January 10th, 2018

Today’s Press Herald reports on some of the former New Yorkers making a new life and a living in Portland, and helping develop the restaurant scene in the process.

Restaurateurs who have moved here from New York say the customers are different, too. Sansonetti says that Mainers, curiously, appear to be more adventurous eaters than New Yorkers. When he worked at Bar Boulud, Sansonetti put Mediterranean sardines and Maine herring on the menu, but they were tough sells. When he opened Piccolo, he served sardines “and we couldn’t keep them on the menu.”

Under Construction: 185 Cottage Road

January 9th, 2018

White Cap Coffee (website, facebook, instagram) had planned to locate a cold brew tasting room on Washington Ave in the former Sahara Club building. Now 3 months later, they’ve evolved their business, and after a merger with Rwanda Bean Co. and in collaboration with Cape Whoopies they are leasing 185 Cottage Road in South Portland.

The space will be used for to “manufacture whoopie pies and support coffee cold brew manufacturing, roasting coffee and retailing both products”. It will be a place where customers will be able to “see the manufacturing operations and then enjoy the products there in a retail setting”.

White Cap/Rwanda/Cape Whoopies hope to take over the space in February with plans to open in late Spring.

52 Places: Lindsay Sterling

January 9th, 2018

Immigrant Kitchens author Lindsay Sterling is a finalist for the New York Times 52 Places travel writer position. More than 13,000 applied for the job which will send the person selected for the role to all 52 spots on the NYT Places to Go List.

MCD Fifty Stone

January 9th, 2018

The Whisky Advocate. has published a brief write-up on Maine Craft Distilling’s Fifty Stone.

Along with Westland in Seattle, Maine Craft Distilling is one of the few American distilleries using locally sourced peat to make single malt whiskey. Peat is an abundant resource in many parts of the world, reflective of the local plant life and terroir. We look forward to more distilleries experimenting with local peat—the taste profiles should all be quite unique.

Baxter’s Fine Candies Moving

January 9th, 2018

Baxter’s Fine Candies is closing their store on Brackett Street and will be moving Westbrook to set-up shop with Black Dinah. They’re holding a moving sale this Friday and Saturday.

This Week’s Events: Ag Show, Farmers’ Market Convention, Park Challenge, Sashimi Grading

January 8th, 2018

Tuesday – it’s the first day of the 77th Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta.

Thursday – the 10th annual Maine Farmers’ Market Convention is taking place in Augusta and the Industrial Park Challenge at The Great Lost Bear, and Mika Higurashi will be giving a talk at GMRI entitled “Making the Grade: Leading the Way for Sashimi-Grade Seafood“.

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at the East End Rosemont.

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

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.

Brunch at Maine Craft Distilling

January 7th, 2018

Maine Craft Distilling launched their new brunch service today. The bottom two photos are of MCD’s coolship and their private dining/barrel ageing room.

Reviews: Esidore’s Bistro, Lazzari, Nonesuch River Brewing

January 7th, 2018

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Esidore’s Bistro,

His eclectic, world-aware style of cooking borrows elements from several disparate cuisines – Mexican, Vietnamese, Japanese, just to name a few – while keeping everything he prepares gluten-free.

The Bollard has reviewed Lazzari, and

For a few hours each weekend, this new Congress Street eatery offers a short menu of outstanding wood-fired pies whose carefully chosen toppings bring “breakfast” and “pizza” together in sweet harmony.

the Press Herald has reviewed Nonesuch River Brewing.

I loved my burger, which was deceivingly simple. The bacon was charred to a crisp, as I like it, and the burger was cooked medium, as I requested. But what made it stand out was the sear that the chef achieved. The outer skin of the burger was slightly hard and charred, but the burger itself was pink and juicy. Those juices were full of smoky flavors, and they mingled with all the other elements to create a variety of flavors in each bite. The bun was grilled (or toasted) ever so slightly.

Under Construction: The Proper Cup

January 6th, 2018

A new coffee shop called The Proper Cup (website, facebook, instagram) is under construction at 500 Forest Ave in the space formerly occupied by Express Nail Supply. Proper Cup is located on Forest in between Rose Foods and Little Woodfords on the corner of Noyes Street.

Owners Rachel Kreie and Zachary Figoli are planning to open their “Quirky, professional and industrial themed cafe that sells high quality espresso drinks, drip coffee and tasty pastries from local vendors” in late January or early February.

Kreie and Figoli have both worked as baristas. They have a combined passion for creating a community oriented coffee shop for the people living and working the neighborhood.

Update: The Proper Cup will be serving coffee from Flight Coffee Company.

New Owner of European Bakery

January 5th, 2018

After 28 years in business founder Helen Budri has sold the European Bakery in Falmouth.

“It was a hard decision because our customers are our family and we love our work,” Budri said this week. But she decided to sell, she said, because “after 28 years we wanted more time with family. It was (just) time.”

Under Construction: Maine Beer Co.

January 4th, 2018

Maine Beer Company has leased a 30,000 sq ft space at 15 Sanders Way in Westbrook for a “storage and distribution site” to enable MBC to expand production capacity, reports Mainebiz.

Under Construction: Definitive Brewing Co.

January 4th, 2018

A new brewery called the Definitive Brewing Co. (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is now under construction at 35 Industrial Way across the street from Allagash. Definitive Brewing plans to open this Spring.

Best Meals of 2017

January 3rd, 2018

Maine Sunday Telegram restaurant critic Andrew Ross has assembled his list of the best meals he had last year.

Looking back, I count myself extraordinarily lucky to have lived in Maine over the past 12 months – fork (and occasionally chopsticks) in hand to fend off the world outside.

Bubba’s Sulky Lounge

January 2nd, 2018

Down East has published a feature about Bubba’s Sulky Lounge.

The “mayor of Portland Street,” as Bubba has been called, is a retired Marine, former high-school basketball star, and proud owner of 14 race horses (hence the bar’s name — a “sulky” being a two-wheeled, jockey-toting cart used in harness racing). Bubba’s tall and soft-spoken, a lifelong Portlander who doesn’t like talking about his age but is somewhere in the neighborhood of 80. He opened Bubba’s in 1961, rebuilt it after a fire in 1981, and put in the light-up dance floor sometime thereafter (no one quite remembers). He stops in daily, often adding this or that to the decor.

MCD Brunch

January 2nd, 2018

Maine Craft Distilling will begin serving brunch this Sunday, 10 – 3.