Map & Menu has published a brief (beautifully illustrated) review of Piccolo.
Photo Credit: Map & Menu
Map & Menu has published a brief (beautifully illustrated) review of Piccolo.
Photo Credit: Map & Menu
The Golden Dish has written about a recent meal at the SMCC Culinary Arts Center where students prepare and serve meals to the public as part of their education.
The choice of starter offerings included either clam chowder or house-cured gravlax. My guest chose the soup and I opted for the salmon. The chowder was too thick for his tastes, without much clam flavor. My salmon, however, was beautifully cured (nicely citrusy) and accompanied by perfectly diced egg yolk, onions and capers. There was herbed cream cheese (very tasty) to spread on crostini. This was a good dish.
Eat Maine has published a review of Salvage BBQ,
With multiple sauces, plenty of peppers, and easily mixable sides, Salvage has a menu that can be customized for your tastes. A dash of hot sauce here, an extra pickle there, and soon you’ll be swapping your Maine-made IPA for some Kentucky bourbon and pretending your latitude is much, much lower. End the meal with a slice of peach pie, and you’ll completely forget the coming snow.
and Drink Up and Get Happy has published a review of Elsmere,
Overall Elsmere BBQ and Wood Grill is great place to get out of the busy downtown Portland and enjoy great brews and excellent food all in a warm, welcoming space supporting local businessmen and the local farms they source from.
and the Press Herald has published a bar review of The Grill Room.
The ambiance is warm and somewhat cavernous – exposed brick walls throughout the restaurant and dim lighting – and the service is upbeat, prompt, and knowledgeable. There might be a wait for a table, but the food is delivered exceptionally fast. It’d be easy to spend a decent amount of money at the Grill Room, but thankfully for happy hour, it’s also possible to spend under $10 for a drink and a snack – and there’s usually not a wait for a seat at the bar.
Cara Stadler, chef owner of Tao Yuan restaurant in Brunswick, will be opening a Portland restaurant this Spring, according to a report from Maine a la Carte.
The West End Deli is moving, and a restaurant featuring Chinese dumplings is already under construction in its place. Chef Cara Stadler, who owns Tao Yuan in Brunswick…confirmed today that the basement of the building at 133 Spring St…is being excavated and the space will be reconfigured into a single-level restaurant. It is expected to open in April or May…
Update: There’s been some question about where the West End Deli is moving to. A reliable source tells me that they plan on moving a couple blocks away on Congress Street.
Peter Peter Portland Eater has published a review of the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club.
We finished up and paid. I walked out happy. Portland Hunt and Alpine Club is a great new choice in Portland for a drink after work with some apps or a pre-dinner visit any time. I believe that in a city saturated with restaurants that have bars, a bar that has a smallish restaurant but is focused on drinks is the type of place that can add something to the culture…
MaineToday.com has assembled a tour of Portland food tours: Maine Beer Tours, Wine Wise, Maine Foodie Tours, The Brew Bus and Portland Taste Tours,
A food and drink tour of Portland may seem like something designed just for visitors, but if you want to learn about this city’s new restaurants, food producers, breweries and distilleries — or want a distinctive experience you might not get on your own — don’t turn your nose up at letting a guide lead the way.
and The 207 Foodie has shared her experience on the Halloween tour run by Portland Taste Tours.
I recommend anybody who A. Loves food, B. Wants to try new food, C. Enjoys a good tour and D. Wants to explore the Portland food scene to check out a Portland Taste Tour. Trust me, this is something you will not regret.
Eater Maine reports that the Wok Inn in Morrill’s Corner has closed.
A week or so ago, the Wok Inn at Morrill’s Corner in Portland quietly shuttered after more than 30 years of serving inexpensive, Americanized Chinese fast food.
The Bollard has published a review of Little Bigs.
The sign out front advertises “Delicious Hand Foods to Go.” Inside you’ll find an ever-changing variety of pastries, from turnovers to homemade pop-tarts, as well as plenty of savory treats you can eat and still feel reasonably good about yourself. The bacon and cheese “egg pie” (you’d probably call it a quiche, and you’d be right) is a nearly perfect breakfast food, right down to its crispy, salty potato crust. At lunchtime you can get hearty hand-pies and pastries stuffed with ingredients like steak and root vegetables or spinach, artichoke and goat cheese.
The new eatery will offer “a bit more diversity” in its menu, although the precise nature of the cuisine is still being determined, according to Hernandez.
“We’d like to step outside the structure (of Bar Lola) and create more freedom for our diners and for ourselves,” she said. “But the way we approach food and the way we approach service won’t change.”
November is here and the Thanksgiving articles are starting to hit the presses. First out of the gate is a piece by C.Z. Cramer entitled Amore Locavore in this month’s Portland Magazine.
