Under Construction: Portland Co-op

September 24th, 2014

There’s an article on the new Portland Co-op in the Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald.

Here’s the latest: All of the refrigeration, heating and cooling systems are in place. Floors have been polished. Soon interior painting will begin. Within the next two weeks, shelving, fixtures and checkout counters will begin arriving and workers will start building out the interior of the store at 290 Congress St. in Portland.

But Gadsby declines to reveal a target opening date, sticking to the script that it will be sometime in “mid-fall.”

Arcadia National Bar

September 24th, 2014

The USM Free Press has published an article about Arcadia National Bar.

On a Monday night the place was packed with people all of whom said that they grew up playing with games Arcadia offered. According to Matt Grassi, a 24 year old Portland local, Arcadia is unlike any bar in Portland and it was inevitable for a place like it to spring up in town. For Grassi, the unique atmosphere lends itself to two things: a good variety of games and a bar free from awkward social expectations.

Farm Produce Distribution Challenges

September 23rd, 2014

The new issue of Mainebiz includes a feature article on the challenges farmers and local food stores face in selling and distributing local produce.

Constant negotiating with buyers and other farmers is a way of life in Maine’s fragmented food distribution system, especially for small farmers and purveyors of specialty items like jams and honey. Those small operations practically define the local food and farm-to-table movements that sparked consumer interest in where food comes from and how it is grown or produced.

But that curiosity hasn’t helped broaden Maine’s food distribution system for the small producers to any significant degree, says Spear. The result: many small operations sell only within Maine or at most a day’s delivery drive, thus limiting their market.

Huong’s Now Open

September 22nd, 2014

huongs_logoHuong’s Vietnamese Restaurant (facebook) opened over the weekend. Huong’s is located at 267 Saint John Street in the space that, for a short time, had been the home of Vietnam Restaurant.

There’s no indication whether this Huong’s is connected to the restaurant with a similar name that used to be located on Cumberland Ave.

This Week’s Events: Rowan Jacobsen, Allagash Dinner, Winter Hill Dinner

September 22nd, 2014

applesMonday — James Beard award-wining author Rowan Jacobsen will be speaking at Space Gallery tonight about his new book Apples of Uncommon Character. Jacobsen is also the Author of A Geography of Oysters and a very influential book on honey bee colony collapse disorder entitled Fruitless Fall. Fellow author and heirloom apple enthusiast David Buchanan will be leading an apple tasting as part of the event. Rabelais Books will be at Space selling copies of Jacobsen’s new book. 6pm, 538 Congress Street, admission is free.

Tuesday — The Well is serving an Allagash Beer Dinner.

Wednesday — the grand opening of the Geary’s tasting room is taking place,  as is the Monument Square Farmers Market.

Thursday — there will be a beer and cheese tasting at the Public Market House and a wine tasting at The Corner Store.

Friday —author Kate McCarty will be speaking about her book on the Portland food scene at the Portland Public Library at noon.

Saturday — Rosemont is holding Harvest in the Hood on Commercial Street, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

SundayFamily Feast is holding their Hams & Clams “Indonesian style New England shellfish boil” at Slab, and Rosemont is serving a dinner at Winter Hill Farm in Freeport.

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.

Road to the 38: Eventide, Fore Street, Slab, Vinland

September 22nd, 2014

Eater’s national roving restaurant critic, Bill Addison, was in Maine back in August sampling his way across the state. He’s just published an article with his impressions of Eventide, Fore Street, Slab, Vinland as well as Five Island Lobster Company in Georgetown.

Blue Current Sake

September 21st, 2014

Blue Current Brewing (website, facebook, twitter) is Maine-based sake brewer under development in Kittery. Owner Dan Ford has made good progress (watch video for details) and is turning to Kickstarter for the additional funds needed to fully launch the business. So far the campaign has raised one third of the $33,000 goal.

For more information and to contribute to the campaign visit the Blue Current Kickstarter page.

The Jewel Box is Now Open

September 20th, 2014

nanlThe Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box (website, twitter, instagram) had a public soft opening last night which they announced earlier in the day to their Kickstarter supporters. The cocktail bar is owned by Nathaniel Meiklejohn (shown right) who has worked at a number of Portland area establishments and was part of the team that ran the successful Pocket Brunch series.

The menu is a compact (hand typed) list of 5 cocktails and one beer that was brewed for the bar in collaboration with In’finiti.

The Jewel Box is located at 644 Congress Street near Longfellow Square. The space and very comfortable curved bar was built out by North by East.


Reviews: Grill Room, Sebago, Great Lost Bear

September 20th, 2014

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed The Grill Room.

Overall happy hour at The Grill Room wasn’t too bad.  Pros are a great location, good specials including food, and a patio.  Cons were the long wait and not having happy hour restrictions posted. These things can be worked on and it’s a solid place to enjoy a happy hour, especially if you miss out on the free buffet up the street at The Corner Room.

