Interview with Bernie Larsen

October 2nd, 2014

The Press Herald has published an interview with Bernie Larsen, co-founder of Moran’s Market in 1956.

Q: Why are you continuing to work at 85?
A: There’s still that touch, that personal touch. People just love to come in and that’s why I’m still working – I enjoy people. I work six days a week, but I go in at 6 (a.m.) and get out at 1 (p.m.), so I don’t want to sound like a hero. It keeps me young, even though my body says no.

Reviews: Slab & Blue Spoon

October 2nd, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Slab,

But the bread seems even better when paired with ingredients that work harder to stand up to it—as in the caponata with its thick layer of near-bitter eggplant in a dark, winey sauce; or in the meatloaf-meatball sandwich, where a crunchier bread encases huge portions of tender beef and pork, mingling with sauce and cheese. One of last week’s specials featured rich pulled pork and soft white cheese between slices of focaccia so delicate and flakey it approached filo. Its accompanying sauce was almost meaty with tomato and pepper.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the Blue Spoon.

Everyone finished their food and happily tapped out. There were no looks of disgust on anyone’s face. In fact, everyone enjoyed their meal greatly. Despite the fact that I ordered a meal where I wouldn’t normally like half the components, it was damn good and the main part of it – the chicken – was superb.

Dinner at the Beard House: Piccolo and Opus Ten

October 1st, 2014

Chefs Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez from Piccolo will be heading down to NYC in early November to prepare a meal at the James Beard House in the West Village.

At Portland, Maine’s intimate Piccolo, chef Damian Sansonetti and wife/partner Ilma Jeil Lopez pay homage to the rustic, soul-satisfying cuisine of Central and Southern Italy with great care and passion. For this Beard House dinner, the former Bar Boulud chef de cuisine will return to his roots with a tantalizing menu inspired by the rich flavors of Italy’s Calabria and Abruzzo regions.

You can see a detailed menu with pairings and make reservations on the JBF site.

As previously reported chef David Turin from Opus Ten is also scheduled to prepare a meal at the James Beard House. His dinner is taking place later this month on October 21st. More details on the meal are now available. You can see a detailed menu with pairings and make reservations on the JBF site.

Crema→Arabica

October 1st, 2014

arabicaLong rumored to be in the works, the name of Crema Cafe on Commercial Street has been changed to Arabica Coffee, bringing the coffee shop into alignment with owners original other spot on Free Street.

Check out this report from the Urban Eye blog for more details.

Bar of Chocolate Cafe Profile

October 1st, 2014

John Myers has written a profile on the Bar of Chocolate Cafe for Eater Maine.

Somewhere along the way, Martin developed a flair for chocolates; she’d bring them to work to hand out to her favorite guests. Sam Beringer was one of those guests. A longtime bartender at Brian Boru’s sister bar, Una, Beringer encouraged Martin to enter her desserts in the Chocolate Lover’s Fling, an annual competition and fundraiser. If she could win there, he argued, they could leverage that momentum to open a dessert and cocktail lounge.

Blueberry Files: Geary’s, Eventide, The Well

October 1st, 2014

A new post from The Blueberry Files combines a report from the grand opening of the Geary’s tasting room, a review of Eventide and a review of The Well.

My connection to the food scene was obvious in thinking about what makes Portland my home. My love affair with Portland was ignited by the incredible food and drink scene I discovered upon moving here. And nowhere is that sense of place through food expressed better than at Eventide. Local this, local that; in tune with the seasons, the land, and the ocean…and of course, tasting great at every step.

New Episode of Booze, Fish & Coffee

October 1st, 2014

For the new issue of Booze, Fish and Coffee co-hosts Bo Bigelow and Brian Ericson have lunch at Lolita and discuss Fuji, Oxbow, Lolita, Timber, Taj, Boda, Arcadia, Hugo’s, Central Provisions and Veranda Asian Market.

Top Ten for September 2014

October 1st, 2014

The 10 eateries looked up most often on Portland Food Map in September were:

  1. Timber (9)
  2. Lolita (5)
  3. Central Provisions (2)
  4. Slab (1)
  5. Tandem Coffee (>50)
  6. Yosaku (>50)
  7. Golden Lotus (-)
  8. The King’s Head (4)
  9. Fore Street (27)
  10. Blue Spoon (49)

The numbers in parentheses indicates their rank last month.

The Holy Donut Algorithm

September 30th, 2014

holydonutHoly Donut owner Leigh Kellis has an evolving set of rules that help her determine just how many doughnuts to make on any given day so there are just enough without having any left unsold at closing time.

Check out this article in today’s Press Herald to read more about it.

So Kellis took careful notes on the constellation of factors that seemed to impact doughnut demand…In some cases, demand varied, inexplicably from week to week. Sales dropped by 20 percent the week after Labor Day, for instance. The next week, they jumped by 10 percent.

But other, unique buying patterns also started to emerge.

Awards: Food & Wine, Indie Biz & SEDCO

September 30th, 2014

Awards season is here:
pbl_logo

  • Indie Biz Awards – Portland Buy Local has kicked off the voting for the 2014 Indie Biz Awards. Food businesses are contenders in nearly every category. Visit the Buy Local website to cast your vote.
  • F & W Best New Bartoday is the last day to cast your vote in the F & W People’s Best New Bar competition in support of the hometown favorite, the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club.
  • SEDCO – the Scarborough Economic Development Corporation has recognized El Rayo as their 2014 Outstanding Project of the Year and Broadturn Farm as their 2014 Outstanding Hidden Gem.

