Review of Miyake

February 15th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Miyake, granting the Fore Street restaurant 4½ stars.

It may be pricey, but Miyake is the place to indulge in a range of superb Japanese dishes. Try the melt-in-your-mouth braised pork belly or the crunchy black seaweed called hijiki that’s served atop cubes of tofu and slices of avocado. If you love sashimi, you’ll find the quality and freshness here unparalleled; order a small platter with eight pieces for dinner or go for broke and ask chef Masa Miyake to prepare a special tasting menu. And don’t overlook the simplest offerings from the kitchen: The house salad and the spicy seaweed salad are among the tastiest in town.

Reviews: The Cheese Iron & Howie’s

February 12th, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Howie’s,

Howie’s Pub has been around for 12 years and hosts mostly regulars because of its somewhat hidden location. However, it’s a friendly, lively bar, especially on Tuesday nights, and the beer and food selection is decent. Newcomers welcome.

and a review of The Cheese Iron.

The Va Benne Italiano ($7.99) is comprised of Mortadello, provolone, an assortment of salamis, house-made relish and house-made pesto served on a Standard Baking Company baguette. After I ordered it, the woman who was waiting on me asked a glorious question: Would I liked it heated? Would I ever! A few minutes on the press brought my sandwich into sandwich hall of fame territory.

Revisiting Uncle Andy’s

February 11th, 2015

The Press Herald has revisited Uncle Andy’s to learn what lasting impact there has been on the South Portland diner from their appearance last year on the show Restaurant Impossible.

But even though Fogg found plenty to argue with Irvine about, six months later he says that he can’t argue with the results. In the first few months after the Uncle Andy’s episode of “Restaurant Impossible” aired in August, the diner’s business increased roughly four-fold. That initial boost has leveled off, and today Fogg says the family-run place is doing about twice as much business as it did before the show.

Boda/Green Elephant Expanding

February 10th, 2015

The owners of Boda and Green Elephant are launching a third restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, according to a report in the Portsmouth Herald.

[General Manager Ben] Richards acknowledged “there’s a lot of restaurants in Portsmouth,” but said he believes what they will bring to the 2,800 square-foot-space on the first floor of Portwalk 3 is “something different.”

“It’s all vegetarian food and it’s a mixture of Chinese, Malaysian and Thai,” Richards said.

He also described the restaurant as “very high end” and upscale.”

Otto Pizza has opened several locations in Massachusetts, Zapoteca has opened a restaurant in New Hampshire and a number of Portland restaurant owners have explored opening new ventures in Biddeford. This initiative by Boda/Green Elephant is part of that emerging trend of exporting the Portland food culture to locales further south.

Portland Spirits Society

February 10th, 2015

Maine Today has published an article about the Portland Spirits Society.

But with the formation of Portland Spirits Society (and the not-so-tough work of distillery visits and repeated sampling) McCarty aims to turn that ignorance into educated appreciation for herself and any other Portland-area women interested in learning more about their booze.

Judging by the early enthusiasm for Portland Spirits Society, there are a lot of women who are interested.

Women aren’t happy to just drink Stoli any more, she joked. Instead, women are saying, “I’d be interested to know how (liquor) is made and who’s making it,” just like so many locals already do with their food.

Sangillo’s Closing on Saturday

February 10th, 2015

According to reports from Chris Busby, the Press Herald and The Forecaster, Sangillo’s will be closing for good midnight this Saturday, after 62 years in business.

The 62-year-old bar on Hampshire Street could appeal the state liquor board’s decision, but 30-year-old owner Dana Sangillo said Monday that he has decided to close after last call early Sunday morning. He said he hopes someone will re-open it someday.

 “It’s extremely disappointing,” said Sangillo, who represents the third generation of his family to own and operate the bar. “When you’re around for 60 years, you become part of the community.”

This Week’s Events: Owl & Whale, Carlo Huber, Valentine’s Day (updated)

February 9th, 2015

owlandwhale_logoMondayOwl & Whale will be taking over the bar at Outliers Eatery serving a menu of tequila and mezcal based cocktails.

