This Week’s Events: Mami, Nourish, Smuttfest, Barreled Souls, Palace @ Flanagan’s, Old Port Festival

June 8th, 2015

Tuesday — Mami food truck is planning to launch on Tuesday. Vinland sous chef Jason Mathiason will be preparing a 5-course MOFGA benefit dinner, SoMe Brewing is holding a launch party for Mainely Pale at The Thirsty Pig, and the Bier Cellar is holding a bottle release for the Jolly Pumpkin’s “April Showers Bring Jolly Pumpkin Sours”.

Wednesday — the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Saturday — Slab is hosting a Barreled Souls tap takeover, Rosemont is holding a Rioja wine event, Smuttfest 2015 is taking place at Novare Res, there will be a wine tasting at the LeRoux Kitchen, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayChad Conley and Greg Mitchell from Palace Diner are the featured chefs at Flanagan’s Table, and the 42nd Annual Old Port Festival 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.

Review of Bao Bao

June 8th, 2015

Down East has  reviewed Bao Bao.

You are going to have dumplings — served either boiled or pan-fried — so start there. The pork and cabbage are the most traditional; the most imaginative are those stuffed with succulent lamb, black bean chili, and whole peanuts and served with a tomato sauce for dipping. Seasoning is generally subtle in the dumplings, but each table has decanters of black vinegar and soy sauce and a pot of arbol chili oil for mixing (in your own personal ramekin) a sauce tempered to your desired heat, saltiness, and umami.

High Roller Lobster Co.

June 8th, 2015

highroller_logoHigh Roller Lobster Company(instagram, twitter) had  a soft launch yesterday in South Portland. Their formal launch is taking place next Sunday during the Old  Port Festival at Maps Cafe in conjunction with Bissell Brothers.

Under Construction: Tempo Dulu, Scales, Portland Patisserie, Ramen Suzukiya

June 6th, 2015

Here are some updates on four restaurants under construction in Portland:

  • Tempo Dulu(facebook, website) will be opening on June 19th and is now taking reservations.
  • Sam Hayward and Dana Street are planning to open their new restaurant, Scales, at the end of the summer. The “full-scale seafood emporium in the New England style” will have a 25-seat bar and the dining room will seat another 100-120 according to an article from Maine Travel Maven.
  • In the same article the Maine Travel Maven also reports that Portland Patisserie(facebook), the new pastry shop from Steve and Michelle Corry, is planning to open in “mid-June”. Take a look at this instagram photo by Chris Kast captured this glimpse of the interior on Instagram.
  • Ramen Suzukiya(facebook) needs to make some final renovations in order to get their Certificate of Occupancy from the city. If all goes according to plan they hope to open June 13, according the Eater Maine.

Mami Launching on June 9th

June 5th, 2015

mamifoodtruckA new food truck called Mami(instagram) plans to launch on June 9th in Congress Square Park. Mami is run by chef Austin Miller and will specialize in “Japanese street food”.

MECA Culinary Arts Program

June 5th, 2015

Here’s a list of this summer’s continuing education classes at MECA in Culinary Arts:

Review of The Honey Paw

June 5th, 2015

Eat Maine has reviewed The Honey Paw.

The Honey Paw is like no other restaurant I know. The new Portland restaurant’s unique personality completely defies any attempts to group it into traditional restaurant categories or even vague ones like “contemporary American” or “fusion.” Its menu and ambience unapologetically combine a staggering number of elements into a streamlined dining experience while circumventing any kind of identity crisis by keeping the offerings as concise as possible.

Portland’s UNESCO Creative Cities Application

June 4th, 2015

The City of Portland is submitting an application to UNESCO to be recognized for its culinary creativity as part of the UN’s Creative Cities program. If successful, Portland would become the 9th city in the world to be included in the Gastronomy category.

The Creative Cities Network aims to strengthen the creation, production, distribution, and enjoyment of cultural goods and services at the local level. It promotes creative expression and enhances participation in cultural life as well as integrates cultural and creative industries into local development plans.

The application deadline is in July and we should know by mid-December if it was successful.

The Telling Room’s Review Camp

June 4th, 2015

The Telling Room is offering a summer program for children ages 11-15 that are interested to learn more about critique and review, including restaurant reviews.

Geared to aspiring journalists and critics alike, this camp will take full advantage of Portland being a city bustling with art, music, food, and entertainment. Together we’ll explore art galleries, food establishments, and check out some local music. Campers will delve into the art of critical observation and evaluation in the form of art, food, and music reviews. We’ll also meet local editors and journalists and take a tour of The Portland Press Herald.

The program is already at capacity but you can add your kid’s name to the wait list and learn more on The Telling Room website.


Pickle Forks

June 3rd, 2015

exhibitThe Press Herald has published an article on the pickle fork exhibit at The Bearded Lady.

And we can thank Portland resident and metalsmith Maria Wolff for “Piercing the Pickle,” a small, surprising group show of quite beautiful pickle forks on display through June 21 at The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box, on Congress Street. She curated the show, which includes her own work and that of 10 other local metalsmiths, many of them graduates of the Maine College of Art.

