Reviews: Big J’s, Sea Glass, Farm Stand, LFK, Great Lost Bear

December 25th, 2016

The Maine  Sunday Telegram has reviewed Big J’s Chicken Shack,

The Portland Hot is a sticky, sweet and mildly spicy hybrid that combines flavors and textures from both Southern and Korean fried chicken traditions, whereas the Nashville Hot is a pretty faithful rendition of the old classic. It’s also the best of the three, with a lava-hot attack and a slow, numbing tingle that warms you as you eat. It is especially tasty with the Hong Kong-style bubble waffle and Maine maple syrup. Every bit as good is the Brussels and kohlrabi slaw, with sweet raisins, apple and a curry-flavored dressing – not the sort of side dish you might expect from a simple chicken shack

the Kennebec Journal has reviewed Sea Glass,

Andrew Chadwick became the new executive chef in July, and we were thoroughly impressed when we dined there a week ago. He is about as personable as you could get. After a few moments, I sensed his deep knowledge and love of cooking. He offered us a tasting menu with smaller portions “to give an idea of what we do here.” Well, what he is doing here is magic.

the Press Herald has reviewed The Farm Stand,

The sandwich also had some things I’m not usually big on, like daikon radish and pickled carrot. But both worked really well and overall the sandwich was one of the best I’ve had. The slices of ham were thin and smoky. The thick slice of carrot was a little crunchy, as were the radishes. The jalapeño mayo gave it just enough heat.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed LFK and The Great Lost Bear.

Either way, The Great Lost Bear did it again. Their food was inexpensive and tasty, the atmosphere ultra comfortable, and the service was solid as always. I’m not sure if there are people who haven’t been to GLB, but if you haven’t and are looking for a fairly priced meal in a chill atmosphere and maybe some good beers, they are a great option and they’re large enough that you probably won’t have to wait for a table. But even if you do, it’s worth it.

Under Construction: Union Bagel Company

December 24th, 2016

Union Bagel Company (website, facebook, instagram, twitter)  has leased the former Pizza Time location at 46 Veranda Street where they plan to open a second bagel bakeshop and retail store.

Owner Paul Farrell hopes to open the East Deering Union Bagel by the end of February. The additional kitchen will enable him to expand production to serve his growing wholesale business.

‘Cradle of Craft Beers’

December 23rd, 2016

The Press Herald has published an article about 1 IndustriALE Way and the steady stream of breweries that have called it home.

The hand-me-downs are a way of life at 1 Industrial Way. The building on the western edge of Portland has been the home of seven breweries in the past seven years, with Battery Steele planning to open in February. With two other breweries already operating in the building and craft beer stalwart Allagash across the street, an industrial part of the Riverton neighborhood once pocked with auto body shops has turned into an unlikely tourist destination.

Bull Jagger, Maine Beer Company, Rising Tide, Bissell Brothers, Foundation Brewing, Austin Street, and now Battery Steele have all been/still are tenants at 1 Industrial Way.

Mini Mogadishu

December 22nd, 2016

The Portland Phoenix has published a report on Mini Mogadishu, a Somali restaurant that recently opened on Forest Ave.

Operating all day, Mini Mogadishu will serve classic Somali breakfast fare including aanjeero crepes (a fermented pancake-like bread) with hilib (goat or beef) or chicken sugar. Lunchtime offerings include dalac bilash (a tomato soup), boor (fried dough), mushaari bowl (porridge), and fresh pita or jaapaati. For sipping, there’ll be fruit smoothies and mango or guava juice.

Under Construction: Sichuan Kitchen

December 21st, 2016

Sichuan Kitchen has passed their final inspections and is “close” to opening.

Under Construction: Stone Fort Distillery

December 20th, 2016

A new distillery that plans to produce “hand craft vodka and whiskey” is now under development in Biddeford. The owners of Stone Fort Distillery (facebook) have leased space at 26 Pearl Street, a stone’s throw away from Dirigo Brewing Co.

PFM x Pomegranate Inn Package

December 20th, 2016

Boston Magazine has published a report on a collaboration between Portland Food Map and the Pomegranate Inn. Working with the inn’s management company, Lark Hotels, we produced a paper pocket edition of PFM.

Called the Portland Food Map package, the special gives guests an insider’s guide to food in the city. The boutique hotel teamed up with foodie and creator of the blog Portland Food Map Anestes Fotiades to guide visitors on a tour of the city’s restaurants and hidden gems. The package comes at no additional cost when guests book two nights or longer.

GQ: Maine & Loire

December 20th, 2016

Maine & Loire got mentioned in this month’s issue of GQ in an article about “the 20 new rules changing everything we know about wine”.

The article is not yet online.

Hannaford 2.0

December 19th, 2016

Today’s Press Herald reports on a Hannaford project to explore service and product innovations for their customers.

The location is Hannaford’s most high-tech store, while also being a throwback to the olden days of high-touch customer service. Aided by computers, tablets and touch screens, the store’s employees will cut your produce any way you like, help you select the best cut of meat or the perfect bottle of wine, and prepare your entire meal to eat in the store’s café or take home and throw directly into a pot. They’ll even do your shopping for you.