Thursday — there will be a wine tastings at Rosemont on Brighton Aurora Provisions and The Corner General Store (115 Middle St), and a beer and cheese tasting at the Public Market House.

Friday —Ned Swain from Devenish will be leading a Valentine’s wine tasting at Rosemont on Commercial St, and Viennese wine importer Carlo Huber will be the guest speaker at an Austrian wine event.

Saturday — there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Valentine’s Day — times running out to make plans for your Valentine’s Day date. Here’s a selection of dinners and other V-Day events for you to choose from.

  • Allagash, Beer Hearts Chocolate beer and chocolate tasting, $15 per person.
  • Artemisa Cafe, 4-course dinner, $65 per person.
  • Bao Bao, 5-course dinner, $48 per couple.
  • Black Dinah will be opening a pop-up shop at their new space in Westbrook (869 Main St) on February 13 and 14, noon – 6 pm.
  • Boone’s, choose between an all-lobster 4-course dinner for $114 per couple, or a 4-course menu with a variety of options for $55 per person.
  • Bramhall will be serving a special menu.
  • Congress Squared, special menu served on both the 13th and 14th.
  • David’s Opus Ten, 9-course dinner with wine pairings for $150 per person.
  • Elsmere BBQ, 4-course, $50 per person.
  • Five Fifty-Five, 4-course dinner for $75 per person; with optional pairings and supplements.
  • Gelato Fiasco, serving a case of special Valentine’s flavored gelato and sorbetto, February 13-15.
  • Hella Good Tacos, 2-course dinner, $30 per couple.
  • Hunt and Alpince Club will be holding an all-night Allen’s Coffee Brandy happy hour.
  • Novare Res is teaming up with La Crème Chocolat to serve beer and chocolate pairings on the 13th and 14th.
  • Petite Jacqueline, 3-course menu for $65 per person; optional wine pairings available.
  • Piccolo, 5-course dinner and a glass of rose prosecco, $75 per person; optional wine pairings available.
  • Rising Tide, on the 13th Rising Tide Brewing will be releasing Nuit D’Hiver, a “limited rum barrel aged version of D’Hiver, our dark rye saison with winter spices and sweet orange peel” along with D’Hiver, 2013 Cellared D’Hiver, Nuit D’Hiver on tap and chocolates truffles from La Crème Chocolat.
  • Sur Lie, serving their regular menu and a special chef’s tasting menu for $65 per person.
  • Unwined, a bottle of rose or sparkling wine, a dessert to split and chocolate covered strawberries, $39.95 per couple.
  • Verbena is offering a 3-course meal you can bringg home for $65 per person.
  • Vinland has a number of options including a 10-course dinner for 4 for $300.

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.

Best 50 Sandwiches: Duckfat & The Cheese Iron

February 8th, 2015

Men’s Journal has included the Duck Confit Panini at Duckfat and the Bella Mortadella at The Cheese Iron in their list of the 50 Best Sandwiches in America.

To choose the top sandwiches in America, we recruited a dozen chefs and food writer, and took all the parts into account: The bread, filling, toppings, and how it all comes together in that first bite. The only caveats: Burgers aren’t sandwiches (they’re burgers), and likewise wraps, burritos, and hot dogs are out.  Otherwise, if it was between two pieces of bread, it was fair game. Here, a few hundred slices later, are the sandwiches that are worth making room for. 

CNT Eating Guide to Portland

February 7th, 2015

Conde Nast Traveller has posted a Restaurant Guide to Portland which includes: Caiola’s, Empire, Eventide, Holy Donut, Miyake, OhNo Cafe, Petite Jacqueline, Piccolo, Slab, Zapotecca.

Don’s Lunch Closed by State (Updated)

February 7th, 2015

The Press Herald reports that the Maine Revenue Service has shut down Don’s Launch in Westbrook.

