This Week’s Events: Hush Hush, Middle Easter Pop-Up Bakery, NYE List

TuesdayLittle Giant Market is kicking-off their monthly late night pop-up bar, Hush Hush.

Thursday – Falafel Mafia is holding a Middle Eastern Pop-up Bakery at Fork Food Lab, and The Great Lost Bear is holding their annual 12 Beers of Christmas event.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

New Year’s Eve – restaurants have begun announcing their NYE dinner options:

  • Blue Spoon – 4-course dinner with champagne toast, optionan wine pairing $60 per person.
  • Central Provisions – 7-course dinner with pairings, $150 per person. Two seatings at 6 pm and 10 pm.
  • Falmouth Country Club – chef Nick Verdisco is serving a New Year’s Eve dinner, $80 per person.
  • Five Fifty-Five – 4-course dinner for $90 per person, 7-course for $125 per person.
  • Grace – 4-course dinner with bubbles for $85 per person.
  • Isa – 3-course dinner for $65 per person.
  • Lolita – 6-course dinner for $110 per person (tax and tip included).
  • North 43 Bistro – 4-course dinner.
  • Petite Jacqueline –  3-course dinner for $55 per person, 5-course dinner for $75 per person.
  • Piccolo – 5-course dinner for $85 per person.
  • Sur Lie – serving both their standard and a special NYE menu.
  • Terlingua – 5-course dinner and champagne toast for $85 per person.
  • The Honey Paw – is serving a dim sum menu all night.
  • Tiqa – 3-course dinner with champagne for $55 per person with seatings at 5, 7, and 9:30.
  • Vinland – 5-course dinner for $95 with optional pairings for $55; two seatings at 6 and 8:30.

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.

Under Construction: Gross Confection Bar

Gross Confection Bar (websitefacebookinstagram) owner Brant Dadaleares has announced plans to open his new dessert/cocktail bar in the first week of January.

Gross Confection Bar has been under construction for the last few months in the 2,000 sq ft subterranean space in the former location of Christmas Noel at 57 Exchange Street.

Under Construction: Strata

Strata (website, instagram) a cutlery retail business and knife sharpening service that launched earlier this year, has leased unit 4  of the The Black Box container building on Washington Ave.

Owner Evan Atwell sells specialty Japanese, French and New England made cutlery, as well as sharpens knives using a traditional Japanese whetstone process. Atwell moved to Portland from California where he worked for the Bi-Rite Market group.

He plans to open the new Strata retail store on February 1st.

Best Beer Bars: Tomaso’s

Hop Culture has included Tomaso’s on their list of the Best Beer Bars of 2018.

I love that Tomaso’s stocks a handful of uber-fresh, local, craft cans and draft beers at all times (check their IG). However, this place is mostly a local spot for tall boys and wings. They also have a beer + shot menu, which always gets me. So yeah, you probably won’t find proper glassware, but you’ll always find a great time. 

Beer Releases at Oxbow & Rising Tide

Two beer releases are taking place this weekend:

  • Rising Tide will tapping 12 barrel-aged beers on Saturday which will include “several never before released projects” including a “spontaneously fermented ale with raspberries”.
  • Oxbow is releasing a pair beers brewed with Maine honey to celebrate the landmark accomplishments of Karl von Frisch to explain the dancing behavior of bees. Both Dance Language beers blonde farmhouse ales brewed with Maine honey. “To showcase the flavors and aromas of different varieties of honey we brewed a single base saison recipe. The DL: Buckwheat Honey is light gold in color with notes of pepper, dried flowers, fresh baked bread, and honey with a medium body finish. While the DL: Blueberry Honey version has notes of  fresh citrus, dark fruit, and honey with a medium body and dry finish.”

Under Construction: Bird & Co.

A new Mexican restaurant called Bird & Co. is under construction at 539 Deering Ave in the space formerly occupied by Abilene.

The cover letter supplied by owners William Dowd and Jared Dinsmore indicates they’ll be serving a menu of “reasonably priced entrees drawing on Mexican and American Southwestern cuisine”. You can see the draft menu supplied with the liquor license application on page 85 of the City Council materials for Monday’s meeting.

Dowd and Dinsmore plan to open Bird & Co. 6 days a week, 11 am to 10 pm for lunch and dinner. They hope to open the restaurant in January.

Maine Chefs on Reality TV

The Press Herald talked with chefs Rob Evans, Matt Ginn, Austin Miller, Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier, Rachel LeGloahec, Zachary Pratt, and Shanna O’Hea about their experiences appearing on reality cooking shows like Chopped.

Contestants described a typical day filming “Chopped” in New York City. All the chefs appearing on the same episode meet at a fast food joint around 5:30 a.m. for a day that won’t end until 9 p.m. They are ushered into an unmarked building, where they must give up their cell phones. Ginn says that for “Chopped Champions,” pockets were checked for hidden recipes and smuggled kitchen equipment. Chefs say they were not even allowed to go to the bathroom alone.