This Week’s Events: Loire Tasting, Greek Festival, Strawberry Festival, Taste of the Nation

Tuesday — Wine Wise is running a sparkling wine crawl on Wharf Street, and Devenish Wine and Caiola’s are teaming up to offer a tasting of wines from the Loire paired with food pairing prepared by chef Abby Harmon.

WednesdayHavana South is holding their monthly wine club, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — Aurora Provisions is holding a Portuguese wine tasting, it’s the opening day of the Greek Heritage Festival and the Great Lost Bear is showcasing brews from Clown Shoes brewery in Massachusetts.

Friday — Allagash is holding a Victoria Ale Premiere Party at the Victoria Mansion, and it’s the 2nd day of the Greek Heritage Festival at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church on Pleasant Street.

Saturday — the 3rd Annual Strawberry Festival, the 3rd Annual Lobsterfest, and the 7th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival are taking place, Standard Baking is offering tours of their bakery on Commercial Street, it’s the last day of the Greek Heritage Festival, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — the 6th Annual Taste of the Nation is taking place at SMCC. Taste of the Nation raises funds for Share Our Strength to fight hunger in Maine—tickets are available online.

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.

Review of Figa

The Spiced Plate has published a review of Figa.

The last part of this course was the eggplant bharta.  This dish was so comforting, overflowing with softness that embraced your tongue like a mother’s hug.  It also was similar to something I would make at home, which made me extremely happy…The eggplant, pepper, zucchini, squash, onion, and garlic combined flavors in a way that led you to believe that the vegetables were good friends who had known each other for a while and were completely comfortable and open with their personalities.  Each bite was a bit different, but equally lovely.

Review of Local 188

Eat Here. Go There. has published a review of Local 188.

Overall, it was an unexpectedly wonderful dinner out with friends. We all commented that we went there with zero expectations and came out thinking this is one of the most solid meals we have ever had out in Portland. I suggest that you, run, not walk, to Local 188 if you haven’t been there, and if you haven’t been there in a while, make a reservation to try it again. I know I’ll be dreaming of those chicken livers until we meet again…

Under Construction: SPT 2.0, The Cafe, Aurora@The Museum, Taco Escobarr

The agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting is online and with it the liquor license applications for several restaurants under development:

  • SPT 2.0 is described by owner David Cram as a “fine dining restaurant and lounge”. Cram also owns the Spring Point Tavern in Scarborough hence the SPT in the name of his new venture. See page 62 of the agenda for a look at their draft menu.
  • The reincarnation of the Cafe at Pats is now slated to be named simply The Cafe. The kitchen will be under the direction of the original chef Greg Gilman. See page 77 of the agenda for a look at their draft menu.
  • Aurora Provisions will be taking over management of the Portland Museum of Art cafe. See page 101 of the agenda for a look at their draft menu.
  • The owners of Nosh have submitted paperwork for their second restaurant Taco Escobarr. The  “latin inspired taqueria and cocktail lounge” will be located across the street from Nosh. The draft menu (page 121) includes a 2.2 pound burrito called The Kilo.

Under Construction: Taco Escobarr

Today’s Portland Daily Sun includes an update on Taco Escobarr, the new restaurant under construction on Congress Street.

Nosh owners Matt Moram and Jason Loring plan to open Taco Escobarr at the former site of yoga supply shop The Happy Yogi by mid-August after having cleared their building permit with the city on Monday.

“It’s just a real basic taco stand,” said Moram. “It’s going to be a straight, old-school tacos and traditional Mexican food, rice and beans, tacos, enchiladas and burritos.”

Bass Ackwards Berryblue Ale

Sebago Brewing is releasing Bass Ackwards Berryblue Ale single batch beer today. The brewery describes it as,

…an unfiltered, all-natural mild pale ale made with Maine blueberries. A refreshing, well balanced beer that is crisp, fruity and finishes clean and dry. The name Bass Ackwards Berryblue Ale is for its unconventional use of only real Maine blueberry juice in the fermenter without the use of added flavorings. This results in a more subtle blueberry fruit aroma and taste.

Myers Wins Infusathon

John Myers was voted winner of Wednesday night’s Infusathon for his liquid BLT. According to a release from the organizers, the drink had a “lettuce infusion on top, tomato infusion in the middle, and a bacon infusion on the bottom which had to be injected with a syringe into each glass immediately before serving. Myers works the bar at The Grill Room and is on the Board of Advisors for the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Armory Lounge, Blue Spoon, David’s, The Grill Room, Nosh, Sonny’s and The Salt Exchange competed in the event which raised more than $1000 for the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund.

Weather Gives Farms a Slow Start

The Portland Daily Sun interview Maine farms about the start of the 2011 growing season.

“It’s a little slower than normal between the cold, too much rain, not enough rain,” said Sarah Bostick, who’s worked for the past six years at Meadowood Farm, a 10-acre tract in Yarmouth.

Bostick, who was selling plants and vegetables yesterday at the Portland Farmer’s Market, admits this year isn’t as bad as two years ago, when damp weather lasted for more than a month, causing some crops to rot in the field.

Blackstones Responds to Changing Times

An article in today’s Portland Daily Sun reports on how Blackstones is responding to economic and social changes in Portland’s gay community.

“I want to support the magazine and think it’s a great thing, but up until recently, we haven’t had to advertise, especially to the gay community. I’m trying to wrap my head around the way things have changed over the past few years. It’s always been word-of-mouth for us, but now I think I have to look at promotional things we used to do, or come up with some new ones to increase business. I’ve been working here since 1988 and we bought it in 1992 … things are very different now.”