 2016

A pair of critically acclaimed culinary films are scheduled to be screened in Portland in April that you’ll want to make time to see:

CityofGoldCity of Gold
“In this richly penetrating documentary odyssey, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold shows us a Los Angeles where ethnic cooking is a kaleidoscopic portal to the mysteries of an unwieldy city and the soul of America. Combing through colorful neighborhoods in his green pickup truck, Gold is sniffing out his next strip-mall discovery—whether Oaxacan grasshopper soup, hand-cut tonkotsu ramen, or a particularly unctuous pad see ew. As piping-hot platters are served up, so are stories of immigrants whose secret family recipes are like sacred offerings pledged for the opportunity to build their American Dream. With eternal curiosity, razor-sharp intellect, and existential longing, Gold is a culinary geographer taking us where no critic has gone before.”
Screening Times: April 24th 7:30, 25th 2:00, 26th 7:30
For more information: www.space538.org
Sponsored by: Rabelais Books

noma-my-perfect-storm-poster-lgNoma: My Perfect Storm
“Noma: My Perfect Storm is a creative journey into the unique mind of world-famous chef René Redzepi. How did Redzepi manage to revolutionize the entire world of gastronomy, inventing the alphabet and vocabulary that would infuse newfound pedigree to Nordic cuisine and establish a new edible world while radically changing the image of the modern chef? His story has the feel of a classic fairy tale: the ugly duckling transformed into a majestic swan, who now reigns over the realm of modern gourmet cuisine. But beneath the polished surface, cracks appear in the form of old wounds—2013 stands as the worst year in René Redzepi’s career. We follow him as he fights his way back to the top, reinventing Noma and reclaiming the title of best restaurant in the world in 2014 for the fourth time.”
Screening Times: April 15th 6:30, 16th 2:00, 17th 2:00
For more information: www.portlandmuseum.org
Co-presented with: MOFGA

Under Construction: SoPo Sea Grill

March 24th, 2016

The Press Herald has published a report on a planned 9000 sq ft 172-seat restaurant to replace the Joe’s Boathouse building in South Portland which is slated to be a South Portland branch of the Old Port Sea Grill.

New England Craft Beer Summit (Updated)

March 23rd, 2016

2016-03-23_10-38-25Brewers, malsters and other professionals connected to the brewing industry will be gathering in Portland next week for the New England Craft Brewing Summit. The summit is billed as New England’s conference on the business of craft brewing.

There’s a full day of panel discussions and presentations. A full schedule of speakers is available on www.nebrewsummit.com.

Update: The Press Herald has published an article about the the keynote speaker for the summit.

25 Years at Becky’s Diner

March 23rd, 2016

The Forecaster has published an article about Becky’s Diner. Becky’s recently celebrated their 25th anniversary.

“We had a line the first day; I ended up doing dishes because we had not staffed up,” she said. “I think the whole waterfront was rooting for me. I hope they came back for the food.”

With her home riding on her business, Rand said failure was not an option.

Maine & Loire/Drifter’s Wife

March 23rd, 2016

Sweet has posted an article about Peter and Orenda Hale and their two Washington Ave businesses Drifter’s Wife and Maine & Loire.

While opening a natural wine shop like Maine & Loire in a place like Brooklyn might be the long-awaited puzzle piece in certain burgeoning, hip neighborhoods of the borough, that wasn’t necessarily the case for Portland. It was a risk, and one that not only paid off, but led to their newest venture: Drifters Wife, a wine bar tucked inside of the shop.

Under Construction: Izakaya Minato

March 22nd, 2016

minato_logoElaine Alden and Thomas Takashi Cooke are working on opening an Japanese restaurant called Izakaya Minato (instagram). Minato is the Japanese word for “port”.

The couple moved to Portland late last year from San Francisco where Cooke had been the head chef at Tsunami, a sushi restaurant. They recently completed a 3-month stay in Japan where he staged at an Izakaya restaurant in Tokyo called Tsumamina.

They’re currently searching for a space for their restaurant in Portland to launch “a fun, casual place to go gather with friends for drinks and food” for dinner, and, depending on location, may serve lunch as well.

In the meantime we have the chance to try some of the Izakaya Minato menu at a pop-up dinner they’re holding next week at Bao Bao (March 29, 5:30 – 10pm).