The Golden Dish has published a comparative review of the burgers at The Great Lost Bear and Sebago.

Lesson learned:  when you want a great burger at a reasonable price go to the source—no imitations, please.  The Great Lost Bear does it right.

Bonfire Now Open

September 20th, 2014

Bonfire Country Bar (website, facebook, twitter) opened last night. Bonfire will have a self service beer wall. Red solo cups to serve all drinks.

Bonfire is located at 37 Wharf in the former home of Seawall.

Cheap Eats

September 19th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has assembled some cheap eats recommendations for the new crop of college students who have recently arrived for the fall semester.

But after a trip to the campus bookstore, the annual pilgrimage to Target, and let’s not even mention that first tuition installment, your bank account balance is starting to look mighty paltry in the face of anything truffled or sous vide. So here’s 13 options that will satisfy your inner foodie without causing you to decide between the omakase and your Econ text book.

Review of MJ’s

September 19th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed MJ’s Wine Bar.

Portland’s only wine bar, MJ’s offers a diverse selection of wine and a solid list of craft beer. Snacks such as cheese, olives and nuts are offered, but there is not a kitchen. Romantic and cozy, MJ’s is great for happy hour, a glass of wine before a show or an event or a private event.

Just a Little Bit Off

September 19th, 2014

Rosemont and Piccolo are collaborating on a set of cooking classes called Just a Little Bit Off.

Piccolo chef Damian Sansonetti, along with special guests from Portland’s food and wine world, will demonstrate techniques and recipes that any interested home cooks can use to dramatically expand their range.

In groups of no more than a dozen, we will explore the glories of less familiar vegetables, “off” cuts of meat (which are usually the tastiest kinds!), unfamiliar (but simple to execute) preparations, and small-production wines from out-of-the-way and often unfamiliar regions.

Visit Brown Paper Tickets for details on the first five classes and to register.

Common Ground Fair

September 19th, 2014


The Common Ground Fair kicks off today in Unity Maine. You can see the full schedule of activities on the MOFGA website.

Best Oyster Bars: Eventide

September 18th, 2014

Travel+Leisure has included Eventide in their list of the Best Oyster Bars in America.

Turquoise walls make a fitting backdrop for this overflowing oyster bar, where stakes in the ice categorize the bivalves as “from Maine” or “away.” The Old Port area restaurant does New England classics like lobster rolls and chowder along with creative offerings like Kim Chee Ice or cucumber ginger. Eventide’s Chinese-style steamed bun, filled with crispy fried oysters, tomato, and tart pickled daikon, red onion, and jalapeño, is a standout.

Under Construction: Bramhall

September 18th, 2014

Urban Eye has posted an update on Bramhall, the casual food and drink destination now under construction in the old Bramhall Pub in the West End.

“New places are super food-focused and the food scene is awesome,” he said, but amid all the James Beard nods, something was amiss.

“It can be a challenge to grab a meal for two, even lunch, for less than $80 in Portland,” said Fraser. “I want people to be able to come in and have a few drinks and have a good time.”…Meals at the new Bramhall gastropub will be priced from $8 to $10. In the kitchen is Chris [Beaulieu], former sou chef at Duck Fat and chef at Sebago Brewery in Portland.

Owner Mike Fraser hopes to open Bramhall next month.

Top 100 Fit for Foodies List

September 18th, 2014

Hugo’s and Primo in Rockland are both on the 2014 Open Table Fit for Foodies list.

The list is based on “the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia”.

Interview with Chef Fred Eliot

September 18th, 2014

Eater Maine has published a 3-part interview with chef Fred Eliot (part 1, part 2, part 3) from Petite Jacqueline.

Fred Eliot didn’t intend to cook for a living. Growing up in France, he learned plenty of useful kitchen skills from his grandmother and mother, but his English Literature studies led him away from food. A move to Iowa and then Ohio with his first wife took him even further from food culture, surrounding him with fast food chains. The shock this caused was enough to get him “cooking more” at home again, which ultimately convinced Eliot he needed to stand in front of stove rather than sit in front of a computer.

Food & Wine: Best New Bars

September 17th, 2014

bestnewbarsThe Hunt & Alpine Club has been selected by Food & Wine magazine as a contender in their People’s Best New Bars readership poll.

In a city that’s only starting to show off its cocktail chops, PHAC features original craft cocktails such as White Noise, made with Cocchi Americano, elderflower liqueur and grapefruit zest, from bartender Andrew Volk.

Visit the F&W website to cast your vote Hunt & Alpine.

New Owner of Haven’s Candies

September 17th, 2014


Haven’s Candies has a new owner. According to reports from MaineBiz, the Bangor Daily News and the Press Herald, Freeport businesswoman Erin Collins has bought the company from Andy Charles who has run the company since 2001.

Haven’s was founded in 1915 by Herbert Haven. The first store was located at 500 Forest Ave.