Maine Restaurant Week Tour

Portland magazine has published a culinary tour of some of the restaurants participating in Maine Restaurant Week with details from restaurant staff on what they have in store for diners this March.

The first thing to know about the fifth annual Maine Restaurant Week is that it isn’t actually a week. It’s a 10-day opportunity to sample irresistible multi-course menus dreamed up by clever chefs who are just as sick of winter as you are. At very attractive prices. At restaurants all over the state. From March 1 through 10, most participating restaurants offer 3-course dinners, your choice of appetizer, main course, and dessert–for $22 or $32. This sort of value can make you believe in spring again.

The magazine also includes an article on the changing face of children’s menus.

For a full list of MRW participating restaurants see the Maine Restaurant Week website.

Under Construction: Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar?

Maine a la Carte reports that baseball broadcaster Jerry Remy (aka “RemDawg”) is considering opening a Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill in Portland.

“We have looked into the Portland area,” he told the radio hosts. “It seems like a natural with the minor league ball club here. We’ll see if we can get some kind of a deal worked out.”

Cajun Cookin’ Challenge Results

Tuesday’s Cajun Cookin’ Challenge resulted in a tie for first place between The Great Lost Bear for their Filé Gumbo and Congress Bar & Grill that cooked up a Maine Shrimp Etouffeé. Second place went to Local Sprouts for their Chicken Shrimp & Sausage Creole-style Gumbo.

More than 600 people attended WMPG’s 18th Annual Cajun Cookin’ Challenge and it was their votes that determined the winners.

Reviews of Whip’s and the Armory Lounge

The Press Herald has published a review of Whip’s Right Time Cafe,

The sandwich had sauteed onions and peppers, cheese and very tender steak. I like steak and cheese, but am usually prepared for it to be a little chewy in spots. This one was not — the beef was positively melt-in-your-mouth tender.

and The Golden Dish has published a review of the Armory Lounge.

What surprised me most about my recent dinner at the Armory Lounge, located off the lower lobby of the Portland Regency Hotel, is that the food is far better than the usual pub grub.

Farms in Winter & an Urban Farm Store

This week’s Portland Phoenix explores the planning and preparation that Maine farmers do in winter.

While this farm manager admits that winter hours are much less demanding…there’s still a lot going on this time of year. Seed orders were placed at the beginning of the year, and the 2012 financial books were balanced and closed. The hay baler and tractor need maintenance. Firewood needs to be chopped. Soon, Kroeck will start interviewing and hiring apprentices…And in a couple weeks, “we’ll start getting the greenhouse ready to start seeding for the summer,” he says.

Under Construction: The article also reports that the owners Broadturn Farm in Scarborough are planning on opening a “urban farm store” in Portland this spring.

Elvers Fishery & Harding Smith Rescue

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about the elver fishery licenses,

“At certain times during the season, prices were running above $2,600 a pound,” said Deirdre Gilbert, the department’s director of state marine policy. “The year before, prices were about $900 a pound. The prices went through the roof in 2012.”

and a report on the rescue of Harding Smith’s rescue from harbor during Nemo.

Quattrucci, whose uncles own DiMillo’s, said that 15 minutes or more after they heard the screams, they saw Smith hanging from the line to his boat, with his arms above his head.

Immigrant Kitchens: Somali Beef and Flatbread

In the latest entry from Immigrant Kitchens, Lindsay Sterling learns how to make Beef and Flatbread from a Somali immigrant (read the recipe and see the photos).

She taught me how to make chapati, an everyday Somali dish of beef, root vegetables, and flatbread in her outer Portland condo, while nine of her kids were at school, the oldest was upstairs, and the three-year-old was bowling with potatoes on the kitchen floor.

Evans comes in 2nd Place on Chopped

Rob Evans came in 2nd place to chef Jun Tanaka from London. The Press Herald has details on last night’s dishes,

Tanaka’s Carrot and Ginger Frangipane Pudding with Chantilly and Carrot Sauce edged out Evans’s Cinnamon French Toast with Orange and Carrot Gelee and Almond Foam.

But it was close.

and the Food Network has published a brief post-competition interview with Evans.