Bill Murray Beer Week (Updated)

September 12th, 2014

billmurrayAs part of this year’s Portland Beer Week, Novare Res is collaborating with a set of Maine breweries to create Bill Murray inspired beers. Novare has launched a social media campaign (hash tag #billmurraybeerweekME) to persuade Murray to come to Portland and try them out.

BDN beer blog If My Coaster Could Talk reports, “The list of brewers and Bill Murray inspired beers isn’t official yet but the participant list so far is pretty impressive, keep an eye out for updates and expect some fun brews for this event.”

Portland Beer Week will take place November 1-7.

Update: The Press Herald has published an article about this initiative which includes details on the participating brewers.

Reviews: Timber & Central Provisions

September 12th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Timber,

With two drinks, tax and tip–and no dessert—this meal was hardly a bargain at $90, but it was awfully good.  My next “budget” meal there will be the rotisserie chicken—half a bird for $19.  Add in all the sides, cocktails and more, well, Timber is a steak house extraordinaire and you have to pay accordingly.

and the September edition of Down East includes a review of Central Provisions.

There are other Asian accents. The yellowfin tuna crudo has a hint of sesame, radish, and mustard — just enough to complement the pink flesh dissolving on your tongue. The spicy beef (carpaccio) salad has a nice Sriracha kick. And the halibut — a beautiful hunk of fish, seared crispy on the top and beribboned with grilled garlic scapes — has just a hint of heat from garlic and jalapeño to brighten the flavor of this dense fish.

Under Construction: C Salt Market

September 12th, 2014


The C Salt Gourmet Market (facebook) is slated to open soon in the center of Cape Elizabeth. According to a Forecaster article published earlier this year, Co-owner Mike Concannon “compared the concept to Clayton’s Cafe in Yarmouth and Aurora Provisions in Portland’s West End.”

C Salt plans to sell “Coffee, muffins, cookies and bakery items, gourmet sandwiches and grab and go meals.” The newly constructed building is located at 349 Ocean House Rd.

Interview with John Naylor at Rosemont

September 11th, 2014

The Press Herald has published an interview with John Naylor, co-owner of Rosemont.

Q: You’ve gone from one store to four and a catering operation. What are the plans for growth?
If we’re going to expand, our kitchen needs to get bigger and our warehouse needs to get bigger, so were going to start looking for space. We’re at about 4,000 square feet at the warehouse and we’re looking to expand to 10,000 to 12,000 square feet. We’d like to be able to take big animals in bigger pieces (for the butcher shop) and to get into preservation with the produce and offer Maine products year-round. That’s our mission now, to find that space. If we could have a warehouse big enough to help farmers store their crop, it could open up business with institutions. For instance, I’m on a committee that’s looking at how we get more local food into Portland’s public schools.

Reviews: The King’s Head & El Rayo Scarborough

September 11th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a bar review of The King’s Head,

On a recent night, Amager Envy and Gluttony IPAs from Denmark were on tap, as well as Thornbridge Halcyon IPA out of England, Dieu du Ciel from Quebec, local brews like Bissell and Banded Horn, and even Prosecco.

Binet says “there will be no comfort beer” on tap, which means if you’re looking for Pabst Blue Ribbon and the like, you won’t find it here.

and has reviewed the new El Rayo in Scarborough.

There are lots of great starters on the menu, including fried plantains with chipotle mayo ($4.95), fried shisisto peppers dusted with sea salt ($7.95) and one of my favorites from the other El Rayo, Mexico City-style corn on the cob basted with chipotle mayo and dusted with cojita cheese ($4.95). I went with the corn-jalapeno fritters served with jalapeno jelly for those who want more kick. The small, thin fritters were nice and crunchy on the outside, soft inside with whole kernels of corn hidden throughout. These were as good as I remembered them, but at $5.75 for an order of about a half-dozen, they seemed a bit pricey.

