Pot Pies & Jean Ann Pollard

Today’s Press Herald includes a survey of local vendors who sell pot pies,

The convenience of picking up a pot pie on the way home from work and popping it into the oven has become so irresistible that many places are selling them year round. For parents, chicken and vegetables in a light gravy beats bringing home Big Macs any day.

and an article about the relaunch of The New Maine Cooking by Jean Ann Pollard.

Almost an exact copy of the original, the re-released “The New Maine Cooking” lacks the flashiness of today’s cookbooks but is filled with wholesome recipes made from real ingredients that are as relevant today as they were in 1987.

This Week’s Events: Valentine’s Day, Bunker Brewing, Miyake Wine Dinner

Valentine’s Day — it’s one of the busiest restaurant days of the year. There are ample options to choose from in the list below or you can try one of the suggestions assembled by Portland-area bloggers last week.

  • Bar Lola, $45, 5-course dinner with optional wine pairings
  • BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe, $40 3-course dinner
  • Bresca, 5-course Paris 2066 Dinner, $65 per person, $100 per person with wine pairings
  • Cinque Terre, 5-course on February 13 and 14, $59.95
  • East Ender, 3-courses $40 with the option of wine pairings for $18
  • El Rayo Cantina, is putting together a special Valentine’s Day menu
  • Five Fifty-Five, your choice of $75 or $100 5-course meals in the restaurant or a 3-course $55 dinner in the lounge
  • Gelato Fiasco, Valentine-themed red, pink, white, and chocolate flavors
  • Geno’s Rock Club will be the venue for the Local Muscle Valentine’s Day Film Festival
  • Novare Res, Sweet Marguerites chocolates paired with beer from the Novare Res menu, February 10-14
  • Petite Jacqueline, $65 4-course dinner with optional wine pairings
  • Sea Glass, 4-course dinner $62
  • Sea Grass Bistro, 4-course $65
  • Sebago Brewing, is offering a special Valentine’s Day menu
  • Sonny’s is hosting the launch party for Bunker Brewing
  • The Inn on Peaks Island, 3-course dinner, $55 includes a champagne toast
  • The Frog & Turtle, $45 3-course
  • The Salt Exchange has posted their Valentine’s Day menu
  • Vignola, 4-course, $39.95
  • Wine Wise, Wine & Chocolate Pairings, $35
  • Zackery’s, serving a special Valentine’s Day menu
  • Zapoteca, $40 with optional pairings for $20, served February 10-14

Wednesday — a lecture entitled “What’s Eating Maine: An Excursion into the Local Food System” is taking place at USM.

Thursday — the Brighton Ave Rosemont is hosting Cortijo Winery for a wine tasting.

Saturday — the the Winter Farmers Market is being held.

Sunday — Miyake is holding a 9-course wine dinner, and Ratatouille is on the schedule for movie night at Petite Jacqueline.

James Beard Awards — the James Beard Foundation is scheduled to release the list of semi-finalists for this year’s JBF Awards on February 21. The final list of nominees will be out March 19 and the winners will be announced May 4.

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.

4½ Stars for Silly’s with a Twist

Silly’s with a Twist has received 4½ stars from the review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

From its roots as a walk-up counter wrap joint to its current incarnation as maybe the most unique casual dining experience in Greater Portland — most lately with an expansion into the building next door — the Kelleys have created something to be proud of. And it goes the other way too — we are proud of them.

Voting Started in the Portland Phoenix Poll

The nominations process is complete and it’s now time to cast your ballot in the Portland Phoenix Best of Portland Readership Poll. There are a plethora of Food and Drink categories (Bagels, Bars, Barbecue, Beer Selection, Brewpubs, Brunch, etc) to vote on as well as sections for City Life, Arts and Entertainment, and Shopping.

Edible Obsessions, From Away, Mister Meatball, Portland Food Map and the Spiced Plate are all contenders in the Food Blog category.

If the 2012 polls follows the same schedule as past years then the final results will be made public in April at the Port City Music Hall.

Review of Sabor Latino

Portland Magazine has published a review of Sabor Latino.

Everything here tastes as if you’re feasting in a private, welcoming home, so expectations may not be met if you arrive looking for ubiquitous Tex-Mex flavors. The Burrito Supreme ($6.99) is chock-full of tender chunks of beef, beans, cheese, and gorgeous guacamole. Wrapped in an exquisitely browned, light, and tasty flour tortilla, the Chicken Quesadilla ($9.50) lingers in your mind long after that first bite. The fresh cheese deepens the sensation, along with the tender chicken. The Salvadorian sour cream’s richness adds to the whole experience.

Review of Hot Suppa & Valentine’s Day Stories

Joe Ricchio has written a dinner review of Hot Suppa for the Maine magazine blog.

The barbeque platter is the first entree to arrive, piled up with hickory-smoked pork ribs and pulled pork, as well as mesquite-smoked brisket. The meat immediately falls of the rib bones, and the best way I can describe the meltingly tender pulled pork and brisket is to call it “meat candy.” A plethora of sides include braised collard greens to aid digestion, tender sweet potato fries, and two wedges of crispy skillet corn bread, slathered with a liberal dollop of whipped butter melting down the sides.

And in his alter ego as the on-air personality for Food Coma TV, Joe has compiled a Valentine’s Day video of Portland “waiters and waitresses to shar[ing] their least favorite, experiences waiting on couples“.

Under Construction: Blue Lobster Urban Winery

Today’s Press Herald includes an update on the Blue Lobster Urban Winery which is under construction on India Street.

Christopher Gamble and Karen Rasmussen plan to operate their microwinery and wine bar out of a 2,400-square-foot space at 61 India St. It would be Portland’s, and possibly Maine’s, first “urban winery,” where grapes are crushed and fermented.

“People (in urban areas) are realizing that they have a customer base at their front door,” Gamble said. “If you can make wine in the city, why not?”

Gamble said his business plan calls for grapes to be imported from California vineyards to his winery in Portland, where they will be de-stemmed, crushed and fermented before the wine is put into oak barrels to age.

Reviews: Styxx & Terra Cotta Pasta

The Press Herald has published reviews of Styxx,

I tried both my friend’s drinks, and the Spree did indeed taste like the candy, but the Grape Crush tasted more like grape Dimetapp to me than the soda. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of fruity drinks, so that skews my impression.

and Terra Cotta Pasta.

I chose the sweet potato-butternut squash ravioli, which came tossed with dried cranberries and candied nuts. There was a light covering of a white sauce, which I assume was probably their maple-cream sauce. If you haven’t tried this yet, you are missing something really delicious.