We live in the best of times here for the renaissance of a traditional, locally raised and grown, genuine Thanksgiving. We can recreate the gourmet version of the Pilgrim experience, as if those wilderness decades of green bean casseroles with canned cream of mushroom soup, marshmallow-capped yams, and frozen Midwestern birds never happened.
The Blueberry Files has written about her visit to Bresca and the Honey Bee,
We were most looking forward to desserts at the Snack Shack since Krista’s desserts at Bresca were always amazing. She told me she was looking forward to the slower pace of the fall to focus on desserts, in particular pastry. I had a hard time narrowing down my choices, since there were several tiers of pies, cookies, and tarts. (I wanted all of the fruit tarts.)
and The Golden Dish has written about a recent visit to Scratch.
The drill on a Sunday morning is unmistakable. Parking along Willard Square during the bagel hour is difficult. Then once you’re inside and have been lucky enough to get your stash of bagels (they sell out in minutes), your next hurdle is to wait on line, often 20 people deep–to check out. Worse yet is arriving to find empty bagel bins, only to wait for the next batch out of the oven.
Allagash won awards in 2 categories at the Brussels Beer Challenge: a bronze medal for Coolship Resurgam in the Lambic & Gueuze category, and a silver medal for Coolship Red in the Fruit Lambic category.
Monday — Portland Beer Week continues. Be sure to check portlandbeerweek.org for the full calendar of PBW events. I’ve included a few of the highlights below. The Thirsty Pig is hosting a New England Beer dinner.
Tuesday — the Maine Brew Bus and Portland Taste Tours are coordinating a traveling beer dinner that starts at Bunker Brewing and continues on to stops at Local 188, Sonny’s and Salvage BBQ.
Wednesday — a blind tasting of 10 IPA’s with a $500 prize to whoever can correctly identify them all, a 4-course beer dinner at Bull Feeney’s, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place in the morning.
Thursday — a 5-course Marshall Wharf dinner at East Ender, a 4-course Allagash dinner at the Inn by the Sea.
Friday — a screening of Strange Brew at the Urban Farm Fermentory.
Saturday — Novare Res is holding the Where the Wild Beers Are sour beer fest, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.
Sunday — the Hunt & Alpine Club is teaching a holiday cocktail making class, Krista Kern Desjarlais is the featured chef at a sold out Flanagan’s Table farm dinner, and the American Sommelier foundation series will be featuring wines from Italy.
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.
A new bakery, Mainly Grains Bakers (facebook), opened this past week in South Portland. Mainly Grains is run by Deb and baker Carlos Garcia. Carlos Garcia comes from a family of bakers and its been Carlos Garcia’s ambition to open a shop of his own.
Mainly Grains Bakers sell a range of breads (I recommend the seeded Prairie Bread), danish and turnovers (apple, blueberry, raspberry) and cookies.
The bakery is located at 904 Broadway and they’re open Tuesday through Sunday. They’re open today until 1 pm.
Travel + Leisure has included Green Elephant in their list of the Best Vegetarian Restaurants in the US.
The Maine Sunday Telegram has drafted John Golden to serves as the newspaper’s weekly restaurant critic spot.
Many years later my perusal of Maine dining – which I will now bring to you in this space, every Sunday – is altogether a different kettle of fish. It’s more about the food – the quality of what you’re eating and where it came from, important factors that make such an otherwise pompous social pecking order seem all the more superficial.
The thrill of it all still excites me today. Of course I have my favorite dining spots, and others that I avoid. As a critic I won’t sugar-coat the experience just to play nice. I will tell it like it is – to report on the good, bad or indifferent experience.
Mainely Wraps (website, facebook) has leased 339 Fore Street in Boothby Square. This will be the 3rd location for Mainely Wraps which also has shops in Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough. Mainely Wraps was founded by Rich & Naphtali Maynard.
339 Fore was most recently the home of the short-lived Compass Rose, and prior to that has been occupied by Sebastian’s, Apsara, Shima.
For a complete list of Portland restaurants in development check out the PFM Under Construction list.
In time for Portland Beer Week, the Portland Phoenix has published a feature story on the robust home brew culture in Portland. The article also touches base with 3 home brewers that are currently making the leap to the pro leagues: Austin Street, Bissell Brothers and Foundation Brewing.
It seems there’s always more, and there is: Up-and-comers like Bissell Brothers Brewing, Austin Street Brewing, and Foundation Brewing Company (see sidebar) will be opening up shop on Industrial Way. One benefit of the craft beer boom is home-brewers are getting more attention. “With the amount of breweries that have opened over the last five years or so, people’s palates have just exploded,” says home brewer Gregg Carine. “It’s reviving people’s interest in beer — both drinking it and brewing it.”