Opium Cocktail Bar

June 16th, 2017

Urban Eye Has posted a report on Opium, the new cocktail bar at the Danforth which is slated to open tonight.

Suddenly, Cirque du Soleil unfurls under The Danforth Inn big top, bedecked with peonies and poppies. Though catching flack earlier this spring for its name, Opium is more than a marketing gimmick. Opening Friday with complete cocktail service, such as a Chinese box that arrives with drink cards and two hidden aperitifs, the West End bar adjacent to the inn’s Tempo Dulu restaurant takes lounging to new heights.

Under Construction: Juiced

June 15th, 2017

Hallowell-based casual dining spot, Juiced (website), plans to open a second location in Portland at 561 Forest Ave. Juiced plans to serve “healthy alternatives to fast casual dining options” of soups, salads, and sandwiches along with juice, smoothies, komucha, prosecco and rotating selection of local beer. A draft menu (pages 147-150) was supplied with their liquor license application.

Under Construction: Old Port Lobster Shack

June 15th, 2017

After more than two years since the project began, Old Port Lobster Shack on Fore Street has applied for a liquor license. In the application, owner Michael Michalski indicates a target opening date of July 30th. A draft menu (pages 90-91) was supplied with other supporting paperwork.

Under Construction: Skordo

June 15th, 2017

Skordo (website, facebook, instagram), a Freeport-based culinary store, has a new retail shop under construction st 372 Fore Street.

Closed: Zapoteca and Outliers

June 14th, 2017

The Press Herald reports that Zapoteca has gone out of business,

Cookbook author and chef Shannon Bard announced suddenly Wednesday that the Fore Street restaurant Zapoteca she and her husband, Tom, owned in Portland is closed for good.

and confirmed that Outliers has closed.

Fans of Outliers who may have been hoping the popular York Street restaurant was just on its usual spring hiatus will have to move on to other hot eateries; the restaurant is closed for good and owner Peter Verrill Jr. has listed the building with CBRE | The Boulos Co.

North43 Now Open

June 14th, 2017

North43 Bistro has opened. The South Portland restaurant is located at 1 Spring Point Drive in the location formerly occupied by Joe’s Boathouse.

Stephanie Brown is the chef at North43. Bowman was the chef/owner of Sea Grass Bistro in Yarmouth for a number of years before closing the restaurant in 2013.

Mark’s Hot Dogs

June 14th, 2017

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Mark’s Hot Dogs.

Since long before James Beard Award-winning chefs, culinary tourism, Instagramming hipsters and Food Network scouts turned this city into a culinary capital, Mark Gatti has hawked steamed hot dogs on the streets of Portland.

Fork Food Lab Merges with Brooklyn Peer (Updated)

June 12th, 2017

Fork Food Lab has announced their merger with Foodworks, a Brooklyn-based food business incubator.

“We are very excited to partner with a company that shares in our vision for a more robust local food system where entrepreneurs with creative recipes can strategically grow,” said Spillane, who will stay on as General Manager of Fork Food Lab. “This merger will allow Fork Food Lab companies to expand distribution into the large New York market and leverage supplier discounts that are available to current Foodworks producers.”

Here’s the full text of the press release.

Update: Maine Start-up Insider and the Press Herald have published articles about the merger.

This Week’s Events: Louie’s at Tipo

June 12th, 2017

WednesdayOld Port Wine Merchants will have a Burgundy tasting, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayThe Great Lost Bear will be showcasing beer from Rising Tide.

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at Rosemont on Commercial Street, and Louie’s from Portsmouth, New Hampshire will be serving a pop-up dinner at Tipo.

SaturdayFoulmouthed Brewing is celebrating their 1-year anniversary, and 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.

Commercial Street Gorgeous Gelato

June 12th, 2017

Gorgeous Gelato launched their new Commercial Street gelato cart over the weekend.

Reviews: Top of the East, Tipo, Isa, BRGR Bar, El Corazon

June 11th, 2017

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Top of the East,

It’s almost as if there’s a conspiracy afoot to encourage patrons to look out the windows and ignore what’s inside Top of the East: décor, service and much of the menu. That stratagem works when it’s nice outside, but what happens when the weather does not cooperate? The solid cocktails are a good place to start, but it’s clear that stronger cooking is where the restaurant’s next evolution needs to be.

