Portland Food at a Kennebunkport Inn

The Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport is hosting a food event series this winter that will feature a number of people from the Portland food community:

  • November – food preservationist and author of The Blueberry Files Kate McCarty will teach a class on pickling and canning
  • January – Allagash brewmaster Jason Perkins will be sharing a set of limited edition and special seasonal beers
  • March – Erica Archer from Wine Wise will be leading a discussion on pairing wine and seafood
  • April – cheese expert Shannon Tallman will share some her favorite cheeses and discuss pairing them with Maine beer, cider, mead and wine

Other events in December, Februarywill focus on cocktails and chocolate.

Review of Pocket Brunch #2

Food Coma has published a review of Pocket Brunch #2.

Kimchi and aged cheddar croissants, a combination that works surprisingly well, are served alongside the usual thick slices of “Pocket Bacon.” As I start into my second cocktail, someone points out that I have dressed more appropriately for night time, as I am wearing almost all black. I explain that I am paying homage to two different recording artists, and that they are welcome to refer to me as Johnny Ke$ha from here on out.

Tickets are on sale for Pocket Brunch #3 but you’ll need to move fast, there are only 2 left.

Review of Sea Grass Bistro

Diningsense has published a review of Sea Grass Bistro in Yarmouth.

However, the strong relationship with the town precludes a more autonomous personality and I could not locate a strong identity in the restaurant. Basically, it does not offer enough excitement to lure me back since I could simply dine at a restaurant in a different neighborhood that serves the same function. While I enjoyed the cuisine for the most part, there was also something impenetrable about interacting with a restaurant that has so much significance for its patrons and none for me.

City Plans to Add Restaurant Inspectors

According to a report in today’s Press Herald, the City is planning to adjust the restaurant inspection code, increase fees and add more inspectors.

City Manager Mark Rees said he intends to ask for funding in next year’s budget for additional restaurant inspectors and resources. Portland has one full-time inspector, who inspected only 49 of the city’s 800 eating establishments in her first year on the job. She failed 39 of them. State law requires restaurants to be inspected every two years.

This Week’s Events: Tuscan Dinner, Cigar Dinner, Latte Art Competition, Bunker Down Fest, Cloak & Dagger

TuesdayBar Lola’s Tuscan wine dinner was so popular that they’re repeating the event this week.

Wednesday — Calabash in South Portland is holding a cigar dinner, there will be a wine tasting at RSVP, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — there will be a cheese and organic wine tasting at the Public Market House, there will be a beer/mead/cider/wine tasting at Bier Cellar, Oxbow Brewing will be featured at the Great Lost Beer’s weekly brewery showcase and Bard Coffee is hosting the TNT Latte Art Barista Competition.

FridayTandem Coffee is holding a coffee cupping, there will be a beer tasting at the West End Deli, and it’s the first day of Oktoberfest at Novare Res.

SaturdayBunker Down Fest is raising funds for the Portland Farmers Market, Rising Tide is holding an open house, it’s the second day of Oktoberfest, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place. If you’re looking for an excuse to get out of town consider the Maine Lakes Brew Fest in Caso Maine.

SundayCloak & Dagger #7 is taking place, it’s slated to be an 8-course vegetarian dinner.

All This Week — the Cumberland County Fair is taking place in Cumberland Maine.

All This Month — DiMillo’s, East Ender, Five Fifty-Five, Grace and Petite Jacqueline are all participating Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry program to raise funds to fight hunger. Check this map for the nature of each restaurant’s program.

Freedom Farm Dinner — Local 188 & Sonny’s are holding a dinner at Freedom Farm in Freedom Maine October 20th to benefit the Portland Farmers Market. The evening will consist of a farm tour followed by a 5-course dinner with pairings. Tickets are $70 per person and are available for sale online.

Le Semaine du Gout — Petite Jacqueline is planning a Week of Taste as “a celebration of dinning, agriculture and education”. Each night Monday through Friday during the week of  October 15-19 “will feature a different culinary theme and create a 3-course prix fixe menu”. Call (207) 533-7044 for reservations.

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.

Maine Oysters

The latest issue of Down East includes a feature article about the Maine oyster industry which ranges from Eventide to oyster farms to sidebars on two better mouse traps for opening the tasty bivalves.

“Oyster are trendy now,” says Jeff “Smokey” McKeen, a co-owner and founder of Pemaquid Oyster Company, which has been growing oysters in the Damariscotta estuary since 1986. “They are way more popular than they were twenty-five years ago, so the market is their for us now. All the Maine oysters have a good reputation in the marketplace. They come out of cold water so they are sweeter, plumper, and crisper than warm water oysters. They stack up against anything out there.”

The latest issue of Down East isn’t online yet but you can pick up an issue at your local newsstand.

Review of Five Fifty-Five

Five Fifty-Five received 4½ stars from the review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

Five Fifty-Five earns top rating for menu quality, service, originality and flavor. For those seeking a high-end dining experience that recalls bits of Napa and Manhattan sensibilities with a distinctive eye on its Maine clientele, it does not get better than Five Fifty-Five. While the pricing might prohibit this as an everyday treat, for food lovers, the experience is worth every single penny.

2 Reviews of Carmen at the Danforth

Both Down East and Maine magazines have published reviews of Carmen at the Danforth in the October issues of their respective magazines. Here’s an excerpt from Down East,

Consider that final moment when you’ve had the last morsel of a splendid meal whereupon all of the pleasures of dining well conspire towards perfection. You’ll find that delight at Carmen at the Danforth, a thoroughly captivating dining venue that opened this past summer in the historic Danforth Inn, an 1823 Federal mansion along Portland’s gentrified West End.

and here’s one from Maine.

On my most recent visit to Carmen at The Danforth in Portland, there was a brief moment—while sampling some of the most tender and flavorful grilled baby flower octopus that I have ever tasted—when my mind fell into a vacation-induced trance of sorts, and I completely forgot that just outside the walls of this nineteenth-century mansion my regular day-to-day existence was waiting for me.

The Down East article is not available online yet but you can find a copy at your local newsstand.