Maine’s Food Entrepreneurs

June 24th, 2015

The Bangor Daily News has a report on Maine’s food entrepreneurs.

“Food is Maine’s brand,” said Tanya Swain, project co-director of The Maine Food Strategy, who spoke on a panel with entrepreneurs Joel Alex, founder of Blue Ox Malthouse, and Aaron Anker of Grandy Oats. “People are recognizing there is an opportunity to develop food businesses in Maine.”

There are several barriers, such as infrastructure needs and distribution, but the determination of the earnest ravioli maker and chocolatier who asked questions from the floor shone through.

This Week’s Events: Allagash Street Fair, Greek Festival, Strawberry Festival, Taste of the Nation, Noshbow

June 22nd, 2015

allagashTuesdayPiccolo is holding a 5-course French wine dinner.

Wednesday — there will be a community dinner in Congress Square to celebrate the Heart of the Community grant (El Corazon and Mami food trucks plus food from Figgy’s and Home Catering), and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayThe Honey Paw is hosting a release party for Oxbow’s 2015 edition of Liquid Swords, it’s the kick-off of the Greek Heritage Festival, and Tandem Bakery is hosting a Pies-n-Thighs Pop-up.

Friday — A group of food trucks are holding the Summer Solstice Celebration on Saint John Street.

SaturdayAllgash is holding a street festival to celebrate their 20th anniversary, the 7th Annual Strawberry Festival is taking place, there will be a wine tasting at Maine & Loire, Aurora Provisions is collaborating with Devenish Wines on a Rose tasting, the Craft Brew Race Festival and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market are taking place; Porterfield Cider will be launching Saturday at the market.

sos_maine 2_0Sunday — the 2015 Taste of the Nation and the 3rd annual Noshbow Block Party are taking place, Coffee by Design is throwing a party to celebrate their 21st anniversary, Rising Tide and Browne Trading are working together on a beer and oyster event, Vinland is holding a dinner and book signing with author Diana Rodgers.

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.

Now Open: Abilene & Joy’s Crepe Cafe

June 21st, 2015

Two new businesses are now open on Forest Ave:

  • Abilene is located in Woodfords Corner next to Bayou Kitchen. They opened on Friday serving lunch, dinner and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Today’s brunch menu includes options like Spicy Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash, a Roasted Vegetable Benedict, and a Pork Belly LT sandwich. The entrance is at 539 Deering Ave across from Big Sky.
  • Joy’s Crepe Cafe(facebook) opened a couple weeks ago. They’re located at 849 Forest Ave in the former Haggarty’s space. They serve a wide range of sweet crepes, as well as some savory options with lobster, crab, and one with capicola, Canadian ham, pastrami and buffalo turkey.

Tempo Dulu Opens Tonight

June 20th, 2015

tempoduluTempo Dulu(facebook, website, open table) held a friends and family-ish dinner dry run last night and opens to the public tonight. The Indonesian restaurant is located in the Danforth Inn at 163 Danforth Street in the West End. Chef Lawrence Klang leads the kitchen and Trevin Hutchins is the creative talent behind the bar.

For more information and photos of the space see this article from Maine magazine.

Pictured on the right is a quail egg amuse bouche from last night’s dinner.

Emilitsa’s Summer Menu

June 18th, 2015

emilitsaBoth Maine a la Carte and Urban Eye have posted reports on Monday’s press preview of Emilitsa’s new summer menu.

Juicy duck that melts in your mouth. Nutty, flaky baklava infused with clove and honey. A medley of asparagus, toasted walnuts and farm chèvre tossed in mint tarragon dressing. Artisan mushrooms served with pan-fried eggplant on a bed of wilted kale and farro, the entire mess drizzled in top-shelf olive oil — what’s not to like?

Review of Figgy’s

June 18th, 2015

The Press Herald has reviewed Figgy’s.

Once you’ve downed all that fried chicken and a couple of carby sides, might as well destroy your diet completely and order dessert. I was thrilled to see they have a decent banana pudding (or as we call it back home, nanner puddin’), complete with Nilla wafers and whipped topping. The other dessert option is a homemade ice cream sandwich, with flavors changing daily.

What have I left out? Oh yes, there are a couple of salads on the menu, but if I were you I’d save the self denial for another day and another dinner. Don’t visit Figgy’s without trying the fried chicken.

Portland Patisserie Now Open

June 17th, 2015

patisserie_logoPortland Patisserie(website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is now open. The French bakery and “grand cafe” is located at the corner of Milk and Market Streets. The pastry chef is Catherine Coté-Eliot, who’s resume includes time at Standard Baking and at Financier in in New York City.

You can find a full menu for Portland Patisserie on their website. The pain au chocolat I had was exceptional.

Under Construction: Abilene

June 17th, 2015

abilene_signA new restaurant called Abilene is under construction at 539 Deering Ave at the former location of Tipico in Woodfords Corner. According to the sign in the window they plan to serve lunch and dinner, and hope to open on Friday.

Evo Opening Today

June 17th, 2015

evo_logoEvo(twitter, website, facebook) has announced they’ll be opening tonight. Evo is serving a menu that’s described as a “modern fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines”. Matt Ginn is on staff as the chef de cuisine.

