Under Construction: In’Finiti & more

A few new under construction factoids:

  • The new business that Novare Res has under development on Commercial Street will be call In’Finiti (see building permit below)
  • The latest issue of the Stir email newsletter, indicates that both Harding Lee Smith (the Rooms) and David Turin (David’s, David’s 388) are working on new restaurants. From what I’ve heard, Smith is working on a seaside seafood restaurant.
  • According to a tweet from Meredith Goad, there are rumors that “Buck’s Naked BBQ might be moving into the old Havana South space.”

This Week’s Events: IPA Night, Backyard Locavore Day, Rising Tide, Italian Bazaar

Tuesday — stop by Bunker Brewing on Anderson Street for Growler Nite to sample some of their beers and pick-up a growler to go.

Wednesday — there will be a wine tasting at the Bier Cellar, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — Cultivating Community’s sixth Twilight Dinner of the summer is taking place at their farm in Cape Elizabeth (tickets available online), and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing a collection of IPA’s.

Friday — there will be a wine tasting at the Rosemont on Brighton.

SaturdayBackyard Locavore Day is taking place in Cumberland County (tickets available online), Rising Tide is having the Grand Opening for their new digs in Bayside, the 87th Annual Saint Peter’s Italian Bazaar is taking place, CRUX is holding a pop-up dinner, Wine Wise is leading a wine walk focusing on sweet whites, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — it’s the last day of the Saint Peter’s Italian Bazaar.

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.

AP on the Out of the Blue Program

The Associated Press has written an article about GMRI’s program to get Maine chef’s to put unappreciated fish on the menu.

Twenty Maine restaurants from Kittery to Bar Harbor put Acadian redfish dishes on their menus in June, and 23 eateries served up menu items with Atlantic mackerel in July as part of an effort to raise public awareness — and demand — for unappreciated seafood species.


Joseph L. Discatio, 97

Earlier this week Joseph L. Discatio passed away at the age of 97. Discatio founded Joe’s Smoke Shop on Congress Street in 1945.

In 1945, after the war, Joe had an opportunity to buy a small store on Congress Street. He named his store ‘Joe’s Smoke Shop’ and there he blocked hats, shined shoes, sold newspapers, soda and cigars. Several years later, after St. Stephen’s Church was razed, he bought that land which abutted his small store. He then expanded the size of his store and added magazines, cigarettes, groceries and a snack bar. The remainder of the land became his parking lot. Joe’s Smoke Shop was to become his legacy.

Awards for Cheesemakers and Food Writer

Three Maine farms recently won awards at the American Cheese Society’s annual competition (via the Edible Obsessions twitter feed):

  • Turner Farm Creamery was in first place in the Flavor Added – spices, herbs, seasoning, fruits –
    all milks category
  • Pineland Farm Creamery received a 3rd place finish in the Flavor Added Monterey Jack – spices, herbs,
    seasonings, fruits – all milks category
  • Spring Day Creamery was in first place in the Original Recipe/Open Category – made from
    cow’s milk category

In separate news, Avery Yale Kamila, who writes the Natural Foodie column for the Press Herald, won an award from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association contest for the quality of her Twitter feed.

Restaurant Valet Service

The Bangor Daily News reports on the nascent restaurant valet industry in Portland.

“They said, ‘We’ve been driving around for 20 minutes and can’t find a place to park — can we leave the car with you?’,” [Carl] Loomis recalled Thursday.

Loomis, founder of the city’s first valet service, was happy to oblige. And Sebastien’s [sic] welcomed a car load of diners who didn’t have plans to eat there initially.

For those of you interested in offering valet service at your restaurant, the new valet company is called Valet4ME and you can find more info at www.valet4me.net.

A Portland Food Crawl

Connecticut blogger Leeanne Griffin and friends made their way from J’s to Duckfat to Fore Street to Pai Men and wrapped up with a visit to MDI Ice Cream. Read all about it on her blog Fun with Carbs.

High spirits, empty stomachs, smartphone GPS systems and cameras were all we needed for our afternoon-into-evening food crawl in Portland, Maine. We’d all received enthusiastic recommendations from various friends and Internet followers, with some must-stops on our own lists. Somehow, we timed it all perfectly.

Review of Figa

Eat Maine has published a review of Figa.

I am able muster up the space for one last savory offering: pan-seared duck breast garnished with what is basically a romesco sauce that has been deconstructed into a salsa fresca of sorts. The acidity in the salsa provides the perfect foil for the richness of the duck confit and asparagus hash, riddled with small cubes of nicely browned home fries. Once again, the level of seasoning is spot-on.

Nonesuch Oyster Expansion

The Forecaster has a report on the expansion of Nonesuch Oysters in Scarborough.

Farm expansion plans were approved July 16 by the Maine Department of Marine Resources, with a three-year lease on a site adjacent to 4.5 acres she already uses to moor floating mesh bags of virginicus oysters.

Carroll will gain more room for the second stage of oyster cultivation, in a setting DMR officials have determined provides plenty of water flow and nutrients for her crops, without interfering with navigation or other river uses.

Food Maven Recommendations

Hilary Naigle at Maine Food Maven has posted a trio of Portland area dining recommendations: Local 188, Caiola’s and the Sea Glass in Cape Elizabeth.

Chef/owner Abby Harmon gets everything right at this West End neighborhood restaurant. Our party of three split two appetizers. The salt cod dumplings with red pepper coulis and tartar sauce ($8.95) comprised two plump cod fritters separated by the tartar and drizzled with the sauce: crispy on the outside, delectably soft inside, simply delicious.