Yahoo Travel: Non-Beer Drinking in Portland

September 11th, 2014

Yahoo Travel has assembled a list of recommendations on where to go in Portland when you want to drink, but you’re looking for something other than beer.

It’s no secret that Portland, Maine, is a haven for beer drinkers, thanks to the omnipresence of breweries, such as Allagash and Banded Horn, in the area. In fact, a number of companies will even take you on beer-tasting tours throughout the city. But what if you’re (gasp!) not a beer person? Or simply want to take a day off from hoppy brews and try out some of Portland’s other liquid offerings.

T. Edward: Hugo’s Central, Vinland

September 11th, 2014

NYC wine importer T. Edward was recently in Portland. He’s posted impressions of his meals at Hugo’s, Central Provisions and Vinland.

With an urban appetite and a farmer’s flair, Portland’s dining scene has come of age and is ready for courting. From Hugo’s on Middle Street that first opened in 1999, to Central Provisions and Vinland, both opened just this year, Portland has become a destination for everything local on the plate from umami to briny, to supple creams and tart berries.

Eat Drink Lucky

September 11th, 2014

Building off the foundation of their Stir monthly newsletter, the gBritt public relations firm is launching a daily email service called Eat Drink Lucky which will send “three tips a day about fun food things in Maine” each morning. gBritt is launching Eat Drink Lucky 10 cities nationwide including Austin, Seattle, NYC and San Francisco.

Apple Interview with Rowan Jacobsen

September 10th, 2014

applesThe Press Herald has published a extended interview with James Beard award-winning author Rowan Jacobsen about his new book on heirloom apples.

Did you just go in search of different varieties – a random search – or did you put out feelers to try to find out who was growing what?
It was kind of a mix. I talked to growers about some of their favorites, some of the apple collector guys, and I’ve done research. There are some great books written about apples in the 1800s. Some of those are very opinionated about certain apples. So I developed a wish list of apples that I knew I wanted to check out.

Were there times you’d just stop by the side of the road and try something?
In Vermont, I do that all the time. This time of year the roadsides are just laden with wild apple trees, volunteer trees that nobody planted. But those aren’t any particular variety. You don’t know what you’re going to get with them. My wife and son don’t like to drive with me this time of year.

I had the chance to read an advance copy of the book and can give it a hearty 2 thumbs up. Jacobsen catalogs 100+ apples, providing tasting notes, detailed histories and does it all with an approachable and witty style that made it a pleasure to read.

Jacobsen will be in Portland on Monday September 22nd at SPACE Gallery for a reading and an apple tasting in collaboration with David Buchanan.

Middle Street: Pepperclub Closing & Sangillo’s Appeal

September 9th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports that the Pepperclub/Good Egg will be going out of business this month,

After a slow, dwindling summer, Portland’s once-favored dining institution the Pepperclub and its breakfast outpost The Good Egg Cafe will serve its last meals this month.

The 25-year-old business was looking to relocate in the city, but owner Melissa Sawyer, reached by phone Tuesday, has called off the search.

In a separate article, the BDN reports that the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages will be holding a hearing in October to hear Sangillo’s liquor license appeal.

The hearing will be conducted by staff from the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations. Laurence Sanborn, who manages the agency’s Liquor Licensing and Enforcement Division, said in June that public comment will be accepted at the hearing, which will consider anew the evidence heard by city councilors on March 17.

Update: the Press Herald has now also published an article about the Pepperclub.

Family Feast: Hams & Clams

September 9th, 2014

familyfeast092014Chef Thomas Duffly has announced a new Family Feast event. The September edition of Family Feast, dubbed Hams & Clams, is an ” Indonesian-style New England shellfish boil”. It’s scheduled for September 28th 3pm at Slab. Tickets are $20 and there’s a cash beer bar managed by Banded Horn Brewing.

Food’s Economic Impact

September 9th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald includes an article on food and agriculture’s economic impact.

