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.

Under Construction: Monte’s Fine Foods

Mainebiz has published an update on Monte’s Fine Foods which is slated to open on Washington Ave in May.

The plan morphed into a retail operation selling local and imported food products, mostly Mediterranean. Plus, they’ll have in-store dining featuring Roman-style pizza made on the premises. There are several types of Roman pizza, he said. In this case, they’ll make Roman “pinsa,” a rustic multi-grain flatbread that’s crispy and light, he explained. Toppings will feature the local and imported ingredients sold in the store.

This Week’s Events: Italian Cooking Class, Winter Market, NYE List

Thursday – The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Baxter Brewing.

Friday – Marco D’Angelo is teaching an Italian cooking class, and there will be a wine tasting at the West End Rosemont.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayTwo Fat Cats is leading a holiday cookie decorating class, Samuel’s is holding a fundraiser for Toys-for-Tots, and Bow Street Beverage is holding their monthly wine seminar.

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: Luke’s Lobster

Today’s Press Herald reports on a 175-seat Luke’s Lobster planned for Portland Pier.

The restaurant at 60 Portland Pier will be the seafood chain’s largest by far, with 175 indoor seats and a patio that seats 25, according to company founder Luke Holden, a native of Cape Elizabeth. The typical Luke’s location seats about 25 patrons.

Holden hopes to have the restaurant open at the start of Summer.