Apple Foraging

October 5th, 2017

The Press Herald has published the penultimate article in their apple series.

“You don’t even have to go to a rural part of Maine to find wild apples,” said Abbey Verrier, co-founder of Rocky Ground Cider in Newburgh and an avid wild apple forager. “Just start on your road and go check out the trees because there are a ton of interesting varieties that are free for the picking.”

Under Construction: Scratch Toast Bar

October 4th, 2017

The Forecaster has published an update on the toast bar Scratch Baking has in development on Broadway.

The new venture on Broadway near the Ferry Village neighborhood will feature bagels, breads, and English muffins, toasted and topped with a variety of spreads, served with specialty coffees, teas, and juices.

Initially, the Toast Bar will be open Thursdays through Sundays from 7 a.m.-noon, “as we find our footing,” co-owner Sonja Swanberg said. “We’re letting it evolve and let it be what it wants to be.”

Shared Spaces

October 4th, 2017

An article in today’s Press Herald reports on restaurants that sublease access to their space to second business during off hours.

The idea of restaurants sharing their kitchens has been coming to life all over the country in the past three to five years, and the trend has recently reached Maine. Portlanders may immediately think of the former Good Egg Cafe and Pepperclub, restaurants that were housed in the same Old Port space. But today’s arrangements are different. The Good Egg and Pepperclub were owned by one person, while these new arrangements are marriages of two or more businesses and take shape in myriad ways.

Under Construction: Gross Confection Bar

October 3rd, 2017

Chef Brant Dadaleares will be holding two dessert pop-ups to mark the close of his Kickstarter campaign for Gross Confection Bar. The pop-ups are scheduled for October 15th and 16th and tickets are $50.

Gross Confection Bar will be a dessert-focused restaurant and bar to be located in the heart of the Old Port district in Portland, Maine. Gross will provide a unique and consistent restaurant experience featuring an ever changing selection of high-quality artfully-plated desserts, cocktails, dessert wines, digestifs, and exceptional service. Gross will also provide a consistent selection of enrobed ganaches, fruit pates, bon-bon, entremets, late night savory snacks and desserts to go. Gross will create a new niche for a “just for dessert” destination experience in Portland.

This Week’s Events: Bolster Snow, Maine Juice, Purple House, Destination Dinners

October 2nd, 2017

Tuesday – a new West End restaurant called Bolster Snow & Co. is scheduled to open.

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

ThursdayMaine Juice Company is scheduled to open their store at 129 Spring Street, The Purple House is scheduled to return from their summer break, Brews and Ewes is taking place at Rising Tide.

FridayRosemont is holding a wine tasting in the West End.

SaturdayChef Jeff Landry is holding a farm dinner at North Star Sheep Farm in Windham, 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, please provide details as a comment to this post.

Dinner at The Purple House

October 1st, 2017

Chef Krista Kern Desjarlais held the first of her monthly dinner series at The Purple House Saturday night. The menu featured fish, waterfowl and shellfish from Maine waters.

The Purple House resumes its normal schedule as a bagel bakery and cafe this Thursday at 8am.

Reviews: Cheevitdee, Honey Paw, Little Giant, Ruski’s Little Bigs, Terlingua, Tipo

October 1st, 2017

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Cheevitdee,

Chef/co-owner Jay Pranadsri uses riceberry to great effect in her ping ngob, a spicy, explosively herbal red salmon curry. Elsewhere, such as in the lackluster khao mun gai, it is not as successful…For the most part, dishes at Cheevitdee taste like they have been engineered to be wholesome first and foremost, usually at the expense of flavor or texture. Still, a rare few, like pla goong – delightfully spicy, tangy shrimp bites served in individual spoons – actually do make good on the restaurant’s promise that healthy restaurant dining is compatible with exceptional flavor.

The Bates Student has reviewed the The Honey Paw,

While at first glance this destination is a bit out of the price range of the standard college student (bring your parents!), The Honey Paw’s dining format makes it more affordable for a broad customer base. Like many Asian restaurants, servers at The Honey Paw suggest ordering a few plates and sharing them all with the table. This gives diners an opportunity to dive into multiple dishes and taste a greater range of flavors. While any one dish at The Honey Paw would be delicious on its own, sharing an array of dishes brings different flavors and textures to everybody’s plate.

Portland Magazine has reviewed the Little Giant,

Little Giant…has an appealing dinner menu for a neighborhood joint. Local bounty is showcased, and prices are reasonable. A ‘snack’ of Little Biscuits ($6) comes on a wooden board. Spectacularly flaky biscuits frame a smear of maple-whipped lardo topped with neon hot pepper jelly. You won’t leave a single crumb.

the West End News has reviewed the Ruski’s,

I liked the greasy egg rolls well-enough, though the sour cream on the side was boring. Portions here are generous, and I took home half my wrap, which tasted great the second time around, too.

the Press Herald has reviewed Little Bigs,

My favorite is the Thai red curry with chicken ($7.75), which is like eating an order of red curry from a good Thai restaurant in a pie crust. It’s filled mostly with huge chunks of white chicken meat, along with sliced carrots and bits of green beans, red peppers`and basil, all floating in a light red curry sauce, of course.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Terlingua, and

