Portland restaurants cleaned up at last week’s Maine Hot Wing Cook-Off Challenge. The Great lost Bear won in the Hottest of the Hot category, the Asylum took the honors for the Best Traditional Wing Sauce, and Congress Bar & Grill won the People’s Choice Award.
The event was sponsored by Shipyard Brewing. It raised $2,800 for the Relay for Life.
The organizers of the (sold out) Mumford & Sons concert taking place in Portland later this Summer are interested in having Maine’s local mobile food scene represented at the event. They’re looking for Portland-area food trucks that are interested contact them about one of the 12 food vendor slots available.
I picture Mumford fans enjoying lobster rolls from Bite into Maine, dessert from Gorgeous Gelato, oysters from Cabin Cove. Hopefully some of the food trucks from Brunswick will want to make it down to Portland for the concert as well.
Food truck operators who are interested in being part of the event should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
There are a couple new additions to the Under Construction list:
- Kushiya Benkay is under construction at 653 Congress Street. If the address looks familiar it’s because it was the former home of Gogi, Barava, Granny’s, Uncle Billy’s, Nile, etc. It even once was the home of a Jim Ledue restaurant that I was quite fond of called Bella Cucina. According to Wikipedia Kushiya is a Japanese term for a skewered and charcoal grilled food, roughly analogous to Yakitori, except formally Yakitori only refers to grilled chicken and Kushiya could be any type of skewered food. The sign in the window indicates that they hope to be open as soon as July.
- Novare Res is rumored to be working on a new venture which will, if the information proves out, be a pub/brewery/distillery that will be collaborating with other brewers in the state. From what I’ve heard the new place is located on the corner of Commercial and Union Wharf. There’s no official word yet from Novare Res on their plans.
An article in today’s Press Herald reports on a tip skimming suit filed against the Eastland.
According to the complaint, the downtown hotel keeps a portion of gratuities for itself or distributes a portion to managers or other employees who do not serve food or beverages. The hotel adds a gratuity of 18 to 20 percent to food and beverage bills, including those for banquets, according to the complaint.
According to an article on the Press Herald food blog Maine a la Carte, the national food blog Eater.com will be a launching a Maine branch of its site tomorrow.
“Part of why we decided to call it Eater Maine is we already have a site called Eater Portland out of Oregon,” Steele said in an exclusive interview with the Portland Press Herald. “I think when you look at what’s going on down in Kennebunkport or up on the midcoast or further up, there’s just exciting food happening up and down the Maine coast. I think by calling the site Eater Maine it will let us talk about the areas outside of Portland when they’re really important, but the focus will be the Portland metro area.”
Wednesday — the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.
Thursday — esteemed wine importer Peter Weygandt is collaborating with Caiola’s on a 6-course wine dinner ($70pp, 772-1110), Miyake is holding a sake tasting, there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, and a wine tasting at Aurora Provisions, and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Founders Brewing.
Saturday — Novare Res is holding the 2012 Smuttfest celebrating Smuttynose Brewing by offering 25 of their beers on tap, RSVP is having a Founders Brewing beer tasting and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.
Taste of the Nation — looking out a couple weeks, the Taste of the Nation fundraiser to fight hunger in Maine is taking place on June 24 on Great Diamond Island. Many of Portland’s best restaurants are participating. You can learn more and buy tickets online at Share Our Strength website.
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.
Bresca has received 4½ stars from the Taste & Tell in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.
Bresca’s small menu and frequently changing wine list seem carefully curated to take advantage of seasonal ingredients and make the dining experience harmonious. The intimate atmosphere and service match the outstanding food not only in quality but also in mood and tone. To my mind, Bresca belongs at or near the top among Greater Portland’s fine-dining restaurants.
The Portland Daily Sun has published an article about Johnny Lomba and LFK, his new venture in Longfellow Square.
That “works in progress” vibe, says Lomba, is the idea. Or at least part of the idea. Or one of the ideas.
“What we were trying to do,” he said during an afternoon interview at the bar, “was create a place where conversation begins.”
The typing station is part of that, and so are the large tables where multiple parties are seated together. Lomba likens it to a dinner party where you might arrive knowing a couple of people, but leave having met a few more.
“We want it be a place that when you’re here, you know you’re here,” he said. And while it’s not a music venue, some creative “programming” is likely.
The Press Herald has published an article about Three Sons Lobster’s efforts to relocate after being evicted from their location on the Maine Wharf.
After July 31, the dancing lobster could be a thing of the past. Broken and deteriorated pilings forced the pier’s owner to issue eviction notices last fall to the lobster dealer and two other businesses on Maine Pier.
While the other evicted businesses found new locations, Three Sons owner Stuart Norton can’t find another space on the waterfront, at least partly because the city relaxed waterfront zoning to allow non-marine uses.