Down East has reviewed Tipo,

While many of the dishes listed on the menu sound like red-sauce-joint staples, their flavors are far more complex and intriguing than that. Gould’s meatballs, for instance, are a blend of pork and beef seasoned with North African spices and served in a harissa-spiked tomato sauce. They come with a creamy, cooling dollop of ricotta blended with lemon zest and chives. His version of cacio e pepe is a fresh black-pepper tagliatelle tossed with a rich brodo and a mountain of umami-laden Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Steffy Amondi has reviewed Isa,

ISA is a place of contrast. With an upscale ambiance, but very simple menu. The food felt like what you would find at your company CEO’s chef-enabled home for dinner. Sticking with the basics and authenticity of recipes, there is nothing pretentious about the food, yet worth the price tag. Service at Isa is just right as well. Making you feel comfortable while still maintaining the air of class. A quiet place that can get a bit loud later into the night as drinks take effect on larger groups. Recommended for a dinner party, date-night or even dinner with the kids when you can’t find a sitter.

Portland Press Herald has reviewed BRGR Bar, and

When said burger was delivered I shot my dining companions a look that said, “Don’t talk to me for the next 12 minutes, I’m about to enter the Devour Zone.” And, I must say, said look was warranted, as this burger was a righteous feast of multiple flavors cooked to perfection and good to the last morsel, because I, of course, ate the entire thing, which was no small feat. The fries were only so-so, but that hardly mattered, I wasn’t there for the fries.

The Golden Dish has reviewed El Corazon.

So far there’s a disconnect between food truck and restaurant at El Corazon. It didn’t happen with other successful trucks turning restaurant pro like Baharat, East Ender and Mami. Admittedly my meal at the restaurant was a one-shot deal–but judging a restaurant by its signature dish is meaningful. Yet, at this point I don’t feel like going back and leave it up to you to tell me if I should.

One Millions Pounds of Maine Grain (Updated)

June 10th, 2017

Rob Tod has committed Allagash to buy one million pounds of Maine grains per year by 2021. That’s more than an eight-fold increase.

In the brewing business, buying locally often isn’t feasible. In Maine, the climate has always been right for growing grain, but the infrastructure just hasn’t been sufficient to meet our needs. Much to our delight, we’ve recently seen a steady and substantial increase in the amount Maine-grown and malted grains. That’s why we’re making the pledge that by 2021, Allagash will be buying one million pounds of Maine-grown grain per year.

Update: Mainebiz has published about Allagash’s commitment to buy more grain from Maine.

Smokin’ Sausage Showdown

June 10th, 2017

The Bollard has released the results of their 5th Smokin’ Sausage Showdown.

Welcome, backyard carnivores, to another action-packed edition of The Bollard’s Smokin’ Sausage Showdown! This is the fifth Showdown we’ve staged in the past 10 years, and the competition has never been stronger. We long ago weeded out the weaker links available at supermarket chains like Hannaford, Shaw’s and Whole Foods, and once-promising rookies from several local butcher shops have undergone this trial by (lack of) fire and failed to make the cut.

Under Construction: Maiz Colombian Street Food

June 9th, 2017

A new food vendor called Maiz Colombian Street Food (facebook) is under construction in the Public Market House. Maiz will serve “modern twists on the traditional Colombian” arepas. In the morning they will also have on the menu a “pan-de-bono, a savory cheese bread made with yucca flour”. Maiz will also serve Colombian coffee and lemonades in fruit and coconut flavors.

Owners Martha Leonard and Niky Walter met in Colombia where Walter was born and raised. They plan to launch Maiz on July 1st.

Blyth and Burrows Opens Today

June 9th, 2017

Blyth & Burrows (website, facebook, instagram, twitter), a multifaceted cocktail bar located at 26 Exchange Street, is scheduled to open today at 4pm. The bar is owned by Josh Miranda.

Blyth & Burrows held a media preview earlier this week. You can more about the bar, its menu and the layout of its space in articles by The Blueberry Files, Peter Peter Portland Eater, and Urban Eye.

Here’s an excerpt from TBF’s article,

When you first enter off Exchange St., you’re in the showiest part of the space, complete with a library ladder to access top shelf bottles. The bar staff is made up of Sur Lie and EVO alums, so expect a similar style bar menu, with specialty cocktails involving lesser known ingredients like Carpano Antica and housemade ingredients like a spruce tip cordial.

The name is a reference to Captain Samuel Blyth from the HMS Boxer and Lieutenant William Burrows of the USS Enterprise who were buried in the Eastern Cemetery and died during an naval battle between their ships in Casco Bay in 1813.