Tiki Workshop

June 3rd, 2015

The Blueberry Files has published a report on last weekend’s Rum Riots Tiki Workshop.

We started with the Tree Frog – a blended drink with Plantation rum, allspice-galangal syrup, fresh lime juice, and banana. I don’t know about you, but if I’d seen this on a menu, I might have shied away from it, because of the allspice and the banana. But it was lightly fruity and not too spicy, perhaps balanced by the fresh squeeze lime juice and the slushy blended ice (recipes to follow). This drink represents the “new wave” of tiki – not overly sweet, elevated, and still made with traditional tiki ingredients (namely, rum!). 

Figgy’s Now Open

June 2nd, 2015

figgysFiggy’s Takeout(facebook, instagram, website) opened today.

Chef/owner Natalie ‘Figgy’ DiBenedetto is serving an abbreviated opening week menu of skillet fried chicken, wings, potato salad, cole slaw and house made ice cream sandwiches.

She’ll be expanding to the full Figgy’s menu the following week.

Selecting a Beer Festival

June 2nd, 2015

The new issue of The Bollard provides some great advice on how to decide which beer festivals to attend and which should get a pass.

I used to hate beer festivals, but over time I’ve learned that they’re not all created equal, and some can be fantastic. A well-run festival is a social event where you learn things, a chance to try new beers and meet new people. It can be just as much fun as going to a concert. A poorly planned event can turn out to be a bro-fest promoting beers you already know too well. The tricky part is figuring out how to separate the hops from the chaff, so to speak.

Maine Start-up & Create Week

June 2nd, 2015

This year’s Maine Start-up Create & Week has a entire track devoted to starting and running food business. The 5-day program has talks ranging from distribution and marketing to incubators and from craft spirits to sustainability.

Check out the full schedule at, check out this interview with co-founder Jess Knox.

Top 10 for May 2015

June 1st, 2015

The 10 places readers looked up most often last month were:

  1. The Honey Paw (-)
  2. Union (-)
  3. Bao Bao (5)
  4. East Ender (1)
  5. Isa (8)
  6. Lolita (38)
  7. The Sinful Kitchen (>50)
  8. Ebb & Flow (17)
  9. Tiqa (2)
  10. The Muthah Truckah (>50)

The numbers in parentheses indicates their rank last month.

Under Construction: Portersfield Cider

June 1st, 2015


David Buchanan’s new cider company, Portersfield Cider is set to launch this later this month. Buchanan will be selling the Portersfield line of farmhouse-style hard cider from his stand in the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market. David has a pair or ciders in the works:

[The] first release blends over a dozen apple varieties, including Baldwin, Northern Spy, and Golden Russet, while a second will include aronia berries and elderberries.

He plans for the Portersfield farm winery in Pownal to be,

a production space and conservation center, focused on preserving and evaluating rare American cider fruits. In Buchanan’s sixth year of collecting fruit trees, his orchard now has over 250 varieties of apples and cider pears, including many in danger of extinction.

In addition to launching Portersfield Cider, David is the author of Taste, Memory and for the past few years has operated the Old Ocean House Farms stand at the Saturday farmers’ market.

You can get a chance to try Portersfield Cider at the Maine Fare Hard Cider Revival taking place this Thursday.

This Week’s Events: Chartreuse Dinner, Nepal Pop-up, Figgy’s, Hard Cider Revival, Lobster Roll Rumble

June 1st, 2015

MondayPiccolo is hosting a Chartreuse Dinner, 14 restaurants are collaborating on a fundraisers for Nepal, and Lolita is celebrating their 1-year anniversary.

TuesdayFiggy’s Takeout is opening, and Bier Cellar is celebrating their 3rd anniversary with an Austin Street tasting.

Wednesday — there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, and The Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday — 7 Maine cider companies will be pouring at Maine Fare’s Hard Cider Revival, and Bite Into Maine will be in NYC to compete the 2015 Lobster Roll Rumble.

Friday — there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli. It’s also First Friday Art Walk, restaurants will be busy so be sure to make your reservations now.

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.

Under Construction: High Roller Lobster

May 31st, 2015

highroller_logoA new food cart called High Roller Lobster Company(instagram) is under development. Owners Andy Gerry and Baxter Key will be serving lobster and crab roll  on Commercial Street this summer. They hope to be open by mid-June.

Under Construction: Soakology

May 30th, 2015

Soakology(website, facebook) has a new larger location under construction at 511 Congress Street next to Golden Lotus. The new digs will provide the space to expand the tea house and foot spa sides of their business with dedicated areas for both.

They hope to have the new Soakology open sometime in July.


Under Construction: Figgy’s

May 30th, 2015

The Forecaster has published an article on Figgy’s Takeout.

When Natalie DiBenedetto looked out her window on Walker Street last year, she didn’t just see a parking lot. She saw an opportunity.

Now, a year later, DiBenedetto is set to open a business in the once-empty lot that she believes will fill one of the city’s last foodie niches: up-scale comfort food and skillet fried chicken to go.

Figgy’s is scheduled to open on Tuesday at 11am.