NYT’s Lobster Tour & HotH’s Lobster Chefs of the Year

The New York Times Travel section stopped off at The Salt Exchange and Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster as part of a multi-day lobster eating tour of Massachusetts and Maine.

That night, after strolling about Portland, our new lobster base camp, we visited the Salt Exchange and fell hard for the intense lobster risotto, highlighted by flavorful claw and body bits.

According to an article in today’s Press Herald, the Maine Lobster Chefs of the Year were chosen last night at Harvest on the Harbor. Mackenzie Arrington, a native Mainer who now works in New York City, was selected as the people’s choice Lobster chef of the Year, and Kerry Altiero from Cafe Miranda in Rockland was selected as the judge’s choice Lobster Chef of the Year.

In the past, a panel of judges chose the recipes for the contest, but tasting and judging were left solely to the audience.

This year, the judges tried the food as well, scoring it on a 100-point scale for originality, creativity, flavor and use of lobster. The judges were Steve Corry, chef/owner of Five Fifty Five and Petite Jacqueline in Portland; Kathleen Fleury, managing editor of Downeast magazine; and Sharon Rose of WCSH-TV.

Bar Review of Yosaku & Preview of Maine Brewers Festival

The Press Herald has published a bar review of Yosaku,

I was so caught up watching them, I forgot to even look at the bar menu before our waitress came around. While Yosaku offers a full selection of white and red wines, its true specialty is a range of sake selections. If you’re a fan of sake, you could spend anywhere between $5 for a small carafe of Ozeki Hot Sake up to $40 for Komatsu Tatewaki “Samurai” Taru Sake.

and a preview of the Maine Brewers Festival.

The festival is not officially part of Portland Beer Week, which runs Nov. 4-11. But it could be viewed as an aperitif, and a lot of the same organizations are involved in both events.

Portland Beer Week & VitaminSea

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about Portland Beer Week. Portland Beer Week is is taking place November 4-11.

The inaugural year of beer week was well received, but in a lot of ways, beer lovers say, it was kind of like Restaurant Week with beer as an add-on. This year Stevens, who owns The Thirsty Pig on Exchange Street, and her fellow beer geeks have structured an impressive line-up that is overflowing with nearly 60 events. And they did it all in barely two months.

Also in today’s paper is a profile of VitaminSea, a company that sells energy bars and other products that are made with seaweed.

Right now, company founders Tom and Kelly Roth have reached capacity with the number of SeaCrunch bars they can make in the licensed commercial kitchen in their Buxton home. They’re currently churning out about 1,000 bars a week of the mixture made from almonds, sesame seeds, dried cranberries, kelp and maple syrup. Yet, sales of the bars keep growing and the company plans to introduce two new flavors in the coming weeks, Blueberry (with dried blueberries and dark chocolate) and S’mores (with milk chocolate and marshmallows).

Under Construction: Sonnet

Chef Damian Sansonetti is working on launching a new restaurant in Portland. Until recently Sansonetti was the Executive Chef at Bar Boulud in New York City. He’s been scouting locations in Portland and in the meantime is running a series of pop-up dinners.

The next pop-up is scheduled for October 30th; interest in the dinners has been quite strong and an additional dinner in early November is likely. For more information on the dinners or to make a reservation email sonnetpopup@gmail.com.

Under Construction: Three Buoys Seafood Shanty & Grille

According to a report from the Munjoy Hill News, Three Buoys Seafood Shanty & Grille is under construction at 111 Cumberland Ave in the space formerly occupied by Buffalo Wings-N-Things.

East Enders will soon have another restaurant option from which to select according to Nikole and Bill Holler, owners of the soon-to-be Three Buoys Seafood Shanty & Grille.  The location is at the corner of Cumberland Avenue and Washington Street – the site of the former Buffalo Wings restaurant.  That’s where mhn.com met them early this afternoon.

Baum+Whiteman Food Trends

Grace’s Whole Beast Feast is cited as an example of high-end “bundled” meals in Baum+Whiteman’s predictions for food trends in 2013.

Grace Restaurant in Portland, Maine, has a “whole beast” lamb dinner for six to eight people at $65 a head, including harissa-spiked lamb tartare, cured lamb “bresaola,” rigatoni with smoked lamb shoulder, and leg of lamb stuffed with pine nuts and corn. Like many such feasts, it requires 72 hours’ notice.

Frosty’s Donuts Profile

The Portland Daily Sun has published an article about the new Frosty’s Donuts located in South Portland.

The selection isn’t huge nor is the dining room large. The drink menu is simple and straightforward and has no call for a seasoned barista to steam or spoon elaborately prepared hot beverages. The precision branding clings to the past on all signage and marketing materials, with a feel-good retro font proudly pointing out that Frosty’s Donuts has been providing Maine with famous, hand-cut donuts since 1965. Since then, the path that led to the recent opening of the third Frosty’s Donuts just over the bridge in South Portland is made up of the stuff we Mainer’s love.

Cousins Maine Lobster

Mainebiz has published a report on Cousins Maine Lobster, a West Coast lobster food truck run by Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac who hail from Cape Elizabeth. The cousins recently appeared on the ABC venture capital TV show Shark Tank and were successful in getting financed by Barbara Corcoran.

To that end, the duo appeared last week on the ABC reality show “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs pitch their business and seek capital from a board of seasoned and well-heeled investors, including the likes of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and real estate magnate Barbara Corcoran.

Tselikis and Lomac’s long-term plans include a food truck in Portland.

With strong roots in Portland, Tselikis says he and Lomac have talked about expanding back to their home turf, but not in the near future.

“It’s a saturated market, which is why we didn’t start here, so it’s not on the 2013 schedule, but you’ve got to be where you came from eventually,” says Tselikis.