Reviews of Fresh Approach & Spread

The Press Herald has published an Eat & Run review of Fresh Approach,

The meatloaf sandwich could not have been better. It featured two hunks of seasoned meatloaf, each sliced about a half-inch thick, and served on a chewy 12-inch sub roll with melted cheese and a touch of ketchup. My intent was to eat half and save the other half for dinner. But I plowed through all 12 inches without hesitation.

and a bar review of Spread.

The brunch drink menu was nothing short of spectacular. All the cocktails were priced at $7, and even standard drinks had a special twist. Mimosas are made with fresh squeezed orange juice, and the bar uses Stoli Jalapeno Infused Vodka and a homemade mix for the Bloody Mary. And, maybe you could try Second Marriage – Double Cross Vodka, Aperol and fresh grapefruit juice – if your Saturday night shenanigans would leave you questioning your love life.

Portland Eats

Mister Meatball has published a list of some of his favorite spots in Portland. The list includes Eventide, Local 188, Emilitsa, Otto, Schulte & Herr and Speckled Ax.

Last year I listed a bunch of the best places to eat in Portland. A couple are no longer open (the Porthole and District), but all the others still are. This time around there are three new places that weren’t open last year, plus three others that I’d neglected to get around to.

You can’t go wrong with a single one.

LA Blogger Reviews J’s Oyster Bar and Portland Lobster Co.

Feed the Moster has published reviews of J’s Oyster Bar,

J’s is just about perfect.  Warm service, classic look, honest food.

Why go?  You feel like a local.

and Portland Lobster Company.

Prices here are on the steep side given lobster is at an all-time low and some may deride this as a tourist trap.  It is.  None of that matters right now to The Monster as he happily devours his food.

Why go?  Lobster.  And then some more.

Brunch Review of Local 188

Map & Menu has published a review of Local 188.

We’d always enjoyed Local for its drinks and dinners in the past, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that our good friends Darcy and Carolyn introduced us to what has quickly become one of our favorite brunch menus in town. The eclectic setting and warm natural light of Local 188 lends itself perfectly to that at-home, comfortable feel that is required of every great brunch location. Their morning cocktails and tasty menu, all at an unbeatable value, just drive the point on home that Local should be at the top of every Portlander’s brunch list.

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

Maine’s Spirited Connection to Martinique

Joe Ricchio has written a piece for Bon Appetit about the Maine connection to Rhum Clément from Matinique.

Sipping Rhum Clément 10-year old Grande Reserve Tres Vieux, a special-edition rum aged in a combination of French and American barrels, may mentally transport you to the tropical idyll of Martinique, but the man behind import, sales, distribution, and marketing of his family’s Rhum Clément does does his business from a decidedly temperate place: Brunswick, Maine.

Bomb Diggity Fundraising Campaign

Bomb Diggity Bakery is raising $5,000 to expand their bakery and social service organization. The funds are being raised on Indiegogo, an alternative crowdfunding platform that’s similar to Kickstarter.

We are hoping to raise $5,000 to help set up our new kitchen location. For the past two years, we have been baking in a commercial kitchen with another local cafe/restaurant. With the growth of both businesses, the bakery needs a new, larger kitchen space. Setting up a kitchen is a lot of hard work and EXPENSIVE! Money raised will help go towards the build-out of our new kitchen as well as towards our ovens, mixers, etc. There are many people ready to put in as much hard work as necessary to get our new space ready, but we need to raise extra funds to help get us there.

From what I’ve heard Bomb Diggity is moving to East Bayside.

This Week’s Events: Cooking for Crowds, Beekeepers, Hunter Harvest Dinner, Wine Cruise, Slow Food Potluck

Wednesday — the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is teaching a class on food safety when cooking for crowds, and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing pumpkin beers from several breweries.

Saturday — the Maine State Beekeepers Association is holding their annual meeting where speakers include State Apiarist Tony Jadczak and celebrity beekeeper Michael Bush, Bard Coffee co-owner Bob Garver will be speaking at the Mid-Atlantic & Northeast Coffee Conference taking place in Rhode Island, the Peaks Island Gastro Society is holding a 7-course hunter harvest dinner, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — Wine Wise is leading and Italian wine cruise and Slow Food Portland is holding a potluck dinner as a send-off for this year’s Portland delegates to the Slow Food’s International Terra Madre event.

Milbrandt Vineyard Dinner — Bar Lola is collaborating with Milbrandt Vineyard on a wine dinner October 23, 5 courses, $75 per person. Butch and Lisa Milbrandt will be at Bar Lola for the dinner. Call (207) 775-5652 for reservations.

Vignola Wine Dinner — Vignola is holding a wine dinner in collaboration with Podere Ciona Estate and Vineyards later this month on October 26. $75 per person. Call (207) 772-1330 for reservations.

Eve’s Caviar Dinner — Eve’s will be holding their annual Caviar Dinner on October 26. 4 course, $120 per person.

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.

Pocket Brunch @ Broadturn Farm

The October edition of Pocket Brunch took place earlier today at Broadturn Farm. Coffee by Tandem, creative cocktails by Nathaniel Meikleljohn (imagine ginger-infused Hendrick’s with cucumber-wasabi puree, lime juice, ginger beer and siracha ice cubes) and fresh pressed cider accompanied premeal bites: cider donut holes, mini-muffins with goat cheese frosting and walnuts, and small buckets of fresh cooked bacon.

With preliminaries completed everyone headed into the barn where two long communal tables were set for the main meal:

  • Salad: a communal pile of fresh and pickled Broadturn vegetables paired with anchovy dust and a smoked onion dip
  • Soup: a broth of ham and toasted hay enriched with acorns, roasted garlic and parsley
  • Egg: a miniature omlet resting on a birds nest of potato sticks with breakfast mayo tamago, local mushroom, house ketchup and nasturtium leaves
  • Meat: a pork sausage corndog with a sweet potato and local berry dipping sauces
  • Dessert: gingerbread with rum caramel pear buttermilk ice cream which as a suprise were served up in clay pots filled with “potting soil” that had served as table decorations

The menu was a collaboration of Joel Beauchamp, Josh Potocki, and guest chef Karl Deuben. This was an astoundingly good meal and the room showed its appreciation with a standing ovation for the chefs and event organizer Katie Schier-Potocki during the gap between the last two courses.

A photographer from Portland Magazine was there as was Zwickerhill Photography and nearly everyone seemed to grabbing shots on their iPhones. I’ll add links here to other photo sets as they get put online.

UPDATE: David Zwickerhill has posted a large set of photos from the event online, and so has Shel Doyle.


4½ Stars for Eventide

Eventide Oyster Company received 4½ stars from a review in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

Eventide Oyster Co. is impressive for its variety of oysters and clever oyster accoutrements, as well as the carefully prepared non-oyster menu items. The Eventide oyster bar concept is as cool as the team of owners, and I recommend this restaurant for any oyster lover seeking a step left of ordinary. The price point skews a little high, but so does the quality.

UPDATE: The Boston Globe has also published a review of Eventide.