Bottled Water Op-Ed

March 18th, 2009

The Bollard has published an op-ed against bottled water.

This water is systematically and relentlessly pumped from land that belongs to Maine communities. Poland Spring, which began bottling water generations ago in the town of that name, is now an arm of the global conglomerate Nestlé. Poland Spring is trying to strong-arm Maine so Nestlé can continue to extract our water, for free, and sell it back to us.

Dean’s Sweets Review

March 18th, 2009

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Dean’s Sweets.

The bitter-richness of the dark chocolate shell is terrific, but it would not matter much if the ganache filling were not just as good. This is where most truffles go wrong, with a filling that is both too firm and too sweet, giving you flashbacks to the nougat in a 3 Musketeers bar. The Dean’s ganache is soft, velvety, and deeply rich.

Jennifer Flock, Sommelier

March 18th, 2009

The Maine Switch has published a profile of Jennifer Flock and her ongoing effort to become a Master Sommelier.

Today, with all of her culinary knowledge and her experience in the service industry, you can imagine that Flock might be a rather intimidating dinner guest. “I have a friend who always says, ‘I have wine, but I don’t know if you want to drink it,’” Flock says with a laugh, but truly her friends needn’t worry. “I usually bring my own wine,” Flock explains, and probably that bottle is the first one drained.

Espo’s Trattoria

March 18th, 2009

Portland Bar Guide has reviewed Espo’s Trattoria.

For the sake of research and bringing you, the reader, the most information possible, I tried the following martinis: Zooma (coffee, espresso vodka goodness), Espo’s Marteani (raspberry vodka, pinot grigio, green tea and lemon), Tiramisu, Chocolate, the Teresatini (grape vodka, riesling and white cranberry juice), and finally their Luck of the Irish (something minty and creamy. It was hard to take notes at that point!) While I may not recall all the ingredients – I do remember all of them being so good and the average price of each drink was $7.50.

Profile of Norm Sprague

March 18th, 2009

The Portland Press Herald has published a profile of Norm Sprague. Sprague recently retired from a “30-year stint instructing culinary arts at Westbrook Regional Vocational Center.” He is now working as the daytime manager at the Miss Portland Diner.

Under Construction: Wasabi

March 18th, 2009

wasabi

Here’s a look in the window (above) at the building site for Wasabi, a new sushi bar under construction at 7 Exchange Street. Floor plans supplied to the city as part of the liquor license application, (below) show seating on the left of the door with sushi bars in back and on the right.

wasabi_blueprint3

Kosher Maple Syrup

March 18th, 2009

A Gorham sugar shack, The Lockman Place, is now producing kosher maple syrup certified by Hechsher of the Vaad of Portland. Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld from Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh administers the kosher certification process for the syrup.

Maine’s California Winery Connection

March 17th, 2009

Chow Maine‘s Bob Rossi has written an interesting article about Maine’s connection to two California wineries: Serenity Vineyards and Thunderstone.

This Week’s Events

March 16th, 2009

Tuesday is St Patrick’s Day. The biweekly Winter Farmers’ Market is scheduled for Wednesday morning. Boys and Their Beers a 5-course prix fixe dinner with beer pairing, is taking place at Frog and Turtle Wednesday evening; five local chefs are collaborating on the meal. There are two cooking classes this week:  Piatto per Tutti on Monday and Black Tie Bistro on Wednesday. The last class of Maine Food & Drink Institute’s cheese course is on Tueday night. Thursday night, The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beers from Brooklyn Brewing. Old Port Wine Merchants, Black Cherry Provisions and Rosemont on Brighton are all holding wine tastings this week. Maine Maple Sunday, a celebration of maple sugaring in the state, is this weekend. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

Under Construction: The Corner Room

March 16th, 2009

thecornerroom

I took a look in the window (see above) at the site of Harding Smith’s upcoming restaurant, The Corner Room. Construction seems to be moving right along. Building plans supplied to the city (see below) show the curved bar now being built.

cornerroom_blueprint1

Maine Maple Sunday

March 15th, 2009

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram has an article about next weekend’s Maine Maple Sunday.  It includes a list of participating sugar houses in York and Cumberland Counties. For a state-wide list visit the Get Real, Get Maine! website.

Micucci’s Pasta Sauces

March 14th, 2009

pastasauces2Micucci’s is planning on releasing a series of house branded pasta sauces. The sauces are the creation of chef/baker Stephen Lanzalotta. The set of four sauces include Puttanesca Sauce, Original Pasta Sauce, Marinara Sauce and Vodka Sauce.

St Patrick’s Day

March 14th, 2009

Portland Bar Guide has published a round-up of St Patricks day entertainment and eating/drinking specials.

Barava

March 12th, 2009

Portland in a Snap has published a profile of Barava, the new Somali restaurant located on Congress near Longfellow Square.

Along with the tea, Ahmed gave me a primer on Somali cuisine, which calls on a wide-range of influences. These include food traditions from India, other African nations and other Middle Eastern countries, which reflect Somalia’s long history as a trading hub. Somali cuisine also contains elements of Italian cooking, picked up during the years of Italian colonization.

PSO Wine Dinner

March 12th, 2009

The Portland Symphony’s annual wine dinner and auction is scheduled for March 30 at the Haraseeket Inn in Freeport. This year’s talented line-up of chefs are:

Jonathan Cartwright, Executive Chef, White Barn Inn
Steve Corry, Proprietor & Executive Chef, Five Fifty-Five
Mitchell Kaldrovich, Executive Chef, Inn By the Sea
Gallit Sammon, Chef de Cuisine, Harraseeket Inn
Melody Wolfertz, Proprietor & Executive Chef, In Good Company

Each year, the 5-course dinner centers around the wines from a different part of the globe. This year’s geographic focus is Australia.

Tickets are $150 and you can make reservations by calling (207) 773-6128 x309.