The Magpie’s Fancy

October 29th, 2014

Over the last several days a blog called The Magpie’s Fancy has published her favorite spots for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper in Portland.

Maine Food Co-ops

October 29th, 2014

MPBN’s Jennifer Rooks interviewed journalist Laura McCandlish, Mary Alice Scott, and Veronique Vendette from the Gardiner Food Co-op & Cafe for yesterday’s edition of Maine Calling.

A look at the rise of food co-ops in Maine.  We’ll find out how they differ from your  local grocery store, and the benefits of joining a co-op.

You can listen to the entire show on the MPBN website.

Pocket Brunch Game Dinner

October 28th, 2014

pbffPocket Brunch and Family Feast along the Maine Brewers Guild and Down East are teaming up to serve a Game Dinner on November 8. Tickets are now on sale.

This Week’s Events: Wine Dinners, Portland Beer Week, Pocket Brunch, East Ender Pig Roast

October 27th, 2014


MondayJason Loring will be the featured chef at a sold out Flanagan’s Table.

Wednesday — Vinland will be hosting a dinner with four organic winemakers from northern Italy– Elisabetta Foradori, Silvio Messana, Alessandra Bera, and Elena Pantaleoni, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Friday — Rosemont is holding a Halloween Party at their store on Commercial Street.

Saturday — It’s the first day of Portland Beer Week,Rosemont is hosting Italian winemaker Giorgio Rivetti for a wine dinner, Rosemont and Piccolo are collaborating on a cooking class, both LeRoux Kitchen and The Farm Stand are holding wine tastings, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

SundayPocket Brunch is serving a 6-course brunch in collaboration with Marshall Wharf, In’finiti and Novare Res, the East Ender is holding a pig roast, Italian winemaker Giorgio Rivetti will be at The Corner Room for a wine dinner, The Maine Brew Bus is leading the 2nd Annual Home Brew Tour, and the Maine Brewer’s Guild is organizing Freshmen Orientation which is an event high the new breweries that launched in 2014.

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.

Financial Times: Portland Steps into the Spotlight

October 27th, 2014

The Financial Times has published admiring look at Portland that touches on the city’s food scene.

Culture is one thing but if there’s one area where the new Portland has truly excelled, it is food and drink. In the past two decades the city’s restaurant sector has mushroomed and, as in the rest of the country, good ingredients are increasingly high on the agenda.

The article recommends Empire, Duckfat, Central Provisions, Salvage, Eventide and Blue Rooster and draws special attention to Vinland,

But a serious star has emerged in the shape of Vinland, since last January the city’s leading contemporary restaurant, where chef David Levi favours localism, seasonality and foraging. This is the place Portland needed to crystallise its gastronomic ambitions once and for all.

Review of Ten Ten Pié

October 25th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Ten Ten Pié.

A terrific almond croissant has more pastry and less paste than Standard’s version, making it feel a bit more adult. A little bundt-shaped cannelé, made with burnt custard, had that combination of crunchy-chewy crust and softly chewy interior that marks great bagels. Chocolate pudding was rich and creamy, and topped with a miso-caramel cream (which tasted more of caramel).

Another Bao Bao Review

October 24th, 2014

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

Dumplings remain the star of the show — prepared boiled or pan fried. Not to be missed are the wondrous steamed hake sheathed in shredded dumpling dough wrapped around the filling. They’re like the Asian version of quenelles — delicate, sweetly flavored and incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Up Next: Ebb & Flow

October 24th, 2014


Ebb & Flow (website, facebook, twitter, instagram) received all their final permits licenses earlier this week. They’re now in the final stretch to an opening night. Ebb & Flow plans on holding some friends and family dinners next week and should be opening to the public soon after that—the specific date hasn’t been released yet.




Review and Report on Bao Bao

October 23rd, 2014

The Blueberry Files has published a first look review of Bao Bao.

By the time we left Bao Bao, the 40-ish seat restaurant was full, with a few people waiting outside. Several people came into ask about take-out options (none yet). The restaurant never felt too loud or crowded, although we did clearly overhear our neighbors’ conversation, so it’s not the place for secret transactions.

Rather, Bao Bao offers comforting Chinese delights, for which West Enders seem eager. Check out Bao Bao Dumpling House (open for lunch at 11:30am and until 1am); I’ll be back for those fun cocktails and to sample the many more flavors of dumplings.

The Urban Eye also paid a visit and has a report on the scene Tuesday night,

I sidled up to the sunken bar and ordered an Oxbow farmhouse (best with dumplings) and perused the menu. Seated to my left was Sam Hayward and Dana Street. The power duo behind Fore Street, Street and Co. and soon Scales (2), were halfway through a five-course meal and ready to socialize.

I asked the epicure elder statesmen for a recommendation, because that’s what you do in situations like this. “Order the hake or lamb,” they said between chop sticking and white wine drinking.

Review of Ten Ten Pié

October 23rd, 2014

The Bowdoin Orient has reviewed Ten Ten Pié.

After devouring the croissant, which combined sweet almond filling with savory matcha depth, I took a moment to look around. The sparse seating, wide selection of goods and reasonable prices add to the unique appeal of Ten Ten Pié. The owners prioritize quality food over trendiness. In an era when hip décor, twee gimmicks and overwrought menu typography seem to be the norm, Ten Ten provides a refreshing departure.

This week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix also includes a review of Ten Ten Pié. I’ll have a post about it once the article makes it onto the Phoenix website.

O’Maine Media Kitchen

October 23rd, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports on O’Maine Studios and owner Rory Strunk’s current initiative to launch the O’Maine Media Kitchen.