Food has an economic impact as well, he said. On the one hand, foodies contribute to Maine’s tourism industry by heading to Portland, which has become known as a place to find innovative restaurants. Many restaurant menus mention the farms where they buy their products, which Lapping applauds as contributing to the health of those farms. Even those who aren’t into the latest food trend come to the state at least in part for the food, because for many, no trip to the state is complete without a lobster dinner.

Under Construction: The Jewel Box

September 8th, 2014


The Jewel Box has posted an update on Kickstarter with a series of photos illustrating the last few months of construction at 644 Congress Street. The center piece of the new space is the curved bar made of white oak. If all goes according to plan the bar will hopefully open by the end of the month.

Farming Adventures in Maine

September 8th, 2014

This week’s Source section in the Maine Sunday Telegram reported on farmers who are experimenting with growing produce not traditionally found in New England.

Lots of farmers like to experiment occasionally, growing the odd fruit or vegetable that doesn’t really belong in Maine just to see if they can.

Take Deborah Chadbourne of Rasmussen Farm & Western Maine Market in Freeman Township. In recent years she’s tried her hand at growing turmeric, ginger, cardamom, lemongrass and cardoon.

This Week’s Events: Miyake Harvest Dinner, Marine Bioinvasions

September 8th, 2014

Wednesday — the Monument Square Farmers Market are taking place.

Thursday — GMRI is hosting a talk on Marine Bioinvasions in the Gulf of Maine, and , and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Magic Hat.

Saturday — the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — Miyake is serving a Harvest Dinner at Wolfe’s Neck Farm.

Cantillon Zwanze Day — Novare Res will be one of a select few beer bars in North America that are serving the 2014 edition of Cantillon Zwanze. September 20.

Piccolo Panarda — Piccolo will be celebrating their 1st anniversary on September 21st by serving a traditional Abruzzi Panarda, a feast of epic proportions. Piccolo’s Panarda will be a 20-course meal paired with wines from Southern Italy. $110 per person.

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.

Arcadia Opening Today

September 5th, 2014

arcadia_logoArcadia National Bar (website, facebook, twitter) held a preview last night to help “get some kinks worked out” and plans on opening today at 4pm. Arcadia is hybrid bar/arcade.

Owners Dave Aceto and Ben Culver ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for Arcadia earlier this year that raised nearly $26,000. Arcadia is located at 24 Preble Street in the location formerly occupied by Slainte.

Bard Coffee’s New Roastery

September 5th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has published an article on the new Bard Coffee/Wicked Joe roastery in Topsham.

In July, the 10-year-old company moved its headquarters from a cramped space in Brunswick to a commissary-turned-leading-edge coffee roasting facility across the Androscoggin River. Located near a defunct recruitment center and shuttered fire station in the former U.S. Navy Annex in Topsham, it is an unlikely location for a rising coffee bean business. But the blank slate — a 37,000-square-foot building — was ripe for renewal.

Review of Blue Spoon

September 5th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Blue Spoon.

A main course of pan-fried flounder was perfectly cooked–flakey, fresh and well-seasoned.  What drew me to the dish, however, was the accompanying side of caramelized green beans. These, however, were merely sautéed and remained al dente but not glazed whatsoever.  The fish had a further garnish of crispy fingerlings and olive oil poached sun gold tomatoes with basil—a pleasing Mediterranean touch, though overall too much oil on the dish.

Review of Lolita

September 4th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Lolita.

The medium dishes are the most intriguing on the page, and they deliver on it. In one dish, black trumpets brought out the earthy side of mackerel filet. Lentils, served with just pickled beets, could not have been more perfectly tender or expertly seasoned. Torchino pasta enlivens a simple creamy tomato sauce with the spice and texture of crumbled nduja sausage and the pop of fresh peas.

Innovative Women in Food: Chellie Pingree

September 4th, 2014

Fortune and Food & Wine magazines have included Maine Congresswoman and farmer Chellie Pingree in their list of the Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink.