The Farm Stand Opening Friday

August 14th, 2014


The Farm Stand (website, facebook) held a preview for friends and family last night. They’re scheduled to open on Friday.

The Farm Stand is a collaboration between Farmers Gate butcher shop in Wales and Jordan Farm in Cape Elizabeth. In addition to produce and pasture-raised meats from Maine the store has a small selection of beer and wine. Manager Joe Fournier tells me they’ll also be adding dry goods and as well as soups and sandwiches to go as the market becomes fully operational.

The Farm Stand is located at 161 Ocean Street in South Portland.

Review of Clark Street

August 14th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed Clark Street Deli.

The roll was more like a small loaf of bread in size, and also in its combination of chewy crust and a fluffy inside. The white meat chicken was very tender, in a batter that while not light, was not greasy either. The chicken was still hot from the fryer when I got my sandwich. The ham and Swiss cheese were of a better-than-average quality.

Bon Appetit Best New Restaurants: Central Provisions, Palace Diner

August 13th, 2014

Two Maine restaurants, Central Provisions and Palace Diner in Biddeford, are among the 50 restaurants across the country selected by Bon Appetit as final nominees for their annual Best New Restaurant competition.

Last year, thousands of restaurants opened across America—and after visiting a surprisingly large percentage of them, the Foodist, Andrew Knowlton, has selected 50 as his favorites. (For the full slideshow glory, click here.) They range from oyster bars and diners to a Mekong-Mississippi mashup and a Texas-style brasserie, but the one thing they have in common is this: flat-out, ambitious deliciousness. Which of these 50 nominees will make the Hot 10 list of the absolute best? Check back August 19 to find out.

Maine Bakeries Using Locally Grown Grain

August 13th, 2014

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald features a story on how Maine bakers like Standard are increasingly using locally grown grain into their products.

At Standard Baking, the staff makes breads with local wheat, including a round miche loaf made with 100 percent Maine flour. Standard also sells a scone made with local buckwheat. On the drawing board is a Danish that will contain some Maine wheat, enough to add back some of the nutrition taken out of conventional white flour. Ultimately, Pray would like to switch to Maine-milled flour in 80 percent of her pastries.

Review of East Ender

August 13th, 2014

Eating Portland Alive has reviewed East Ender.

I chose two ‘du jour’ items from the board, a poptart and donut.  The poptart was a savory one, which I think is a killer idea. The lamb meat could have used a touch more seasoning as it had a lot of dough (which was a perfect consistency) to compete with. The double-stacked donuts were extremely tasty, though when I cut through some parts it was a bit custard-like and not as fluffy. Any textural issues were completely overshadowed by the amazing combination of the blood orange &  blueberry topping.

Under Construction: Tiqa

August 11th, 2014

Deen Haleem and wife Carol Mitchell have leased the 7,000 square foot restaurant space in the new Marriott Courtyard Hotel where they plan on launching a new pan-Mediterranean restaurant named Tiqa on  Commercial Street. In addition to a pair of dining rooms (one more formal than the other), Tiqa will also include a a chef’s counter, a 60 seat lounge and a private dining area.

Breaking with Portland’s current trend of small plate restaurants, the owners are planning a more traditional apps and entrees style menu. The menu will overtime tap into the full range of flavors and culinary traditions from North Africa, the Near East, Greece, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. Both lunch and dinner will be served at Tiqa.

Deen Haleem has had a career in the financial services industry but tells me that several years ago he helped launch a pair of restaurants in southern California and has always wanted to return to the industry to run his own place. While not from the restaurant, Deen assures me is fully aware of the challenges of launching a restaurant in Portland but is excited to make a go of it.

Deen and Carol hope to open Tiqa early next year.

Blue Rooster Chef Series: Eventide Dog

August 11th, 2014

Chubby Werewolf has reviewed the Eventide Dog at Blue Rooster.

That said, the reason you absolutely must try the Eventide dog is the impossibly soft, delightfully chewy bun, which is the same one used in Eventide’s lobster rolls. (I seriously want to buy this stuff in 50 pound bags and take a nap in it.) The ratio of bun-to-meat was perfect, and the textural contrast of the spongy bun against the grilled hot dog made this thing a joy to eat…

This Week’s Events: Pocket Cruise, Green Crab Lecture, Farmers’ Markets

August 11th, 2014

Wednesday — the August edition of Pocket Cruise and the Monument Square Farmers Market are taking place.

Thursday — GMRI is hosting a lecture entitled Maine’s Green Crab Explosion, the Public Market House is holding a cider and kombucha tasting and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Sixpoint Brewing.

Saturday — 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.

Gather Gardener Barter Program

August 10th, 2014

This week’s Source reports on the home gardener barter established by Gather in Yarmouth.

Stephanie Ladd turned her green beans and peas into French toast last weekend.

This was not an act of magical gardening. Ladd is one of the home gardeners taking advantage of a garden-barter program at Gather restaurant in Yarmouth. Owner Matt Chappell put out the word in late July that he was looking to trade restaurant credit for produce, and Ladd heard about it from a friend.

Telling Room Project: Vena’s Fizz House

August 10th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has published a set of food, music and art reviews produced by students taking a summer workshop with The Telling Room. Four student reviews of Vena’s Fizz House by Sierra Aponte Clark, Elinor Hilton, Cori Green and Otto Wolyniec were included in the Phoenix article.

Two weeks ago, the organization hosted Review Camp, a week-long forum where greater Portland students (aged 10-14) learned to write critically about arts and cultural activities in the area, training their sights on a music video by indie-pop singer-songwriter Sara Hallie Richardson, the newish soda parlor Vena’s Fizz House in the Old Port, and art shows at SPACE Gallery and the Portland Museum of Art.

Under Construction: Noodle Bar

August 10th, 2014

Eater Maine reports that a Japanese noodle bar is under construction on Congress near Washington Ave.

…a man named Corey Suzuki and his father are planning to convert at least one of the ground-level units to a Japanese noodle bar.


Reviews: Grace, Maria’s

August 10th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Grace,

Dining in a former church is a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be had at a handful of establishments across the country, Grace being a notable example. While the restored 1850s historical landmark is stunning and awe-inspiring, the menu holds its own with local and exotic ingredients, steaks, seafood, whimsical touches and a nice selection of cheeses and sweetbreads, as well as cleverly named cocktails. It’s also a great space for events and weddings.

and The Golden Dish has reviewed Maria’s Ristorante.

In the final analysis, is Maria’s just a memento of the past?  No, it’s more than that – a primeval forest that Portlanders are not ready to give up, a dining shibboleth that still struts along without the help of a striving chef or plates of vertical food and foam.  Instead go for the rivers of saltimbocca and scaloppini and other comfy relics from a kitchen that we secretly adore.

Under Construction: Press Hotel Restaurant

August 8th, 2014

The Press Herald reports that chefs Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, founders of the former Arrows in Ogunquit, will launch a new restaurant in the Press Hotel when it opens next year.

Frasier was cryptic about the menu, saying they are “keeping it a little bit under wraps,” but said it will be “a personal expression of who we are.” While seafood will be well represented, for example, Frasier said he wouldn’t call it a seafood restaurant. And it won’t be Arrows-style fine dining, with white tablecloths and crystal.

“Our favorites are going to feature prominently in the menu – things that we’ve just loved over the years and are really reflective of our backgrounds both in Maine and California,” he said. “And, as you know, we love to travel. There may be a little bit of rivalry – Mark’s favorite and Clark’s favorite – on the menu as well.”

Review of Central Provisions

August 8th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Central Provisions.

Among the best were radishes roasted until some caramelized sweetness emerged, but still retaining the bite of bitter. Roast onion complemented the sweetness, while nori and miso deepened the savory side. Another dish caramelized sheep cheese until dark with crunch and chew, and sandwiched it around barely sweet roasted peach. A salad paired chewy-crispy pieces of pork with a funky sour dressing. Duck liver was creamy and mild on crostini, animated by the salty crunch of fried shallots and a hint of kumquats sour-sweet.

Under Construction: Dana Street’s Waterfront Restaurant

August 7th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald has a brief mention of Dana Street’s new seafood restaurant in an article about waterfront development in Portland.

He said Dana Street, the restaurateur who owns Fore Street and Street & Co., plans to open a seafood restaurant on the pier, which also houses Fog’s Boat Works, Bangs Island Mussels, Morrison’s Maine Course and Upstream Trucking.

Street could not be reached to discuss his plans, but Goodrich said the restaurant could open as soon as next March.

Review of Bogusha’s

August 7th, 2014

The Press Herald has reviewed Bogusha’s.

Overall, the food was interesting, but not exciting – there’s only so much you can do with cabbage and smoked meats. It did feel like the kind of lunch your grandmother or favorite aunt would prepare for you, especially on a cold winter’s day.

Bogusha’s is worth checking out, but only if you’re the kind of person who likes quirkiness and can forgive a place for not being a hipster hangout…

Under Construction: Tandem West

August 6th, 2014

The Forecaster interviewed the owners of Tandem Coffee about the launch of their upcoming West End bakery/coffee shop.

The owners of Tandem Coffee Roasters, which opened two years ago, are preparing a new bakery and cafe at 742 Congress St. It is expected to open this month.

Beer Camp Video

August 6th, 2014

The Knack Factory has posted a short video on last week’s Sierra Nevada Beer Camp.

Jay Villani & Salvage BBQ

August 5th, 2014

The August issue of Maine includes a profile of Jay Villani,

Villani’s decision to return to the kitchen at Local 188 comes after an extended absence, a time he spent opening and maintaining the operations of his other two successful Portland outposts, Sonny’s and Salvage BBQ. Though nearing 50 (which, as he tells me, is like “300 in chef years”) he has grown as a cook, learning new methods and old tricks, and discovering a new appreciation for the art of plating dishes. He has also grown wiser, learning one of the most important lessons in the restaurant world: how to delegate responsibility when necessary.

Barbecue Rankings was recently in town and paid a visit to Salvage.

I greatly enjoyed my visit.  These guys are doing things right and Salvage BBQ comes with my stamp of approval.

Reviews: Blue Rooster, Slab

August 4th, 2014

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Slab,

With our food finished, we talked about how great it was. I was shocked. I thought Slab would be a run-of-the-mill pizza place with nothing to offer me. It turns out that the original Sicilian slab is insanely popular for a very good reason – it’s made by the Italian God of pizza. The band was fun, the outdoor area was nice, and the indoor area is great too. Without a doubt, this place will be a go-to year round for a lot of people.

and Chubby Werewolf has reviewed the Joe Ricchio designed hot dog at Blue Rooster.

Although the Happy Ending dog’s pedigree is distinctly Asian, biting into this hearty and satisfying sandwich with its grilled ingredients brought to mind the experience of eating a stadium sausage topped with peppers and onions, the type you’d find outside Fenway Park or Wrigley Field.