Bad Behaviors

Natalie Ladd has written up some of the bad behaviors by restaurant patrons she’s witnessed in the past week for her weekly column in the Portland Daily Sun.

2) Camping Out. Most restaurants plan for one-and-a-half to two hours for a dinner reservation (more time is allotted if attending a meal consisting of many courses), and all are encouraged to relax and enjoy. However, once you’ve paid, finished your tawny port, and sat for a good fifteen minutes, hit the road if it appears other reservations have come in and are waiting. Move to the bar and finish your conversation because you are committing the double whammy of offending other patrons as well as hindering the profitability of the restaurant and servers.

Porthole Closed

According to a report from the Press Herald, The Porthole has closed and it’s “unclear” when it will reopen.

[Owner Oliver] Keithly said Tuesday he hopes he can work out a plan to renovate and reopen, but he acknowledged it will be difficult. He said he had been planning on closing the Porthole in December and January to redesign the kitchen – which the Comedy Connection shares — but decided do the work earlier after the health inspection and subsequent press coverage.

“Business has been so slow,” he said. “Why prolong it?”

Taste, Memory by David Buchanan

Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors and Why They Matter, a book by Portland resident, local farmer, and expert on heirloom fruits and vegetables David Buchanan, is being launched later this month.

In his Forward for Taste, Memory Gary Paul Nabhan writes,

Taste, Memory may well be the most beautiful book ever written about food biodiversity and how it has “landed” on earth, in our mouths and in our hearts. Once you have read and digested David’s book, you will never again regard this two-word phrase as an abstraction, but as a essential element of our common food heritage, one that continues to nourish and enrich our lives. In turn, we must nourish it, or it will surely fade away. As Poppy Tooker famously says, “You’ve got to eat it to save it.” Taste, Memory offers the rationale and the inspiration you need to embark upon your own voyage of food discovery.

SPACE Gallery is hosting a launch part for Taste, Memory on October 24.

We’ll set up cider pressing equipment and taste a variety of apple blends, as well as samples of hard ciders from David and Eli’s fermentation experiments (feel free to bring apples if you’d like to press some of your own). David will read passages from his book about collecting rare fruits and working with Eli, and the movement to preserve biodiversity and traditional foods. Acoustic live music by Jake Hoffman and Tyler Leinhardt of Sugar Shack.

A pair of excepts from the book (Seeds of an Idea and The Cider Tree) are available on the publisher’s website.

Review of The Well

Map & Menu has published a review of The Well.

…Meredith followed with the vegetarian dinner of pumpkin agnolotti, wilted spinach, and sage cream, and I settled on the lamb dish, with potato gratin and cider braised red cabbage (which I’m pretty sure I saw growing just outside the door). Our meals were delicious, and we were both filled with immense regret that we’d only have the opportunity to eat there just once this season. No worries though, you can guarantee that we’ll be there shortly after they reopen next June!

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

Review of Emilitsa

Diningsense has published a review of Emilitsa.

Emilitsa is certainly one of my favorite Maine restaurants and from a taste standpoint, I would say that only Arrows, Primo, and Five Fifty-Five on a good night can match their protein preparations. However, the restaurant still has a couple of detracting attributes, namely that the interior doesn’t contribute any excitement and that the pastry program is so mediocre. As a result, they place a burden on themselves to deliver with the main dishes, and it’s to their credit that they are so strong in that regard…It’s easy to get excited for their duck and whole fish, so even though the atmosphere isn’t very exciting, I will definitely return to Emilitsa.

Under Construction: Local 188 Owner Opening Restaurant #3

According to a report by the Munjoy Hill News, Jay Villani plans on opening a third Portland restaurant this Spring.

“I’m going to be opening a new restaurant next spring.  It’ll be a chicken barbeque place and it’ll be on lower Congress Street,” said Jay Villani Saturday afternoon.

This will be Villani’s third restaurant and fourth food venture in Portland after Local 188, Sonny’s and Bunker Brewing.

This Week’s Events: Feastland, Fall Wine Dinner, Kombucha Workshop, Falmouth Kitchen Tour, Food History Lecture, Pocket Brunch, Open Creamery Day

WednesdayCarmen at the Danforth is holding a Fall wine dinner, there will be a wine tasting at Rosemont, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — Urban Farm Fermentory is teaching a Kombucha workshop,  Rosemont is hosting Eleanor Leger for a tasting of dessert ciders from Eden Ice Ciders, Oktoberfest is the theme of the Great Lost Beer’s weekly brewery showcase.

Friday — there will be wine tastings at Rosemont Market and the West End Deli, Roost is having an open house, The Salt Exchange is hosting a bourbon tasting, it’s the first day of the Falmouth Kitchen Tour.

Saturday — SPACE Gallery and Broadturn Farm are producing Feastland, an “evening of seasonal food, site-specific art projects, drinks and entertainment”, there will be wine tastings at LeRoux Kitchen and Browne Trading, Sandy Oliver is giving a Maine Food History talk in Falmouth, it’s the second day of the Falmouth Kitchen Tour, Wine Wise is holding a wine cruise, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

SundayPocket Brunch #3 (sold out) is taking place, and it’s Open Creamery Day—check this handy map from the Maine Cheese Guild to find a list participating creameries.

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.

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.