This week’s Events: Shindig Hootenanny, Bourbon Tasting, Sandy Oliver, Deering Oaks Farmers Market

Monday — Deux Cochon is hosting an all-day Grand Opening Shindig Hootenanny Party.

TuesdayBlue is holding their monthly wine and cheese event.

WednesdayBlack Tie is teaching a cooking class and there will be a Bourbon Tasting at The Salt Exchange.

Thursday — Bard Coffee is hosting their monthly Latte Art Throwdown. Food Historian Sandy Oliver will be speaking at the Inventing Tradition: Good Maine Food wine dinner. The Great Lost Bear will feature beer from Marshall Wharf Brewery for their weekly Thursday night showcase. There will be a hard cider and cheese tasting at the Public Market House. LeRoux holding a baking demonstration.

Friday — Both BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe and SMCC are holding wine dinners.

Saturday — the first Deering Oaks Farmers Market of the season is taking place.

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 of Bull Feeney’s and Seagrass Bistro

The Seagrass Bistro in Yarmouth received 4 stars from a review in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Eight pan-seared scallops, nicely crusted outside and tender inside, surround braised fennel, all placed atop a piquant tomato sauce ($24). It’s a simple dish that’s beautifully prepared.

Eat Here. Go There. has published a review of Bull Feeney’s.

Overall, we thought the food/atmosphere at Feeney’s was great! We escaped with a $40 tab. It would have been relatively cheap had it not been for our $6 beers, so I think it’s worth giving a try. Though it’s far from authentic Irish food, it can satisfy one’s banger craving. It’s a cool place to grab some pub grub, have a good beer (because life’s too short to drink crap beer), and people watch. So, sometime do yourself a favor, go to Bull Feeney’s order an O’hara’s and some bangers…I feel pretty confident you’ll be glad you did.

Profile of Pat’s Meat Market

The Portland Daily Sun has published a profile of Pat’s Meat Market.

In the era of “Big Joe” Vacchiano, Jaime’s great-grandfather who immigrated to Portland from Italy and started a butcher’s shop at the base of Munjoy Hill, there was a meat market in every neighborhood. Over time, Pat’s Meat Market held on while others vanished. Jaime Vacchiano said the business pressures are demanding, yielding little in profit, which may explain the scarcity of private butcher shops today. He also theorized that a 24/7 world is inhospitable to an old-fashioned family business built on quality over expediency.

Under Construction: Zapoteca, Willard Square, Nina’s

Here’s a set of under construction updates:

  • Zapoteca has provided a draft menu (see page 67) as part of their liquor license application.
  • The American Journal and The Forecaster have both published reports on the reopening the Bathras Market in Willard Square. The market operated in the square from 1954 to 1989 and the family is hoping to have it back in operation in next month.
  • The Forecaster has also published an article about Ian Hayward and Glenn Perry’s plans for their own market in Willard Square.
  • A new store named Nina’s is “coming soon” to 1700 Forest Ave, the former location of Papa’s Place.

Review of Bar Lola

The Golden Dish has published a review of Bar Lola.

Why I never cottoned to the place in the past is a mystery. I think I felt the ambiance too dull and the room uncomfortable. This time the experience worked on all levels. The service is thoughtful and the kitchen keeps up to speed. I’m glad to add it to my list of five or six Portland restaurants that I go to regularly for pure gustatory indulgence.

Shipyard Brewing Expanding Capacity

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on Shipyard Brewing which is expanding their brewing capacity to meet demand.

The new equipment will enable the company to brew 180,000 barrels of beer yearly, up from its current capacity of 140,000 barrels, said Alan Pugsley, Shipyard’s master brewer.

He said Shipyard has been running at full capacity recently and scrambling to fill orders.

Reviews of District and Otto’s

The Blueberry Files has published a brunch review of District,

But for brunch in Portland?  District.  Go to District.  I ordered a Bloody Mary to start and perused their short-ish menu, which has a mix of breakfast and lunch items.  Was tempted by the Soft Shell Crab Benedict special (until I saw the big X through it), but then landed on All You Can Eat Chicken and Waffles.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

and John Golden has revisited Otto’s and posted an updated review. Golden’s first review was critical of Otto’s and a revisit seems to have attenuated his opinion somewhat but not to the degree that he’d agree with the result of the Phoenix readership poll which rated Otto’s the Best Pizza in Portland.

Yesriree,  I’ve concluded that Otto’s pizza is good—not extraordinary—and definitely worth a pit stop. Some of my picks and pans of single slices so far go like this:
The potato, bacon, and scallions just doesn’t cut it for me—too gloppy and heavy. As the filling for a baked potato, it’s perfection.
The eggplant, ricotta, and basil works well, though I’d prefer to have the shredded basil added after the pie has baked rather than shriveling up in the baking or reheating process…


Best of Portland 2011 Results

The Portland Phoenix Best of Portland Readership Poll results are now available online. There are more than 100 categories, 41 of which are in the Food & Drink section.

A few businesses won in more than one category:

  • Portland Lobster Co. was rated the top in three different categories: Best Seafood, Best Patio/Outdoor and Best Lobster Roll.
  • Grace won for Best Romantic Restaurant and Best Restaurant Decor.
  • Miyake won Best Asian Restaurant and Best Sushi.
  • Bayside Bowl won Best New Restaurant, Best Sports Bar and Best Karaoke Venue.

Review of Figa

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of Figa.

An entrée of seared cod was served with funny, chewy little bits of beet and watercress spaetzle that shined and curled like a veggie organ-meat. The fish was firm but moist, and the sauce both buttery and bright with lemon. The meat of the braised rabbit was very mild, without a hint of gameyness. This bunny really chilled on the farm, I suspect. It was served with a simple red wine sauce, and sat on a profoundly creamy puddle of polenta.

Profile of Dobra Tea and Update on the UFF

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a profile of Dobra Tea. Dobra is located on Middle Street in the same building as Bull Moose and Videoport.

Walking into Dobra Tea feels like stumbling upon an eastern European cafe.

The arched windows, the warm mustard and burnt-orange walls, and the curvy woodworking details that look like something out of the genie’s bottle all shift your mood from rat-race mode to a lower-gear humming with old-world Bohemian tranquility.

Today’s paper also includes an update on the Urban Farm Fermentory. Among the many projects underway now is an experiment with Tilapia farming.

Under the glow of special lights, tomato plants and basil grow fast and lush. This unusual indoor garden sits atop two fish tanks where six freshwater tilapia swim, and the nutrient-rich water from the tanks is circulated through the hydroponic system feeding the plants’ roots.