As Mrs. Portlandeater was downing her food, she inquired as to why we didn’t eat there more when it was so good. It’s a fair question. I think Terlingua is going to have to be moved up the list. I like their barbeque a lot, but the Latin American is also super tasty. It’s just really hard to go wrong with anything they serve. On my list of items to try? Brisket, chili, and the Mexican street corn.

the Portland Phoenix has reviewed the Tipo,

A pair of ragùs offered different virtues. In one case dark mushrooms had been cooked to a delicious earthy tenderness. They mixed with creamy yolk on a square pillow of creamy and fluffy polenta. A pork raguhad a pleasantly slow-developing roasted pepper heat, that emerged as you chewed the tough little cavetelli made from rye flour.

Under Construction: Bite Into Maine

September 28th, 2017

The Forecaster has published an update on the forthcoming Bite Into Maine cafe in Scarborough.

Bite Into Maine Commissary, at 185 U.S. Route 1 next door to The Egg I plaza, will focus on takeout, but also seat 14 to 16 people. The new eatery will include some twists to its popular menu, according to husband-and-wife team Sarah and Karl Sutton.

Under Construction: Exchange Street Club

September 28th, 2017

A new bar called the Exchange Street Club is under development at 10 Exchange in the space formerly occupied by Movies on Exchange and The Purple Caterpillar.

Owners Mark Deane and Amara El plan to open early next year. Deane is also owner of Rosie’s, Mark’s Place, Pearl, Mark’s Sports Bar and the Old Port Slice Bar.

Crab Apples

September 27th, 2017

The Press Herald has published the latest article in their ongoing apple series,

“Here are Super Chilly Farm we have a few favorites – it just depends on the week since they ripen throughout the season,” Watts said, listing Trailman and Centennial to start. “We often offer Martha the first week of our Apple CSA, and it is always a hit. Chestnut and Whitney are usually ripe about the time of the Common Ground Fair, and they have both been winners at the apple tasting there. And then my favorite late-season apple is Wickson, which is also a crab. All of these are amazing for fresh eating because they blend sweet and tart into one tiny package.”

Opening Soon….September and October

September 26th, 2017

A number of new businesses are planning to open in late September and early October.

Between finalizing renovations and passing final inspections it’s always an imprecise game to say exactly when a new food venture will launch. That said:

If all going according to plans, the openings will put quite a dent in the Under Construction list. However, there’s no need to worry that the market is running out of steam, as there are a number of new projects in the works…stay tuned for details.

Blue Lobster Wine Co.

September 26th, 2017

Blue Lobster Wine Company (facebook, website, instagram) launched earlier this month. The”urban winery” import wine and packages it in kegs for service at restaurants as well as in cans for retail sales.

We are Blue Lobster Wine Company, a small urban winery in Portland, Maine. We’re dedicated to bringing exceptional small batch wines to you from wineries from all over in convenient go-anywhere cans and also on tap in restaurants starting summer 2017. We are excited to announce the first release of our Rose and Bayside Blend. Why cans and kegs? Convenient, sustainable, economical and little waste. Stay tuned for the the next two beautiful wines coming soon – Unoaked Chardonnay and Zinfandel.

Blue Lobster wine is available at Bayside Bowl and Taco Trio. Cans are for sale at the Bier Cellar, The Farm Stand and The Honey Exchange.

Makers Mug Wraps Up

September 26th, 2017

Makers Mug/Dirigo Coffee owner Jacob Perry has announced plans to move out of state and so is shuttering his mobile coffee business here in Portland.

For just under the last two years the Maker’s Mug/Dirigo Coffee cart has been an integral part of my life. A humbling, rewarding, and incredibly personal experience that I will never forget. At the end of summer 2017, my wife and I made a big move out of state and bringing the cart along for the ride wasn’t in the cards.

Perry has put the food cart up for sale and is seeking “someone who has aspirations of opening a food business of their own can keep the dream alive in Maine”.

Fall Issue of Edible Maine

September 25th, 2017

The latest issue of Edible Maine has hit newsstands. It includes:

  • Advice from chefs on throw holiday parties
  • An article by John Myers on bourbon and rye cocktails
  • An interview with Michael Landgarten, owner of Bob’s and Lil’s in Kittery
  • A profile of David Buchanan, ciderman and orchardist

This Week’s Events: Madeira Dinner, Alsace Dinner, Maine Food System, Eaux, Bunktoberfest, Rising Tide

September 25th, 2017

WednesdayChaval is hosting a 6-course madeira dinner the line-up includes a 1954 Malvasia, Hugo’s is hosting a 5-course magnum wine dinner, there will be a Portuguese wine tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayMaine Food Strategy holding a 1-hour webinar to provide updates on the food systems initiatives they have underway, and Petite Jacqueline is hosting a 3-course Alsace wine dinner.

SaturdayBunktoberfest is taking place in Libbytown, there will be an Eaux pop-up at A & C Grocery, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayRising Tide is throwing a party to celebrate their 7th anniversary.

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, please provide details as a comment to this post.