Sur Lie Now Open (Updated)

September 29th, 2014

surlieSur Lie (facebook) is now open. They’re located at 11 Free Street.

Sur Lie serves a small plate menu divided into three main categories: Crisp, Pleasant and Bold along with some cheeses, charcuterie and other smaller starters. Chef Emil Rivera moved to Maine from DC where he worked for several years as part of the ThinkFoodGroup—a family of 15 restaurants founded by chef/restaurateur Jose Andres.

Update: For a look at the restaurant take a look at these photos by Ryan Brownewell.

Under Construction: 409 Cumberland Ave

September 29th, 2014

409-Cumberland-updated

Plans for the new building currently under construction at 409 Cumberland Avenue include a rooftop greenhouse for growing vegetables and a teaching kitchen where residents can learn about turning produce into healthy meals. The greenhouse and kitchen are part of a collaboration between Avesta and Cultivating Community.

This Week’s Events: Vinland Flanagan’s Table, Cowspiracy, Flea Bites

September 29th, 2014

fleabitesMonday — David Levi from Vinland is the featured chef at this month’s Maine Farmland Trust dinner at Flanagan’s Table, and Rob Tod will be at Old Port Spirits for an Allagash beer tasting.

Wednesday — Black Tie is serving a farm dinner in New Gloucester, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — the Signature Chef’s Auction is being hosted at DiMillo’s, and there will be screening of Cowspiracy at Cinemagic.

Friday — a group of food trucks will be in Bayside at the Portland Flea-for-All for Flea Bites, and there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli.

SaturdayLeRoux Kitchen is holding a wine tasting, The Farm Stand is having a grand opening, 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.

5 Stars for Fore Street

September 28th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Fore Street.

[Fore Street] remains Maine’s signature five-star restaurant. The ever-changing menu reflects top-notch foraging and sourcing from farms around the state and beyond, with favorites from the wood-grilled oven and turnspit including mussels, quail, black bass and pork belly, as well as fine salads, house-made pastas, unique desserts and well-paired wine list.

An Editor’s Note indicates that this was interim reviewer Melissa Coleman’s last review and that the sunday review will “go on a short hiatus and return with a new critic soon”.

Interview with Kathleen Pratt

September 28th, 2014

Knack Factory has published an interview with Kathleen Pratt, co-owner of Tandem.

What I find fascinating about Tandem is that—outside of the coffee, which is great—you have sort have built a micro-culture around this place. I heard about Tandem before I even knew about your coffee. It was a place to go, to be. Was it a conscious decision to develop that?
We definitely had an environment that we wanted to create. In opening a cafe, I remember sitting down and asking, “What is it that we want to make here?” We want people to feel like they are stepping into our home, to create an intimate setting where people can meet each other. The whole reason I was drawn to coffee in the first place was my first cafe job. There, I had found a sense of community. But this place took on its own thing completely.

Bar Reviews: Timber & Buck’s

September 28th, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Timber,

Timber has a great happy hour and can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu. We  look forward to taking advantage of the specials to explore their wine list further as well! As fall approaches, they do have a beautifully decorated interior to sip those wines in as well.

and Future Fun Stuff has reviewed Buck’s Naked BBQ.

The consensus on Buck’s is that it has a damn good Happy Hour. It lasts a long time, the drinks deals are good (so good you might want to get several drinks and get nekkid…. woohoo!), and you can get a mountain of fried food for cheap.

Rob Evans: Maine’s Best Bites

September 27th, 2014

Chef Rob Evans has assembled a list of his favorite local eateries for Serious Eats.

On his list are Boda, Eventide, Gorgeous Gelato, Green Elephant, Hunt and Alpine, Otto, Oxbow, Pai Men, Piccolo, Portland Lobster Company, Rosemont, Thanh Thanh,  The Lobster Shack, Tandem and Tu Casa.

Opening Soon: Sur Lie

September 27th, 2014

surlieSur Lie (facebook) is in the process of holding a some friends and family services prior to opening to the public “early next week”. I was fortunate enough to get invited to the dinner last night.

The main part of chef Emil Rivera’s small plate menu (here’s a photo of the one from last night) is divided into three categories: Crisp, Pleasant and Bold along with some cheeses, charcuterie and other smaller starters. Rivera moved to Maine from DC where he worked for several years as part of the ThinkFoodGroup—a family of 15 restaurants founded by chef/restaurateur Jose Andres.

My menu recommendation: when you go be sure not to miss the Creamed Corn with Pork Belly.

Sur Lie is located at 11 Free Street.

Review of Yosaku

September 26th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Yosaku.

Ultimately, I can recommend Yosaku because of the genre it’s as good as we get in Portland.  The service is attentive, the wait staff is knowledgeable and the traditional choices well prepared.  The décor is pleasant and if my honest thoughts about this kind of cooking in general will make followers shake their heads, take it from whence it comes.   In the end, one should stick to what one knows!

Brewery Tasting Rooms

September 26th, 2014

The Brew Babe writes about the recent history of brewery tasting rooms and her top 5 reasons for visiting them.

2. Information straight from the source: Do you think an employee at Hannaford is going to crack open a beer and give me a taste to see if I like it before I bring home a six pack? Do you think that guy at the sketchy 7-11 (you know the one I’m talking about) knows what kinds of hops are in a beer?