This Week’s Events: Maine Beer Co Dinner, Falafel Winter Solstice, Christmas, NYE List

December 19th, 2016

MondaySur Lie is serving a 5-course Maine Beer Co. beer dinner.

WednesdayFalafel Underground is holding a Winter Solstice Celebration at Katie Made.

FridayRosemont Market on Brighton is holding an afternoon wine tasting.

Saturday – The Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – Christmas.

New Year’s Eve – restaurants are starting to announce details for their NYE plans. I’ll be adding to the list over the next few weeks:

  • Abilene – will be serving a special prix fixe menu
  • BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe – this will be their final meal before closing.
  • Boone’s – 4-course dinner, $85 per person.
  • Central Provisions – serving an 8-course preview of the Italian menu at their new restaurant Tipo. $220 for 2 people.
  • Crooners and Cocktails – 7-course dinner “influenced by your favorite mobster films over the years”.
  • Drifters Wife – holiday menu with special list of grower champagne options.
  • Eventide – New Year’s Eve party, $50 per person.
  • Evo – 3 and 5-course dinner options for $55 or $85 per person.
  • Five Fifty-Five – 5-course dinner, $100 per person.
  • Lolita – 4-course dinner for $100 per person (tax and tip included) with optional wine pairings.
  • Petite Jacqueline – 3-course dinner and glass of sparkling wine, $85 per person.
  • Piccolo – 8-course dinner and a glass of prosecco with optional wine pairings, $115 per person.
  • Portland Regency – New Year’s Eve Gala, $85 per person.
  • Sur Lie – 5-course dinner with optional wine/cocktail pairings, $90 per person.
  • Terlingua – 3 and 5-course dinner options for $65 or $85 per person.
  • Twenty Milk Street – serving a special NYE menu.
  • Vinland – 5-course dinner and a glass of sparkling wine for $95 per person.
  • Woodford F&B – serving an expanded menu.
  • Zapoteca – 4-course dinner, $85 per person with optional pairings.

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: Pai Men Miyake, Boda, The Front Room

December 18th, 2016

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Pai Men Miyake,

It is counterintuitive, but Pai Men’s bowls of noodles are not its strongest dishes. Some, like the Paitan, with its super-concentrated chicken broth, are solid, but others, like the seriously undercooked, brothless Tokyo Abura, or the flat, dilute-tasting kimchi ramen, are lackluster. The small plates, on the other hand, like Brussels sprouts with a fish sauce vinaigrette and loads of cilantro, scallion and mint, are extraordinary. So too, the creamy, crunchy local Maine crabmeat sushi, and the decadent scallop hamayaki.

The Golden Dish has reviewed The Front Room,

This roast chicken was probably one of the best I’ve had at any restaurant in Portland.  It could have been homemade by an accomplished home cook.  It was beautifully burnished and juicy, served over a lusty bed of mashed potatoes and topped with quickly sautéed local spinach.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Boda.

Boda did it once again. They are a spectacular establishment that never ceases to wow me. Their incredible consistency, simply amazing food, and reliable service continue to earn my highest praise. It’s not lost on me that I’ve never had an item I didn’t like there even though I’ve had so many. If you haven’t been, you most certainly must go.

Madeline A. Napolitano, 81

December 17th, 2016

Madeline A. Napolitano passed away on Thursday at the age of 81. Napolitano and her husband Anthony founded Maria’s Ristorante.

Following graduation, Madeline began working for Central Maine Power. It was there where she met Rita Napolitano, who introduced Madeline to her brother, Anthony J. Napolitano. Madeline and Anthony were married at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on November 11, 1961. Together, they started one of the restaurant staples in Portland, Maria’s Restaurant. Throughout the years, Madeline was very involved in the restaurant as a hostess and bookkeeper. Even into the last few weeks of her life, Madeline was very active in the restaurant.

Interview with Steve and Michelle Corry

December 17th, 2016

Wine Spectator has published an interview with Steve and Michelle Corry, owners of Five Fifty-Five, Petite Jacqueline, and Portland Patisserie.

Wine Spectator: You opted for Portland over Boston. What was the city’s dining scene like when you first arrived, and how has it changed over the years?
Michelle Corry: There wasn’t much going on. We were a little nervous about doing fine dining in Portland. But I do remember one night talking about [what our restaurant would be like], [dining] out, looking around and thinking, “Oh my gosh, there’s a bottle of wine on every table—we’re going to make a wine restaurant!” Even then, people liked wine in Portland, and that bolstered us a little bit.

Under Construction: Mini Mogadishu

December 16th, 2016

The new Somali  restaurant under construction at 683 Forest Ave named Mini Mogadishu is scheduled to open this Saturday.

Family Friendly Breweries

December 16th, 2016

The new episode of Great Beer Adventure is an interview with Christie Mahaffey, co-owner of Foundation Brewing, about bringing kids to breweries and bars.