Popular in larger cities such as New York and Los Angeles, the media kitchen concept is new to Maine. But marketing pros such as Cynthia Fisher of Bar Harbor Foods in Whiting are ready to roll.

“Oh my God. I don’t have to go to Philadelphia to shoot a video,” the company’s vice president of marketing said to the group. “We need to get everyone behind us because this is huge for Maine.”

For more information visit the O’Maine Media Kitchen Kickstarter page. Strunk has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise $65,000 for the project.

Bar Review of Walter’s

October 23rd, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Walter’s.

More than anything else, Walter’s bar scene is perhaps one of the best values in town, which, despite its non-youngster appeal, is pretty darn cool.

Indie Biz Awards

October 23rd, 2014

Portland Buy Local held an awards ceremony last night. Three local food business among the winners of this year’s Indie Biz Awards:

  • Local Flavor – Local Sprouts Cafe
  • Out of Sight but Not Out of Mind – Maine Brew Bus
  • Portland Icon – Rosemont Market and Bakery

Kickstarter: ‘Wich, Please Food Truck

October 22nd, 2014

Malcolm Bedell, who along with his wife Jillian run the Maine food blog From Away, is in the process of launching a food truck. ‘Wich, Please(website, facebook, twitter) will serve a focused mostly sandwich-based menu year round on the streets of Rockland.

Malcolm has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 for the food truck.

Next month Malcolm will be competing at the World Food Championships in the sandwich category. He plans to open ‘Wich, Please in April and at an as yet unreleased location near Main Street.

For more information or to contribute to the campaign visit the ‘Wich, Please Kickstarter page.

Triangle Cafe

October 22nd, 2014

Foundation House, an alcohol and drug addiction recovery program, has leased the former Portland & Rochester. They’re renamed the space Triangle Cafe and plan on using it as “a multi-function space that provides a nutritional and occupational based holistic component to our program as well as a location for our residents and alumni to gather.”

According to their marketing materials their plans also include making “This new venture is also open to the public”.

Maine Butcher Series

October 22nd, 2014

The Golden Dish has published the second installment in an (part 1, part 2) ongoing series on butcher shops in Maine.

The revival of the neighborhood butcher shop is strong in Maine, with master butchers relying on nose-to-tail butchery and the bounty from local farms.

Best Desserts in Portland

October 22nd, 2014

Travel + Leisure have included Duckfat, Gelato Fiasco, Maine Pie Line and Piccolo in their list of the best dessert destinations in Portland.

Do you have some favorites you’d add to the list?

Bao Bao Opening

October 21st, 2014

Bao Bao Dumpling House is scheduled to open today at 5 pm. The restaurant was open to the public Saturday night after two days of invitation-only dinner services that saw dedicated fans of chef Cara Stadler lined up on the sidewalk waiting for a table.

MaineBiz, Maine Today and Eater Maine have also posted photos and details on Bao Bao. Check-out Eating Portland Alive some initial impressions on the food and the space.

Wine Dinners: Terry Theise, Italian Organics, Frank Cornelissen, La Spinetta (Updated)

October 20th, 2014

Several wine dinners have been announced:

  • A group of four Northern Italian organic winemakers—Elisabetta Foradori, Silvio Messana, Alessandra Bera, and Elena Pantaleoni—will be at Vinland for a dinner on October 29th.
  • Winemaker Giorgio Rivetti and Rosemont are teaming up on a wine dinner at O’Maine Studios featuring “rich, graceful, intense wines, from organically grown grapes, biodynamically farmed” from La Spinetta Winery in Piedmont and Tuscany. The dinner is on November 1st, tickets are $85 per person.
  • Winemaker Giorgio Rivetti will be at The Corner Room for a dinner featuring La Spinetta Winery in Piedmont on November 2nd.
  • Hugo’s is hosting James Beard award-winning author Terry Theise for a dinner on November 6th. Theise is the author of Reading Between the Wines. $165 per person.
  • Terry Theise will be joining Rosemont at the Mayo Street Arts Center on November 7th to lead a tasting of several “special, rare, and never-before-available-in-Maine grower-produced Champagnes” along with small plates provided by chef Brad Messier. $85 per person.
  • Frank Cornelissen, a leader in the in the natural wine movement, will be at Vinland for a dinner featuring his wines from his vineyard on Mount Etna on December 6th. Natural wine guru Zev Rovine and Ned Swain from Devenish Wines in Portland are co-hosting the event.

This Week’s Events: Harvest on the Harbor, Rising Tide, Indie Biz, Triple Nickel

October 20th, 2014

harvestonthebar_logoTuesdayKate McCarty will be speaking about her book Portland Food: The Culinary Capital of Maine at the Maine Women Writers Collection, the monthly Local Foods Networking Breakfast is taking place.

Wednesday — the winners of the 7th Annual Indie Biz Awards are being announced, it’s the first day of Harvest on the Harbor, Black Tie is serving a farm dinner in New Gloucester, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — artist Sam Van Aken will be at Thompson’s Point for a kick-off of the Tree of 40 Fruit grove, tastings are taking place at the Public Market House and The Corner Store, Five Fifty-Five is throwing the Triple Nickel Bourbon & Bacon Bash, and Harvest on the Harbor continues.

Friday — it’s the third day of Harvest on the Harbor.

Saturday — Oxbow is holding The Goods from the Woods at their homebase in Newcastle, it’s the last day of Harvest on the Harbor, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market are taking place.

SundayRising Tide is throwing a party to celebrate their 4th Anniversary.

Pocket Brunch Tickets — after nearly a year and a half sabbatical the Pocket Brunch crew is back with a 6-course brunch in collaboration with Marshall Wharf, Novare Res and In’finiti. It’s scheduled for November 2nd. Tickets are now on sale.

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.