A sign posted on the door by Maine Revenue Services says the business’ registration certificate “has been revoked for noncompliance” with state sales tax law. The agency would provide no further explanation and a spokesman for the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services said laws protecting personal taxpayer information prevent officials from providing specific details about the situation.

The Press Herald has published an update on the Don’s Lunch closure.

Otherside Delicatessen Open

February 6th, 2015


Owner Pete Sueltenfuss opened the Otherside Delicatessen (facebook) yesterday. The Otherside is located  at 164 Veranda Street near the Washington Ave exit from 295. They serve a line up of pizzas, grinders and sandwiches made with house-cured meats. Beer, wine, and other neighborhood market staples are also for sale.

Mary Profenno, 78

February 5th, 2015

Mary Profenno passed away last weekend at the age of 78. Mary and Peter founded Profenno’s Pizzeria in Westbrook in 1962.

While he was the face of the iconic restaurant, it was Mary Profenno who led the charge behind the scenes. She died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday at their home in Portland. She was 78.

The restaurant has been a fixture on Main Street in Westbrook since 1962. Peter Profenno, who was cooking at his restaurant on Wednesday, still oversees its day-to-day operation. She oversaw the business loans and other finances.

Tenant Brewer Bill

February 5th, 2015

The Press Herald reports that the state legislature is considering a bill that would enable brewers to lease excess production capacity to up to 9 tenant brewers.

Sen. Justin Alfond, D-Portland, has introduced a bill that would allow large breweries with excess production capacity to form tenant agreements with as many as nine smaller beer companies to lease brewing time on their equipment – large brewers can host only one tenant brewery now. The arrangements would lower overhead costs for host brewers and reduce taxes for tenants.

Bar Review of Liquid Riot

February 5th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Liquid Riot Bottling Company.

In’finiti was a local favorite to some, and to others, a place where the food was too expensive and the atmosphere somewhat ill fitting for a brew house. However, with the leveling of the dining room and the new name, these changes help to appeal to a more casual, community-centered pub crowd.

The Treehouse

February 4th, 2015

Eater Maine has published a report on The Treehouse, the renamed and recently reopened new incarnation of The Cafe at Pat’s.

After years away from The Cafe, the neighborhood spot he built at 484 Stevens Avenue, owner/chef Greg Gilman has returned. He reopened The Cafe as The Treehouse on January 23, offering a similar menu and even staffed with a similar team, for those who pine for the way things used to be.

Food Writing in Maine

February 4th, 2015

Today’s Press Herald takes a look at the growing population of food writers and expanding coverage of food in Maine and asks if

All the media coverage around food – blogs, new publications, the renewed commitment from established outlets – is it too much for Maine?

Review of Bramhall

February 4th, 2015

The Bollard has reviewed Bramhall.

Disappointments aside, we couldn’t honestly say we weren’t sated and happy by the end of the meal. Maybe it was the candlelight, or the whiskey’s warm glow, but we promised ourselves we’d return.

Otherside Delicatessen Opening Thursday

February 3rd, 2015

othersidePete Sueltenfuss is planning to open his new market in East Deering, the Otherside Delicatessen(facebook), this Thursday. The Otherside will sell house butchered and cured meats, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, prepared meals to go as well as market staples.

Hours at the Otherside will be: Monday – Friday 8 -7, Saturday 9 – 6 and closed on Sunday.

Since moving to to Maine from Massachusetts, Sueltenfuss has worked for Fore Street, Miyake, Rosemont and helped launch District. For two years until early 2014 he was the executive chef at Grace.

Under Construction: The Sinful Kitchen

February 3rd, 2015

The new brunch cafe under development by chef David Mallari at 906 Brighton Ave is slated to be named The Sinful Kitchen(facebook).

Food Network: Portland Eating Tour

February 3rd, 2015

The Food Network has published an eating guide to Portland. Included are: Bite into Maine, Blue Rooster, Duckfat, Emilitsa, Eventide, Five Fifty-Five, Lolita, Pai Men Miyake, Small Axe, The Well.