LB Kitchen Now Open

February 17th, 2017

LB Kitchen (instagram, facebook) is now open at 249 Congress Street. The breakfast and lunch cafe is the creation of Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind, and is located in the former Figa space.

Taco Trio Reopened

February 17th, 2017

Urban Eye reports that Taco Trio has reopened in South Portland.

“We appreciate all the support from customers and people we didn’t even know. They offered their help,” he added. “The people of South Portland and Portland have been very supportive and are excited we are reopened.”

Under Construction: Lazzari

February 16th, 2017

Restauranteur Tom Barr has submitted a liquor license application for Lazzari, a new Italian restaurant he has under development at 618 Congress Street, the former location of Mesa Verde. The space has been completely renovated and the kitchen now includes a wood-fired pizza oven.

Barr has submitted a draft menu (pages 156-157) with the application. Here’s a section of it:

Under Construction: Cheevitdee

February 16th, 2017

Cheevitdee has submitted a liquor license application to the City Council. Cheevitdee is a Thai restaurant and is under construction at 363 Fore Street at the corner of Fore and Market Streets.

The materials submitted by owners Nuttaya Suriyayanyong and Darit Chandpen include a draft menu:

Under Construction: Mami

February 16th, 2017

Austin Miller and Hannah Tamaki have applied for a liquor license for their new brick and mortar restaurant Mami. Miller and Tamaki have operated Mami Food Truck since June 2015 and this restaurant represents the next step forward for there business.

Mami restaurant will be located at 339 Fore Street in the former Mainely Wraps space. They hope to open this Spring.

Here’s a look at the draft menu for the restaurant:

Under Construction: Yobo

February 16th, 2017

A 35-seat Korean restaurant called Yobo under construction at 23 Forest Ave in the space formerly occupied by BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe has applied for a liquor license.

Owners Sunny Chung and Kim Lully plan to create an atmosphere that is “intimate and casual, with all the comforts of dining with good friends.” They formerly operated a farm to table restaurant in Concord, New Hampshire called Sunny’s Table. They hope to open Yobo in the April/May time frame.

here’s a look at a draft menu:

MRA Chef of the Year: Josh Berry

February 16th, 2017

Chef Josh Berry from Union has been named the 2017 Chef of the Year by the Maine Restaurant Association. Berry will be honored at a banquet on March 28th, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay.

2017 Beard Award Semifinalists

February 15th, 2017

The semi-final list of nominees for the 2017 James Beard Foundation awards were released today. There are 12 semifinalist nominees from Maine:

  • Best New Restaurant – Drifters Wife
  • Best Chef: Northeast – Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley, Eventide; Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki’s Sushi Bar; Ravin Nakjaroen, Long Grain; and Brian Hill, Francine Bistro
  • Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional – Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.
  • Outstanding Restaurant – Fore Street, and Chase’s Daily in Belfast
  • Outstanding Bar Program – Portland Hunt and Alpine Club
  • Outstanding Baker – Alison Pray, Standard Baking
  • Outstanding Pastry Chef – Ilma Lopez, Piccolo
  • Rising Star of the Year – Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan

The final list of nominees will be released on March 15th, and the awards ceremony will take place on May 1st in Chicago.

Related information:

Writing a Wine List & Local Market Resurgence

February 15th, 2017

Today’s Press Herald includes the second installment in a series by Stella Hernandez on managing a wine list at Lolita,

Putting together our wine list for Lolita was the closest I’ve come to understanding what writers do. It’s less mechanical than you’d think. You have to choose your story line, craft that story, and then there’s the continual editing process. When I gave my first draft to a friend to review, I felt as if I were handing off my first novel. I had handed over something very personal.

and an article about the resurgence of local markets in Portland.

Now the Portland area is experiencing another little growth spurt. In December, Andrew and Briana Volk, owners of the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, opened Little Giant, an upscale market in Portland’s West End that will complement the restaurant they plan to open next door. Just a couple of weeks ago, Pete Sueltenfuss opened a second Otherside location in the West End. And Joe Fournier, who worked at Rosemont for six years before becoming a partner in The Farm Stand, plans to open his own neighborhood grocery, A&C, on Washington Avenue sometime next week.

Beard House Dinners by Chefs Ginn & Berry

February 15th, 2017

Chefs Matt Ginn from Evo and Josh Berry from Union are scheduled to cook dinners at the James Beard House in NYC next month. The menus for both dinners are online and reservations being taken via OpenTable:

Trattoria Fanny Now Open

February 14th, 2017

Trattoria Fanny, David Levi’s new restaurant in Bramhall Square, has opened, according to a report from the Press Herald.

The restaurant’s chef is Siddharta Rumma, whose family had a restaurant in Italy. Rumma has also worked at The Corner Room in Portland, and he helped open Eataly Boston.

Here’s a link to the menu on Facebook.

Barista Competition: Milo DeGoosh

February 13th, 2017

Bard Coffee barista, Milo DeGoosh, was successful at the Qualifying Competition in Austin this weekend and has earned a coveted spot at the U.S. Barista Competition taking place in Seattle, April 21-23.

This Week’s Events: Beard Semifinalists, Valentine’s Day, Edible Landscapes, Hardshore Distilling

February 13th, 2017

Tuesday – It’s Valentine’s Day, and there will be a lecture on Edible Landscapes at the Maine Historical Society.

Wednesday – the James Beard Foundation is scheduled to release this year’s awards semifinalists, we’ll be posting the full list of nominees as soon as they’re announced; Drifters Wife is celebrating their 1-year anniversary.

Thursday – the Portland Spirits Society is holding a women’s only tasting event at Hardshore Distilling.

FridayRosemont is holding a wine tasting at their Munjoy Hill location, and it’s the first day of Flavors of Freeport.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – there will be a Haley Henry pop-up at Little Giant.

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.

Reviews: Schulte & Herr, Izakaya Minato, Bearded Lady, Salty Sally’s, Elsemere

February 12th, 2017

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Schulte & Herr,

Schulte & Herr, a cozy German restaurant in Portland’s West Bayside neighborhood, knows a thing or two about defying expectations. Since opening in 2011, it remains steadfastly without a liquor license. Co-owners Steffi Davin and her husband, chef Brian Davin, instead seem (for the moment, at least) content to pin their success on homey atmosphere and the remarkable quality of their food. Everything pivots around traditional German favorites, from unexpectedly crisp and light pork schnitzel to hearty sauerbraten…

the Press Herald has reviewed Izakaya Minato and The Bearded Lady,

Not Izakaya Minato. And it’s no surprise. You couldn’t come up with a concept that would appeal more to Portlanders right now. Izakaya is a Japanese portmanteau that translates to “stay sake shop,” meaning a place you can buy sake and also drink it. It’s evolved into the Japanese version of a gastropub and, yes, it’s mostly about the food – shareable smallish plates, including salads, soup, sashimi and some hot stuff.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Salty Sally’s and Elsemere.

The food was good – not fine dining, but high quality, well executed, and mildly inventive. The casual, relaxed atmosphere seemed amply suited for drinks, a meal, or both.

Maria’s Ristorante

February 11th, 2017

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Maria’s on Cumberland Ave.

In restaurant-rich Portland, what’s immediately noticeable about Maria’s Restaurant is what isn’t there. The now-familiar buzz that newish city bistros radiate. The staccato of cocktail shakers, or eclectic soundtracks piped from hidden speakers.