Joy the Baker’s Visit to Portland & Maine

Joy the Baker has published a report on her recent eating trip in Maine, which includes this hearty endorsement of the mussels at Fore Street.

The people at Fore Street restaurant make magic (and mussels) come out of this kitchen space.  The restaurant feel like you’re sitting in someone’s home… with a bunch of strangers, wine, and amazing food (and you don’t have to help with the dishes).  If I had a list of favorite restaurants around the country, Fore Street would top the list.  It tastes like home, elevated to its highest level.

Joy’s visit to Maine was part of a collaboration between Sharon Kitchens and the Maine Office of Tourism which brought a trio of influential food bloggers from California, Colorado and Tenessee to Maine for a week.

Crowdsourced Funding for Farm Stand

The Forecaster has published an update on Alewive’s Brook Farm’s use of Kickstarter to raise $60,000 to build a new farm stand.

“It’s like a barn raising, but we’re calling it a market raising,” said Caitlin Jordan, manager of the farm and daughter of owner Jodie Jordan. “We’re asking the community to go one step further in their support for our farm. We’re not asking them to lift the beams, just to buy them.”

So far 42 people have pledged $4,345 towards the goal.

Review of Sea Grass Bistro

Eat Maine, authored by Joe Ricchio, has published a review of Sea Grass Bistro in Yarmouth.

The second wave of appetizers begins with a lobster tortellini , and though this dish appears on countless restaurant menus, it is the quality of Brown’s pasta dough that sets it above most. For the sauce, the essence of the lobster itself is captured beautifully by reducing stock with tomatoes, which is quite effective with earthy, sautéed brown alba mushrooms and the slightest hint of aromatic white truffle oil.

Sen. Collins Brewery Tour & Reviews of LFK & Downtown Lounge

Today’s Press Herald includes a review of the Downtown Lounge,

The stew satisfied me. It came with thick hunks of potatoes, celery and carrots, corn kernels and sliced onions, with a slide of garlic bread for dipping. The chicken chunks were massive. It was somewhat zesty, creamy, hot and wholesome, and was something I would strongly recommend and order again.

a review of LFK,

All in all, though, I thought LFK was a funky little addition to Portland’s bar scene, and one I’ll add to my roster of drinking places.

and a report on Senator Collins’ recent visit to three Portland breweries.

While the U.S. senator from Maine did enjoy some beer at Allagash, Maine Beer Co. and Geary’s — nowhere near a full bottle at any one of them — her primary purpose seemed to be to pick up some information about what is becoming a major business in Maine.

Lunch Review of Petite Jacqueline

Map & Menu has published a review of lunch at Petite Jacqueline.

Petite Jacqueline does a lot of things very well, but possibly one of our favorites is their selection of cheeses. Michael and I are by no means cheese aficionados, but when we select a few from the options at Petite, it’s as if we’ve magically transformed into seasoned fromage veterans – making the perfect choices every time. In reality, it’s just that Petite Jacqueline simply serves a fool-proof well curated list, and one could just blind-folded toss darts at it and hit a home run with every selection.

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

Maine Cookbooks, Becoming a Vegan, Old Port Wine Merchants

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about 3 new Maine cookbooks,

Here’s a first look at the Standard Baking Book, followed by the latest on Maine home cooking from food writer and food historian Sandy Oliver, and a new cookbook featuring nearly 50 Portland restaurants from Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz.

a guide to eating vegan (with restaurant recommendations),

In the past month, I’ve had a host of people – old and young, men and women, professional chefs and novice cooks – ask for advice on how to eat a totally plant-based diet.

So it must be time to provide a basic starter kit on eating vegan in Maine.

and a profile of the Old Port Wine Merchants.

Owner Jacques de Villier loves wine and cigars but his true passion is people, and that’s what makes him the shopkeeper’s shopkeeper. He’s old school. Plenty of people open stores because they love their product or want money, but neither the product nor the cash is the heart and soul of it. Anyone who doesn’t like de Villier is a wretched misanthrope who needs serious professional help.

Starting a Food Blog

From Away has published a guide for aspiring food bloggers.

We’ve learned a lot, and we wanted to share some of the tips we’ve picked up along the way with anyone interested in either starting a site of their own, or improving their existing food blog. In this post, we’ll try to cover everything we’ve learned so far, in an effort to help both new aspiring food bloggers, as well as more established bloggers looking for ways to increase their revenue or improve their existing websites.

Beyond Portland: The Ramp, Long Grain, The Lost Kitchen, Conway & Burlington

As wonderful as the Portland food scene it’s not the only place in Maine to get a great meal. With heretical thought in mind, the goal for this month’s for the collaborative food blogging project was to leave our little food heaven and try out some restaurants elsewhere in Maine.

Edible Obsessions – Conway & Burlington

Apparently 3 1/2 hours of eating nothing but cheese just wasn’t enough for me because I felt compelled to order a ham and cheese crepe from The Skinny Pancake, a hip little creperie near the water. It was named ‘The Lumberjack’ and really should have tipped me off to how massive this was going to be. It was good, but it was so heavy that I got physically tired just trying to mow through it. read the full article

From Away – Long Grain

The conclusion? This is eight tables (plus bar stools) of communal space, a place I want to go every chance I can, to eat everything I can and try to plan what is essentially the unknown path of my destiny. And you should, too. read the full article

The Blueberry Files – The Ramp

Barring the miss on the fish and chips, we loved The Ramp for it’s funky atmosphere, lively bar, and creative but familiar menu. This place is worth seeking out – while you won’t necessarily avoid the crowds of Kennebunkport, the cluster of Adirondack chairs outside the busy restaurant encourage you to take a moment to have a drink and admire the harbor. read the full article

Vin et Grub – The Lost Kitchen

There been a slight delay but we’ll add Vin et Grub’s review of The Lost Kitchen as soon as it’s published

While I do spend the vast majority of my Maine eating budget here in Portland I do get of town from time to time. My favorite spot so far is Francine Bistro in Camden. Chef/owner Brian Hill plates up some excellent creative dishes in a lively atmosphere. Also I had the chance earlier this Summer to sample the menu at Chase’s Daily in Belfast and am definitely looking forward to returning for a second act.

Apple Crop Down 30%

MPBN is reporting that the 2012 Maine apple crop is “off by as much as 30 percent”.

The first hint of trouble for some orchards came back in March, when temperatures rose into the 80s in some parts of the state, shattering records. Apple trees started to bloom.

“And this was before the danger of the last freeze, so while they were in full bloom, or just around the time of full bloom, there was an event that killed flower buds,” says Renae Moran, tree fruit specialist at the University of Maine.