Evo is located at the corner of Fore and Union Streets. It’s run by the Prentice Hospitality Group.

Lincolns Now Open

June 16th, 2015

A new bar on Market Street called Lincolns(instagram) is now open. Lincolns was launched by Mark Ohlson, Nathan Drinkwater and Stephen Briggs. All items on the menu are priced at $5, hence the name.

Under Construction: Pockets

June 16th, 2015

A new sandwich shop called Pockets is under construction at 363 Fore Street, on the corner of Market Street in the space formerly occupied by Orange Leaf and Dunkin Donuts. The tag line on the temporary sign reads “natural tastes better”.

This Week’s Events: Tempo Dulu, Mural Initiative, Black Dinah, Food Truck Celebration

June 15th, 2015

Monday — the Portland Spirits Society is meeting at the Sweetgrass tasting room in Boothby Square.

Tuesday — the monthly local foods networking breakfast is taking place Local Sprouts, and there will be a wine tasting at Maine & Loire.

WednesdayBlack Tie is teaching a cooking class, Old Port Wine is having a wine tasting, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday — there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House.

Friday — the Portland Mural Initiative is holding an artist talk/BBQ in East Bayside with food from Bread & Butter Catering, Browne Trading, Oxbow Brewing, and Whole Foods Market.

SaturdayBlack Dinah is going to be giving tours at their new facility in Westbrook, Maine Beer Company is holding a bottle release for Dinner, Rosemont is serving a French wine dinner, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — A group of food trucks are holding the Summer Solstice Celebration on Saint John Street.

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.

Ramen Suzukiya is Now Open

June 13th, 2015

suzukiya_logoRamen Suzukiya(website, facebook) opened tonight. They’re located at 229 Congress Street near the intersection with Washington Ave. The opening night menu includes miso ramen, shoyu ramen, cold noodles and mini rice bowls.

Under Construction: Forq Food Lab

June 13th, 2015

Maine a la Carte has posted an update on Forq Food Lab.

Forq Food Lab, a Portland-based business now in the fundraising stage, hopes to give small food producers all the tools they need to make, package and market their products. Launched by Neil Spillane — CEO of Portland’s Urban Farm Fermentory (UFF) — in partnership with restaurant consultant Eric Holstein, Forq will have a fully equipped commercial kitchen and a tasting room open to the public when it opens early next year.

Under Construction: The Drink Exchange

June 13th, 2015

A new bar called The Drink Exchange is under development at 43 Wharf Street in the former Merry Table space. Owner Tanner Herget is planning a “Stock Market themed establishment for the enjoyment of  both locals and visitors”. Herget is also the owner of two other bars on Wharf Street: Bonfire and 51 Wharf.

A draft drinks menu can be found on page 209 of the City Council materials for Monday night’s meeting.

Reviews: Lolita & Ribolita

June 12th, 2015

Newish food blog Eatcentric has published a review of Lolita,

Another thing that was immediately apparent about Lolita was how relaxed and calm the entire restaurant was. You can watch the entire kitchen and bar staff work, and at no point was anyone frenetic or rushing. Service was fantastic, and everything came out in a timely manner that seemed effortless but based on the quality of the food, obviously was not. Husband and wife owners, Guy and Stella, were there throughout dinner service and greeted each guest warmly. Nothing seemed saccharine; just genuinely friendly and welcoming…

and Eat Maine has published a review of Ribollita.

In the case of Ribollita, the fact that the dining experience has changed so little is a very good thing, as it remains on the corner of Middle Street amidst of flurry of new restaurants, confidently turning out delicious Italian cuisine time and time again. If you’ve ever met Kevin Quiet, you know that this embodies both his demeanor and commitment.

Review of The Honey Paw

June 11th, 2015

Wok-Fried-Wide-Rice-NoodlesMap & Menu has reviewed The Honey Paw.

As for that shared kitchen, we’ve yet to try a bite at The Honey Paw that hasn’t left us craving our next. The creative flavor combinations of dishes like the octopus poke with watermelon and cucumber are delightful, and plates and bowls of charred pork shoulder and wok fried rice noodles are savory and comforting enough that we hope they never leave the menu…

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

Bar Review of Isa

June 11th, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Isa.

Isa is the newest bar and restaurant in Parkside. Refined yet casual, Isa is a 40-seat bistro featuring an eclectic menu, much of which is the comfort food owners Suzie St. Pierre and Isaul Perez love the most. No detail has gone unnoticed here, especially the long and narrow enclosed patio that seats 20. Expect the great service, superb drinks, the best beer Maine has to offer and an array of delicious options for bar eats.

Taylor & Wiley’s Guide to Portland

June 11th, 2015

Andrew Zimmern’s website has published a Portland eating/drinking guide by chefs Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley.

Their list includes: Tandem Bakery, Central Provisions, Hunt & Alpine, The Armory, The Porthole, Gorgeous Gelato, Sonny’s, Novare Res, Slab and Boda.

Impact of Rising Egg Prices

June 10th, 2015

Today’s Press Herald reports on how the rising price of eggs is impacting Maine restaurants.

A shortage of eggs in some parts of the country caused by an outbreak of avian flu has started to affect Maine businesses and consumers through increased prices for eggs and the products that contain them.