This Week’s Events: Festival Warm-up, Latte Art, Alana Chernila, Deering Oaks Farmers Market

Festival Warm-up — Shelton Brothers, the primary organizers behind The Festival, will be at the Bier Cellar on Thursday with a selection of beers that will be part of the summer event. Available at the tasting will be “De Struise Pannepot Gran Reserve 2005 and Black Damnation II, Trois Dames Expesso Stout, Panil Barrique, Kerkom Bink Grand Cru, Blaugies D’Arbyste, High & Mighty Beer of the Gods, De La Senne Zinnebier, DeRanke Hop harvest 2012, Het nest Kleverentien, Anchorage Galaxy IPA, Mikkeller I Beat You, 8 Wired Superconducter IPA, Thirez Blonde, Adnams Blond”. The Festival is taking place in Portland June 21 and 22, tickets are available online.

Also on Thursday — the April Latte Art Competition is taking place at Tandem Coffee, food writer Alana Chernila will be speaking at The Telling Room, there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, and the Great Lost Bear is showcasing a select of beers from Long Trail Brewing.

Saturday — the First Deering Oaks Farmers Market of 2013 is taking place.

Sunday — a May Day Celebration is taking place at Broadturn Farm, the Maine Brew Bus will be making a day trip to Oxbow Brewing in Newcastle, and Petite Jacqueline is screening the movie Le Divorce for movie night.

Portland Kitchen Tour — tickets for the Portland Kitchen Tour are now on sale. 6 Portland area kitchens are part of the event, each one will “feature a chef, cookbook author, cooking demo or tasting”.

Taste of the Nation — the 2013 Taste of the Nation is scheduled to take place June 23 at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport. Tickets are now on sale. The annual event raises money to combat childhood hunger in the Maine. Last year’s sold out Taste of the Nation raised over $170,000.

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.

Fishing with Greenlaw/Browne

Linda Greenlaw and Browne Trading are teaming up to offer bluefin tuna charters this summer.

Greenlaw, an Isle au Haut resident, author and world-renowned fisherman, will offer chartered fishing tours for bluefin tuna out of Portland Harbor through Browne Trading Co. on Commercial Street…Trips will be aboard the Hazel Browne, a 46-foot Wesmac owned by Rod Mitchell, the owner of Browne Trading Co.

Review of The Frog and Turtle

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of The Frog and Turtle.

The Frog and Turtle ups Westbrook’s foodie street credibility and style. Local music is a treat, and its brunch is a good one. (Try the homemade raspberry jelly doughnuts for a sugar rush; a pint-sized Bloody Mary will bring a rush of a different kind.) For those seeking dinner, make a reservation and consider ordering from the upscale pub menu. A plate of pork wings with fiery tangerine sauce while listening to excellent local music makes for a great evening.

Under Construction: Sypp, Boone’s, Empire

The Portland City Council meets Monday and as part of the agenda will be reviewing the liquor license applications from several new restaurants:

  • Empire – in its new guise as a Chinese restaurant, the downstairs of Empire will serve “a menu of traditional Chinese Dim Sum and other authentic dishes” according to letter from the new owner Theresa Chan. The draft menu (page 122) includes items like duck and pan fried duck egg salad, shrimp rice crepes, and foraged conch noodles. Chan plans on using the upstairs as a live music venue and as a space for private events. Chan is hoping to open in May.
    Fun history facts: from 1916 to 1953 a Chinese restaurant called Empire operated in the same building. Portland’s very first Chinese restaurant opened in 1880.
  • Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room – this will be Harding Lee Smith’s fourth restaurant. The draft menu (page 154) includes traditional seafood dishes, a “Snow Island Extreme Lobster Bake”, as well as a selection of oysters “from here and away”.  Smith is hoping to open in June.
    Fun history fact: Boone’s Restaurant operated in this space on Custom House Wharf for more than a century from 1898 to early in the 21st  Century.
  • Sypp – Thomas Henderson is opening an “upscale wine/martini bar” at 345 Fore Street in the space most recently occupied by Sebastian’s. The menu is still being worked on but a brief draft menu (page 182) lists “assorted cheese and cracker plates”, olive plate, tuna tartar, antipasto plate. Henderson hopes to open in May.
    Fun history fact: Sypp will be loocated in Boothby Square which was named for Colonel Frederick E. Boothby.

For details on all the food businesses under development in Portland see the Under Construction List.

Joe Appel in Saveur


Rosemont manager and Press Herald wine columnist Joe Appel has authored an article for the new issue of Saveur. The article is entitled Urban Grapes, and in it Appel writes about the urban wineries of Vienna that produce field blended wines.

It’s a tradition that dates back at least to Roman times, when grapevines grew together on family farms. Whereas other cities gradually lost vineyards as they urbanized, an 18th-century decree stipulated that Vienna’s crazy-quilt winemaking districts were to remain in perpetuity.

The article isn’t yet available online but you can pick-up a copy of Saveur at Longfellow Books.

For more of Appel’s writing visit his website, Soul of Wine.

Review of the East Ender

The Golden Dish has published a review of the East Ender.

For main a course my friend had to have the Swedish meatballs served over American-style house-made wide noodles. What a sixties dish, perhaps  better served as a first course in a smaller portion.  Even so, they were beautifully presented and the flavor was intensely rich, the noodles  al dente and the spinach leaves a nice touch.

Not So Hush Hush


Not So Hush Hush took place yesterday at Eventide. Portland Hunt & Alpine Club (website, Facebook) owner Andrew Volk produced a menu of excellent drinks while the Eventide kitchen crew sent out a stream of hors d’oeuvres to the packed house. Here’s the cocktail menu for the event, the Winslow Sour was the favorite among those I spoke to:

  • Munjoy Punch – lemon juice, green tea, gin and pineapple juice
  • Cumberland Punch – lime juice, brandy, rum and cava
  • Winslow Sour – bourbon, lemon juice, apple bitters, egg white
  • Ebb and Flow – manzanilla sherry, gin, Royal Rose saffron syrup
  • Shooter – aquavit, worcestershire sauce, horseradish, oyster

Portland Hunt & Alpine Club recently leased a space on Market Street and plans on opening their craft cocktail bar this July.

For additional photos see the ones posted by Zach Bowen and Sean Thomas.

Bard Coffee in the New Yorker

Bard Coffee got a shout out in a New Yorker article about the specialty coffee conference that took place last weekend in Boston.

“This is what coffee tasted like in nineteenth century!” Peter Giuliano exclaimed, holding a cup of Bard coffee’s Sumatra Wahana Natural as we talked at a small stand near the entrance of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, where the Specialty Coffee Association of America was holding its twenty-fifth annual exposition this past weekend. “I’ve never tasted anything like it.”